Just before the final siren sounded at Spotless Stadium last Saturday, as the Suns were getting towelled up by a young and up and about Giants side, I received an SMS from a mate of mine.
It read simply; ‘Geez the Suns are sh*t this year mate’.
Two hours later, as the Lions were embarrassing themselves in front of 24,000 fans at the Gabba, I got a second message from that same mate.
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‘This is woeful, you Queenslanders need to learn to play footy.’
Now, that mate of mine was trying to rile me up more than anything and he is a Knights supporter so needless to say the next day I got my revenge ten-fold.
But it still stung me.
It stung because it’s absolutely not true – it just looks like it is.
No coach or player deals in excuses, you beat your man and that’s that.
But the Suns have a completely legitimate excuse to be getting flogged each week – they are now missing ten top 22 players.
Ten! The injury crisis at Metricon is so bad that the Suns NEAFL side only had 11 contracted players playing at the weekend!
And the Lions, well they have the youngest most inexperienced key position group in the competition.
Sure their midfield is quality but when they aren’t winning it out of the middle (which they weren’t, at all) then the young Lions defence leaks points faster than a Knights first grader.
….and that’s fast!
But I digress, the point here is that while excuses are not a currency that footy clubs deal in, they are still a reality and so long as they don’t become a crutch it is perfectly right to get them out into the general population in the post-game presser.
Saying ‘there were no excuses’ or ‘the team we put out there had every chance to win they just didn’t’ is like saying that PNG have every chance to beat the Kangaroos in the World Cup, or Australia has ‘no excuses’ when it loses to Russia at Gymnastics.
It creates a false reality, an unrealistic standard which your club then has to live up to.
Footy in Queensland is not on the life support that Melbourne media men would have us believe – nowhere near it in fact.
But when times are tough just call it like it is, and maybe then the footy fans of Queensland won’t be collectively vexed by muppet Knights supporters who don’t really know what’s going on up here.
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