We all know how things went down in Canberra late last week. The Labor party lurched from one disaster to the next and through the course of the week, found out they lacked leadership when it mattered most. Reminds me of a certain NRL team who were also in Canberra facing their own crisis and like the Labor party, a crisis that will be an ongoing soap opera that is yet to play out in its entirity.
I mean, when you look at it, the parallels between the Labor party and Dragons are quite uncanny when you think about it. A rusted on supporter base of working class people who in the modern day are largely irrelevant in the bigger scheme of things. Sounds interchangeable doesn’t it? It’s all about corporate support but Dragons fans like Labor voters, love to cling to the past glories. 11 in a row and When the Saints go hand in hand to this day.
The faceless men are leading the Dragons at the moment and much like Simon Crean, Steve Price will be hung out to dry by these faceless men and a new coach will be sought. However, the faceless men will continue to drive the club backwards unfettered. Price can only work with the cattle he has and at the moment, he doesn’t have much. However, it does seem he is sugar coating the losses with rhetoric that neither the players or the fans are prepared to digest. Keep it real man.
St George Illawarra are the trade union of the NRL. It used to be Souths but with the backing of Rusty and co, the Rabbitohs have dragged themselves into the 21st century and are currently undefeated. They have reinvented themselves to appeal to progressive, middle class supporters who see the value in what the Rabbitohs are trying to achieve. A very good friend of mine has three boys and they bleed red and green and the oldest one is only eight. They represent the new breed of NRL supporter.
The Dragons on the other hand seem to be retreating to a dark, sterile place where nothing will grow and that’s the way they like it. Do they still have self respect or is losing by a little an accepted ideology down at the Taj? This is a team who won the premiership three years ago and are now equal last, without a win. Oh how the mighty have fallen!
The Dragons, like the Labor party are on a collision course with oblivion and there doesn’t seem to be a saviour on hand to drag either one from the mire that was their making.
At their best, both can appeal to the masses but at this point in time, both are experiencing shrinking support and nothing on the horizon points to improvement.
The wooden spoon, akin to an electoral wipeout may be the only way to invigorate a stale brand that appeals to few, if any. Shame can be a powerful motivator, especially for a once proud brand like the Dragons (and Labor party).
If not for the Warriors, the Dragons would already have one hand tightly gripped around the least wanted accolade in Rugby League. The Dragons will need to hit rock bottom before they can make a gradual ascent to relevance but how much further do they have to fall to hit rock bottom?
The Dragons need to play to win instead of playing not to lose. Sound familiar? My only advice to Peter Doust and co is do not get Kevin Rudd on board to help you campaign for relevance. He may not be there when you need him most.