Melbourne's Loss is Melbourne's Gain

It's all falling into the lap of the Melbourne Rebels.

Their main competition for lovers of the non-aerial prolate spheroid shaped football codes, the Melbourne Storm, has been done big time for cheating the salary cap.

Disullusioned supporters will turn to what they at first will consider the next best thing (before they realise it is actually the best thing after all) and start following the Rebels ensuring good crowds.

Former Storm players will wander the streets looking for some cardboard to sleep on at night and begging for food until the Rebels lend a helping hand and offer them a spot in the back row. A win-win situation as the Rebels get quality players at bargain basement prices and the players get to use the hot showers at the new imaginatively named Rectangular Stadium (alas naming rights have been sold and an opportunity has been wasted).

Any publicity is good publicity and with Melbourne being an Aussie Rules mad city it takes a scandal as big as this one to get Aussie Rules off the front two and back seven pages of the paper and to get Rugby League a profile maybe slightly bigger than the usual paragraph buried on page nine of the sports section. Melbournians, not knowing the difference between the Rugby codes will assume the Storm and the Rebels are the same team or the Storm changed their name out of embarassment and will turn up to see what the fuss is about in the same way as you can't take your eyes off a car crash (such as the Force), swelling the crowd even further.

And sponsors will flee the Storm due to guilt by association and, looking for other sports to invest their publicity dollars in, will turn to a nearby cleanskin. Indeed the only negative aspect may be that the Rebels have so many sponsors their jerseys will be weighed down by all the sponsors' logos and prove impossibly heavy to wear.

It's all looking Rosy for the Rebels and they can expect instant success and a complete lack of controversy in their formative years just like those other non-traditional Rugby provinces in Australia the Brumbies and the Force (notwithstanding the occasional taxi smashing, quokka kicking or teammate bashing).

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