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Teams owe it to fans to front up in adversity

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Like it or not, winning and losing in sport isn't the most important thing - growing the code is, as difficult as it may be for many to swallow that.

Sure, in the preamble to the start of every season individuals and teams set goals on whether they will make the last 16, eight, four or go all the way to title glory.

Depending on what franchise, coaches, players and fans' expectations are, it's often sacrilegious to pull up shy of the target, never mind not be in the running halfway through the competition.

Frustrated followers who have rationally made allowances over successive seasons for often legitimate excuses - such as injection of young blood, exodus of key players resulting in a rebuilding exercise and hard-luck cases of injuries - understandably lose patience when success remains elusive.

The numbers filing through turnstiles drop dramatically and franchises, administrators and clubs start fidgeting and fretting.

Hey, if there are no expectations, there's bound to be no disappointments so end of story, right?

Yes, that's plausible but it goes totally against the grain of human existence.

It's pointless fighting an innate desire to escape to an imaginary world via curiosity and exploration.

That's why the New Zealand Warriors, Blues, Mitre 10 campaigners Auckland and Hawke's Bay Magpies, Taylor Corporation Hawks, Thirsty Whale Hawke's Bay United, Hastings Boys' High School First XV team, the Central Under-18 women's hockey team and........

© New Zealand Herald