News

Time NRL took hit for team

NewsMail columnist Jack McGovern.
NewsMail columnist Jack McGovern. Scottie Simmonds

I HOPE you were watching last night.

I hope you were watching two brave gangs of men running onto hallowed turf in search of victory.

I hope you were watching 34 noble warriors as they put their bodies on the line for the sake of those who cheered them on the sidelines.

And I hope you were watching - I really hope you were watching - as Channel Nine put on its usual drama-filled, fanfare-riddled video montage to introduce the NRL season ... just so everyone knew it really was the most important event of the Christian calendar since - well, er - since Christian became a word.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen: the NRL season for 2013 kicked off last night, and aren't we all excited about it.

I know I, for one, can't wait for the children of our society to watch on in awe as their role models strut their stuff on the football field. Come to that, I'm pretty eager for them to pick up on some of those role models' life choices too.

For those of you who are unsure, I'm being sarcastic.

Don't get me wrong. I love my rugby league just as much as Phil Gould likes to tell us he does on a Sunday.

However, football players don't seem to know how to behave, and that's not really anything new.

Brett Stewart was the 2009 "face" of the NRL; sexual harassment charges put all that to a halt.

Benji Marshall was the 2011 "face" of the NRL; quite clearly, the guy he was alleged to have assaulted wasn't a Tigers fan.

And more recently, Ben Barba was - yes, was - the 2013 "face" of the NRL; apparently the pokie machines thought the Dally M Medal was quite enough glory for the young Queenslander.

Hmm ... hardly the sort of stuff you want playing out in front of your little boy's sport-mad eyes.

Yes. These guys made mistakes.

But when three marquee players within a few heartbeats of each other need to be stripped of their "face of the NRL" status, one needs to ask the question.

Are they the only ones making errors of judgment here?

See, the fact is, these blokes should never have been chosen. Truth be told, they weren't up to the task.

And when it comes to the good old blame game, it's probably time the NRL itself took a hit for the team.

It's all the NRL's fault.

Now, I've never run a national sporting competition. Heck, I'd be flat out running a pre-school hopscotch tournament.

However, I think even the most inexperienced of campaigners in any business environment areaware of the following public relations fundamental: do things that are good for public relations.

A crazy notion, I know.

I'm not saying the likes of Ben Barba, Benji Marshall and Brett Stewart are bad people; I'm just saying that behind the adoring fan-bases, dazzling sidesteps and skin-tight jerseys, they are still ordinary young men.

In a few years' time, we may well laud these three as noble warriors on and off the field.

Ordinary young men - whether we feel like being patient or not - need to mature. Then, who knows what they could achieve?

Abraham Lincoln probably couldn't have ended slavery in his mid-20s.

Winston Churchill probably couldn't have "fought them on the beaches" in his mid-20s.

And hey, I probably still won't be capable of organising a pre-school hopscotch tournament in my mid-20s.

Not to worry, though. I don't think the NRL will be picking me as their "face" any time soon.

Topics:  blogs, jack mcgovern, nrl, opinion, the world according to jack




Medical emergency on flight to Bundaberg

QANTAS

Paramedics called after mid-flight emergency

Newsagency owners take on a new outlook

FACES OF BUNDY: Michael and Lyn Bowles from McCrackens Newsagency.

Changes are coming for local newsagency

Eidsvold man had videos of partner's child

Bundaberg court house.

Police charge Eidsvold man.

Latest deals and offers

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa