Dragons - Sims pretty outrageous to me!
Updated: Sep 16, 2021
Every now and then, a decision is made that strikes you as being so momentously bad, it leaves you outraged. Like, for example, allowing a new coal mine - any new coal mine, but in particular, one to be built in the catchment of the Great Barrier Reef. Or, like the coalition governments stubbornly embarrassing inaction on climate change.
Outrageous decisions that make you think now is the time to stand up and speak out. And now is one of those times.
So, what is it with the Dragons and Tariq Sims? What is it with the Dragons?
Sims typifies what any club should be about. It just so happens this club is the one he grew up supporting and would have played his whole career at given the choice.
He is the only Dragons player to be selected for the Blues this year, and he would have played close to a decade of Origin if not for two badly broken legs early in his career.
Just ask Freddy what Sims brings to a team.
He represents a hard edge in a team that has been playing like its edges are made of butter. He has that raw toughness seen in forwards during the game's most brutal history, yet with an approach that doesn’t cross the line all players understand.
At 31, is he still the player he was? He is not far off. And his extended absences from the game with injury in those early years have preserved his drive and determination, and possibly given him some longevity. I reckon if you’re good enough, you’re not too old enough.
Alex Glenn played the same position as Sims and has just retired at 33. He was given a moving send-off by his club and his opponents because they respect the man and what he has brought to the game. And despite heart-breaking results as a club over recent seasons, the Broncos culture would never have allowed a player like Glenn to be treated like Sims has been.
He has a year to go on his current contract and was seeking an extension beyond that. If he doesn’t fit into the club’s plans beyond 2022, so be it. But why would they show him the disrespect of saying they don’t care if he walks now, knowing what he can provide in his final year playing for the club he loves.
There is talk that Sims has been in bad form and that is a justification. That is ridiculous. Poor form does not equate to being over the hill. And a good player doesn’t stop becoming a good player overnight. The whole Dragons team has been in bad form, and this is often infectious, even to the most committed of players. Look at the recent form of Josh Hodgson, Jarrod Croker, and Jack Wighton for the Raiders.
To those of us who don’t understand the bizarre workings of club hierarchy, it would appear the Dragons approach is to gradually clean players out – from the best player down! Frizell walked, and you couldn’t blame him. Then players-player of 2019-20 Cameron McInnes was told he was surplus to requirements. He, like Frizell, was one of the few who left everything on the field every week, regardless of team form or how big the game.
It was the ultimate insult to their captain, whose last memory with the club was a season-ending knee injury. Now their latest captain and biggest champion still standing has suffered a mouth injury to end his season, just when he is looking to be spat out by the club he has idolized since childhood.
St George Illawarra, I am sufficiently outraged!
This article generated a lot of heated discussions when it was published on The Roar on 6 September. The article and comments can be viewed at: https://www.theroar.com.au/2021/09/06/momentously-bad-dragons-call-on-sims-is-outrageous/
The main talking points included a strong opinion that I should not have discussed political topics or given my political views in a rugby league story. Because a lot of emotion was generated I felt it necessary to reply. My response is reprinted below:
This story certainly generated a lot of discussion and some interesting debate. And many expressed the view that my intro was out of order. It’s probably past the point of getting much attention but I am going to exercise my right of reply. On the topic of climate change, I would love to write about it to a wider audience one day - in the correct setting of course. And after first arming myself with in-depth knowledge of the reputable science out there. But the reality, and I know this won’t wash with some people, is that the story had absolutely nothing to do with climate change or new coal mines. I was comparing getting fired up about magnanimous decisions that have national and international ramifications with…..a sporting club. It was firmly tongue in cheek. It was a dramatic introduction to a topic that in the scheme of things will, unfortunately, be forgotten by Friday. But like most who are reading this, I have a passion for my sport, and do get worked up about decisions and results. It adds to the drama. As for it being unacceptable to use a political example in a sporting discussion? I don’t know. Who makes the rules? I didn’t break any laws or vilify anyone. I chose to let my view on a couple of topics be known to get attention for the story. It certainly had an effect! But they are just my views. I’m a bit upset that the whole NRL world doesn’t agree with my view on Tariq Sims but that’s the reality of opinions Did I choose the wrong topic for the intro? I could have chosen any other major worldview, and still created a difference of opinion. I could have gone to the safe beauty pageant line and wished for world peace. But I’m not much to look at. I could have left the comparison out altogether, which would have detracted from what I set out to achieve. But, in hindsight, would I phrase it the same if writing it again? Probably not. I would like to think that when I write I never set out to upset anyone. And I certainly wouldn’t want myself or anyone else out there to blow a fu-fu valve.