The news leading up to Origin III was all about the players’ media ban from Wednesday through to Sunday. The ban was in response to a two-year dispute between the players’ union and the NRL/ARL Commission.
I am not sure what the details are, but two years and no result either way seems ridiculous and makes the public service, government and local council workings look efficient.
What makes me laugh is, broadcasters were scratching around, filling in spots pre- and post-game and during the match that are usually filled by player interviews.
They are usually saying the same stuff but I guess it does give broadcasters content away from commentator Phil Gould and the like, pushing whatever agenda they have at the time.
Hopefully by the time you read this, the boycott will be over and another agreement made. But if not, I have an idea for content. At post-match interviews, the coach usually has the skipper with him and they are happy or sad, depending on the result. Maybe the coach could bring with him a long-time volunteer and supporter of the club to sit through what winning and losing means to them and what a poor decision from the bunker does to a supporter. That would make it more interesting viewing. Probably the only thing better would be if the bunker official sits with both coaches.
Pre-match could be filled with interviewing supporters and asking them how they think the game is being run by the ARL Commission. The commission rep could answer questions. Do you think Origin played at a post-8pm kick-off on a school night is good for the game? Do you think grassroots footy gets enough support? Do you think NRL coaches just pick players from some kind of talent tree, or in fact are a fair percentage of them developed in regional areas which need more support?
I think that would make good viewing – actually talking about where these players come from – and hopefully the ARL Commission board members may actually learn something. You know what they say: if you repeat stuff enough, it sinks in. As Aristotle said, “Hope is a waking dream.” The above is my dream.