Why the long face?
Oh, right. The Raiders are playing.
Like the last 7.5 games, give or take a few moments of fabulousness (hi Blake Ferguson!), this was not the game to watch if small matters of discipline, defense, ball control and decent refereeing mean anything to you.
The commentators set the scene early with constant references to Canberra's spectacular losing steak, saying theatrical things like: "they are perilously close to falling into the abyss". Being the truth, it is painful to hear.
At some stage in the game, Noddy comments from the sideline that Farrah is "too smart for 'em". More hurt. I flinch and brace for trauma every time Marshall or Orford get the ball. For wildly different reasons, obviously.
Canberra's right side gapes open like a ripped circus tent. The Tigers exploit this at every oppurtunity and run in what seems like several dozen tries.
49-12. Tigers jubilant, Raiders shellshocked.
After enduring this 80 minutes of sustained suffering I took directly to my bed. However, sleep provided no sanctuary. Not on Robbie and Benji's watch. I was haunted by semi-delerious dreams of them both. Really, guys? It's not enough for you to reduce 16 hulking men and Matt Orford to ashen-faced rubble, now you're interfering with the tormented minds of the Raiders faithful? We have so little already!
In my dreams (there was a whole unfolding series of them, eighty minutes worth probably), the two of them were totally tyrannising me. They literally ran rings around me, with cold-eyed and clinical aplomb. No departure from reality there, then. Obviously it was a subconscious sympathy card for the Raider boys, signed sealed and delivered by my psyche (stick that in yer pipe Australia Post).
It reminded me of nothing so much as the way my mum's whippet used to behave on the beach when confronted with dogs he didn't much care for. He'd use his mad athletic skills and speed to dazzle the eye and confuse the mind of even the most menacing dog, performing complicated configurations of spins and darts and sprints that humiliated and exhausted the disdained dog.
Basically, he'd do what the entire Tigers side did to the Raiders on Sunday at Bruce Stadium. Which is the same thing they've done to the Raiders for as far back as I care to remember. Laid. To. Waste.
Jasper (the whippet) eventually slipped a disc in his back and wound up crippled.
Now, I stop short of saying I hope for a similar fate to befall any or all of the Tigers team. However, the heavy reality is that, right now, I can't say with any conviction that I'd entirely disapprove.