Storm fans must be shattered and unable to function enough to even turn on a computer, let alone read about the plight of their team right now.
So this article is for the rest of us. Fans of the NRL, the code and sport in general. The hype and hyperbole surrounding revelations that the Melbourne Storm routinely rorted the salary cap will die down in the next few weeks (or months?).
The pain, frustration and lingering empty feeling will stick around for a while longer also. But then what? Well, as I can see it there are two ways we all can go, and I know which one I will be choosing.
We could choose to hate the Storm, hate their fans and their players and their staff. We could boo them at every opportunity, or, in fact, just not go to any of their games, watch any of their TV games or frequent any of their sponsors.
We could bitch and moan about what they have done to the game and relive that empty feeling every time we see a Storm jersey being worn by a stray fan. Essentially we could continue to punish and punish and punish a club that has clearly already been punished quite comprehensively by the NRL.
We do however have another choice. We all could accept that the instigators of this rort have and will be exposed. Their organisation has of course been rightly punished.
We could accept that many in the Storm knew nothing of the cheating. From the players right down to the lowest paid dogsbodies, many will continue to feel the pain of this revelation for years to come.
We could try to understand how it must feel to be a Storm fan right now. And with this in mind, we could make an effort to go to a Storm game, cheers their players, shake hands with a fan or two and let them know we are thinking of them.
As a greater community, we could even choose to help the club. Whoever is left in the Storm administration one the heat dies down will most definitely be clean and, if we want to continue to engage with fans in Melbourne, then we all need to move on and see how we can make things right.
We could even encourage the NRL to help out to ensure the club can survive their financial pain. The punishment should be over once the fines and prizemoney is paid and the points docked. Once this is over the Storm will surely need some financial help, help that could take the form of a loan or financial management plan.
As you can probably guess, I'm taking the second path. Rugby League should be seen as a brotherhood. No matter who you cheer for, you can always find a friend in a fellow rugby league fan. And right now, and in the future, fellow fans of the game, Storm fans, need all the friends they can find.Like