To whom it may concern,
The young fan
For as long as I can remember, League has always been a part of my life. My first memories span back to the age of two. My mother?s family was always AFL-orientated, however being an impressionable young boy Dad was always GOD in my eyes (along with Wally Lewis).
The old fan
Dad was a huge league fan and as my parents were divorced, he would travel 40 minutes either way twice a week to pick me up for footy training. He would also pick me up on those weekends that I wasn?t at his house and take me to play. We attended every State of Origin match from 1980-1991 and religiously attended weekend fixtures.
I am writing this letter to let you in on a little secret, as of 5 years ago my father has ceased to follow rugby league. I phone him every year on the morning of the first State of Origin match and ask him who he thinks will win and he replies with ?I couldn?t care less?. He has continually told me over the past 6-7 years that the game is run by a bunch of Sydney cronies that don?t care about league outside of their town and continue to ignore the large league following territories around the country. He believes that fans like me are purely there to make up the numbers. I have debated this with him for many years now and each year, his argument grows stronger and mine continues to crumble before my very eyes.
?What do you mean?? I hear you say. Well, before you place this letter through your paper shredder, please read on further and I?ll explain
The positive months
At the start of this year, David Gallop was on the television talking up the chances of expansion for the NRL. This involved three consortiums:
1. The Gold Coast 2. The Central Coast 3. Wellington
?Hooray?, I shouted, ?This is what the game needs?. You see a team on the coast would give those fans that don?t necessarily like the Broncos another team to cheer for, thus increasing the fan base through South-East Queensland (the second largest base of league supporters in the country). The stadium at Gosford would be perfect for an NRL team and would give families, (like my wife?s family whom reside at The Entrance), a home team to support once again, in what was and still is to some extent, a very large population of league supporters. Not knowing much about Wellington, I?m no expert but you would expect that any venture into a Union stronghold would be a great test for the game. After all, Union is doing it.
Again? Yes but this time on the fan?s behalf.
After talking up the prospect for the whole season, the NRL releases a 4 million point document which describes why it is not in the interests of the game to increase the number of teams at this stage
I am not a great business manager, but I do know that when compiling a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), on their business, most managers choose to deal with the threats first to achieve maximum opportunity for their business to remain a going concern.
The ARU yesterday announced that a fourth Super12 franchise will be active within Australia from 2006 and guess where one of the strong contenders is rumoured to be stationed?? You guessed it David!!! Clever boy!! Have a gold star!
Yes that?s right kiddies??.GOSFORD!!!!!!!!
Did you know that the Brisbane Lions have won their 1st Premiership in the AFL? You didn?t? Oh, yes that was in 2001. They?ve also managed to win every premiership since and are on the way to their fourth straight title. You should see it David. Thousands of kids in their Lions gear, pretending to be Jason Akermanis. What?s that? How can Brisbane kids want to be a guy that is so outspoken against rugby league? Well you know how impressionable young kids get. They must be listening to their Dads.
I even hear that the AFL give the Lions some kind of salary cap concessions as they are in a?.wait for it Dave?a developing state. This angers some of the other clubs, however, most can see the benefits to the game as a whole.
Can you see a pattern forming?
See you at the game?? for now,
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