During the off-field crisis that has engulfed the Knights over the past two weeks, they didn't just lose a coach, they lost a club legend as well.
To round out one of the most tumultuous fortnights in the club's history, we can reveal Knights' fan favourite and highly respected NRL Hall of Famer Danny Buderus has quit the club's football advisory committee in the wake of Nathan Brown's sudden demise as coach.
He told the club's CEO Phil Gardner he was walking away from his official role earlier this week, chiefly because he felt he was having no worthwhile input into some of the major football decisions being made by the heirachy.
Now, it should be stressed here that Buderus' love for the club is as strong as ever and he would never rule out being involved in helping out in some capacity in the future. But after being left out of the loop along with others in relation to Brown and the club's decision to canvas potential coaching options prior to his resignation, Buderus clearly felt he was wasting his time acting in an official advisory capacity.
It's understood he also had no input or knowledge of the controversial departure of Jesse Ramien until after it happened.
"There's no use having your name to it if you are not involved in the process," Buderus told us after confirming he had quit.
"The footy committee was started to help with the Wests' transition but Phil is making the decisions in conjunction with the Wests board now and he's owning those decisions and that's probably the way it should be.
"All those little footy things where your name's associated with it but you've had no real input into the decisions means there's no real need there for me to continue."
The advisory committee, which also includes John Quayle, last met a little over a month ago but there was no talk then around the coaching issue. It's unclear whether the committee will continue once a full review of the club's operations is conducted at the end of the season.
"I've got plenty going on and I only jumped on [the committee] in the first place to help where I could but it's probably gone past that now," Buderus said.
With all the talk surrounding Adam O'Brien taking the Knights head coaching job and David Furner possibly coming in as one of his assistants, the potential power and influence manager Isaac Moses could wield at the club has not gone unnoticed.
Along with both of those coaches, Moses also managers players David Klemmer, Kurt Mann, Tautau Moga and Hymel Hunt. Moses is already highly influential at three other NRL clubs.
Take it as read the scenario has some club officials more than a little nervous with fears of consequences if there is not considerable strength shown by the club in recruitment and retention.
At least one vintage former Knights player was clearly not thrilled with the news ex-coach Nathan Brown had been invited to attend the traditional Old Boy's gathering at the club's final home game against the Gold Coast Titans today.
Don't ask us why but we're told the ex-player, responding on the Old Boys' private Facebook page, has threatened to hand in his membership if Brown shows up.
The Knights did a good job of keeping their failed negotiations with retiring Sharks captain Paul Gallen under wraps during the 2017 season until he let the cat out of the bag with the release of his new book.
What wasn't revealed at the book launch during the week was the fact it wasn't the first time the Knights had tried to sign him. We're reliably told Wayne Bennett wanted Gallen at the club back in 2011 when he first joined the Knights as coach and there was a meeting with his manager David Riolo at Newcastle airport. Gallen knocked back around $600,000 to stay at the Sharks.
Time will tell but Jesse Ramien and Api Koroisau's decision to knock back offers from the Bulldogs could prove advantageous to the Knights in unloading Danny Levi and Herman Ese'ese.
Toughness standards need overhaul
Nathan Brown's biggest failure as coach of the Knights centred around mental toughness.
Not his but his players. Maybe Brown was just too nice a bloke. But at the end of the day, it was the inability of his players to consistently handle adversity and tough situations in games that led to the string of losses and ultimately, the coach's downfall.
Their lack of grit and willingness to roll up the sleeves meant the team fell short when it mattered in the close games but was particularly evident when they completely dropped their bundle in the blowouts.
Mentally weak, Andrew Johns labelled it, and it's a characteristic that will never generate sustained success in a competition like the NRL.
In their past five seasons, the Knights have lost 52 of their 85 matches. The losing mentality is ingrained and the senior players brought in by Brown in the past two seasons haven't fixed it. Brown, himself, wasn't able to fix it.
Creating a steely mentality in the playing group is the biggest challenge facing the new coach. Maybe he can find answers from the many ex-players who have worn the jumper with pride in the past, whose number one attribute was exactly that.
We've highlighted ABC radio's shabby handling of veteran league caller Craig Hamilton in this column in the past.
After 13 years of calling Knights games and well over two decades of experience, Hammo will call his final game today when the Knights clash with the Titans.
Despite being the sporting voice of ABC Newcastle for donkey's years, Hammo's lost the calling gig even though he is still working fulltime for the station.
To lodge a protest, we suggest you email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and voice your disapproval. Don't tell 'em we sent you.
Further to our piece last week on the Maitland Pickers targeting Wests Rosellas coach Matt Lantry, we are hearing he is just a matter of days away from making an official decision on his future.
The question that will be answered is whether Wests boss Phil Gardner is facing the prospect of having to fill his second coaching position in the space of a fortnight.
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