It was a peculiar Sunday afternoon at Campbelltown Stadium where the Wests Tigers were hoping to officially send out club legends Pat Richards and Keith Galloway with a win.
After a disastrous season, a spattering of fans showed up and you could sense restlessness around the ground.
Earlier in the week, veteran captain Robbie Farah was told his services were not required for 2016 despite having two years to run on his contract. When you peel back the public outcry from the majority of Tigers fans, the handling of Farah by Tigers management and coach Jason Taylor isn’t a new thing in rugby league.
It’s been happening for years yet all of a sudden, Taylor and the front office was public enemy number one.
Tigers fans must have short memories.
You don’t need to be a Wests Tigers fan to know that Farah polarises public and inner sanctum opinions.
He has after all survived the dismissal of former coaches Tim Sheens and Mick Potter, club legend Benji Marshall, numerous other players and a CEO in Grant Mayer.
Farah has been the smoke and the fire.
Yet on Sunday, the outspoken hooker was cheered like Russell Crowe entering the Coliseum.
Make no mistake that this is a club in a perilous situation and Farah is the last piece of a bygone era.
“You can just imagine how it felt for me,” Farah said to the media post-match.
“The support and to hear that and to see how everyone was behind me, it’s just been overwhelming.
“To be honest, when I scored that try and the chant went up, I had a tear in the eye.
“It’s pretty emotional.”
Good on Robbie for everything he has achieved and perhaps there is more to achieve but the captain is drunk with power.
Deep down all Tigers fans know that tapping Farah on the shoulder is the right move, not the smartest financially because the Tigers don’t have money to throw away, but the right move nonetheless when you look at it purely from a team management point of view.
The argument that the captain deserves better because he took less on earlier contracts to keep other players is voided because of the back ended money he is getting anyway. If he leaves, he gets the money he is owed. If he stays, he continues to be the architect of the club’s remission.
If Farah really does love his club, he will move on.
And then there are the fans, the ones who booed Jason Taylor when his face appeared on the big screen against the Warriors.
Because the Tigers have been spiraling out of control for so long, their fans are at boiling point. If you open your black, gold and white tinted windows for a minute you’ll see a world out there full of opportunity.
At the moment there is only rage inside fans of the Wests Tigers and they’ll boo anyone that isn’t smiling and beating their chest about how great a club there’s is.
Farah is the last remnants of that short-lived greatness that began ten years ago at ANZ Stadium and coach Taylor and the board have every right to retain or let go ANY player they see fit.
Who is running this ship, anyway?
Regeneration is as rugby league in 2015 as a meat pie and a can of KB.
Who is Farah to stand in the way of Wests’ regeneration?
Who are the fans to think that one player is above the coaching staff, board and themselves, the fans?
By supporting Farah you are condemning yourself and your Tigers for at least another season.
Video Source: Political Insider