It’s difficult when a father figure abandons you. Especially when it’s for a new family, or worse, Souths.
But this is the situation for Darius Boyd, whose impenetrable bond with Wayne Bennett was severed last year because of the coach’s irreconcilable differences with the Broncos over retirement and barbecues.
As we know, Bennett departed for the Rabbitohs in the off-season after his various discords with Brisbane could not be resolved. This was despite the pair’s best efforts to mediate through their counsellor, the Courier Mail.
The death knell on their decades-long union came when the players shunned CEO Paul White’s barbecue in favour of Bennett’s, with their weakening ties unable to withstand the divisive powers of group action and fried mystery mince.
With Bennett forced out to join a weird blended family of Burgesses and neck tatts, this left Boyd stranded with Anthony Seibold as his new step-dad, the Broncos new younger-but-less-hotter squeeze.
For those unaware, Boyd and Bennett had formed a special bond over the years.
Some claimed any relationship that could force the fullback to places like Newcastle was so heartwarming and unbreakable that it challenged the very principles of biology, while others said it was just fricken weird or possibly an abduction.
With Bennett being the only coach Boyd has played under- except at Origin level where he answered to Maroons boss Cameron Smith- this saw the seven-time premiership winner become his father figure, much like the same role played for us regular folk by our actual dads and the internet.
So with some new bloke like Seibold stepping in to the fray, and making him do new weird shit like catch soapy balls and pretend to know Bill Shorten, no wonder the skipper is humiliating his crap new dad in front of his mother, which for the purposes of this analogy can be CEO Paul White.
Because as modern society can attest, adjusting to life with a new step-dad is never easy- just ask the kids living with Charlie Sheen or Bruce Jenner.
Using my powers as a certified psychologist through TAFE, I have deduced Boyd’s aloof football is a sign he is rebelling against his new step-dad. And who can blame him?
As the age-old philosophy goes; if he’s not your real dad, he can’t tell you what to do- including your $750k a year job.
Last Thursday night from Boyd had all the hallmarks of a desire to move back to Dad’s, with the skipper sending a message to his new coach by working his guts out to avoid the ball at all costs.
This saw Boyd playing the custodian role against the Roosters like a white Roger Murtaugh, trying to preserve himself for retirement and treating his defensive responsibilities like pesky paperwork.
But while unpalatable to nobody except Broncos’ fans, Boyd’s behaviour is not uncommon as the collateral damage of a broken home.
Statistics show marriages now finish in a 43% divorce rate, with 57% resulting in step-families with children suffering traits of unsocial behaviour and/or weak jersey grabbing.
This is because the step-father/step-son relationship is an uneasy dynamic for both parties, with one trying to readjust to growing up around a stranger, while the other tries to sleep with your mum.
In light of this, I side with Darius. I know when my mother met her new partner, all I wanted to do was be the bigger man, and that’s why I planted contraband in his top drawer.
Boyd shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden of Bennett and White failing to meet an agreement. It’s not his fault Bennett wasn’t happy without an additional year, or that White wasn’t happy Wayne isn’t Craig Bellamy.
But whatever it is, Seibold better suck-up to Boyd with a special gift real quick, like a motorbike made of ice cream.
His side’s lacklustre start has seen the Broncos lose precious consumer share in the Queensland market to resurgent brands like the Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast Suns and One Nation.
Such is the team’s struggles, even Matt Lodge is starting to think it’s bad for his brand.