Dealing with Treachery and Troublemakers: X-Men Style

Filed in Other by on December 5, 2010

“Well sit right down my wicked son
And let me tell you a story
About the boy who fell from glory
And how he was a wicked son”
Holiday Song, The Pixies

The Pixies have been a great source of comfort in recent times, times defined by treachery and troublemakers. They were the escape I needed and right now, they had all the correct words to describe the journey we are in for over the next thousand-odd words. Maybe six hundred. Maybe six thousand. It is tough to tell at this stage because once the anger starts spewing out like a volcano, who knows when the fury will cease. Or what kind of state we will all be in.

There is no doubt; the Pixies were the high point of the week. We found our way to Mariana and Mariana is about as far away from labor threats and vicious betrayal as one can get.

Now we’re bubbling like a bitches brew…

Last week was rough on the mind and the belly having to listen to the foolish garbage being spouted about a potential NRL players strike. Of most irritation was the fact that this pinko gibberish started with a Bulldog. Willie Mason created a goddamn firestorm through his thoughtless and careless and ill-informed words, demanding six figure minimum salaries and a greater share of non-existent spare cash or he and the boys will hit the picket lines and sing working mantras like “workers united will never be defeated”. A real throwback to the days of railroad and coal miner strikes. And the boys will stick it to the man at Origin time.

For a Bulldog to start talking strike is an embarrassment. He made a fool of himself and only endeared himself to old time union hacks and the distinct minority who don’t believe first grade rugby league players are adequately compensated for their services. He should be whipped like a gimpy dog, even if he does don the blue and the white each week.

Players have a right to negotiate bigger and better contracts. It’s called the market and the players earning the big bucks like Willie Mason had better remember that. For those opposed to the Smithsonian approach, there is a little organisation known as the Rugby League Players Association whom, having confiscated portions of player salaries in order to fund a united front, one would imagine may be of some assistance in matters such as player salaries. Now perhaps the RLPA has been lax in their duties, focused more on award nights than player rights. If players aren’t happy with their representation, do something about it. But to come out as a renegade demanding things that will do significant damage to the game and threaten not only the game’s administration but the fans and the punters and the followers who give their lives to the game is anti-productive at his best. And a goddamn ball kicking at worst.

The significant damage that a sport can suffer from a labor strike has been seen time and time again. Baseball fans only returned after the ’94 baseball strike when there was a home run chase some five seasons later. Many have never gone back and the game is still tarnished by the cancellation of most of the season and the World Series. The NHL is a shadow of its former self, damaged almost irreparably by the labor dispute of 2004 and 2005 that saw the cancellation of a Stanley Cup. The sport has fallen from one of the “big-four” to be placed somewhere between Nascar and women’s college hoops.

What these fools are doing is killing the milking cow for steak. They have no vision for the future and are concerned with nobody but themselves. Willie Mason and the few who support the rugby league Che Guevara need to be weeded out and given a jolly old horse whipping. If they still keep the yap up, somebody make a call to Chris Corrigan and I’ll look far and wide for Peter Reith. The time for union busting will be right so you may as well go to the best… 

If it wasn’t bad enough dealing with a son of the blue and white who had wandered into dangerous territory last week, this week we at Canterbury get to deal with the lies and treachery of Mark O’Meley.

Mark my words. If the diatribe emanating from News Limited is true and O’Meley has signed with the Roosters, he will be treated with the same contempt that the Gang of Four and Steven Price currently are. At least by me, a man whose loathing knows no bounds when it comes to the betrayal of The Bulldogs.

Jim Dymock, Dean Pay, Jason Smith and particularly Jarrod McCracken are still hated with the full fury of a rattle-hum machine gun by those loyal to Belmore. To this day, some twelve years on, the wounds are still pink-fresh and the names are ever-linked to betrayal, lies and treachery. Jarrod McCracken’s career at Canterbury has effectively been erased from the record books while it is dually noted with some pride that none of Dymock, Pay or Smith ever again reached the heights they did at Belmore.

And Steven Price is regarded in a similar light, at least by those who remember how business was conducted under Peter Moore. Price had made a life-long commitment to the Bulldogs, reportedly on the deathbed of the man that made him, Peter Moore. He bled blue and white and should have stuck firm when the Bulldogs needed him. But he jumped ship for a little extra cash and it was a tremendously sad time for anybody who had sat on the Terry Lamb Family Hill and cheered Price in blue and white scarf as the trains whistled by and the wind howled through. And the price of that extra cash was the respect and adoration of Canterbury fans, who held Price on a level only below Terry Lamb. Now, his name is mud in these parts…

Mark O’Meley can expect similar treatment. Personally, like other Bulldogs fans, your worked-up writer hopes rumours of an O’Meley move to the Roosters is just lies. But one cannot help but feel the deal has been done and O’Meley has signed with the Roosters. He denies it, and so do all other parties but the hot word is from those in the know is that O’Meley has signed on and he never gave the Bulldogs a chance to match. A grave act of treachery, to say the least. Steven Folkes should toss the bum to the Premier League and work on making Chris Armit rugby league’s next great prop.

Players, of course, have the right to sign wherever they like. The abolition of the territory rule and the failing of the draft has seen to that. But they must recognise the right of the fan to disrespect those who do it all for cash. And fans who really care don’t look too kindly on mercenaries. At least fans from clubs with an ounce of self-respect…

This is not a knock on players leaving clubs. That happens all the time and that is the modern world. Some have no option. Others need to do it to get an opportunity. This is not a knock on the Jamie Feeney’s and Travis Norton’s  who are forced to leave or the Daniel Holdsworth’s and Daryl Millard’s who come and go for an opportunity. This is a diatribe against the selfish elite footballer who can be bought for a few extra bucks, leaving club loyalty to rot by the side of the road. He, like Roy Asotasi and Braith Anasta and the rest who have fled Belmore for scratch will soon learn that a few extra bucks will not make up for the unhappiness of consistent team failure.

We leave it to the Pixies to sum up the whole week. “You’ll think I’m dead but I’ve sailed away”. To all Bulldogs fans, O’Meley becomes dead the moment he signs with the Roosters. And Mason does the moment he hits the picket line. Loyalty may be a losing cause but I’ll sure as hell be fighting for it. The Beaver and I. And that is that for a disjointed and poorly articulated piece of prose.

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