SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 02: Sharks fans show their support during the 2016 NRL Grand Final match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

If anyone has earned the right to be “fair weathers”, it’s Sharks fans

As celebrations in the Shire continue following the Sharks maiden title win, some can’t help but cast bitter eyes toward the four-day and continuing party in the Shire.

For those who missed the Courier Mail’s semi-shot at Sharks fans, Mike Colman of the aforementioned ‘paper’ suggested that Shark jerseys, worn only once on Grand Final day, will soon be flooding eBay as fair-weather Sharks fans return to not caring about the side.

I am fully aware that this was attempted humour, to poke fun one last time at a side that until Sunday had not lifted the most sought after trophy in rugby league.

Unfortunately, the attempted barbs missed the mark.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 02: Sharks fans cheer during the 2016 NRL Grand Final match between the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks and the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 02: Sharks fans cheer during the 2016 NRL Grand Final match between the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks and the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

If anybody in the NRL has earned the right to celebrate in style, its fans of the Sharks.

It’s estimated that roughly 70,000 Shark fans were amongst the 83,000+ on Sunday night, although having been there it sounded like 100,000.

The roar when the Sharks ran out topped anything I’d ever heard at NSW home games, or any Grand Final I’d attended previously.

There was a great sense of anticipation, and relief, that their side had made the big dance. Yes, the odd previously lapsed fan may have purchased a ticket, but you can’t fake the passion on show.

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As Ricky Leutele wrote himself into Shark folklore, the noise was indescribable.

Tears flowed. I have literally never been hugged so passionately by so many people I had never seen before, or since.

Those lucky enough to live in the Shire can attest to the wonderful atmosphere in the area over the past month. People are smiling, flags, streamers and balloons decorate a huge majority of balconies along the Esplanade.

Strangers are swapping war stories over a quiet ale, and businesses in the area are booming.

I’m willing to place a small wager on a few babies being born in nine-or-so months time, to be named Paul, James or Shane.

Simply put, people are happy. People are proud.

SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES - OCTOBER 02: Cronulla Sharks fans at Southern Cross Group Stadium celebrate the Sharks' victory in the 2016 NRL Grand Final on October 2, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES – OCTOBER 02: Cronulla Sharks fans at Southern Cross Group Stadium celebrate the Sharks’ victory in the 2016 NRL Grand Final on October 2, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

We all know what this club has been through. By all rights, the Cronulla Sharks should not exist in 2016.

The Asada scandal, the bank loans, the debt, the unpaid management team. Player sackings, sponsors bailing en mass. Club officials sacked for shadow boxing, sex toy scandals.

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If something negative could have happened, it has happened to the black, white and blue.

If Sharks fans were truly fair weather, there’d be none left. Literally, not one single fan would admit to the former rabble that is the Sharks.

I’m not sinking the boot here, just telling the truth.

How many other clubs would have attracted 500, let alone the 4,000 brave, and slightly insane, fans who braved the now infamous ‘Sharknado’ conditions?

Not only did fans turn up, they embraced the conditions, with plenty dressing in full scuba gear. Others, obviously unaware of the weather forecast when they booked their tickets, sat, miserable, shaking and planning to call in sick the next day … but they were there.

This is a club like no other. 49 years without a title. The butt of thousands of jokes, hairs sent grey by constant worrying that the club would be forced to pack up and move to Perth to survive.

Fair-weather?

Give me a break!

28 COMMENTS

  1. When is that move to Perth happening? The preferred option though is a floating stadium and to moor it in Bass straight.

  2. I live in the Shire approx. 1km from Shark Park, but I am not a Sharks supporter. I was wearing my Rabbitohs cap in the Cronulla Mall today when a guy I know, dressed in his Sharks jersey and cap, pulled me up and asked why I was wearing a Souths cap at Cronulla.

    I said to him that I have been celebrating for two years, and I hoped to see him do the same thing. Who cares what the media thinks, support your club anyway you can.

    • chalky

      Hahahaha. Mate, that’s what I’ve been telling all the Sharkie supporters here… stretch it out over the off season into next year etc. length of celebrations need to be in reflective of the time supporters have been waiting.

      • I don’t think it’s a matter of him resisting I think his wife has taken the computer of him yelling get over your sick obsession they won you lost this.

        • tonymontana

          I have to laugh. THAT is precisely what is about to happen to me with my wife after all the time I have started spending on ZT! It must have something to do with all the stored up desire to say something over the last couple of years when I was a “lurker” now too much comes out! But perhaps no one has noticed? 😉

        • danielle

          Hahahahahahahaha. You are hilarious, and a joke!

          danielle October 7, 2016 at 1:25 am

          Once again you hide in the shadows and snipe away from safety. Pathetic! Once again you offer NO relevant opinion on the topics being discussed that are pertinent to this site.

          Do us ALL here a favour and take your irrelevant little grumblings to a Reader’s Digest forum you lightweight!

        • danielle

          It is generally understood that self-deprecating humour is rhetorical. You know rhetorical (i.e. asked in order to produce an effect or to make a statement rather than to elicit information) or don’t they cover that on the Reader’s Digest forums? Save YOURSELF the embarrassment next time!

  3. Off topic, does Thurstons arrest mean he will be removed from the Kangaroos side? NRL? Does it? Surely it should. It’s not like Thurston is a first time offender (for all / any offences)

    • Seeing as the NRL is including the referee incident from Fifita’s past as a reason, you can through in a ban for Greg Inglis – plead guilty to domestic violence. You know, an actual crime.

    • fake/Miltontoaster

      And the slap in the face Thurston gave Beau Scott in SOO from 2nd marker! I think he is still on a suspended sentence from that one. 😉

      Should we go all the way back to the “alleged” issue that plagued Thurston on an away trip with the Dogs that some say brought about his move to the Cowboys?

      Should a player always have to suffer for mistakes made in the past or are they allowed the grace to move on if they have matured and reformed themselves (Robert Lui’s double DV notwithstanding)?

      At the end of the day, arguing about it here isn’t going to change anything in the real world is it? I admit inconsistencies are frustrating but what good will come of giving yourself an ulcer over it?

    • Are you creating fake accounts again ronald-m?

      Just come back and do your mea culpa and let’s move on.

      • Nah as much as everyone seemed to hate him or him hate everyone, he sure did add some excitement with his banter lol

  4. I think daffy is Ronald-M, the bloke is so unemployed and useless he’s made multiple accounts to kill time.

    But spot on, I was there on Sunday and you can’t fake that level of emotion. There were fans young and old who were edge of seats entire game and the last set in the 80th I saw some young blokes not breathing and eyes wide like they were having a stroke and then pure jubilation.

    If that was acting, Hollywood sign us up for Avengers. Cheers

    • sunnybill

      Normally I can be a little detached and enjoy a GF from a neutral perspective, but I was also emotionally invested in that one. I was riding my seat right through to full time so I can’t imagine what real Sharks fans were going through!

      Storm fans it had nothing to do with any antipathy/hatred of your team but rather a genuine empathy of knowing what it feels like to wait SO long and endure so many barbs, it just was too long for a group of supporters to endure. But I was so impressed with the Storm in so many ways and even more so by how sporting most of you Storm fans were afterwards. It all sounds like drivel I know but I mean it.

      Sport just ceases to be sport or interesting when it becomes predictable. Hence the need for a more even competition, or at least the NRL should be working towards that end.

    • No mate daffy is just another disgruntled dragons fan. And don’t they have plenty to be unhappy about with the way the wheels are coming off in the Taj Mahal. No matter what is slung our way we’ve maintained our autonomy and haven’t been forced into the embarrassment of a merger. Hope the haters suck it up for quite some time. Maybe a drive down to Cronulla to see the smiling faces will lighten the demeanor somewhat.

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