The deadly sin that killed a crackerjack team
Greed. It’s a deadly sin. In Melbourne Storm’s case, it’s proven to be deadly.
The need to be the best has finally caught up with the Storm, a club which is suffering badly in the aftermath of some terrible decisions. Storm was stripped of its 2007 and 2009 premierships and its prize money plus all 2010 premiership points for breaching NRL salary cap rules.
The intensity of competition has meant people have resorted to cheating to get the winning edge. The excuse we hear is … “everyone’s doing it”.
Greed is a product of the evil side of human nature. Many sporting leaders have unfortunately lived off the words of some of the world’s greatest coaches and athletes.
American football’s classic quote, “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”, has been taken a bit far. Is it really worth destroying your reputation in pursuit of winning premierships through cheating?
Storm’s former chief executive Brian Waldron just took it too far. He knows he did, otherwise he wouldn’t be in hiding now.
The forces of evil often come into play when we see a club leader succumb to the pressures of winning. Waldron carried the weight of the Storm community. If you can’t wave a magic wand, cheating is not the answer. Cheating is an option for the weak.
As Craig Bellamy so rightly pointed out on Saturday, winning is the product of a pool of blood, sweat and tears.
Ultimately, the size of a pay cheque will not make you a better player. Good performance is a reflection of a a man’s character, talent, hard work, his willingness to make sacrificial acts for the team and building the team as one unit.
No doubt, there are many innocent people hurting in the Storm camp. I would like to be optimistic and say that the players will ride through this Storm and stick together.
But frankly, I don’t think it will happen. With the prize money lost – and all pay cheques scrutinised – it’s going to be a lot tighter at the Storm. Opposing clubs will go on fishing expeditions, hanging the bait in front of players’ eyes.
Greed. It’s killed sporting clubs before. It’s killed playing careers. It’s killed relationships. But will the players have the fortitude to resist temptation and stay united?
I don’t think it’s going to happen. Human nature will come into play and when the players see the dollar signs wave in front of them, they are more likely to leap.
The players have families and investments. Why should they suffer in a crippled club?
Only integrity and character will save Storm players, as they strive to re-build their club and remove themselves from the financial woes that have threatened their existence.
Good luck to Bellamy, who has the unenviable task of keeping the Storm’s superstars together. It won’t be easy and the strain will impact on relationships at the club.
It’s a fact of life that at least one of the seven deadly sins will destroy a club or its personnel. These sins will haunt its victims – sometimes for life.
- Julie Tullberg is a Herald Sun journalist with expertise in sports psychology.
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