They say once you’ve reached rock bottom, the only way to go is up.
The big question for Brisbane Broncos fans is: have they reached rock bottom, or is there further for them to fall?
One problem facing the Broncos and their fans is that they are used to success.
Since they entered the competition in 1988, they have only missed the finals twice — in 2010 and 2013.
They have won the premiership five times, as well as the 1996 Super League Grand Final.
For years prior to their entry into what is now the NRL, Queenslanders always believed that their state produced the best rugby league players in the world.
Following their introduction, just about every young kid growing up in the Sunshine State dreamed of becoming a Bronco.
Wayne Bennett coached the team from 1988 to 2008. In that time they never missed the finals and won their six grand finals.
After Bennett left, they finished 6th, 10th, 3rd, 8th, 12th and 8th. After Bennett returned in 2015, the Broncos finished 2nd, 5th, 3rd and 6th.
Then things started to go downhill. Bennett was by then in his late 60s and the Broncos were looking to the future.
They chased Anthony Seibold, who after stints as Assistant Coach under Craig Bellamy at the Storm, and Michael Maguire at the Rabbitohs, was appointed Head Coach of South Sydney in 2018.
Seibold took the Bunnies to within one win of the Grand Final and was named Dally M Coach of the year.
Although Seibold was under contract for 2019, the Broncos signed him from 2020, and he was released by the Bunnies, after they signed Bennett.
Here’s where things get messy.
Kevin Walters played 237 games for the Broncos and is highly regarded by the players.
After a stint as assistant coach to Craig Bellamy, Walters linked with Bennett in 2014 and returned to Brisbane as assistant coach in 2015.
Walters then coached the Maroons to series wins in 2016 and 2017 and holds aspirations to one day coach in the NRL.
After giving so much to the Broncos, many thought that he would be offered the chance when Bennett moved on — but instead they signed Seibold.
The Broncos have always relied on help from the old boys network, but that seems to have dried up since Seibold took over.
One side says Seibold has frozen them out, while the other side says the old boys have deliberately kept their distance.
Whatever the truth, the result for the Broncos has been devastating.
Darius Boyd, the most capped current Bronco and a former captain, stepped down from the leadership group, citing a breakdown in communication with Seibold.
Allan Langer and two other training staff breached COVID protocol by visiting the Caxton Hotel.
How they thought they could sneak into the world famous Caxton and no would recognise Alfie Langer has got me beat . . .
Then Seibold stayed in Sydney to deal with a personal matter and has to self isolate for 14 days.
Tevita Pangai Jnr was next to fall foul of the COVID rules, copping a $30,000 fine and being stood down indefinitely by the club for attending the opening of a barber shop, which I might add was also attended by members of an outlaw bikie gang.
I actually started writing this story a week ago, but just when I thought nothing more could go wrong — something did.
The ways things are going at Red Hill, by the time this goes to print, I’m sure that even more disasters will have befallen the Broncos.
And I have no sympathy for them. They need a good clean out, and hopefully spend a few years in the premiership basement.
And remember, there’s no such thing as too much sport.
CHECKOUT: Stick that in your beanie, Sam