Inside my cynical headspace, this titillating 80 minutes of tri-coloured league porn has taken a back seat to the gut-twisting horror that a successful rugby league team coming out of South Sydney can bring to those who live the league lifestyle in the East.
Yep, it’s like passing a piping hot stone to say this, but the Rabbitohs are looking more like they belong in the top four with every round gone. Maybe even higher.
Trust me, I’m ferociously uppercutting myself as my typing fingers form these words on the screen, but I reckon they even have the sufficient working parts to qualify for the NRL decider.
Of this prospect, I am genuinely frightened and in need of a Pull-up.
Last night in front of the Rooster demolition job, instead of enjoying some gleeful fist-pumping with every feathered cross of the tryline, I was too busy booking a provisional airline ticket to Sierra Leone for the October long weekend while planning the construction of my backyard bomb shelter, which if my hours of watching the Lifestyle Channel have taught me anything should be completed in around six months time just before the Grand Final.
As an Easts man who has walked this earth reliant on the Bunnies demise just as much as my own club’s success, can you blame me for such a reaction?
If this travesty occurs and Souths get within 80 minutes of the world’s biggest ever non-Hefner bunny party, then don’t call me. I’m going to be elsewhere, whether it be offshore, underground or on total sensory shutdown.
You can blame me for being ignorant of a good footy story or you can accuse me of plain Rooster fundamentalism, but there’s no way I’m going to stand by as a quivering witness to the unbearable tornado of neck tatts and Burgess brothers that’s primed to go abyssal on the finals this year.
Frankly, as a tri-coloured apostle, I would even consider it sheer negligence if I didn’t try and negotiate a reasonable price with a local manufacturer for a bulk purchase of earplugs and blindfolds in the meantime.
Sure, some may say that I might be soiling the pantaloons prematurely with the Melbourne Storm still holding the cards for outright premiership favouritism. The steamed-up coaches box window of Craig Bellamy overseeing the divine compositions of his holy trinity deserve favouritism, at least until his efficient machine malfunctions.
But if you had to pick a sole challenger, which you have agreed to do by reading this article, then surely it has to be the rock ‘em-sock ‘em-Rabbitohs in all of their fairytale-building glory.
They withstood the Des Hasler challenge by getting the Bulldogs to tap-out in a finals-like atmosphere on Good Friday, plus they have done that really irritating thing of winning games and then lamenting that they played below their best.
They have a handy bloke at fullback who seems rather adept at stealthily loitering for opportunities in opposition defensive lines that have been regularly perforated by a family of British blokes with unnaturally sized heads.
It disgusts me.
That’s why I’m getting in early with my magic mock by proclaiming Michael Maguire’s men as totally capable of qualifying for the decider and giving it a ruffle in 2013. That’s right, they’ll be there to stuff up your party on Grand Final day, so stock up on the franks and refuse entry to your pergola area to anyone that wears anything emblazoned with ‘Smith’s Crisps’ and who talks of ‘Tuggas’ and ‘Longbottoms.’
As for me?
I will be happily sunning myself in Western Africa if it happens, or chowing down on some delicious tinned asparagus under ten feet of soil while I shove cheap blue-tack in my ears.
It seems like a heavenly when compared to the thought of sighting a tickled-pink Russell Crowe.