Hello and welcome to the offseason, where instead of drinking to forget the pain of being a Raiders fan, we drink to pass the time until we can drink to forget the pain. It’s a cyclical process, but it works for us.
Laphroig if you’re wondering. It’s a special night.
It’s a special night because we learnt today that Mitchell Moses, on the outer at Parramatta, is considering making Canberra his home. Yep, Moses is considering moving to the Raiders to presumably form an unbeatable partnership with Aidan Sezer in control of the Green Machine, ushering in the second golden era of Raiders football. Pumped!
[insert eye roll gif]
Yep that’s the one. Good gif search ed.
Forgive my cynicism, but I’m pretty over this shit. Every time a player (or a team for that matter) is unhappy with their situation Canberra becomes a rumoured destination. Robbie Farah was basically on his way down the M5 several times last year. Ditto with Corey Norman. So far this offseason it’s been Ryley Jacks, and then Kurt Mann. It’ll be hard to fit them all in the same team with Mitch Moses.
Sidebar: We put out a call for more examples on twitter. @mesut_ausil remembered the ‘too good to turn down’ $1 million a year that had Jared Warea-Hargreaves ready to live in Canberra. Similarly, @jackkcronin remembered that Tim Glasby was coming to the Raiders until the Knights signed him.
I’d forgotten Trent Barrett was ready to be Ricky’s deputy for 2019 until Tim Gavel did actual journalism and quashed it. @mjtran remembered Michael Ennis was going to be on $500k a year but instead we got our lord and saviour Josh Hodgson. @dvdid77 remembered Greg Bird rumours (bullet dodged). @craignorenbergs didn’t just remember Willie Mason but also gave us the 80s example in Geoff ‘Wildman’ Robinson near defection from the Bulldogs. @addman72 remembered Joel Moon maybe being our saviour. Our man Ben remembered that James Tamou is another. Likewise Brett Stewart. Shit the Raiders were going to make Josh Hoffman one of the highest paid players in the game. Ben has a good memory.
And that doesn’t even account for the actual rejection from Josh Mansour and backflips of Tedesco and Kevin Proctor.
This is all noteworthy given recruitment honcho Peter Mulholland noted the addition of John Bateman and Ryan Sutton, combined with some contract upgrades had filled the Raiders salary cap for 2019. The only way the Raiders could take on Moses was if the Eels ate most of this contract. A contract which seems to cover him for all of 2019 for upwards of 700k. Parramatta had a rough 2018, but they’re not run by complete idiots.
Of course, this isn’t actually something that is happening. It’s a rumour put out there and consumed by a voracious fan-base desperate for hope, news, or just some damn action.
I obviously have no inside knowledge but I’ve got a theory why Canberra is often the patsy for these rumours.
Agents push Canberra as an option to journalists because the Raiders will (or have to) offer ‘overs’ in order to attract talent. It means they can push up the price (and their commission). Teams put the Raiders as a potential option for damaged assets to give the impression there’s a bit of a market for their talent. This will hopefully push other clubs into pushing the red button.
Gossip-focused merchants like the Lurker and the Mole respond to the information that they get from agents (and hopefully other sources).
No one outside the Canberra Raiders community pays enough attention to them to work out if they actually are interested, or if they have the money to get them. In the Barrett example, Tim Gavel noted that the information came from Sydney, just not where.
In the meantime, the Raiders probably play their part. Perhaps they put out rumours to seem like they are actually in the running. Perhaps they do their due diligence because they are a football organisation and if someone might be interested they should check it out. It goes nowhere, but for a fleeting moment actual proper journalists have to report it might happen because, well, it might.
And in the meantime we all have a moment to hope and dream and wonder what might be. Because hope, well, it’s all we have.
This time around I’m not falling for it. Mitchell Moses is not coming to the Raiders. The side that the Raiders will trot out for round one 2019 will be made up of people already rostered. Be safe out there kids. I don’t want you getting your hopes up for nothing.
Unless you reckon Mitch is actually coming. Have you heard something?
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