The Melbourne Storm Dilemma

Earlier this year, the National Rugby League (NRL) team that I have passionately followed since their inception in 1998 was revealed to have been cheating the league’s salary cap. Over the last 5 seasons they’ve paid the players millions of dollars over the cap, keeping two sets of books. Supposedly, none of the players or coaching staff were aware and it was all masterminded by the CEO and a few other administrators. The league came down on them hard, stripping them of their 2007 and 2009 league titles and taking away the right to play for competition points in the 2010 season.

When the scandal broke, I was absolutely shattered. We played off in the ’06, ’07, ’08 and ’09 grand finals, winning in ’07 and ’08. I spent thousands of dollars flying up to Sydney at the last minute and buying tickets to the games in ’07 and ’08. Being there for the win in 2007 was one of the highlights of my life, a memory which is now tainted.

I’ve been a financial member (costing around $200 a season) since the club began, they’ve just moved to a new ‘state of the art’ stadium, but I’ve not been to a single since game the rort was exposed early in the year. With the 2010 season coming to a close last weekend, it’s time for me to make a decision on whether I should by following them and/or continuing to be a member into the future.

I’m not entirely convinced by the players and coaching staff claiming that they had no knowledge of what was going on. I feel lots of angst towards those responsible and even though those bad seeds have supposedly now been removed, I don’t know if I can learn to love again.

Not only do I feel burned by my own team, I have some ill-feeling for the code of rugby league and the NRL itself as well. The game has a lot of problems and fails miserable when compared to Australian Rules Football and the ship that the AFL run. I still enjoy watching games, but the administration side of the game is a joke. It’s entirely possible that I may choose to abandon being a fan of the sport altogether.

The Storm are the only Rugby League team in town, so if I stop following them and choose to follow someone else I’ll only get to see one game live a season unless I travel interstate. If I had to nominate another team I have an interest in, it would be the Canberra Raiders. Being good mates with RaiderDuck and him being a huge fan, I could see myself supporting them, albeit nowhere near as closely or with the fervour that I did with the Storm.

Please tell me what you think I should do!

What should I do?
Keep following the Melbourne Storm
Give up on the NRL
Switch to the Canberra Raiders
Switch to another team free polls

About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

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