St. George Illawarra Dragons, We Need To Talk

OK. This is something that I’ve been bottling up for some time now, but I personally am getting to the point where I struggle to hold in all of this.

I love my team. I fucking LOVE my team. I pay for a membership every year (nearly) with the package that I can afford. I pay for tickets in advance for games, so I know I won’t forget later down the track. I spend a butt load on petrol, driving to as many games as I can make it to, barring inter-state games. I even make artworks and banners for players, for heaven’s sake!

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Seriously. I fucking love my team.

BUT, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m actually starting to get embarrassed with the performance of my team. It kills me to say it, but I am. With a team that has players like:

Josh Dugan
Gareth Widdop
Benji Marshall
Jason Nightingale
Euan Aitken
Russell Packer

We should be putting in a MUCH better effort than what we have been doing this season. But we just aren’t… And it fucking hurts. I consider myself a somewhat empathetic person and seeing my team lose like that to the Cowboys…

Guys. I fucking cried. THAT is how much I love my team. A grown 27 year old man, crying about a loss that was so dreadful that I felt like my heart was broken.

And then seeing Duges cry on TV… It was at that point that I decided that I was going to write this massive post about it. Because as someone who loves the Dragons and has stuck by them during the highs of 2010 and the lows of the last couple of years, I think I’m entitled to it.

Probably putting the job application at the Dragons I have at risk by doing this… But screw it. I probably am never going to get a job working for the team that I love. So screw it, I’m just going to let myself go and be completely honest with how I feel about all this.

And to those who do work at the Dragons, who are reading this now… Sorry, but I can not hold in my frustrations anymore.

 

Players Who Need To Be Dropped

Yeah. This is a topic that’s going to ruffle some feathers, but I think there are some players in our current squad who need to be given the chop. McGregor has spoken about there being personnel changes in an effort to revitalize our season. Well, Mary, let me try to give you some help in that regards.

The number one player who needs to go, is Benji Marshall.

Look, I’m going to say it. I don’t like him. I really don’t. He comes off as arrogant, rude, and self-centered. Especially considering that he thinks he’s got 2-3 more seasons in the NRL & is worth more than $300K. Mate, after the fucking bullshit performance you put on yesterday, you’d be LUCKY to get $300K. You’re not that flashy kid at the Tigers anymore, Benji. Pull your head in and play for the team, not for Benji Marshall.

Seriously, I don’t know why we wasted money buying him in the first place. We had Jack Bird, we could’ve used him. But nope, we lost Bird probably for good.

Another player who needs to go is Mitch Rein. Look, I like Rein. I do, I really do. He’s an epic guy to chat to at the members functions. But I’m sorry mate, you’ve been lacking for a bit of time now. We need consistency in our players and I’m not seeing it in Rein. The first couple of games for us had Rein looking disinterested and as though he didn’t want to be there.

Which is sad, considering he’s a Kiama boy along with the Morris Twins and has played alongside them, mainly with B-Moz when he was a Dragon. Off-Topic a bit, I fucking love Kiama. Great place to visit, one of my best mates lives there, so naturally I love having players on the team that have come from the 2533.

But unless Rein starts pulling his finger out and steps up, he’s gotta go.

Another player who needs to go is Ben Creagh. Look Ben, I love you as a player. You’ve been a loyal soldier for the Red V and one who’s put in heaps of effort to give it your best. But let’s face it mate… Age is getting the better of you here. I’m actually gutted in having to say this, but I think it’s time for you to put your feet up and relax now, mate. You’ve done well, now enjoy the rest of your life.

Another player is Tim Lafai. Look, I’m not attached with Lafai like I am with some of our longer-term players so I have no quips in saying this. Lafai, you need to pull out your fucking finger and play the way you did at the Dogs. Sorry, but you’re not earning your spot on the team. I think some time in the Cutters is perfect for you to regain some confidence. Seriously mate, this is not why we bought you.

 

The People Who Need To Be Held Accountable

The Coach

No one can deny that Paul “Mary” McGregor is someone who has a lot of passion for his team. The bloke has literally paid money out of his own pocket for some of the gym equipment that our guys use, which is something he isn’t entitled to do. I’ve met the man a couple of times at functions, as well as, the Coaches’ Forum last year and he’s been nothing short of a gentleman to those he speaks with.

Look, I like Mary. I really do. But I think it’s safe to say that he’s not the most experienced coach out there and for a club that is in the rebuilding phase, it’s not something that we can afford to have right now. I’m sorry Mary, but there have been a number of questionable choices that have been… Well, questionable.

The lack of use from Siliva Havili, the insistence of Josh Dugan in the centres, dropping Euan Aikten, there’s a bit of a list there. And I’m sorry, it’s evident that your “bad-ass” attitude isn’t going to work like it did before. Changes have to be made and it has to start by dropping players who are not working in the team’s best interest. I understand that bridges might be burned and that you risk hurting players’ feelings… But this is a performance-based industry and if you’re not performing, then you shouldn’t be picked.

Sorry Mary but this is getting ridiculous now. We got thrashed by the Sharks, thrashed by the Cowboys, and thrashed by the Broncos. We have a side that has a number of high-quality players and we’re performing as though Steve Price were still coaching the team. Sorry mate, you need to move on if you can’t give us a positive consistency with performance.

Bring in Toovey or Clearly, someone from OUTSIDE of the club and who can give us fresh and innovative new coaching methods. This isn’t working out, we’ve had 3 games where 0 tries have been scored.

The Board and CEO

… God I hate talking about this… For the record, I’m not a fan of how certain people within the #SaveOurSaints movement have been treating other Dragons fans. I know that not everyone who supports that movement are bad, some of them are actually great guys to chat with. But there are 1-2 people within that group that are absolute cock-juggling thundercunts with how they conduct themselves to fans who don’t agree with their ideology. And those are the ones who tainting that slogan.

With that being said… I DO agree that we need a change in how management of the Dragons is being run. We don’t have a healthy supply of 3rd Party deals, unlike other big clubs, which is heavily impacting our ability to recruit and retain players. Seriously, every player who apparently is linked to us, ends up signing with someone else. Why? Because we’re the bargaining chip that everyone calls a bluff with. We’re just here to drive up your price, that’s all.

We need fresh new blood running the club. We need business-savvy people who can come in and give us the supply of 3rd party deals to make us a recruitment power-house. We have 0 appeal for players to come here. We don’t have a winning culture which is what players want to have. We don’t have attractive deals for players to take advantage of and secure a larger pay day.

Because money talks in this game more than anything else.

We need to start investing into things as a business that is going to generate a profit for us. Property in the South Coast would be a MAJOR money-maker, since prices in Sydney are jumping up and people are migrating South to get away from it. Invest in local businesses that thrive on the traffic of people from Home Games, etc.

Point is, we NEED new blood in our management, because this shit is NOT working for us.

 

What Is Actually The Problem?

Seriously, I’m lost at the moment about what the fuck is going on.

Normally I’d say something along the lines of being a mental block or something… But I’m quite literally lost for words and unable to really pin a reason on why we’re playing like this? I’ve seen the blokes at training a couple of times now, they nail it there. They work their asses off and then when it comes to Game Day… Nothing.

Seriously, I have NO idea why we’re lacking confidence. It could be in-fighting amongst certain players, it could be that Mary doesn’t get along with some of the players, which is causing rifts to form… I got nothing. Literally, nothing.

 

The Positives

Yes, there ARE going to be some positives to be said. Come on, I got too much love for the Red V to not throw in some positivity.

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Josh Dugan.

You, sir, are a fucking champion bloke. This isn’t something that I advertise very often, but I’m friends with Josh’s Mum & his future Father in Law. Having spoken to Jen and Dave a few times now, I can see the great support network that Duges has around him at home and the fantastic influence that’s shaped him into becoming the man that he is today.

This is a man who obviously is living the dream of that little boy who was brainwashed to follow the Dragons by his awesome Mum and Dad, who are in fact die-hard Dragons fans. He is one of the closest things we’re going to get to a player that was BORN to play for the Dragons.

Watching him break down in the sheds after the Broncos game was literally the breaking point for me to actually write this blog post up, believe it or not.

Josh Dugan, hold your head up high mate. You are a God among Men.

Euan Aitken.

This is a kid who in his second year of First Grade, is playing to the level of a seasoned First Grade player. He’s hungry for First Grade and he’s showing it every week. He knows that this is a performance-driven industry and he’s giving it 110% every week.

He’s honestly what most rookie players should be looking up to. Someone who is hungry for it and will do whatever he can to get it. Keep up the good work Hammer.

Leeson Ah Mau.

Mate… This guy just keeps stepping up to the next level every year… Hold up your head, champ. You’re doing very well and you’ll soon be one of the big powerhouse units in the NRL.

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Joel Thompson “The Tank Engine”

Bruh…BRUH. BRUH! You’re a fucking legend. On AND off the field, the shit you do honestly makes me proud to have a bloke like you wearing the Red V. You’re a powerhouse on the field and your work with mental health and the Indigenous is something that should inspire all upcoming players to take part in.

I tip my metaphorical hat to you, sir.

And then, there is a name that needs no mention. Jason Nightingale. Enough fucking said. You ARE a Red V Legend, mate. That’s all I need to say.

 

The Future

… Look, as I’ve addressed above, we have some SERIOUS issues to work out right now. I think the FIRST THING we should be doing is looking for a new coach that ISN’T an ex-club legend or affiliated with the Dragons. The Board need to swallow their pride and allow people with new and fresh concepts to come in and revitalize the way that our lads prepare for the games.

I think that’s a MAJOR step to getting issues fixed on a short-term basis. Long term, we need a new Joint-Venture board and CEO. They’ve been around for too long, we NEED them to step aside and allow new blood to flow through the Dragons.

We need to drop the deadwood players in our team, such as Benji, Lafai, and Rein, and allow our younger players who are hungry for First Grade, the chance to step up and prove that they’re ready.

Dragon Ball Super – Bitch Nerd Rant about Gohan

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Fucking kills me seeing this

Ok Akira Toriyama… We need to talk. Sit down. No really, sit the fuck down.

OK, as many people who know me will come to realize, I am a massive Dragonball fan. I’m the kid that would PURPOSEFULLY wake up early, sit through Aerobics Oz Style, just to make sure I could watch DBZ on Cheez TV. If Mum even THOUGHT about making me leave the house before 8am, I’d go Super Saiyan on her ass…

Promptly followed by a smackdown and me crying but whatever, you get the point.

So, naturally, when I heard that Dragon Ball Super was being made, my inner child went ADHD and I was over the moon. I get to see the story continue! I get to see how my favourite characters had grown over time! I was excited!

Until I realized the first 2 arcs were basically the new movies, followed by a new storyline.

OK, so I hated Battle of Gods, because the idea of Super Saiyan God is fucking retarded. Seriously, it’s a stupid concept and it shouldn’t of been made. The mythology behind Super Saiyan 4 was MUCH better than 6 Saiyans joining hands and using the power of friendship and some bullshit to TEMPORARILY become a God. Shit’s not even fucking permanent.

Resurrection F was a fucking joke. Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan… Akira, are you even TRYING anymore? It’s bad enough that Saiyans are essentially living Gods after Super Saiyan God, you gotta boost THAT up too?

But that’s not the real reason I’m writing this post. I’m writing this post because Dragon Ball Super has officially made Gohan the fucking Yamcha of the Saiyan Race.

Fuck.
You.
Akira.

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Dear fucking God, what have they done to you

Seriously. Gohan was the fucking GOAT (Greatest of All Time) by the end of DBZ. The Strongest Non-Fused Character. SUPER SAIYAN 3 GOKU WAS A BITCH COMPARED TO GOHAN!

And what did Dragon Ball Super do? They made him into a bitch. That’s right. The kid who defeated Cell… Got the Mystic Power Up from Old Kai… THE STRONGEST FUCKING CHARACTER AT THE END OF THE SERIES…

Bitch. Little. Office-Working. Bitch.

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WHAT THE FUCK DID THEY DO TO YOU, GOHAN?!

… I literally don’t even…

Yeah look, the thing that pisses me off is that by the time they get to the Resurrection F Saga, Gohan has completely lost the ability to use his Mystic Power Up and, get this, STRUGGLES TO TURN SUPER SAIYAN. I fucking shit you not. Struggles… To turn Super Saiyan.

Right, let me dial this back to the Cell Saga for a moment.

Gohan in the Cell Saga had trained with Goku long enough to be able to essentially LIVE as a Super Saiyan without it having any sort of energy drain on his body. At all. So he could use the full power of a Super Saiyan without having to waste power transforming.

That shit does NOT go away because you don’t train. Muscle Memory is an INCREDIBLY powerful thing. You may not be physically capable of doing a move as you used to, but your body remembers how. Transforming in DBZ is no different.

Now, let’s speed things up back to where we were.

Frieza, at the first stage not his final form, was able to fucking get Gohan rekt to the point where Piccolo had to jump in to save him. Piccolo… Jumping in to save a fucking Super Saiyan…

Again, fuck you Akira Toriyama.

So after that saga ends, Gohan asks Piccolo to train him again, since he’s learned from being that weak that he can’t protect his wife and daughter like he should have been able to do. Oh thank you sweet baby Jesus, Gohan is hopefully gonna be the GOAT like he used to be.

So at the time of writing this rant, we’re on Episode 30 of Dragon Ball Super, where Gohan has been training with Piccolo and he’s slowly starting to get back into the grove of things. Piccolo is still kicking his ass, but meh it’s a start. Goku and Vegeta are like “Hey Gohan, we’re fighting in a tournament in 4 days, come along”. Gohan’s like “Yeah I’d love t… Oh shit, I have a fucking conference I can’t go”.

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Yeah nah brah, I gotta go work and earn a living. Fuck getting stronger

… BRO! YOU ARE FUCKING TRAINING TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY. Fuck the conference and get your ass back into training! Hell, they even fixed the Hyperbolic Time Chamber so you can go back in there and train your ass off for 3 days with Goku and Vegeta to become super strong again.

But no… In an anime focused on fighting, energy blasts and shit like that… You decide to have Gohan be a little bitch and care more about a fucking conference than a chance to get stronger.

Again, fuck you Akira.

Naturally, since the series is still going, I don’t know exactly how they’re going to handle Gohan’s character from this point on… But if the past is anything to judge by, it’ll be shithouse as usual.

Mitchell Pearce – Opinion Piece

OK, so now that a couple of days have passed and I’ve had my giggle about Mitchell Pearce, I’m going to state what my rational thoughts are in regards to his actions.

First and foremost: Yes. I know it’s a private party. Yes, the person filming him IS a scum-bag for doing so, and then selling it to the highest bidder for that amount of money. To that guy with the phone, you’re a dick and Karma is going to bite you in the ass.

BUT, with that being said, that doesn’t excuse Mitchell’s actions, nor does it allow him any sort of protection from scrutiny. I have to admit that when I first heard the story, I was dumbfounded. Especially considering that I hadn’t seen the video yet and the media was hyping it up. Then I saw the video.

Look, the act of what he did with the dog wasn’t as bad as it was made out to be. Was it wrong and disgusting? Of course it was. But that’s not enough to get the bloke fired, in my opinion. Nor is urinating on himself of the couch, because let’s face it… Most of us have been in a situation like that where we’ve gotten drunk and made an idiot of ourselves. I know I certainly have.

What honestly makes Mitchell a disgrace, in my eyes, is the way he was forcing himself onto the woman in the video, refusing to leave when being told multiple times to leave, as well as the comments about Indigenous people and gay people.

Before you all jump out with pitchforks, calm down and let me explain.

Mitchell is a footy player. He is paid a LOT of money to be a footy player. With that, comes certain responsibilities that must be upheld. And that’s not up to the NRL, the Roosters, or even your own team-mates. That is YOUR responsibility to make sure that you control yourself. Private Party or not, we live in the age where technology is everywhere and everyone has a mobile phone. If you’re in a party with a group of people that you don’t know, the logical thing to do would be to behave yourself so that nothing can be used against you.

Also, briefly touching on the other players who were with him in that party, they should have stepped in to make sure that Mitchell didn’t do anything stupid as well. These are guys who play together as a team and need to have that bond where they go out and protect each other from doing stupid things.

Mark Geyer said it perfectly when he gave his assessment on the matter;

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And therein comes the next part, which is that I believe Mitchell Pearce needs to be removed from the game for his own personal safety and rehabilitated. This is a man who’s had multiple problems in the past, one of the more recent ones being the incident with the Woman in the Yellow Dress a couple of years ago. If this were a player that wasn’t as well-known as Mitchell, he’d of gotten the sack by now. Hell, Dane Nielson got the sack from us for biting on a woman’s leg. And before everyone starts to grind my gears about it, I know there are worse people playing in the NRL at the moment. The NRL isn’t consistent with it’s punishments and that’s something that I think needs to change.

And I think it should start here. The NRL have said in the past that they’re going to be cracking down on player behaviour. This is the perfect time to showcase that. I don’t want Mitchell Pearce sacked because he doesn’t play for the Dragons & I don’t want him to get sacked out of malice.

I want him sacked because he NEEDS to get out of the NRL and needs to get some help. And quite frankly, this is something that should’ve happened ages ago. Because Mitchell is incapable of controlling himself when it comes to Alcohol. And at the end of the day, he’s doing himself harm more than anyone else.

Russell Packer

OK, guys… This is something that I’ve been wanting to make a piece about for some time now. I’ve got the spare time so now I have the chance to write it.

Now, you’ve probably noticed that I don’t have a funny picture or meme to start this post off, nor am I being humorous. Well, that’s because this is an important issue that I want to be taken seriously. And when I say seriously, I mean that I want people in the relevant political positions to read this and not have an excuse to call me out on being cheeky.

Now, let’s get one thing PERFECTLY clear: I do NOT condone what Russell Packer did to earn himself time in prison. I am PERFECTLY aware that the person that he physically assaulted will have to live with that experience for the rest of his life.

But you know what, so does Russell. It’s not an easy thing, having to remember flashes back to that one event that’s changed your life so significantly for the worst. I highly doubt that Russell gets a grin on his face whenever a flash memory of that assault comes to his mind.

He’s also done a large amount of time in prison, isolated away from those that he cares about. His wife, his children, he’s missed a whole year of his life with them. And unless you’ve either been to prison and/or have had a relative who’s been in prison, I don’t think you’re going to understand how torturous that can actually be.

To give you a brief run-down, imagine being locked away from those you care about for a year. Yes you’ve got people in prison to talk to, but let’s face it… You don’t want to really be talking to a bloke who’s doing 20 years for murdering someone or the bloke who’s raped someone’s partner while she was walking home. You want to hold your wife in your arms, feel their warmth on your skin, and share in their love. You want to see your children running around, laughing, and get the chance to bond with them as a father.

One year without all of that… It’s maddening. Both to Russell AND to his family. They haven’t seen him for one whole year as well, they’ve suffered throughout this as well.

Yes, I know that the man that Russell assaulted is also suffering, but this is about how every action has an equal and opposite reaction. And that’s where my argument makes it’s point.

The Australian Government’s new laws are threatening to deport Russell under the basis that he’s committed a crime in Australia, therefore he should be sent home. Forgive me for my lack of tact in making this next statement but;

Are you fucking serious, mate?

Russell has done a year in prison, and when he was released, there were plenty of chances for our government to act at that time and consider deporting him back to NZ. If this had been done at time, I might have felt a little more differently than I do now. But as I said before, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Russell has taken courses to rehabilitate himself, with the St. George Illawarra Dragons giving him their support, in order to make him eligible to get back into his field, which is being a professional athlete. Apart from physically training his body, Russell has taken a course in Community Services, as well as swearing off alcohol, which I can personally attest to him keeping that oath.

I recall being at the bar across from WIN Stadium where the Cutters were celebrating a win. Justin Hunt was on a pokie machine next to mine (Sorry Mum, I only spent $20), with Yaw Kiti Glymin next to him, a few of the boys were eating up and having a beer… Not Russell though. He was sitting with his family, drinking some cola and eating pizza.

I’m not a psychologist by any means, nor am I one to judge someone based off a single interaction… But when I saw him sitting there with his family, eating pizza, I thought to myself:

This is someone who looks like he’s made a genuine change for the better.

And this is coming from someone who’s only SEEN the bloke once. I’ve never even spoken to someone. This is the first impression I got off of him.

So there is where my point from earlier comes into play:

“this is about how every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”

Russell Packer physically assaulted someone. Action.
Russell Packer spent a year in prison. Reaction.

Russell Packer has taken courses to make himself a better person, removed the factors from his life that were a negative, and want to restart his life.

Action.

Is the appropriate Reaction REALLY to deport him? I don’t think it is. Had he come out of prison and chosen to continue his life the way that he had before going to prison, some people do, I would’ve had very different thoughts. But this is a man who’s shown genuine remorse for what he did. He’s ashamed of it and he wants to move on from it and make his life a better one.

As I said earlier, the man Russell assaulted will live with that for the rest of his life. But so will Russell. Action. Reaction.

Therefore, with every action has an equal and opposite reaction, I believe that deporting him is NOT the appropriate reaction, given his effort to rehabilitate himself.

This is the link to the Petition that has gone viral, demanding that Russell Packer be allowed to stay within Australia.

It currently has over 3000 signatures with MANY NRL players, past and present, also signing the petition. To name a few;

Josh Dugan
Joel Thompson
Benji Marshall
Jake Marketo
Craig Garvey
Dan Hunt
James Maloney
Krisnan Inu
Konrad Hurrell
Jeremy Latimore
Kevin Proctor

Those are just the ones who have shared the petition on social media, as well as had their comments on the petition liked by others. Rest assured, there are MANY more.

So, with all that being said, this is my final say on the matter, regarding Russell Packer. And, funnily enough, it actually comes from an Anime that bases itself on the principle of Action/Reaction:

“Humankind can not gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is Alchemy’s first law of equivalent exchange. In those days we really believed that to be the world’s one and only truth. But the world isn’t perfect and the law is incomplete. Equivalent exchange doesn’t encompass everything that goes on here, but I still choose to believe in its principle. That all things do come at a price. That there’s an ebb and a flow, a cycle, that the pain we went through did have a reward and that anyone who’s determined and perseveres will get something of value in return, even if it’s not what they expected. I don’t think of equivalent exchange as a law of the world anymore. I think of it as a promise.”

Alphonse Elric – Fullmetal Alchemist.

Farewell to Craig Garvey

INCREDIBLY under-rated player right here

INCREDIBLY under-rated player right here

… OK… I’m going to be a liar if I say that I didn’t see this coming from a mile away… BUT FUCK THIS BULLSHIT, I AM LEGITIMATELY PISSED OFF ABOUT THIS ONE. I was pissed off about Brett Morris leaving, but I felt OK with it because he had won us a premiership and the Dragons fucked him over, hence why he left. I was pissed off about Mez leaving because I didn’t think we’d get anyone to replace him, but after seeing some our new signings, I’m OK with it…

But losing our #GarveyModeEngage, who could’ve been a great Hooker for our team and wear the #9 for YEARS to come? That pissed me off. Immensely.

And the fact that the Dragons won’t even acknowledge the fact that they released him, and the poor bloke took it upon himself to let the fans know via Instagram… Which got taken down, probably because the management at the Dragons had a hissy fit…

Fuck.

That.

Shit.

He’s getting an entire blog post to himself. ONLY ONE OTHER PLAYER HAS HAD THIS TREATMENT. Congrats Garvs, you’ve achieved B-Moz-level respect from me. Wear it like a badge of honour. There aren’t many players who have this level of respect from me.

I'm not going to cry... I'm not going to cry... Fuck.

Two Ex-Dragons who are now in the “Respect for Life” List

I’ve been keeping an eye on Craig ever since he captained the Dragons NYC team back in 2013, got a role in in the U20’s State of Origin team, followed by his Round 17 debut against the Roosters, & I have to say that he showed a lot of potential back in 2013. So, while I cheered and supported my team as usual, I’ve also kept an eye on the lower grades to see what sort of talent we had coming through the ranks. I have this feeling when I’ve seen players who I believe have the potential to go far in their careers.

I’ve seen it with Euan Aitken, Jack Bird, Drew Hutchinson, & Jackson Hastings, and I’ve seen it with Craig Garvey. He continued to do well in the lower grades and I couldn’t wait to see him get a shot at First Grade.

For those ignorant people out there who have no idea who the fuck I’m talking about (If you’re one of these people, get out right now and get in the sea where you belong), Craig Garvey was one our upcoming players who had taken a one year hiatus from the game, due to off-field issues.

If you don’t know what they were, long story short:
Dickhead was being a cheeky cunt to Craig and pushed him. Craig decked the motherfucker and the dickhead who was made Garvs’ bitch, whinged to the cops. This led to a massive off-field drama for Garvs, who had to stick to the sidelines, unable to actually play that season, bar for a couple of games… BTW, one of which being against the Sharks at Wollongong, where THIS epic picture was made.

The Birth of #GarveyModeEngage

The Birth of #GarveyModeEngage

That picture, that moment right there… That’s the birth of #GarveyModeEngage, which was a hashtag created by my mate @WallyFrogmore on Twitter (Follow him you cheeky cunts, he literally had no chill). I kinda just “adopted it” into my artworks… With his permission of course… OK fine, I annexed it, fuck you all. But literally this the best pic of this bloke in Dragons Gear, ever. Seriously, someone actually find out where this jersey, that he’s wearing, is located right now. I want to frame it. Regardless, courts saw it out, Garvs was found guilty, but due to good behavior in the past, he got 300 hours community service, which saw him reinstated with the Dragons at the start of 2015.

Now, I expected Garvs to be groomed as our next Hooker from this point. He had the skill, Rein couldn’t last a full 80 minutes in the game, it was common sense. I mean, why keep the bloke on if you had no intentions of using him, right? Well, obviously there was a different plan in motion, given that Mary (Coach McGregor) kept Heath L’Estrange as the back-up Hooker. Now this is something that I questioned greatly and ultimately concluded that Heath’s role was to give Rein a much needed kick up the bum to get him into action, which actually worked to be honest. But then, towards the middle of the season, Mary saw the light and FINALLY, after nearly a year and half, decided to use Garvs on the bench. It wasn’t the best time for Garvs to be out there, considering that the Dragons weren’t doing so well around that time, but it was good to see him get some experience that I was sure would contribute to his spot in 2016 with us.

However, one thing did annoy me… The lack of use during that horrible game against the Broncos. I was SCREAMING at the TV, for Mary to pull his finger out and get Garvs in Dummy Half, and get Hutchinson in the halves so JBD could ACTUALLY do his job properly… NOPE. Nothing. But regardless, Garvs did OK until that game. After that, Rein was forced to play 80 minutes, and poor Garvs didn’t even get another chance at 1st Grade again for the Dragons.

Now, during the off-season, there were rumours going around that Garvs was getting shopped to the Raiders, and my heart sank. I could see Garvs’ spot getting threatened when the Dragons bought Havili, but I felt as though it was more or less to do what L’Estrange did to Rein, to motivate him. Plus, Peter Mulholland himself, told me at the Dragons Coaches Forum that was held earlier in 2015, that Craig Garvey’s contract had been adjusted so that he would be staying with us until 2016. So naturally, I assumed Craig would stay on. Now, I read the article where Garvs stated that he wanted to repay the faith at the club, and I’ve had word from people that it was 100% true, which is great to hear… But I also heard that there’s a clause in his contract that stated if he played 1st Grade with us, he was allowed to shop himself around for 2016, due to the fact he earned $80k.

What idiot decided THAT would be a good idea? Seriously? Well, it turns out that it’s obviously worked because Craig’s signed with the Bulldogs for the next 2 years.

OK, Bulldogs, you need to stop trying to be us, OK? You’re copying our look with you CEO failing at using the “Blue V” line, your derek fans are trying to steal D4L (Dragons 4 Life) from us and turn it into Dogs 4 Life, and you’re fucking taking all of our players. Josh Morris, Brett Morris, now Craig Garvey too. Bulldogs, you can:

You're totally singing this in your head right now, aren't you?

You’re totally singing this in your head right now, aren’t you?

But my natural hatred for the Doggies aside, I’m actually glad that Craig’s done this. Not leaving the Dragons, because I want us to actually be able to retain good players. I’m glad because he’s got more of a chance of breaking into regular 1st Grade with the Bulldogs than he does at the Dragons. And he deserves it.

As someone who’s had to watch from the outside, I’ve seen someone who’s gone through troubling times and has learned a great deal from it. I know that people often make jokes about how I make such a big deal over this, but in all honesty… This isn’t purely about Craig. This is about my club, the Dragons, investing their time and resources to give the bloke a second chance, only to not actually give him that chance. He’s now got that chance at another club, when he’s shown the passion for the Dragons that some of the other players, I feel, haven’t. The bloke kept up with his fitness during that year he was off. He trained daily to not lose his edge, this guy showed fucking commitment.

I saw that from the social media posts and I saw that this man has the potential to go far. It’s just a shame that it won’t be at the Dragons.

I wish you all the best at the Bulldogs for the next 2 years, mate. I hope you get the chance to break there and show everyone what you’re made of. And I’m foolishly optimistic that hopefully you’ll come back home to the Red V, where you really belong. You’re a top bloke Craig & remember to:

#GarveyModeEngage

#GarveyModeEngage

Struggle Street – More like Bullshit Street

I'm not even going to make a joke about this

I’m not even going to make a joke about this

… What the actual fuck, SBS? I mean… What. The actual. Fuck.

Now, before I begin, I am going to go out and say that I grew up in Mt Druitt for a large portion of my life. Approximately from when I was born to just before I started High School. That’s about 12 years. Now, I know times have changed and I know that communities change significantly over time… But I’m sorry, this is just one thing that I honestly can NOT tolerate.

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m talking about a… Excuse me, I need a moment… A “Documentary” on the life of a selected amount of individuals who are localized entirely within Mt. Druitt and who are going through difficult times. Now, this seems legit enough when you first hear about it. It’s addressing the struggles of families in the area who aren’t doing so well. Not a bad thing, right? Of course not. Mt. Druitt is known for having a collection of “Housos” and junkies and other types of undesirables, so perhaps this would break that stigma that Mt. Druitt is associated with and maybe, just maybe, give these people a chance to not be labeled as drugged up bogans.

… And then I saw the ad…

Immediately, my rage flares upon seeing this. As I’ve said, I’ve grown up in Mt. Druitt and it isn’t as bad as what most people will paint it to be. Apparently SBS have followed these selected people for 6 months, gathering footage. But, despite my protests about this show and how it portrays a negative image about Mt. Druitt, I choose to watch it. And once I saw all 3 episodes, my rage just exploded.

6 months worth of footage. SBS had 6 months of footage and we were treated to seeing scenes that were designed to shock the audience. It’s pretty evident what sort of route they wanted to go down. Drugs being abused constantly, violence, so much swearing that it’d put South Park to shame, were just some of the things that the audience got a glimpse of. However, despite all that, there were some compelling scenes, such as people talking about the hardships they faced in their lives. The struggles of bullying, mental illness, drug addiction, and such were addressed throughout the documentary, but that’s not my gripe.

No, no, my gripe isn’t entirely about how these select groups of people were basically filmed for 6 months and then had that footage edited to make them out to be drugged up bogans. My gripe is that this show was localized ENTIRELY within the confines of Mt. Druitt and painted a negative image over the WHOLE suburb, instead of those individuals.

What am I talking about? Look back at the ad. First scene you see is of Sydney. The Harbour Bridge, the beaches, people swimming… And then you flash-forward to a sign that says Mt. Druitt and then you see footage of bogans. THAT is what I’m pissed off about.

This does not represent the entirety of Mt. Druitt.

This does not represent the entirety of Mt. Druitt.

But some of you are probably thinking that I’m over-reacting, that I shouldn’t be so upset about this, especially since I don’t live there anymore. Well, you see, I’m upset because when I was growing up there, I knew people who couldn’t get jobs because they were from Mt. Druitt. Why? Because people had the idea that everyone from there was a troublemaker. I heard stories about how people had to lie on their resumes to even be considered for the job, because employers didn’t want someone from there working for them.

That’s INCREDIBLY disheartening to hear, because despite the area having the reputation that it does, there are people who grow up there who go on to do amazing things. For example, Triple M’s Mark Geyer grew up in Shalvey, which is withing the city limits of Mt. Druitt, and he’s a radio host who had an amazing career in the NRL. One of my friends who grew up down the street from me did a double degree at University and has a great job and is set to be married soon. Hell, I went to University and graduated as a Graphic Designer.

Struggle Street addresses NOTHING about those sort of stories, or even mention other suburbs. They focus ENTIRELY on Mt Druitt and as a result of that, that reputation of Mt. Druitt being a cesspool for troublemakers and druggies has just been intensified. And if you think that this is an over-reaction to how it’s being perceived in the general public, think again.

Comments made by people include:
“Mt Druitt is a hole. Just leave it to rot and let the bogans kill themselves off”
“So many bogans there Id never go”
“If the whole place has preggo bitches smoking dope, just cut the funding and let them all die”

And, of course, made by people who have never actually lived there or even seen the place in person. I’m sorry, but that’s not on. An entire suburb has been branded as a drug-infested bogan hole, and pretty much damned a new generation of kids to being labelled in a negative manner, purely based on their post-codes.

If Struggle Street truly wanted to make an impact and wanted to show the struggles of people who are doing it hard, show more than just one area. And don’t restrict it to areas like Mt. Druitt, Doonside, and other suburbs in the Greater West where that reputation is hanging already. Show places that are normally perceived as nice suburbs, where these sort of people live. Because living in Greystanes now, I’ve seen my fair share of Housos and bogans here, despite the area having a really good market value for properties and having nice big houses on well-kept streets.

A show that addressed the issue as a Sydney-wide problem, rather than just mentioning other places while focusing entirely on one, would’ve made a much bigger impact and would’ve opened more people’s eyes. Hell, show other places in Australia as a whole to show that this is a national problem, rather than a local one.

Instead, all they’ve done is given people more fuel to label the people of Mt. Druitt as “Typical Westie Bogans. All for a bit of ratings.

Thanks for that, fuckwits.

Why Dragons Fans are easily the most Passionate and most Difficult Fans

Josh+Dugan+Dragons+v+Bulldogs+9Bkvp1q0lial

OK, this is going to be a massive rant, guys. I mean, a big one. There will be hard truths being said and if you don’t agree with it, that’s fine.

Guys, we have a massive problem with the club, this is no secret. And a part of that problem is the supporters. That’s right, we’re all a part of this problem too. And I’m going to go in great detail to explain how that’s the case.

The biggest problem with our fan-base is the incredibly high and unrealistic expectations that we place on our club. It’s true that we’re among the most passionate fans in the NRL, this can’t be denied. But there’s also the stigma that we are the most whingy supporters out there and that we’re impossible to please.

You know what, that’s true. We ARE whingy supporters and we ARE impossible to please. And the reason why we’re those things is because there are a lot of fans who look at our past as an example of how our future should be. What I mean by this is that there are a lot of fans reminisce about the times of when we dominated the competition and obtained consecutive premierships over a large amount of time.

We are not in those times anymore and the game has changed so much since then, that it would be impossible for ANY NRL club to hold that sort of achievement again. It’s never going to happen again. Ever. Get that thought out of your heads and open your eyes.

The other big problem us fans have is wanting a quick-fix solution to all our problems, which is by far the most annoying thing about Dragons fans.

Guys, Timmo said it perfectly in that article in the Illawarra Mercury. It’s going to take time for us to become a proper force again. Which means that we’re going to have to be patient. Yes, patience. It’s the one thing that Dragons fans seem to be unable of attaining.

This problem was caused by 3 and a half years of fucking around by Steve Price, Craig Young, and Peter Doust. 3 and a half years. That is a LONG time and these problems are BIG ones. There is NO quick fix solution to this, other than biting the bullet and taking it slow. We need to sort out the biggest problem with the club, which is our supposed salary cap problems.

Now, the media is reporting that we’re supposedly over the cap by a large amount. The club has stated in their official media release that all of this is merely speculation. We don’t know how much we’re over the cap, or if we’re over at all. It could just be that we’re close to being over, we just don’t know.

But the general assumption is that we’re over the cap, so let’s go into that problem.

Sacrifices have to be made, simple as that. If we’re over the cap, it’s due to mismanagement by Price, Doust, and Young. Players being paid overs for mediocre talent. From what I gathered from the various articles around at the moment, I believe they’re trying to off-load as much of the deadwood players as they can. Players like Hunt, Farrell, Beale, and Stockwell are being reported of potentially being signed up by other clubs.

But I’m not going to go into speculations and rumours, because at the end of the day, none of it is confirmed.

What I WILL go into is the effect that Dragons supporters have on each other and why we’re literally destroying our own fan base from within.

Shit will get real here, guys. I’m not holding back on the punches with this one. If you feel offended by what I’m about to say, then perhaps you need to have a good think about what I’ve said.

With all the crap going on with the club, the fan base is being divided by petty squabbling between fans. These are sort of fans I’m seeing among our ranks at the moment:

– The fans who believe that change needs to happen at the top. They want the board removed, replaced with new, fresh blood.
– The fans who support our team from inter-state or overseas.
– The “Player-Supporters” who are there to support certain players and usually threaten to leave the club if a player leaves.

Plus many other different types of fans that are way too diverse to go into.

And then there’s the “True Supporters”. Mainly older fans, these fans are literally the bane of my existence. These are the assholes who go around saying “I’ve supported the Dragons since I was a pup and I’m a True Supporter”. This is usually mixed with comments like “If you were a True Supporter, you’d think this” or “If you disagree with what I say, you’re not a True Supporter”.

Every time they preach about how they’re a True Supporter, I want to literally punch them in the face until I’m physically unable to move my arms.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A TRUE-FUCKING-SUPPORTER!

My god, YOU people are the worst supporters in the entire fan base. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. How DARE you dictate to me or to anyone else how they should support the Dragons. Just because you’ve been a supporter for longer than I’ve been alive, doesn’t entitle you to set the standards about what being a supporter means.

Every single fan of the club is a True Supporter.

Every. Single. One.

Social Media is a breeding ground for these morons and Facebook and Twitter seem to be their nesting grounds, Twitter more so than anything. The amount of crap I’ve seen the Dragons’ Twitter account take over the last few weeks honestly astounds me. You people DO understand that the guy working that account isn’t Doust, right? It’s their multimedia guy who handles all the website stuff. Lay off the Dragons’ Twitter account and vent via email if you have to.

And then there are the fans who have the audacity to insult our players directly. There’s ONE Dragons fan on Twitter, who I will not name because I don’t believe in name-shaming anyone anymore, who’s been harassing Brett Morris for weeks now. Literally, this guy has said some nasty things to B-Moz.

At the end of the day, we’re all Dragons fans and while we’re all proud of our club and its achievements in the past, that’s just it. They’re in the past, guys. We have to start looking to the future and planning ahead. As I said before, Price really screwed us up for 3 and a half years. It’s going to take time for these problems to be resolved and along the way, that means that sacrifices are going to have to be made.

All I ask from the Dragons fans is to just be patient. This is a part of life, guys. There are ups and there are downs. If we can wait 31 years to get a premiership, I’m sure that waiting another 3-4 years isn’t going to kill us. It’s going to be a hard time ahead but the best thing we can all do is stick together and show our support to the team that pulls on the might Red V.

/EndRant