Huge shock for Cronulla fans at start of 2021 season.

Cronulla Sharks fans have reacted with horror to the news that they are the most gullible fans in rugby league after it was discovered that their No. 1 ticket holder is an imposter.

And all it took was a beer, a smirk and a baseball cap.

On the morning of the NRL season kick-off, news has broken that Prime Minister Scott Morrison fooled the club into thinking that he supports the pride of The Shire. Morrison is seen at most home games wearing team merchandise, and his customary smirk, surrounded by adoring and naive fans who genuinely believed he is one of them – until today.

News broke that Morrison actually grew up in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney in the heartland of the Sydney Roosters. He also attended Sydney Boys High School, which is part of the Greater Public Schools network and only plays Rugby Union. What’s more, he declared himself a fan of the Western Bulldogs Aussie Rules team and stated that AFL is a “great game” and the AFL grand final is the “greatest show in Oz”.

Not only does the prime minister sport his Sharkies gear at home games, but even during his many photo opportunities and marketing videos broadcast to the Australian population.

Morrison only started publicly supporting Cronulla when he became the member for Cook. Sources have also suggested that Morrison only won Liberal preselection for the seat after News Limited ran a dirty smear campaign against long-standing Liberal member, and his opponent, Michael Towke.

Towke was also born in the east, but had lived in The Shire for many years, and was actively involved in many local organisations. Furthermore, Towke won the first preselection ballot in 2007, and polled 10 times as many votes as Morrison, 82 votes to 8. Morrison was eliminated in the first round. The Daily Telegraph then published four articles which heavily criticised Towke, even suggesting that he could be sent to jail.

Yet Sharks fans clap and cheer their famous fan as he cradles a beer in the stands at Shark Park.

A long and ugly defamation case ensued, and News Limited eventually settled with Towke out of court. The saga was revealed in the Sydney Morning Herald, and later in the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, and apparently News Limited offered The Leader a $110,000 payment to stop the story from going to print. It seems Rupert Murdoch wanted no bad marks against his selection for future prime minister.

A second preselection ballot was held, and Morrison was chosen to lead the Liberal party in The Shire. This is how Scott Morrison came to be the federal member for The Shire, and how he came to be the No.1 ticket holder for the Sharks.

Rupert Murdoch had chosen his man, and it was Morrison – not an Australian of Lebanese heritage. A few years later, Murdoch would send instructions for Malcolm Turnbull to be removed as leader of the Coalition, and replaced by Morrison.

But Sharks fans don’t see this, or don’t want to. The man they know as ScoMo drinks beer and wears the black, white and blue.

They cheer a man who marked International Women’s Day in 2019 by saying that women should not rise in society at the expense of men. The man who took a holiday in Hawaii while the country burned through horrific bushfires. The man who protects alleged rapists and has overseen scandals involving Sport Rorts, the destruction of the Murray-Darling basin and Robodebt. They also support a man who cut funding to aged care services while he was Treasurer. By the time today’s Sharks fans need aged care services, will Scott Morrison still be pretending to support the Sharks?

In fact, the strongest proof that Morrison may truly care about Sharks victories is his famous visit to Engadine Maccas after Cronulla won the grand final in 2016.

Image: http://www.sharks.com.au

Read what you like.

Potentially dire consequences await those who ‘like’ social media posts before or without reading the text. The true message of the post is often not evident in the headline and can be contradictory to the reader’s world view or online image. Liking a post without reviewing its contents could even damage someone’s online reputation.

Be particularly wary of satire. This very website contains an entire category full of satirical articles. Satire uses humour to criticise or ridicule particular situations, organisations or people, and the meaning of the text is very rarely evident in the headline.

Beware of hashtags.

Just because a post is accompanied with hashtags such as pets, dogs, dogowners, furryfriends or fourleggedfriends doesn’t mean that the article is supportive of dog owners or pet ownership. In fact, numerous articles on this website, especially in the Satire category, are highly critical of dog owners and their flagrant disregard for dog walking laws. The articles portray the dog owners as selfish, disobedient, arrogant, disrespectful, inconsiderate and in some cases illiterate. Hardly complimentary. Despite this fact, many pet supply companies ‘liked’ the posts.

The pet companies were responding to the hashtags. They have most likely established their social media marketing strategy to identify and respond to any hashtag relating to dogs, pets and dog owners. The companies believe this increases exposure for their brand.

…but what kind of exposure?

If a pet supply company is seen to be endorsing a text which implies that dog owners are selfish, disobedient, arrogant, disrespectful, inconsiderate and in some cases illiterate, this could backfire severely on the company. The company is essentially insulting its customers and insulting the very people which sustain the business and all of its employees.

Has a business ever prospered by insulting its customers?

Think about what you ‘like’.

Liking an image of a person you admire can also lead to misinterpretation or support of an opinion contradictory to your own.

The Frownlow Medal is a satirical award given to the Australia-based professional footballer who commits the worst off-field scandal in any given year. The award exists to criticise the footballers and society’s adoration of them, and uses irony to do so.

An Instagram account holds images of all of the footballers who have so far been nominated for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame. Many people ‘like’ the posts containing images of their sporting heroes, without knowing that the player is being criticised for their off-field behaviour. The fans are thus supporting or endorsing a satirical award which is heavily criticising their heroes.

Of course, some fans agree with the award’s premise, and can separate the player’s sporting brilliance from their off-field flaws, but many fans ‘like’ unknowingly.

Another article related to football demonstrates this point. The article relates to the Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, and attacks his support for the Cronulla Rugby League club and exposes it as a shallow publicity stunt. The article is heavily critical of Morrison, and implies that supporters of the prime minister, and the Cronulla team, have been fooled into supporting and voting for their local representative. Nevertheless, fans of the club ‘liked’ the article when it was posted on this website.

They are essentially liking a post which calls them gullible, uneducated, easily fooled and impressionable.

A food catering service also fell victim to their automated hashtag marketing system. I wrote a travel article about a particularly unsavoury pizza I ate at a local restaurant in China, where I saw customers being given blood pressure checks – after they had eaten. The food catering company had inadvertently associated themselves with poor quality and horrible tasting food – food so bad it could give someone a heart attack.

Be sure to read what you like.

Image: 2PhotoPots

Dad, how could you?

The try line opened up in front of me. I was just 10 metres from glory and my first ever try in rugby league, plus a chance to send my team into the final of the Sydney Metropolitan U/6 round robin tournament.

I fixed my eyes on the prize and tucked the ball under my right arm. I gritted my teeth and charged for the try line when I saw a shape emerge from my left. It grew in size as it approached with zest and I knew it was aiming to cut me down. Through pure instinct I stuck out my left arm and produced a fend which belied my size and strength and sent the opposing halfback tumbling to the ground.

The elusive prize was still within my grasp and with growing confidence and eagerness I tore towards the opposition line as fast as my skinny little legs could carry me. I was nearing the line and the white chalk shone more brightly against the scuffed green grass and stud-marked mud. I was adamant that nothing would stop me from claiming the four points and the resultant hero status.

My eyes bulged with excitement until I felt another presence looming up on me. This one approached from behind on my right and I knew it had to be the opposing team’s speedster who had scored two of their tries with his blistering pace. Through intuition alone I anticipated his lunging tackle and stepped deftly off my left foot to leave him grasping at air. The try was still on.

No more than five metres separated me from victory and I lowered my head and charged towards the intersection of the try line and the touch line, as I knew this was the only way to evade the approaching cover defence. 4, 3, 2 metres and I had to keep charging and commit to the corner. The ball was cradled firmly within my arm and I made my final push. Smothered by two opposing players I crashed into the corner and was trampled into the mud, legs buckled under the two tacklers and arm outstretched to plant the ball over the try line with downward pressure. I had face planted and eaten dust and mud and grass and chalk and I knew I would be sore all over for days. I didn’t care. I was elated. I had scored the winning try which would propel my team into the grand final and a chance for metropolitan glory at the tender age of 5, when winning any game felt like winning a world cup.

I heard a muffle of screams and whoops and claps and groans as both teams reacted to my victorious lunge. I felt my team mates simultaneously jump on me and drag me off the ground and all pain subsided in a rush of joy and adrenaline.

On the way up from the ground, it happened.

I caught a glimpse of the linesman.

I knew I was close to the corner. That was deliberate. That was my only chance to score. I knew I had made it. I was sure I had landed within the field of play. I was pretty certain I had made it. I was confident. Surely it was a try.

Or was it?

As I regained my feet and was revelling in the adulation of my teammates and supporters, I saw it. Through flailing arms and back slaps and high fives I saw the flag. The linesman’s flag left his side and slowly, in a painstaking, slow motion arc, rose from the his hip up to his chest, beyond his chest, to his shoulder. Up, up it went. Up, up higher. Not Up, Up Cronulla, but up, up above his head until it was a mere extension if his outstretched arm.

The try had been disallowed. In the commotion, we had not heard the final whistle. We had lost. Elation turned to despair. The knock-out comp had knocked us out. It was all over.

I looked despairingly at the linesman.

How could you Dad?

Image:www.backyardfootyposts.com.au