Let me tell you a little secret. I still browse 4chan. I really enjoy how anonymity brings out toxicity and sometimes opinions that you would only see propagated by mad people on places like Facebook and Reddit. One of the things I did see was the idea of turning off social media.

And you know what? I can vibe with that.

Don't get me wrong I don't have a Twitter, or an Instagram account. TikTok, to me, is a noise an antique clock makes. My actual personal facebook lies fallow, except for small anecdotes I can't put anywhere else. And whilst right now I cannot say I'm really 'happy', for different reasons, I feel like these things wouldn't spark joy, like Marie Kondo would want them to.

We as the consumer class have a lot of information, packed into a large blunderbuss and fired at us every day. Marketing, contact with friends and family. Engagement from our place of gainful employment - it's a lot - and it's not hard to see how it could overwhelm a given person. Or, in my case, fill them with a sense of disillusionment.

Or, in a dramatic turn-in toward the topic (I guess, no-one reads this trash anyway) in the case of George Williams. Away from home, which he cannot reach, dealing with a young family, and hooked into to a pipe of toxic sludge on social media. Then when he turns to the club they decide to play hard ball and kick him to the curb.

Imagine how angry I have to feel about that decision that I would blame the club and not the player. The club lost control of the story, then ridiculed the notion of mental health issues in a frankly embarrassing press conference in which the club showed just how out of touch it is with the wider landscape.

Hard as it is to believe, footballers are people too. Whilst some people think that money is all-purpose insulation against the blues, it's not, and sometimes those people need help. Or maybe I've got it all sick and twisted. I don't know, I'm not a sports journalist (which is good, because then I'd be someone like James Hooper or Josh Massoud.)

To the football game then, I guess. The Raiders lost, again and it wasn't pretty. The commentary got so bad on Saturday night I opted to mute the audio. Sorry, Warren (Warren Smith, not Ray Warren.) I called the result before the game but I was quietly hopeful.

I didn't get my wish, but as I've discussed briefly in the past, the status quo doesn't change if the Raiders win, or lose. I'll still go to the games, I'll still buy the jerseys. For me, for better or worse, supporting the Raiders is part of my identity. It doesn't matter how well they did in the previous season, I'm always proud to wear my jersey and represent my city. Even though I don't actually represent my city when I wear a Raiders jersey.

Immersion matters, folks.

The constant desire for success is something that I pay the club to do, as a contributing financial member. Players join the club with a desire for success and than then should lead to on-field results. Dependent on a number of moving parts such as individual skill, unit cohesion, quality of support structure, et cetera.

Which is why some fans should rightfully feel nervous about a number of senior Raider players liking George Williams' post on Instagram. Yes, it is a Microaggression, and yes, it's a lot different than leaking to the media or in the case of Josh Hodgson, physically going to the media and telling them the Raiders made the bad decision. Cracks in the supports means eventually the whole thing topples over.

It's not likely to result in any specfic outcomes - maybe Hodgson heads to Brisbane, maybe he doesn't - but it could be an indication of things to come. If the Raiders experience an exodus and scrape the bottom of the barrel for a few years, or if the playing group sticks together - that's what's at stake here. It's going to be a tough two and a half months for everyone at all levels of the Raiders from here on out.

The person I feel the worst for is for Ryan James, who came to the Raiders after being in limbo for twenty-four months, only to end up in the same environment he left. To quote Max Verstappen, "A complete f**king disaster."

We were so close to the "King James" comparisons. But so far, in the end. At least for now.

As for Sticky? Well, a week is a long time in football. At this stage he'll get a crack at 2021 and if 2022 is the same, he could be headed for the unemployment line. Which is a damn shame, because he still would be, genuinely, one of the best things to happen to the Raiders in a decade.

The Parting Shot

Yes, the big bad glamour club beat up my small town underdog club. Under your seat is a resevoir for my tears. Or your tears, if you support the Raiders.

The hard truth is that the Roosters are a well run, well coached, well organised club. Yes, they buy other people's juniors, but you try finding an oval anywhere near bondi beach in the last forty years.

Their grubbiest player didn't take the field, having been wiped out for five weeks on account of playing "spin the wheel of shoulder charges." They haven't had a first choice rake since Jake Friend got forced to retire. They're down to their third string halves pairing.

For fuck's sake, Joey Manu has made his career in first grade at centre and was jammed in at the last minute. They still nearly put fifty points on and if it wasn't for the 'heroics' of Jordan Rapana, they would've. That's what we're dealing with here.

They'll still get bulldozed by the Panthers, though.

So there's your weekly football post. One day I'll summon the energy to blog about something else. I'm getting back on the horse, too - I painted the carapace on a Termagant tonight.

Baby steps.

Catch you next time,

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