MAJOR SEMI-FINAL (2006) Eels v Bluebags

Discussion in 'Forum Sevens Matches' started by The Piper, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. The Piper

    The Piper Juniors

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    MAJOR SEMI-FINAL
    Parramatta Eels v Newtown Bluebags

    Venue: The Front Row Forum
    [​IMG]
    Crowd: TBA Referee: antonius

    • This is a game thread only, therefore only game-related posts can be made here. Any other posts may result in loss of points and is at the discretion of the referee.

    • Both teams are allowed 2 reserves.

    • Captains must post their entire team (including reserves) before posting and only those players listed may play this round.

    Rules of play: http://f7s.leagueunlimited.com/rules.asp

    Full Time: WEDNESDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER at 9:00PM (SYD TIME)

    **Referee Blows Game On!**
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Vaealikis Girl

    Vaealikis Girl Juniors

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    The Eels run onto the field, pumped from a week of intense training.

    1. filthy_spammers
    2. Bubbles
    7. eloquentEEL
    8. Colonel
    10. bartman

    Reserves:
    11. Goleel
    21. MarkInTheStands
     
  3. Willow

    Willow Administrator

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    Rexxy is seen pushing an old blue bus into TFR Stadium's rear entrance. Morticia steers it into the loading dock and the team has arrived!

    [​IMG]
    Willow (c)
    ...Morticia...
    HMS Cheesemaker
    Bring back John Fifita
    MysteryGirl

    Interchange:
    Rexxy
    Moffo
     
  4. Willow

    Willow Administrator

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    *Willow takes the field for the mighty Bluebags. Good luck to one and all*

    [​IMG]

    Virtual Helicopter - First Leg

    [​IMG]

    The first leg of our helicopter ride takes us in a loop, starting from the heart of Titan’s territory and on an 8,000 kilometre round trip visiting choice home grounds of the rugby league world. It takes us over the Robina Stadium construction site with earthworks already underway in view of the lush hinterland and stunning beaches of Queensland’s Gold Coast. Due to open in 2008, the 25,000 capacity stadium sits adjacent to the railway station, main roads, and waterways. It is destined to be one of the most impressive rugby league grounds in the country.

    Sun kissed by the sands of Surfers Paradise, we depart the Gold Coast and venture northwards. The state capital looms up with Suncorp Stadium dominating the Brisbane landscape. Old Lang Park has been transformed into a 52,000 seat monument and when packed, provides an atmosphere of mammoth proportions. The home ground of the Broncos, ‘The Cauldron’ has also witnessed many State of Origin battles - although some will argue it has lost its killer instinct since the glass and concrete moved in.

    Just an hour after leaving the city, the verdant surrounds give way to a more barren land as we climb the map to Townsville. Same state but different states of mind, the people of Far North Queensland cheer their Cowboys at Dairy Farmers Stadium. Formally known as Stockland Stadium or ‘The Willows’, the 25,000 capacity ground was opened in 1994 after being converted from a trotting track.

    After a brief refuelling stop, our helicopter heads across the Tasman Sea on our approach to Auckland. The home of the New Zealand Warriors, Mt Smart Stadium ditched the shackles of naming rights when Ericsson’s sponsorship came to an end in 2006. With a capacity of around 25,000, Mt Smart was the main venue of the 1990 Commonwealth Games.

    Soon we’re back in the air and crossing the horizon on our way to Melbourne’s Olympic Stadium. Olympic has become a graveyard for visiting teams as the Melbourne Storm dominated the 2006 NRL premiership. The minor premiers raised the J.J. Giltinan Shield in round 26 to herald in rugby league’s coming of age in the southern capital. With a capacity of 18,500, the venue was originally built as a warm-up track for the 1956 Olympic Games.

    Our journey sees us heading north again with a quick stopover in the nation’s capital. The home of the Raiders, Canberra Stadium has a capacity of just over 25,000. Old Bruce Stadium has been refurbished to bring fans closer to the action, which is probably just as well; the weather in Canberra ranges from sun to snow with temperatures often dropping to around zero degrees during the football season.

    A little way north sees us over Wollongong. WIN Stadium was originally known as the 'village green' and has a history dating back to 1911. Now with a capacity of 20,000, the venue was also known as Wollongong Showground and the local dog racing track. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, WIN provides an excellent atmosphere and serves as the Illawarra home for the St George Illawarra Dragons.

    As our trip continues, we skirt Royal National Park and marvel at the rocky coastline. Heading into the Sutherland Shire we land adjacent to the mangroves of Woolooware Bay and inspect Toyota Park, the home ground of the Cronulla Sharks. With a capacity of 21,500, ‘Shark Park’ began its existence as Endeavour Field in 1967. It has undergone numerous name changes.

    We barely get above the power lines when we find ourselves approaching the spiritual home of the Dragons, Kogarah Jubilee Oval. Now known as Oki Jubilee Stadium, the venue is opposite the district’s Taj Mahal of rugby league, the St George Leagues Club. With a history dating back to 1853, the area became known as Kogarah Park. Jubilee Oval came into being in 1935 and St George played an exhibition match there in 1936. It has been the home ground of the Dragons since 1950 and has a modern capacity of over 20,000.

    The footy grounds in Sydney’s west, the city and northern beaches are ahead. Then we must venture further north to Gosford before ending our journey in Newcastle. But alas, minor engine trouble and word count realities hampers our progress. It is decided to take a rest stop here in the southern suburbs of Sydney. We recommend a Botany Bay sunset be part of your tourist schedule as we ready for the second leg of our journey.


    *750 words*
    *Ref: austadiums.com*
    *Pic: Willow helicoptering over Robina*
     
  5. ...Morticia...

    ...Morticia... Juniors

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    Morticia gets off the Newtown bus, checks out the damage to the front where it hit the wall cause rexxy pushed it to hard. Dons the flap jacket and limps out onto the field to catch willows inside pass.

    [​IMG]


    The Eye of the Tigress

    Sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what little girls are made of…

    Maybe in the 50’s. Back when nice girls still came out on top. When hubby got a kiss on the cheek as he left on Saturday afternoon for the sports ground and Peggy could send the kids out to play on the road without being charged with homicidal intent. Our 50’s nice girl could then curl up on the couch with a Saturday afternoon tibble, probably gin and a prescribed valium or three. If she was lucky, the door to door traveling vacuum cleaner salesman would put a timely knock on her door and our good girl could learn all the virtues of sucking and blowing in the comfort of her own home, without even raising a sweat. God bless that valium and gin cocktail, safe streets and footy.

    In 77 and 69 revolution was in the air, I was born too late to a world that doesn't care, Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair…

    Damn the women of the fifties, they made getting pissed and stoned acceptable and the sixties women with all their free love, bugger them too. Those freaky seventies feminist man haters, how dare you, you’re responsible for the scary eighties man/women with their big shoulder pads and bigger hair. Look what you’ve done to your daughters and grand daughters who now live in a world changed for ever. Yes, girls can do anything these days, thanks to you guys. They can play rugby league, kill their spouses and get off with a defense of battered women syndrome, fight in wars and can drink, shake their bootie, take drugs, seduce and cry sexual assault after the fact. Yes, that’s right. I said they could cry sexual assault. How un-PC of me.

    Don’t you know that your nothing more than a one night stand? Tomorrow I’ll be on my way and you can catch me if you can…

    It might come as a surprise that 27% of men have been pressured or forced into sexual relations with a woman and that’s only those who will admit it or even realise. Pressured? Forced? What red blooded male is going to say no? Ever woken up in the morning after a night that started at the footy with a rotten hangover and rolled over to a complete stranger with little or no recollection as to how it transpired? Give consent to whatever happened, did you? Chances are, you didn’t in your alcohol fuelled state and bear in mind that women readily admit to exploiting men’s inebriated states to initiate sexual contact against their will. Try going down to the police station and telling them you’ve been sexually assaulted. A bit extreme? Imagine you’re a high profile league player. A woman’s all over you at the pub and seems to enjoy your attention and that of your mates. Somehow, she ends up partying back at your place or your hotel room. She’s happy to take a capful of GHB, which you only have because it’s not routinely tested for by the anti-doping agency and you’re allowed to have some fun, right? Her actions seem clear. She’s touching you, laughing. Everyone’s disinhibited; your brains fuzzy. The next morning you wake next to her, trying to piece together what happened. She puts her arms around you, whispers that she loves you, how she always dreamed of this. After she leaves, you send her a txt message, letting her down gently. It’s all over, or so you think.

    You treated me mean, oh you treated me cruel. Chain, chain, chain, chain of fools…

    The next day theres a knock at the door, it’s the men in blue. Their words are a blur…date rape drug…didn’t consent… as you make your way to the waiting car, you pass your newspaper lying on the ground. The headline screams…"Another league player involved in alleged sexual assault." You’ve just been done over by the fairer sex. Ever heard the saying, “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”? Thanks Mum, Grandma, your tireless fight wasn’t for nothing. Now it becomes a case of he said, she said and yes, you, the league player probably won’t be charged. Your reputation will be forever tarnished though and most people will think you probably did it. After all, you wouldn’t have been accused of something so heinous if something hadn’t actually happened, would you?

    749 words according to the official counter

    Stuff used in the making of article

    Anderson & Melson, (2002) From deviance to normalcy: Women as sexual aggressors.

    Anderson, Spruille, Venable & Strano, (2005) The relationship betweenheavy episodic drinking, Sexual assaulting and being sexually assaulted.

    Moonsun & Hilder, (2004) A womens place is in the struggle: footy fans tackle ‘culture of silence’.

    Young, (1999) Who says women never lie about rape?

    Song Lyrics

    Sandi Thom – Wish I was a punk rocker (with flowers in my hair).

    Janis Joplin – One night stand.

    Aretha Franklin – Chain of fools.



    *Decides a helmet wouldn't go astray and heads back to the shed to find one.


     
  6. The Colonel

    The Colonel Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The Colonel dusts off his boots and heads out onto the field for The Eels.....

    [​IMG]


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tattooed in my mind......

    “She is going to be a Tigers supporter, just like me”

    It’s amazing how a few words can stick solid in your head; and there are a number of reasons that the sentence above will be tattooed inside my mind for a long time to come.

    Firstly, it will come as no surprise to many that I am a dyed in the wool, one eyed, blue and gold bleeding Eels supporter. There are probably a thousand more clichés which I can use to describe my support for a team that has become a regular part of my life for the past 33 years. If the truth be told, my fanaticism is bordering on religion and Parramatta Stadium is the church I attend each home game.

    “She is going to be a Tigers supporter, just like me”

    The “she” mentioned is my beautiful daughter Bonnie; at present a ten month old red head with a beautiful cheeky smile and, according to many friends and family, a more than passable resemblance of her father. Like her older brother, I have high hopes that she too will follow in my footsteps and share my devotion for Parramatta and football in general. At the time she was not quite three months old.

    “She is going to be a Tigers supporter, just like me”

    So, as you can imagine being told that your one and only daughter will be following a team that you only really consider on the days which your team plays against them, it can come as quite a shock. Of course the person was told at that time, and in no uncertain terms, that it was going to be a very unlikely occurrence in my house.

    “She is going to be a Tigers supporter, just like me”

    The "me" in this quote was none other than my mum, better known to my son as Nanny Pardae. Mum had actually followed Wests when she was younger but hadn’t really shown her colours until the 2005 Finals series. Her dad had been a Magpies supporter, but outside of watching my brother play and the odd Grand Final barbecue, she hadn’t been an avid follower of rugby league for some time. She did, however, take great delight in sending me text messages the night of the Grand Final as “her” team commenced their victory lap around Telstra Stadium.

    She had then asked me to place the phone to Bonnie’s ear so she could talk to her. To this day I’m not sure what my mum said, but from the look on my daughter's face, even at three months old, she seemed to have some understanding of what was spoken. Maybe it’s just how I look back on the moment but part of me likes to think she knew at least.

    At this point in time, my mum had not yet met my baby daughter. The majority of contact had been by phone and a number of pictures that we had mailed to her. The phone conversation had taken place on a Sunday and we were finalising the details of her impending trip to Goulburn. She was due to leave on the Thursday. She was travelling up to see her mother and sisters and we were driving down so she could meet her grand daughter.

    “She is going to be a Tigers supporter, just like me”

    Those words, amongst a few others were part of the last conversation I had with my mum. She passed away quite suddenly, in her sleep, on Tuesday 17th January, 2006 aged just 53. Bonnie, regrettably on my part, never met her Nanny Pardae.

    Of course, when Bonnie is older and able to understand a bit more, I’ll sit her on my knee and tell her all about her Nanny Pardae and how wonderful she was. I’ll show her pictures and she can get to know as much as she can about who she is and where she came from. I might even tell her the story I’ve just told you; and maybe, just maybe, ;-) I’ll let her be a Tigers supporter, just like Mum.

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    689 words between the lines, including title.
     
  7. MysteryGirl

    MysteryGirl First Grade

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    [​IMG]MysteryGirl arrives...ready, willing, and able
    ______________________________________________________________

    Reflections​


    He awoke early that morning. With a smile on his face, he replayed in his head a day that was a lifetime ago - yet felt like yesterday.

    The night before he went to bed early, but sleep completely eluded him. He wondered how it would feel…what he would think…how he would do. He imagined the people looking on. He reminded himself of all he had learned. He thought of all the practices. He thought of every possible play. He’d be the first to make a score….

    When the alarm went off, he was still dreaming of that first score. Did he really sleep at all? It didn’t matter now. He had to get ready.


    Yes, he did have to get ready. He no longer was as spry as he had been many years ago. Time had taken its toll and his joints were stiff. His face showed the lines of age and his hair had long turned silver. He was a proud and confident man and was still able to catch the attention of the ladies in any room.

    He had received a special hand-delivered package just yesterday. The earnest young face said, “Please wear this! I’ll be watching for you.”

    Getting dressed he opened the package and retrieved the brand new jersey. He held it up and ran his fingers over the familiar badge before pulling it over his head. Looking in the mirror as he combed his hair he caught a glimpse of a much younger version of himself.

    He admired himself almost vainly in his kit, preparing to take the field. He promised himself that he’d never forget this moment and with determination in his gait, he left the change room. He walked out onto a rugged field. It was not well manicured nor was there comfortable seating for the spectators. This was a game for the strong and the determined. There was no room for the weak or for self doubt.

    His ride was here. He went out to the car and quietly took in the sights on the way to the stadium. The city was not the same. It has grown beyond its bounds. The roads are too congested and people are too impatient.

    He arrives at the stadium. It was too perfect, everything so pristine. The challenge of maneuvering the field while avoiding dips and bumps has long been removed from the game. These boys don’t know what it’s like to really play. He grimaced at the changes before laughing out loud at himself. He sounded like an old man with his, “Back in my day…” thoughts.

    Making his way in and finding his seat, he observes those around him. Some of these kids are so loud. They don’t respect the game. They understand how it is played, but they don’t know the heart of the game.

    His line of thinking was interrupted as the teams took the field. What was it about those first moments that still made his heart beat faster?

    His heart was beating outside his chest. He eyed each opposing player carefully, looking for any signs of weakness. He looked each man in the eye and refused to look away first. This game was about strength and he was fully prepared. The looks he exchanged with his opponents said more than any words. The game started before play ever began.

    Up and down the field he followed the play. Then it happened.

    The ball in the hands of his grandson scored a try and put the winning points on the scoreboard. He felt the elation. He found himself on his feet, yelling at the top of his lungs. He may have been louder than those kids he had judged earlier. He smiled to himself at that thought.

    He milled over the events of the evening. He was still sure the players didn’t have the same determination and focus that he once had. It was good to see his grandson perform, but did he really know the game?

    He felt a hand on his shoulder and turned to see his grandson. Looking him in the eye, he was amazed at what he saw. Deep in those eyes was a reflection of the determination and pride he once carried with him. It was the very heart of the game alive in those eyes. Thrilled to see that passion for the game was not bound by the cosmetics, he put his arm on his grandson’s shoulder and said,

    “Good game, Son.”
    _____________________________________________________________

    750 words between the lines.
     
  8. eloquentEEL

    eloquentEEL First Grade

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    eloquentEEL for the Eels
    _____________________

    Behind the Posts

    Louder than a constipated moose!
    More intimidating than Hoppa’s index finger!
    Able to lift footy teams with a single post!

    Look up on the screen! It’s a cheer! It’s a taunt!
    It’s Superfan!

    Yes, it’s Superfan, strange visitor from another forum who came to LeagueUnlimited with powers and abilities far beyond those of mere fanatics. Superfan, who can change the course of ref’s decisions, bend attitudes with his phat posts; and who, disguised as Forum Junior, mild-mannered supporter for a great Metropolitan Cup side, fights a never ending battle for truth, justice and the NRL trophy.

    That’s right Superfan, YOU can make a difference to your team’s fortunes. YOU can get inside your players’ heads to give them the mental edge. YOU can sit behind that computer and type up a contribution of such epic proportions that it can single-handedly rain down premiership glory upon your team. YOU are the Superfan behind the posts. YOU'RE so vain, you probably think this article is about you, don’t you? Don’t YOU?

    Well, Mr or Mrs Keyboard Hero, that may or may not be the case. It’s not about incisive messages floating in cyberspace, posted by casual observers. Onlookers pushing their own agendas based on that little tip of the iceberg which is all they can see from behind their flickering windows to the world. No, this article is to honour the armies of supporters who go into battle for their teams. This tribute is in your honour only if you are both the one behind the posts on this forum… AND the one behind the posts at the match.

    This commentary is certainly no exercise in self-congratulation. Whilst I have sat behind the posts on several occasions and drawn inspiration from a supporter army, I am ashamed that I don’t get to anywhere near as many games as I should. It is the regulars for whom I reserve my admiration.

    I have only truly understood the importance of supporting from behind the posts since joining fellow members of this forum in an army. Whilst they can afford better seats, these fans forego the superior view afforded by stands along the sidelines. They are happy to sit through the match from a perspective which makes the field look wider than it is long; having to watch a replay to catch all the action. Why? Because that’s where they can have the most influence on the players, the referee and the outcome of the match.

    When their team scores a try, THEY are the fans which the players see first. THEIR cheers further lift their own team’s spirits, simultaneously breaking the opposition’s morale. When they are defending their line, THEY are the fans who will urge them on, to keep it intact. If their team does happen to concede a try or is forced into a goal-line dropout, THEY are the fans who will encourage their team not to give up hope.

    Sure, the fans in the stands can persuade a “hometown referee” into blowing the pea out of his whistle in general play. In the words of the late Don Chipp, they yell out their appeals in order to “keep the bastards honest” (and in some cases, keeping the other bastards onside). It is the fans behind the posts however, that can truly intimidate a referee. Picture this. As a first grade referee you’ve just awarded a try. The video replay shows that you made a pretty dodgy call. You stare at the posts, waiting for the conversion attempt. You can’t help but see and hear the fans behind the posts who are certainly letting you know what they think about your decision. Several hundred voices shout out in unison, suggesting that they know your favourite pastime. Everyone can hear it loudly and clearly, at the ground and at home. How do you referee the remainder of the match?

    To the foot soldiers in the armies that scream and yell from behind the posts at every match, I salute you! You really are the combined definition of “super” and “fan”, ie. an enthusiastic follower of the highest degree.

    To those of you that regularly get out to matches but don’t sit behind the posts, that’s okay… keep those bastards honest in general play.

    To those of you that don’t get out to many matches (note to self included), I urge you to get your butts out there and not speaking figuratively this time, scream louder than a constipated moose!

    _________
    749 words

    References:

    Television series: Adventures of Superman
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventures_of_Superman_%28TV_series%29

    Song: "You're So Vain" - Carly Simon
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You're_So_Vain

    Political slogan: "Keep The Bastards Honest" - Don Chipp, Australian Democrats
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Democrats

    Definitions: "Super", "Fanatic"
    http://www.dictionary.com
     
  9. Bubbles

    Bubbles Juniors

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    Bubbles on for the Eels

    _______________________________________________________________

    Footy, Frivolity and Fart Jokes

    As the last of the Sunday stragglers plod, shuffle and stumble respectively into the night, a blast of cold air from the open doorway sends chills through the few patrons still nursing their frosty ales and blurred minds. The bar staff hide resentful eyes from the stalwart locals as they go about their end of shift routine.

    There is a quiet sobriety hanging in the air, quite paradoxical to the atmosphere of rosy-cheeked cheer and bravado that usually prevails after a Sunday afternoon of footy, frivolity and fart jokes.

    “So, who are you following now?” I ask my fellow Rooster booster while trying to ignore the beer froth that is sprawled across his moustache like a giant slug. He looks aggrieved and seems about to fire off a sharp retort, when he catches my eyes pleading with him to ignore the fact that this is the second time down the same path. “Mate, Melbourne’s the go. Bellamy was a local boy as you know and a mate of mine. He grew up just down the road…”

    Since I started the repetition game, I nod along, smiling in the right spots, giggling on cue, all the time wondering why the conversation is drying up; why I am listening to the same tale. What is different? The beer is the same, frosty cold and frothy headed. Familiar faces are all accounted for; most unmarried, instead wed to their favourite bar stools much like Cliff and Norm from Cheers. I’m the only woman, although for the sake of free speech and comfort amongst the local drunks I’ve been labelled “one of the boys’, a tag I’m familiar with having spent a great deal of my life in the company of males.

    I take in the myriad of colours representing a half a dozen NRL teams, each tightly hugging bellies bloated after years of pub patronage. That’s when it dawns on me. Only two jerseys are those of finalists; two out of the last six standing in the competition.

    This is the double-edged sword that is September. As footy fans we revel in finals time, even if our teams have bowed out in the chase for NRL glory. But, mingled with this excitement is the realisation that the end is drawing nigh and in a few short weeks it will be over. No longer will we gather around the table, our eyes peeled to the artificial luminance of the television screen to watch the toughest sport of them all, the air filled with good natured jibes. No longer will the referee be the focal point of disdain and abuse as decisions are reviewed and debated, the group typically united in this one area of opinion.

    No longer will I be greeted by the sight of big Bruiser, ex-player and man-mountain, his eyes lit up cheekily as he spots me, “How’re the Roosters going buddy?” No longer will I be able to curse the complete and utter lack of come-backs available to me, opting instead for the lame and impotent, “Good on ya,” in response.

    Instead, the tipping competition is over and bragging rights have been established for another year. The weather is warming up, the sun a bright blaze into which the locals will have to venture, their eyes squinting like moles after months spent in murky darkness.

    So we will enjoy the last few weeks, giving it to the couple of supporters still alive in the competition as each become finals' roadkill. We will each have the team we have adopted for the final series to cheer on, but never with the same heart and passion reserved for our own clubs. We will all gather and watch the grand final and get swept up in the excitement of the day, only to awaken on October the 2nd and deal with the hole that has crept overnight into our hearts and lives. We will then perform the mental arithmetic, made difficult by the previous day's consumption of alcohol, as to how many months, weeks etc. until football returns to our daily existence.

    But that is the future and this is now.

    “So, how bad are we gunna give it to those pommie bastards in The Ashes?” At once faces light up; the atmosphere is rekindled as the unity of a common foe ignites the locals. And with that, order is restored and the great circle of pub life rolls on.
    _____________________________________________________-
    Word Count: 742
     
  10. Bring back John Fifita

    Bring back John Fifita Juniors

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    John Fifita has been brought back to add his trademark chaos to the match. Anything is possible with the big Tongan, so let's see what happens...
    ______

    THE RED AND WHITE ROLLERCOASTER - WHAT A RIDE!

    Will we live happily ever after this time?

    Or will the premiership oasis once again dissolve into thin air when victory is so agonisingly close?

    These are the two questions us Saints supporters find ourselves asking at this time of every year. Of course we can win the title, of that I have no doubt. But the divide between “can” and “will” has been a bridge too far for far too long. Putting in bluntly it’s all too often they have promised us the world, and given us Tasmania instead. They have the enigmatic ability to provide earth-shattering orgasms for us one week, and hair-pulling, teeth-grinding, eyeball-popping fury the next. After a typical loss, on come the furious Dragons folk over the talkback airwaves, forums, newspapers, any soap box they can find. It’s so predictable you could set your watch to it.

    Indeed we are the source of amusement for many rival fans who, even if their team is going like a busted backside, are comforted in the knowledge that the “Barnum & Bailey” Dragons are providing sideshow entertainment for all. And now, they eagerly await yet another failure. Much like drivers at the start of the Bathurst 1000, they are revving the engine, itching to see the green light and explode off the start line with “Chokers”, “Over-Rated”, “Under-Achievers” within milliseconds of us succumbing to defeat.

    Yet here we are again. Final four, premiership contenders, sound familiar? Only five weeks ago we couldn’t win a chook raffle, causing Chook Raper to evolve into a goose and slate the integrity of our captain. The only thing that was disappearing faster than our title hopes was Nathan Brown’s hairline. Boredom is one thing this club does not provide. However I see the dark clouds gathering, hear the rumble in the distance getting closer. More confident that ever, I feel the drought could be over soon.

    I was in the crowd at the northern end of Aussie Stadium last Friday night, watching my Dragons unmercifully rout Manly. Apart from the form they displayed, there was a defining moment for me. With eyes like dinner plates and a grin Cheshire Cats would be proud of, I stood with belief as strong as it ever was.

    Up 8-nil, a Matt Orford kick is rushed over the dead ball line by the Dragons defence. As the red and white squadron turn around and head to the try-line for the dropout, a motivational roar from the Dragon Army they were facing gathers momentum. It quickly accelerates to the point were all the fans were on their feet clapping, screaming, urging our boys to lift. All the players were looking back at us, every single one of them. Standing up there taking it all in, I could not think of a place I would rather be. Manly were easily held at bay for that set of six, and as it turned out for the rest of the game. They delivered.

    It was as if all the sins of the past were forgiven, theirs and ours. We recognised that even though we give each other grief, like family we’ll work things through and support each other to the absolute maximum. It’s true that the lowest of lows make the highs even higher.

    Toward the end of the movie “Parenthood”, the grandmother (who looks on the wrong side of 90) is consoling Gil (Steve Martin) about his woes and delivers an analogy on life. For me, it describes life to a tee.

    “You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!

    I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the rollercoaster. You get more out of it. “


    Furthermore, this perfectly summates the life of a Dragons Fan. The journey can be wild at times with twists and turns, highs and lows. Who knows, this year might be the ride of our lives, or the tracks might buckle and we all fall down. Whatever the case I’m proudly riding this rollercoaster all the way to the end.

    And you’ll see me back in line for tickets next year. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
    ________________

    749 words if I'm not mistaken Mr Referee! Good Luck to all.
     
  11. 1eyedeel

    1eyedeel Juniors

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    #1 1Eyed Eel carts the ball forward for the Eels

    Blood is thicker when its blue and gold

    I want my son to grow up to be a Parramatta supporter. No, let me rephrase that. I really, really, really want my son grow up to be a Parramatta supporter.

    [​IMG]

    The first outfit we bought Brayden, not longer after we found out he was going to be a boy was a Parramatta jump suit. He went to his first game at three months. Before age one, he already had his first signed Eels jersey. He has Parramatta pajamas he wears every other night and last week I couldn’t help myself but splash out $24.95 on a vintage 80’s jersey for him.

    Just in case, the clothes doth not maketh the supporter, I’ve taken every precaution I could think of as well to stop him becoming enamoured by one of those other teams. By about 12 months of age, the child prodigy that is my son was able to rattle off every animal you could possibly find in a zoo. Even the stripey, orange lions. In Finding Nemo, Brayden took quite a liking to Bruce, the big, scary fish. No need to learn about tigers or sharks before is absolutely necessary, you never know what kind of creature one may take a liking too at this early age and how that in turn might affect future supporting decisions.

    [​IMG]

    When we go to the beach, we definitely don’t go to Manly. We’ll have no happy memories associated with that particular word, thank you very much. We’re now learning to write and we’re starting with the letter ‘p’, which will of course be followed closely by the letters ‘a’ and ‘r’. Parra was after all, one of the first five words he learnt to say.

    I’ve also successfully managed to convince Brayden his favourite colour is blue, closely followed by yellow. Red is a bad colour. I reckon that one alone rubs out about half the competition.

    [​IMG]

    While other children, drift off to sleep as their father regales them with legends of mythical beasts and fantasies, Brayden hears bed-time stories about legends like Mr Perpetual Motion, Sterlo and Guru. He never seems to tire of the story about that Brett Kenny dummy that won Parramatta that first 1981 grand final.

    OK, so only about half of those measures are true. My wife has vetoed the other half, but it is fair to say that my boy has been completely and utterly brain-washed into supporting one, and only one team, since the day he came into this world.

    All of which is absolutely counter to everything I believe when it comes to how to raise your child. Bray can choose whatever religion he wants, whatever girlfriend/boyfriend he wants, whatever job he wants, in fact he can grow up to be whoever the hell he wants to be. AS LONG AS HE SUPPORTS PARRAMATTA.

    [​IMG]

    Am I bad parent for so badly wanting my boy to follow my beloved Eels. Based on the heartbreak and pain that Parramatta has managed to dish up for the last 20 years, you might easily answer yes. In fact, on quite a few occasions I’ve asked myself, am I getting carried away? What is with this ridiculously deep-seated desire?

    In the end, I think it comes down to a couple of visions I have in my head. Of me sitting in Parramatta Stadium decked out in Blue and Gold and having my young son leap off his seat next to me and into my arms as the Eels score that winning try. And then many years later, down the pub, sharing a not-so-quiet beer with my boy, who is now a man, watching the 2025 Eels go on an unbeaten march to Premiership glory.

    [​IMG]

    I love my Eels. I’m seldom happier or more excited when I’m watching them play. In fact, one of the few things in this world I take more joy from is spending time with my boy, marvelling as I watch him grow and learn. Is it so bad that I have such a passionate desire to want so badly for those two great loves to come together?

    Whatever the case, I’m taking the bank account that his grandparents set up for him at St George and moving it to Westpac. You never can be too sure.

    720 Words
     
  12. bartman

    bartman Immortal

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    Bartman hoists a bomb for the Eels...

    - - - - -

    These September Blues…

    “There are people who become depressed only at certain times of the year. Usually it's winter, but for some it can be summer. The condition is known as SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder [1].”

    There are other people who only ever become depressed in September - some earlier in the month and some later on, even towards October. This condition is known as SEAD, Season End Affective Disorder.


    [​IMG]

    It’s September once more, and since my team has just been bundled out of semi finals contention, my annual visit to the local SEAD Support Group is not far away. “Hi everyone, my name’s Bart, and I’ve been a sufferer of Season End Affective Disorder for, um… twenty years.”

    These September blues are something that I’m now becoming quite accustomed to, as it has indeed been twenty long years since my team has successfully navigated the difficulties of September to make it all the way through to what should ideally be the season’s true end – that lap of honour holding the trophy on Grand Final day. Twenty long years since I as a rugby league fan have tasted that sweet nectar of premiership glory!

    One thing the local SEAD support group has taught me is that I’m never alone in suffering this season end depression - not least of all among my fellow Eels supporters - as many other rugby league supporters across the continent and even across the seas regularly experience this very same phenomenon. Each September and October this peculiar affliction has the potential to intrude on the lives of supporters of fifteen out of sixteen NRL clubs from Australia or New Zealand, as well as eleven out of twelve Superleague clubs from England or France. And that’s just the elite competitions, when you start to factor in the second tier and regional competitions the true widespread impact of this misery becomes apparent.

    The worst time for most regular SEAD sufferers is from June through to August when we all dread the possibility that our side won’t even be there to contest the semi-finals, or perhaps just be cannon fodder for the worthier teams who have the chance to help their desperate supporters escape the clutches of their Season End Affective Disorder this time around. United across the world in our repetitive September sorrow, we then reason that there can only be one winning club each year, before realising that eventually our turn to be winners must surely one day come. So together through the off-season SEAD survivors all grit our teeth and count the days until next year’s kick-off, and the beginning of another journey in search of that one sublime moment, that sweet feeling of premiership victory and success - the only elusive cure to all our ills!

    I do not make the above comparison to legitimate Seasonal Affective Disorder lightly, nor seek to belittle people who are courageously fighting to live their lives from under the shadow of this form of clinical depression. As someone who has obtained their psychology training and who has had a history of “a bit of the melancholy” about me, I’m more than aware of the unfortunate pressures that true dark days can bring for any individual and those people close to them.

    But in observing the behaviour of rugby league fans in September and October, in whichever week their particular team bows out of competition for the major prize, I think there is ample evidence that what we regularly witness in September could be an undiscovered psychological disorder, or at very least a widely shared malady that calls for some preventative treatment....

    “The winter version of SAD is usually treated by sitting in front of a bank of fluorescent lights for a period each day, [the theory being] that the problem relates to a mistimed body clock which the lights re-set [1].”


    It is thought that Season End Affective Disorder is best treated by sitting in front of a bank of TV screens for a period each day, in the hope that the viewing of the past glories of a supporter’s favourite team will be enough to re-set misqueued emotions. (Does anyone happen to have a DVD of the 1983 Grand Final handy?)

    Controlled scientific experiments to evaluate this form of treatment for SEAD are underway – unfortunately Cronulla-Sutherland Shark fans cannot apply, and are advised to search for alternative forms of treatment for SEAD from outside the scientific community, such as the controversial “Footy Franks Diet”.

    - - - - -

    749 words in the F7s word counter.

    Source: [1] http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/8.30/helthrpt/stories/s230.htm
     
  13. Cheesie-the-Pirate

    Cheesie-the-Pirate Bench

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    HMS Cheesemaker for the mighty Bluebags.


    [​IMG]


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------


    The Case for McIntyre

    Winston Churchill famously said that “democracy is the worst form of government except all those others that have been tried from time to time.” Imperfection is not proof of unsuitability. The relentless pursuit of perfection can only lead to the perpetual experimentation in all other forms of similarly flawed and potentially worse systems of organisation.

    It is that insatiable appetite for unnecessary change that we experience annually around Septembers, the rush to detract from the McIntyre finals system. Countless commentators, critics and fans who love to point out the flaws of the system.

    The preceding part of the quote is pertinent. “Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise.”

    It is true, no one seriously thinks that democracy is flawless and that is its strength. Its supporters and detractors are in agreement, it simply isn’t perfect. It works within its unavoidable flaws, rather than attempting vainly to achieve utopian impossibilities.

    The point is, despite everyone agreeing that McIntyre is the worst structure for premiership playoffs, the other systems even worse.

    The most popular alternate system is the so-called ‘AFL’ system. It works well for the AFL and has a number of strengths. The biggest advantages are probably the certainty of fixtures and the clear distinction between the top four and lessor finals qualifiers.

    The trouble is that the AFL finals scheme fails to give much in the way of advantage within the brackets. Indeed the only advantage within these brackets is an extra home final, an advantage that quickly dissipates in a game between two Sydney-based teams at Telstra Stadium. Further, the system guarantees a harder opponent for the top four teams (and an easier opponent the rest) than the McIntyre system.

    The fabled return of the top five plays is popular amongst the more nostalgic supporter. Certainly, it very effectively gives an advantage to the top qualifiers. Some see merit simply in the fact that it excludes three teams, believing that they are too mediocre for the finals anyway. .

    All nice and neat but certainly not flawless, especially for a 16-team competition. Limiting finals to five in a competition of 16 leads to teams being destined to failure early in the season. Then there are the byes built into the system, especially for the top qualifiers. In modern football, with deep playing rosters, modern medicine and the interchange bench the advantage of a week off has dwindled whilst the disadvantage of losing momentum has seemingly grown. Two weeks off in the middle of a finals series could well be a disadvantage for the minor premiers.

    Finally there is the assortment of new systems that get a run from time-to-time. There’s the Warren Ryan system and the various five-week systems that attempt to someone make an eight-team version of the top five system.

    Trouble is, they’re all hardly novel and end up suffering from the same difficulties that the McIntyre system does. Meaningless games for the middle-placed teams and a contrived system for rewarding the top-qualifying teams. More often than not they also steer away from McIntyre first-verus-eight initial finals week.

    Let me reiterate again, everybody knows that the McIntyre system is far from perfect. It can be overly complex, particularly the innumerable potential combinations of high winners and low losers. Worse still, teams three and four can potentially be eliminated first week, with team four being quite seriously exposed with teams six and seven pulling off the odd upset.

    Still, the lack of perfection is not proof that change is necessary or even advisable. Any system must be a compromise between the rewarding the best teams from the regular season and keeping plenty of teams in the race towards the premiership itself. Too much in one way makes a final system pointless, too much in the other makes the regular season irrelevant.

    It’s just like democratic politics, the compromise must be made and in doing so nobody is fully satisfied. If we pretend that a perfect compromise exists we run the risk of accepting perpetual change as we seek the utopian solution that isn’t there.

    In the Churchillian world of woe that is balancing the importance of pre-finals success and actual finals performances there are many forms that can and have been tried. Let’s not pretend that a perfect system exists. After all, the McIntyre system is the worst. That’s why it works.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    *748 words including title.

    Sources:
    Winston Churchill Quotes [URL : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/winstonchu105439.html]

     
  14. antonius

    antonius Coach

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    Ref Blows Fulltime.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Cheesie-the-Pirate

    Cheesie-the-Pirate Bench

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    Thank you Mr. Timekeeper.

    Good luck everybody.
     
  16. Timmah

    Timmah LeagueUnlimited News Editor Staff Member

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    5 v 5... well done everyone :clap:
     
  17. Willow

    Willow Administrator

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    Thanks time keeper and good luck everyone. Some top class efforts all round.
     
  18. bartman

    bartman Immortal

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    All good reads, best of luck everyone.

    The second-bite of the cherry is well deserved when these two sides deal up a match of this quality.
     
  19. ...Morticia...

    ...Morticia... Juniors

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    some great artcles there. should be close.

    special mention to mystery girl and colonel. my favourites this game.

    waiting...
     
  20. antonius

    antonius Coach

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    Newtown

    Willow
    Virtual Helicopter – First Leg
    750 Words
    The writer has come up with a unique way to give us a brief tour of some of the various NRL grounds, with some nice touches on the history of some of the older grounds.
    Score86

    Morticia
    The Eye of the Tigress
    749 Words
    It would not have been easy to construct this possible scenario as well as the writer has. He/She gives us an insight into how events can get out of hand, and suddenly become a very serious consequence for one of the parties. It is quite possible that some recent events actually started like this. The use of the lyrics fitted perfectly I thought. Again a difficult task done well.
    Score 90

    MysteryGirl
    Reflections
    750 Words
    This was such a good read, nicely constructed, and the pathos comes through so well. Well done
    Score 93

    HMS Cheesemaker
    The Case for McIntyre
    748 Words
    The writer puts his points across well, in a difficult to explain subject. He rounds it off with a decent summary.
    Score 88

    Bring Back John Fifita
    THE RED AND WHITE ROLLERCOASTER-WHAT A RIDE.
    749 Words
    And that’s how it should be. The writer explains his thoughts and feelings for his team at this time of year.
    Score 89


    Bluebags Total 446




    Eels

    The Colonel
    Tatooed in my mind…
    687 Words
    Well written, and yet another piece that gives the reader a bit of “dust in the eye”
    I actually have a nephew who is a lone Tigers supporter amongst an army of Knights fans.
    Score 86

    eloquentEEL
    Behind the Posts
    750 Words
    HaHa. Liked it. In fact I actually do sit behind the posts at games, and wouldn’t sit anywhere else, and you’re correct we do shout all the things this piece says we do. Good reading.
    Score 88

    Bubbles
    Footy, Frivolity and Fart Jokes
    743 Words
    This must be the scene in dozens of pubs around the place. Descriptive, hits all the right phrases, well written.
    Score 88

    1 Eyed Eel
    Blood is thicker when its blue and gold.
    719 Words
    LOL,some of the lines in this made me chuckle. A devoted fan, and dad.
    Score 87

    Bartman
    These September Blues…
    749 Words
    A story of the season ended blues. This just didn’t quite do it for me, the writer has tried to put the feeling into words, but lacks that punch that sets it apart.
    Score 86

    Eels Total 435

    Wow. What a top quality game, some standout efforts in one team, and consistant posts from the other. Congratulations to both teams.:clap: :clap: :clap:
    Result Bluebags 446 defeated the Eels 435 MOTM MysteryGirl
     

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