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.