OPINION

The key to winning is in how you respond

SO CLOSE: Raider Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad runs with the ball during Sunday's epic NRL grand final. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong
SO CLOSE: Raider Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad runs with the ball during Sunday's epic NRL grand final. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

A Sydney Roosters player, a thief and an overpaid athlete walk into a bar. And that's all the one person.

I don't want to bemoan a grand final two weeks in a row, but as The Rolling Stones sang "you can't always get what you want".

I travelled earlier this week from my drought-stricken rural domicile in the country to work a few weeks in leafy, inner-city Sydney.

The week leading up to the rugby league grand final is one of the best weeks of the year to be in Sydney.

There's never been official ticker-tape parades for rugby league's grand final week, so the people of Sydney kind of make their own with numerous vehicles and shops sporting bright flags and streamers in the colours of the team they would like to win.

Unfortunately, I didn't arrive in Sydney last week. I arrived in Sydney this week; the week following the grand final.

This week is the worst week of the year in Sydney - the week after a grand final in which the team you wanted to win, lost.

All week here in Sydney I've had all sorts of red, white and blue paraphernalia rubbed in my face.

Although there are 16 teams in the NRL, either Melbourne or Sydney have been in 17 of the last 20 grand finals. Something funny is going on in rugby league.

I was accused of being Canberra green with envy by one Roosters' supporter.

Another messaged me: "I understand now why the Canberra team dress in green. Sour grapes." Pfft. What would a Sydney Roosters supporter know anyway?

You know what? I'm not calling them Sydney anymore.

They'll always be the Eastern Suburbs Roosters as far as I'm concerned!

I'm confused as to why the Roosters call themselves Sydney when South Sydney Rabbitohs' territory is far closer to Sydney's CBD than the Eastern Suburbs Roosters' headquarters all the way out in Bondi Junction. Bondi Junction is in the eastern suburbs!

Even the Roosters' club song - which they've been singing way too often lately if you ask me - gives away their true domicile: "Easts [not Sydney] know how to play the game, they play it hard and fair,

"Easts [again, not Sydney] know how to win the game, they win more than their share."

Life is not fair. Some people aren't fair. Even some people in authority aren't fair, and that is one of life's hardest lessons. But it is an important life lesson and you do yourself no favours by denying yourself this part of your education.

Why am I upset that Canberra lost the grand final anyway? I don't even follow the Raiders.

Maybe because I've been musing on the belief that the better team were robbed, and that the Roosters' only two tries were both from unfair occurrences: the first, when the ball ricocheted of a trainer that gave the Roosters six more tackles closer to the line; and secondly, when the Raiders acted on the referee's signal for "six again" only to have this same referee inexplicably change his decision after it had been acted on by Canberra.

And yet, I guess the Roosters really did show themselves to be the better side. In these two decisions that seemed unfair against the Raiders, they weakened while the Roosters capitalised.

The Roosters could have fallen apart when their key playmaker, retiring half Cooper Cronk, was sent to the sin bin for 10 crucial minutes after tackling Canberra's Josh Papalii a millisecond before he got the ball.

Instead, they held the line while the side from the nation's capital failed to capitalise on this golden opportunity.

Heaven forgive me for quoting from Charles Darwin, but Darwin's research for On the Origin of Species led him to discover that members of a species that were best able to adapt to changes in their environment were far more likely to survive than those that could not.

Life is not fair. Some people aren't fair. Even some people in authority aren't fair, and that is one of life's hardest lessons.

But it is an important life lesson and you do yourself no favours by denying yourself this part of your education.

Never spend too long mourning people, events and decisions because they are not fair.

They are not fair. But all the things you need to win are within you.

Twitter: @fatherbrendanelee