The Manly supporters are out in force this year, and why wouldn�t they be? Written off as wooden spoon contenders before the season started, they have come out as a surprise packet, firmly entrenched in the top 4. I was lucky enough to catch up with some of the Sea Eagle�s hardcore faithful, and this is what they�ve had to say about the rise and rise of the Silvertails in 2005: �Un-****ing-believable! They really stuck it to us in the pre-season, but we�ve shown them. Carn the Mighty Sea Eagles!!!�
Upon a friendly reminder that it hasn�t been all smooth sailing away from home, I learned about their �happy place�.
�It�s simple. Whenever things aren�t going too well, we just go off to our happy place: green grass; sun shining; plenty of fresh ocean air; and the clock is permanently stuck at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon. It�s our own secret garden, but there�s more and more people getting in on the secret.�
You may have even seen some of these Manly fanatics spreading their gospel at away games. They hold up their banners, reminding fellow supporters and players alike, to go to their happy place and think of their secret garden if the going gets tough. If you see this sign at a game, I can recommend going up and saying g�day to these friendly, approachable folk. They may even teach you their theme song:
When I find myself in times of trouble, Father Fatty comes to me, Speaking words of wisdom, Pretend you�re at Broo-kie
There is actually a plan in the works to record this little tune and pay to have it broadcast at away matches. It will require some big dollars though, as it is the home teams that have control over the PA systems. That�s why the Boys from Brookvale are on a mission to raise some funds. They plan on doing it through the sale of dolls baring remarkable likenesses to Manly players.
The Scott Donald Speed Demon � This carrot topped action figure has wind up legs. Early prototype testing suggests that it could break the toy figurine speed barrier before the final product is released to the market.
The Talking Terry �Tezza� Hill � The Tezza comes dressed in authentic poorly-fitting unfashionable clothing and with the pull of a drawstring it will lisp enthusiastically �That�sh Lowezsh�. The team is working on a new pricing model for the toy, where you only pay for the time you spend playing with it. Unfortunately, development is hampered by a defect causing the string to snap regularly, with the doll breaking down and requiring several weeks without play each time.
The Kite & Kennedy Twin Pack � Only offered in a twin pack, the Kite & Kennedy dolls come as a special collector�s edition with a hugely inflated price tag. Underneath the Manly shorts, both plastic backsides are branded �Made in Canberra� and the developers can�t manage to get rid of the marking, no matter how hard they scrub.
The Michael Half Witt � Packed with features, Mick comes with a brilliant mechanical kicking action. He is somewhat shy though, and has a tendency to get himself lost (often during playtime, after around 20 minutes). This known defect has led to the installation of a �key finder� style device, which will help you find the lost Half Witt by whistling.
The Shayne Dunley � This novelty item makes a wonderful practical joke. Just your victim �you have to squeeze it to make it talk, but it�s pretty quiet so you have to get it close to you ear�. The Dunley doesn�t actually talk. It squirts any liquid of your choice. With the incorporation of this mini water feature, the design team is having trouble building in a swivel-neck, so we may just have to make do with the straight-shooting model which has recently been approved by industry regulators.
Thankfully for all concerned (except perhaps the legal profession), the organisers have scrapped plans for the Hoppa doll.
Best of luck to the Manly Mob with their endeavours, and if you see someone in a Sea Eagles jumper sporting a dazed look and a broad grin (and you�ve confirmed it�s not Anthony Watmough), you�ll know exactly where their thoughts have taken them, but shhh� it�s a secret.
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