2 May 2023

It’s a funny old thing, loyalty

| Ross Solly
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Jack Wighton following the Raiders win over Melbourne in the 2022 Elimination Final team. Photo: Raiders.com.au.

Jack Wighton following the Raiders’ win over Melbourne in the 2022 Elimination Final team. Photo: Raiders.com.au.

I like to think my dog is loyal.

For the most she is, happily patting and panting away alongside me as we trundle through the local park, chasing after a tennis ball and even occasionally bringing it back. That is, until someone else turns up with better-tasting, more expensive dog treats. Then loyalty goes out the window. It’s as if the hours I have devoted to picking up her poo, to chasing after her to retrieve the socks she has stolen from the wash basket, mean nothing.

She sits there at the feet of a complete stranger, tongue flapping and gooey-eyed, waiting for the expensive lamb treats that shame my cardboard-like kibble (which, by the way, cost me an arm and a leg because the vet guilted me into buying the good stuff because he said feeding a dog supermarket brand would amount to some form of puppy abuse).

The moral of the story is that loyalty is fleeting.

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In many ways, it’s like many of those quaint old traditions that get brought up at dinner parties after a few wines when we lament the passing of the good old days.

Traditions like walking in front of a car carrying a flag, not swimming straight after you eat a meal, and putting coins in Christmas puddings.

Yet when our star footballer, in this case, Jack Wighton, announces he is leaving the Raiders to sign for South Sydney, we all holler, “Where’s the loyalty?”

Fair enough, the Canberra Raiders put a lot of time and effort into Wighton, both on and off the field. Many a time they had to deliver character references to the local constabulary when young Jack had got up to nocturnal shenanigans.

But Wighton also gave a lot back to the Raiders.

Hand on your heart, if a rival employer came to you tomorrow and offered you better money or better conditions, or both, would you knock it back because you want to remain loyal to your boss? For sure, some of you will say yes. But most of us would have one eye on our future, on the mortgage, on putting the kids through school.

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Now I know it seems Wighton is not doing it for the money. If we are to believe what is being reported, he’s actually getting about $1 million less for joining the Rabbitohs than he would have received in his hip pocket from the Green Machine.

It seems the driving reason for Wighton’s move was his desire to win a premiership, which is fair enough, but it’s a bit of a kick in the nether regions for the Raiders hierarchy, and the Raiders fans, who I’m sure will feel another title is just around the corner.

The thing about loyalty is it might give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, sound good in a retirement speech and look good engraved on your headstone, but just like my dog and its rejection of my kibble, in the long run, no one can begrudge anyone for choosing a better deal.

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Barry Barnes11:24 am 03 May 23

Wouldn’t it be funny if down the track the Raiders and Souths make a Grand Final play off and the Raiders are triumphant

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