More than just footy

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

COMMISERATIONS to all of us who pinned our pride and hope on the backs of the valiant Cow­boys on Sun­day.

Although they lost the match, as it turned out in the end, the club had al­ready achieved far more than most peo­ple would have cred­ited at the start of the sea­son.

The Cow­boys carry an en­tire re­gion with them ev­ery time they run on to the field, and it’s not just the usual sen­ti­ment that fol­lows any or other club in the league.

The are the sole rep­re­sen­ta­tives in this league of a huge area. As ex­plained on our back page to­day, the on­go­ing ex­is­tence of the Cow­boys is more than a sport­ing mat­ter.

The peo­ple who saved the club saw it as vi­tal to the prospects of the re­gion – if the place can’t sup­port a team in a na­tional league, it’s prob­a­bly not worth in­vest­ing in.

So we owe the Cow­boys club such a huge amount.

I’m no ex­pert on NRL but one thing watch­ing the match brought home to me was a cu­ri­ous ano­maly about the whole af­fair.

For the Cow­boys, it was a re­gional con­test. They rep­re­sented the Far North. The Storm -- well, yes, Mel­bourne, but in a lesser way.

The fact that so much dam­age was in­flicted on the Cow­boys by three Queens­land play­ers un­der­lines my point -- for one team it was ba­si­cally a pro­fes­sional en­gage­ment, and for the other it was more like the State of Ori­gin -- it was about where you’re from. The Storm play­ers were play­ing for a club. The Cow­boys played for a whole re­gion.

I see more clearly than ever why the State of Ori­gin se­ries is such a pas­sion­ate af­fair. That’s when the tal­ented prod­ucts of a place line up where they should, in­stead of the wrong side.

All of it is pro­fes­sional foot­ball, of course, and per­fectly le­git­i­mate.

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