Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Are the media confused ?

This blog is more about how the media portray or report on the wests tigers . It is often perceived that the wests tigers now are just Balmain rebadged or perhaps rebirthed whilst links to wests or its brand the magpies slowly being phased out. Im going to be pointing out by paraphrasing and linking content on here to show this isn’t just another magpie whinging for recognition, but as always asking for a fair go. The reporting of late was highlighted by the fact in a recent article in the Sunday telegraph when it was reported about wests tigers in the the hunt for Mitchell pearce. The opening paragraph read “ wests tigers have made secret enquiries about bringing nsw origin halfback Mitchell pearce to the club where his father is a legend”. Now which tigers is that ? Yes he was a legend as a player for Balmain, did he achieve legend status as a coach of wests tigers? , well thats debatable. Clearly we know its referencing Balmain yet it seems creative reporting like this refers to it as one in the same. You can see it creates confusion as the wests tigers is not Balmain nor is it wests yet constant media references clearly show a predominant & biased Balmain flavour within the JV.

We always see past Balmain players available doing media commitments & comments to promote games ,grudge matches etc yet rarely do former magpies players get asked for comments, maybe the occasional one from tom raudonikis or noel Kelly. Again we saw this recently with paul sironen & benny elias talking prior to the wests tigers v roosters game. It was small talk about reminiscing about playing at leichardt but mainly was about the game that day and incidentals. Maybe it was all to do with relevance considering the tigers were at their spiritual home, something which i'll touch on later. Another was when ellery hanley was interviewed it centralised around the time he had spent with Balmain and showed backround footage of him at the tigers yet none of wests which he also played. He would have been a great spokesmen to talk about playing at both clubs who ended up being joint venture partners yet it was more about Balmain yet again. He even thanked the wests tigers for giving him the opportunity to play in Australia, this left me even more confused.

One that bewilders me is why is leichardt oval the “ spiritual home of the tigers”? A media coined phrase that has stood the test of time. So did Balmain pass the baton to the joint venture club, therefore automatically becoming wests tigers spiritual home once Balmain finished up ?? Balmain lost their identity long ago when they were merged with ryde eastwood , yet the financially crippled club & influental board seems to have an identity within the " brand moreso than wests. The recent development proposal where the rozelle village on the site of the old derelict Balmain leagues club is being helped & aided along by a campaign “ bring the tigers back home”. People asking supporters to sign petitions about this developement at campbelltowns last home game said that the campaign was to bring the wests tigers back home, not Balmain......... interesting. Then we see on the other spectrum about the death of wests ( namely the magpies) all the time but balmain arent mentioned in the same light , see the links below,


The media whereby its been advised, or by choice , preference, arrogance , ignorance or other reasons are distancing the wests tigers from one of its joint venuture partners the wests magpies and aligning Balmain moreso to the brand in its reporting especially with historical references, passing comments etc. Is this a sign of things to come by what the media presents to the masses ? It seems benny elias must be on speed dial from media outlets quick to guage a comment from a former player linked somewhat to the JV,yet terry lamb,trevor cogger or paul langmack never seems to get a call.Im sure old staunch magpie supporters would like some equal exposure also.The joint venture is 50/50 yet it appears the wests tigers want to destroy part of the legacy that created it , maybe the western suburbs tigers has a better ring to it considering the club makes it obvious of its inner city alliances & its treatment of the macarthur supporters & rugby league community.


Anonymous said...

Could not agree more with these comments - I do support Wests Tigers because of the way they play football - but it does not hide from the fact that Western Suburbs, their support from 2 leagues clubs and a wonderful junior base, hold all of the aces.
I just cannot forget to ponder what may have been the case if the Maggies in 1999 had held their position of 1997 and been further up the ladder that the Tigers - what would have happened with the Merger then...

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't take it personally -the media is always looking for an angle, while at the same time being very lazy. Like when they promote Wests Tigers vs. Manly as the fibros vs. the silvertails. The only reason that things appear to favour the Balmain side is because of the tendency to refer to all teams by their mascot, as well as the fact that Balmain had such a strong team in the late 80s (thus the prominent link to past players)

Graeme said...

It was like in 2007, Campbelltown Library had a 20 years of Wests in Campbelltown display and the guest speaker.... Wayne Pearce.

Anonymous said...

I am up in Rozelle and have been a critic of the proposed Rozelle Village Development (Version 2) which is before NSW Planning and Infrastructure. I bear no illwill toward the Balmain Leagues Club because they have done what they have had to do under the circumstances. A few years back they got into difficulty (around 20 million) and sold their leagues club site to a developer. Unforunately since then they have received an unsecured 9 million dollar loan, probably from this developer, so it's a tangled web up here in Rozelle. I love football and one day I would like to see Tigers and Wests demerge because I think they are both entities in their own right. During the 1980's and 90's I was a frequent visitor to both the Wests club in Asfield and to a lesser degree, the former Balmain Leagues Club. I wish both entities well and hope both can prosper in the future. I do have a soft spot for the Magpies and I would like to see this reflected in the joint franchise in the future. As your blog mentions, it always seems to be the Tigers name over Wests that gets media. Ayway, all the best.

David Hunt