Dear haters
Photo by Bas Leenders (Flickr)

Dear Haters,

With the National Gridiron League postponing their season until 2017, many have taken to social media to laugh and mock at the NGL concept.

The haters have targeted the administrators, the coverage here at AussieFaithful, and the “foolish supporters” of the NGL concept with the vigor of a 10-year-old chasing an ice cream truck.

To be clear, this is not aimed at those that want to criticise the NGL for their decision, or have engaged in reasonable debate on the follies of having a professional league in Australia.

The NGL administrators will rightly have to deal with the fallout of their decision to not go ahead this season. I doubt they read the words of the keyboard warriors, but if they do, continue as you are, perhaps they will listen.

It is for those that have taken victory laps around the misfortune of those not involved in the decisions of the league.

The players.

The delaying of the league is disappointing to all that have been involved in AussieFaithful. Many burnt the midnight oil bringing the stories of these players and coaches who were to come to the league.

Authors did it for free, all on their own time, all because they enjoy the game and the concept of a professional league in Australia.

Volunteers. Just like the haters.

Now sadly, many of those players covered will never be back. Some have pledged to return, while others will return home with a story of regret, and a warning of caution come season 2017.

But haters, amongst the frenzied fist pumps, masculine chest bumps and orgasmic “I told you so’s”, have a thought for the players who were weeks away from the start of a dream many had worked a lifetime for.

To play professional football.

The haters are bathing in the waters of bubbling victory, like the delaying of a professional standard of football in this country is something to celebrate.

They snort in laughter at the “foolishness” of players who signed for the league.

Mocking their attempts to chase a lifeline dream.

As though they are the only ones who have taken a calculated risk for greater rewards.

Sure, the hate is only words on a screen, but it is kicking a player while they are down, while many of their lives are now up in the air.

As though showing ambition is a crime against the game of football.

Over the past two days, we have seen discussions with many players who have moved out of home, locally and from overseas. Some quit their jobs, said goodbye to family, and promoted their big chance to all they knew.

Through discussions here on AussieFaithful, either publicly for articles, on the podcast, or privately behind the scenes, you come to understand the passion, the grind, the sacrifice and the love of the game these players have.

Just like you, the hater, who insists you have the games values at heart.

Will the NGL launch as per their new plan next season? After recent announcements, we can’t say with certainty until we see the pig skin in the air in October 2017.

But whatever you think of the league, the management, or the idea of a professional game in Australia, these players, especially those local players getting their “one shot”, don’t deserve the sly giggles behind closed fists for loving the game, grinding it out and “having a go”.

There is no glory in giving yourself a pat on the back because someone else has fallen on theirs.

Thankfully the mindset that got these players a contract means most will keep grinding for the next opportunity.

Some, we hope, will return to the NGL in 2017 if it is launched as planned. Some will find different leagues, coaching positions or go back to their “day jobs” like most of us.

Others, will be playing in teams you play in, coach or volunteer for.

So, unless you are laughing at their misfortune with them in your face at the line of scrimmage, have a thought for those that were just “having a go”.

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