Colman: Seriously, how bad are the Broncos?
How bad are the Broncos?
No, seriously, how bad are they?
Cold hard statistics, such as games won and lost, metres gained, penalties conceded and letters to the editor from disgruntled fans, would suggest that they are terrible.
However, a more balanced, analytical approach shows that … well, OK they're still terrible, but if you try really, really hard you can find a few positives.
No wait, stop laughing all you Rabbitohs, Roosters, Dragons, Storm, Eels and Raiders supporters, I mean it.
In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this is a premiership team.
Maybe not this year (actually, make that definitely not this year) and maybe not the year after that or the year after that either, but certainly within the next five years.
Or maybe a bit longer.
Look, the thing is, it's really hard to win a comp. That's why no-one has managed to do it twice in a row since the Broncos in 1992-93 (unless of course you count 1997-98, which practically no-one does).
So probably the best you should ask for is a team that's consistently competitive; one that sits up the pointy end of the table for most of the season and at the very least gives the fans a run for their money. A modicum of hope.
In other words pretty much the opposite of what is happening at the moment.
Of course, in order for that to happen you need a number of things, such as a good coach, good players and good luck.
Again, pretty much the opposite of what is happening at the moment.
Which is not to say that things won't turn around. They will, but how many of the current outfit are still around when it happens is the multimillion-dollar question.
You'd have to think Darius Boyd won't be. Right now he'd have to be an each-way bet to make it to the end of the season.
Either he is playing injured or he's playing disinterested. Whichever one it is he's not doing himself or the team justice. The most ridiculous story of the year so far was Boyd saying he would not make himself available to replace the retired Greg Inglis in the Origin side.
Replace him? He should seriously consider joining him.
If Boyd does get hooked from fullback by Seibold (and where could he possibly put him except on the sideline?) a chief candidate for the number one jersey would have to be Anthony Milford. Surely he'd be more value back there than at five-eighth.
Has there ever been a more inconsistent, infuriating million dollar player? (Apart from Ash Taylor, I mean.)
So what does he do against the Rabbitohs? Bomb their left winger and fullback in the mistaken belief that if it worked once it would work again. And he just kept at it and at it despite the fact that they didn't drop one all night. Grrr.
And then you've got Jimmy the Jet. If that rumour about him wanting to head to Redfern is even one per cent true someone should start a GoFundMe page to raise the airfare.
Now I know what you're saying: where is the positive stuff?
Well, there's Tom Dearden for starters. I wouldn't want to put too much pressure on the kid after just one game, but while he didn't do anything miraculous against the Bunnies, he didn't do anything disastrous either. And in this team, that's saying something.
Then there's Payne Haas and Tom Flegler who are both seriously promising. And Ofahengaue and Fifita are good too. Word is Lodge and Pangai Jr want out, but if they stick around they could be anything.
Their only problem is their age because there's just one thing that can harden a young forward to the weekly grind of NRL football, and that's the weekly grind of NRL football.
Of the old guard McCullough and Glenn are probably getting close to being put on the block but Gillett has still got some years in those legs.
In the backs Oates and Isaako are up and down but when they're up, they're really up. Bird? I must admit I was never really sure why the Broncos bought him. I'm still not.
Which brings us to Seibold. What is he, man or myth? I wouldn't be giving up on him yet.
They say what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. By the end of this season he's going to be stronger than the odour of month old cheese.
So there you have it. A modicum of hope, so come on, altogether now, on the count of three let's hear the old North Sydney Bears' war-cry.
One, two, three …
"There's always next year".