As news broke this week that the Gold Coast Titans were a decent chance of becoming the Gold Coast Bears as early as season 2017 do you know my first thought was?
Good. Serves them right!
My second emotion was sadness, but that was a distant second to an anger and pain built up over almost two decades.
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As one of many proud Gold and Tweed Coaster who remembers fondly stomping on the melodically metallic stands of Seagulls Stadium watching the opposition team (any opposition team) beat the absolute Michael Searle out of our beloved Gulls, it has been a bloody hard couple of decades to follow the Gold Coast.
I was only fairly young when the Seagulls were unceremoniously booted out of the then Australian Rugby League competition, but one thing I vividly remember wishing was for another chance to show we deserve to be in the national competition.
Several years of wandering aimlessly in the footy fan abyss (where I developed an unhealthy love for Terry Lamb and the Bulldogs of the early 90’s) had me absolutely primed for the news in the mid 90’s that finally, amazingly, the Gold Coast was getting a team back!
Ok so they weren’t going to be the Seagulls, apparently they were going to be called Chargers.
But who cares right – we had a team back!
We would do things right. We would respect what we had been given.
Things would be different.
Alas they were not.
One of several victims of the SuperLeague war of the late 90’s, the folding of the Chargers struck a telling blow to Gold Coast hearts (though sadly not to our sense of entitlement).
But by that stage, the rot had set in and I like many Gold Coast fans were clued up enough to know that a new franchise on the coast was a matter of when not if.
‘It’s a growth area’, ‘there are just too many people here not to’ ‘The NRL won’t ever let AFL come here unopposed’ these were the solid supports on which rested our collective attitude of apathy towards the very real fear that should (but somehow doesn’t for us) come with losing a national sporting team.
But, like a spoilt teenager who has just got given their third car by parents who once again trusted the sentence ‘but this time it really wasn’t my fault’, along came the approval of the Gold Coast Titans.
And things were good again.
For a time.
Then the decay crept back in, the neglect, the dodgy dealings, the player unrest and the general unpunished (indeed often celebrated) incompetence across multiple levels of management that results when both club and town live in an apathetic ‘jobs for the boys’ environment.
And now the Titans, like the Giants, Seagulls and Chargers before them, face extinction.
Will we take to the streets in the tens of thousands like the die-hard Rabbitoh supporters did?
Will we fight tooth and nail on the field and in the board room like the Sharks did last year to resurrect their club and stave off foreclosure?
Nope. Why bother.
Besides, mum will just get us another car soon enough and until then we can drive dad’s.
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