Dear professional rugby league players,
IT’S almost Christmas for you guys again.
The thing you wait for all year - the start of the rugby league season.
Kick-off is this week. Are you excited? Got your boots shiny? Got a new mouthguard?
Got the other sleeve tattoo done for the season?
Not that I’m suggesting there are more dollars than sense within the game.
Most league following states are gearing up for the great entertainment that is watching you run at each other full pelt.
Not that I’m suggesting that lacks mental prowess.
No sir - it is a game of speed, sponsorship, agility, sponsorship, muscle, cheer leaders and sponsorship.
It must certainly be something to be paid to play a game for a living. That’s probably why each and every one of you cherishes his time in the middle, and also his time off the park, being careful to make sensible decisions and life choices that won’t negatively impact on your, or the game’s, reputation.
And when your careers come to an end (and you’ve done your stint in the UK Super League and then made a comeback for the State of Origin), you can be safe in the knowledge your skills will be utilised in a commentary position or within a Lowes catalogue.
Failing that, the tag of “player mentor” can be easily moulded to keep you on the club’s payroll.
Not that I’m suggesting you guys have never developed other professional skills.
The season’s start also heralds the return of that fine institution of broadcasting, The Footy Show.
Here’s hoping the regular viewers remember to schedule the Thursday night slot into their digital video recorders, with enough room to spare for Border Patrol, Sunrise and World’s Craziest Fools.
Not that I’m suggesting an hour or so of television based on dissecting the intricate nuances of rugby league requires fewer brain cells.
With the dawning of the new season we wait to see who of you will be in the spotlight making headlines.
Then apart from the court cases or alcohol-associated nights out, we wait to see if any of those headlines will be sport-related.
Not that I’m suggesting self control would be an issue to those among you who’ve been given contacts with major clubs since leaving school.
Yes, yes, we all know that you are “just human” and most of you don’t want to be role models or media stars and just want to be “left alone to play footy”.
Not that I’m suggesting most post-match player interviews lack insight, eloquence and actual words.
Anyway, good luck for the season.
(Not that I’m suggesting luck has a bearing on any game outcomes.)