The Warriors can never just settle, they always have to have something going on.
We won’t go over history because we’d be here for years, so lets just look at 2009.
The team is set. They had an amazing run in the 2008 finals, they got within one game of the NRL Grand Final, many of their players then went on to win the 2008 World Cup Final, and the Warriors were now seen as one of the favorites for the 2009 NRL Grand Final.
Then things started happening.
Someone, some idiot, decided the Warriors needed to sign Stacey Jones.
Forget that Nathan Fien had played halfbcak for the Warriors and got them so close to last years Grand Final, and forget that Fien is the only New Zealand halfback to ever play the game as be able to say “I am a World Cup winner”.
Now Fien is being told “We feel like we need insurance to cover you, so we are signing a 32 year older player that completely white anted us 5 years ago, who has retired more times than Evander Holyfield, and who will get some people at this club so blinded by nothing in particular that your role with us is all but over”.
When you add that to the fact the Warriors have stuffed Fien around in regards to his next contract…..what must Fien feel like right now?
So now the stable halfback situation is completely up in the air, and all so a white ant that quits on everyone, who is lauded for achievements he has never made, and who defensively is a turnstile, can play. Great move!
Then we have the stadium issue.
The Warriors finally look to have settled at Mt Smart Stadium. They are getting good crowds, the atmosphere is better than its ever been, it give them a true home ground advantage and they are actually getting money every few years to improve the place.
Mt Smart Stadium is the home of Warriors Rugby League.
So reading that the Warriors are thinking of moving to Eden Park, one of those horrible multi purpose stadiums that’s no good for Cricket or Rugby League, is perplexing!
Now, this may be a move by the Auckland council and pushed by political interests, but just the thought of instability is not a good thing for the Warriors, and the club has yet to publicly come out and completely deny the reports.
Then there is talk of double headers with the Auckland “Super” 14 Rugby Union team.
New Zealand has a crush on Rugby League right now and has fallen out of love with Rugby Union. People are openly saying “The Rugby League is so much better than Rugby Union”. So how to do capitalize on that sentiment?
You look to team up with your 102 year old, fight to the death, we’ll do everything we can to make it hard for people to support you rivals and invite them to cut into your fan base by having a double header.
Its something the Warriors are actively looking at doing….why?
Its like there are two different camps at the Warriors.
The first one is the smart, footballing side of it all. You have people that work hard, that know what needs to be done to make the team a winner, they get the right people in, the right player, they look for winners, they are the people any good team needs.
Then you have the hysterical old school New Zealand Rugby League types.
They start flapping their jaws well before their tiny little brains are engaged. They all feel a sense of accomplishment when they have made a career out of losing games, losing money, influencing no one, holding the game back, supporting their mates just to keep their jobs and making decisions based on a reality that just doesn’t exist.
If you need a face for these two comparisons think Ivan Cleary vs Frank Endacott.
The Warriors make some really smart decisions, things like signing Steven Price, Brent Tate and Joel Moon. Then they make some really dumb decisions like signing Stacey Jones, looking at moving and doing a cross promotion with a rival that would see you dead tomorrow.
If you want to know why the Warriors go from an unstoppable Juggernaut to a complete basket case on two year cycles, look no further than this.
There is a bright side though.
It wasn’t long ago that the smart football brains were not in the building at all, so they must finally be breeding in little pockets of Auckland. Things are changing, the stupid old fools are being shown up and called out while the new breed of modern day coaches and officials are taking over and pushing the game in the right direction.
When the smart ones take over, the Warriors will be able to have sustained success, to the point where a second New Zealand based NRL team will become a must.
Its moving in the right direction, but you have to keep an eye on the idiots.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com