Plenty of early NRL preseason attention on Parramatta
THE predictions for the 2016 NRL premiership in Sport today make some interesting reading, particularly the support for Parramatta to do something special this year.
The likes of Mayor Richie Williamson and others who like to spend the winter dressed in blue and gold are getting all excited after the Eels took out the Auckland Nines last weekend.
For those not right up to speed with Parramatta, predicting them to win the premiership is the ultimate display of loyalty and delusion.
They have not always been a rabble - in fact 30 years ago when they won their last premiership they had been near the top of the tree for almost a decade.
The past three decades, however, apart from the odd flourish in 2001 and 2009, have been one disaster after another.
Parramatta have not so much been the sleeping giant of the NRL, but overcome with an almighty hangover after their success in the 1980s and unable to recover.
It is amazing how a few months watching other sports over summer seems to wipe the memory banks of footy fans.
Come February they forget what has gone before and their optimism is refreshed.
And that's the best thing about this time of year - fans can look forward to the season ahead, and it has been at least six months since their team last tasted defeat.