Ode to the Bulldogs

16 October 2014

They say history is written by the winners, not the losers.

It has been over a week since 2014 NRL Grand Final; we’ve had time to recollect ourselves, take down the blue and white streamers, and return back to a regular routine. The South Sydney Rabbitohs were crowned victors after a gruelling 30-6 win over Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, in a titan match best described as gutsy, determined and uncompromising.

In the end, their fight to the finish just wasn’t enough for the Bulldogs to bring home that elusive premiership trophy, continuing the 10 year drought.

The Bulldogs may have lost the battle and a hurt like this cuts deep; these pictures attesting to the utter anguish on their faces as the curtains closed on yet another season filled with great victories, shattering loses, superb play makers, Origin winners, injuries and controversies.

However look closer, casual observer, these images show more than just a losing team. These men fought hard, with passion, and with hard-headed determination to the bitter end. These images are of men spent; every last iota of energy drained as they defended the brutal onslaught of the Bunnies who just wouldn’t quit and in the end, were the better team of the night.

Not many fans get to see such close up images of their heroes, fallen titans of the night, look so human after their superhuman effort. Their faces tell it all. So if you despaired that night, think of their greater despair. They shed blood, sweat and ultimately tears for the game and for their fans. And for some players, this is end of the Bulldogs train.

So fans, I invite you to spare a thought for these players – don’t think the worse of them or that you’ve wasted your time supporting them this season. They didn’t win the premiership this year but they still beat 14 other teams for runner up position which is still a great achievement. And they are now hungrier for revenge than ever.

History loves its winners, but fans always love the underdog.