Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dragons Mania, shire pride, the never ending downward spiral and depression.

The week just gone has been a bad week for Sharks supporters. Hopefully it will be the end of a bad couple of years, but to see our mortal enemies, the merged Dragons suceed while we flounder badly hurts. When the sharks would go bad, it would be some kind of comfort to sit back and watch the dragons implode and choke in the finals. No such luck this year. And it has left me, and many other long time supporters to wonder; when will it end?

What hurts even more is to see our homeland, the Cronulla district FILLED to the brim with support for the Dragons. Certain shops (namely Eloura take away, the shearers cook bakery, and Pauls famous hamburgers) which service the district should hang their head in shame at their outward support of the dragons and have lost this discerning customers ongoing business. Homes were decorated. And the worst was the cars. Scores of cars with dragons flags and streamers proudly waving in the wind. You would think that the sharks didnt exist, and to many of the local residents, they dont.

Now, let me clarify. It is any persons right to support who they want. But if you live in an area that is serviced by a certain team, and if you are a business, you have a moral obligation to support your local product, just as the local community supports you. Dont like it? Move.

So despairing is the situation that long time supporter and mate of mine, Garbz posted the following on the CSSC forum.

This week has convinced me that the Sharks have no future in the Shire. There are more Dragons fans here than Sharks fans; the place has been a sea of red and white all throughout the finals series. Even when we were showing some signs of success back in the Johnny Lang days I don't remember ever seeing so much black, white and blue in the area.

All the NRL would lose by either forcing us to relocate or forcibly taking our license and awarding it to some other region is the support of about 8000 people. The vacuum would very quickly be filled up by the Dragons, who would probably play a couple of games at Woolooware and pull bigger crowds than we ever have anyway.

With that in mind, we have four options:

1. Cling for dear life to our current position in the Shire, pandering to the needs of 8000 or so selfish fans (including myself) and never really amounting to anything until the time eventually arrives when we fall over (not necessarily due to poor management, either.)

2. Fold. Kind of pointless really.

3. Relocate. Probably our best option; it would be a matter of finding a suitable place to move to where the Sharks brand can take off. I'm thinking that a relocation merger with the Perth Reds would be the best option - Western Australia is due for another crack at the top league.

4. Merge. Unfortunately, I don't see any club that would be willing to accept us an equal partner in a merge. I expect this would be more of a take-over and we'd get a token strip of blue on a jersey (if that.) I'm sure the Dragons would be happy to take us over... but I'm not sure how popular that'd be.


Scary stuff. However, I have to disagree with Garbz here. While it is a disconcerting time, I think the following applies with regards to dragons-mania.

- The dragons have one of the biggest fan bases in the NRL. This comes mainly from a few factors : 1)They are essentially 2 teams and cover a huge geographic area.2) Theyre ongoing success in the 60s and 70s engendered an entire generation of support and this was passed on to succeeding generations.
- The dragons have many fair-weather fans who loudly and proudly come out of their holes when times are good. This is the same for any NRL team, but strangely, even more for these guys.
- The shire is essentially a utopian island within festering dragons territory. Some seepage has to be expected.
- The soccer world cup seemed to be the beginning of the car-flag craze. I reckon from now on, whenever there is a big sporting event, we will see much more car decoration than there has been in the past.

Heres the sting. If the sharks were to win minor premierships back to back and then go on to win a gf, I reckon our levels of support would be up there (not quite as good as) the dragons. However, and this is where Garbz negativity comes from, where are these wins going to come from? If we continue to flounder at the bottom of the table, will we be eaten up? I dont know.

The only consolation I can take is that there is a certain purity in supporting a perrenial underdog. Dragons fans felt hard done by that they had to wait 31 years to see success and when it came, they rightfully celebrated. How sweet then, will our victory hour be, when and if it comes.

Keep your chins up and go the Sharkies.


  1. cant believe you finish your post like there is some hope. why dont you consider a merge with the mighty green machine? a club on the cusp of a successful era. plus the raiders just signed your best player.

  2. Levi 'Big Boy' LaarsOctober 7, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    "The shire is essentially a utopian island within festering dragons territory"

    That's probably the single best comment i've heard all year...

  3. A business owner has just as much right to support whomsoever they want. If you don't want to support a long standing business in your area e.g. Paul's Hamburgers, just because they support a different team than yours, then I don't think they'll be quivering in their lettuce.

  4. As a Dragons supporter, there is no way we will disgrace our colours by adding a sharks strip of colour to the red and white.
    Get out there and support your team, and rather than bagging local business, why not work towards embracing them and their corporate dollars might follow.

  5. To the two anonymous dragons supporters who feel that it is somehow my responsibility to sign up corporate support for the sharks from local businesses (corporate support from hamburger shops!).... Get a clue...
    My job is to comment on whats happening and make witty, cutting comments from the sideline. I have no active involvement with the business side of the club, and with regards to embracing local business;
    If a business owner does something to offend me (ie hang a dragons jersey in a Cronulla shop) I have every right to boycott them. Its their job to woo me as a client, not the other way around. And It is in their interest to do that as I will be using my vast internet empire to name and shame businesses that Sharks supporters should ignore.

  6. Hog's Breath Cafe is on par with Paul's hamburgers. Start small and build from there.

    Like your comments, mine were aimed at the readers of your vast internet empire, of which some may have corporate dollars to allocate... unless you are just blogging drivel for the teenie drop outs. Just keep surrounding yourself with "Yes Men" with the same opinion as you Big Boy, then your Sharkies can become another distant place to visit on the internet.

  7. Woo you and have you slag me off for your small minded views. No thanks

    Don't woo you and miss out on your custom is a better alternative, especially since I'll never be aware of whether I have offended you and therefore have no right of relpy to rectify the perceived slight.

    Get a clue yourself...

  8. I love a good slanging match. But I have ceded enough to dragons supporters in this post and will not be stepping any further to the left, so to speak.... And, I don't really understand your point.

  9. "The dragons have many fair-weather fans who loudly and proudly come out of their holes when times are good. This is the same for any NRL team, but strangely, even more for these guys"

    Balance this argument with the fact that Dragons have the equal highest membership in NSW . There are plenty of Dragon supporters happy to spend money to support the mighty redV

  10. I just don't understand what is making these dragons supporters bristle. Nowhere did I say that they weren't well supported. In fact, I'm saying they are ntoo well supported for my liking.

  11. i'm a sharks fan and even i think you're an idiot. whinging because local business dont all support the sharks....jesus christ

  12. Good blog, enjoyed it, but seriously if the Sharks don't start winning they will end up like the Tasmanian Tiger extinct, besides a couple of thousand suppoorters, know one else will be turning up to watch them, they will either die or have to relocate....

  13. I have thought for ages that the sharks should move to the central coast expansion spot

    It even rolls off the tongue Central Coast Sharks