No winners on the Western Front in 2016

The Gold Coast may be Australia’s playground over summer but when it comes to the big business of sport it is more like the Western Front of 1915.

As the footy codes prepare for another season of winning the hearts and minds of the unbelievers and disenfranchised the long-term strategy experts in Sydney and Melbourne will once again turn their collective attentions to the quagmire that is the Gold Coast.

Where there are no real winners.


Only loss, pain and ultimately death.

Sure one side may break through and occupy enemy territory for a few days with a key signing, wunderkind rookie or (in extreme cases) the stringing together of a few wins, but inevitably an equilibrium returns and Australia’s fiercest sporting battleground remains just that.

An unclaimed desolate marsh where the troops on the ground charge headlong into battle each winter, putting their bodies on the line for a code that has sent them in as fodder to claim an unachievable objective.

It will continue this season.

Neither the NRL nor AFL can afford to be seen to be yielding ground on the Gold Coast.

Both codes want it, as a symbol of present success and for the potential it promises.

One of the fastest growing regions in Australia, the Gold Coast has traditionally been rugby league heartland but since the AFL installed the Suns at Carrara the sherrin has gained considerable territory to the point where the NRL cannot rest on its heartland laurels.

Both Sydney and Melbourne now pump millions into the Gold Coast every year to the point where neither code can be seen to concede ground to the other.

To add insult to financial injury both the AFL and NRL have failed to realise the biggest problem that exists here on the Gold Coast.

We just don’t care that much.

Sure, we will go along to the footy but only if it is convenient and cheap.

It is neither.

And while we might support one Gold Coast team or the other (or both) truthfully the vast majority of coasties are ex-pats from somewhere else who have carried their love of their home team here to the GC.

Ultimately we Gold Coast and northern NSW folk have better options than waiting in line for a $6 midstrength or a $15 mini pizza to watch a team we don’t care that much about.

Culturally it is not in us to absorb sport by paying a lot of money to be inconvenienced.

But the war ministries have given their orders.

And the drums beat anew as the battle for the Gold Coast resumes.

The Meddler

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