Yes! Six more days! Just SIX more days to footy!
Well, alright. I take Beebs’ point from earlier this morning. There’s no F in NRL, while there is in AFL.
However, it’s live sport, back on TV.
It’s something to give us some relief from the usual turmoil in the news about the thing.
NRL Chairman Peter V’landys has even said the NRL should never have shut down!
And given the sort of biosecurity measures the NRL and AFL could have implemented, you can understand where he’s coming from, to an extent.
But, on topics AFL, there’s consideration being given to a showdown before the Crows and Power head east, even though the AFL has been caught so far short on this that they may need to send people into quarantine for a showdown to go ahead early.
And this is where I want to look at how the footy codes have handled themselves.
The AFL, for all the talk about being the truly national game, the wealthier game, the better managed one, has found itself caught shy in trying to get its’ head around what is going on and how to handle the dramas happening right now.
And this can all be traced back to the drugs saga in 2013.
Back then, it was Cronulla in the NRL, and Essendon (whom I have a passing interest in since going off the AFL) who were at the eye of that storm.
Cronulla fronted up, told the Gillard Government (Let’s face it, it wasn’t ASADA looking for blood, it was Julia) to do its worst and they’ll cop it.
The AFL, and Essendon, on the other hand, tried to cut side deals, make arrangements, negotiate an outcome, and both parties found themselves tied in knots and unable to properly handle the fallout.
Cronulla, on the other hand, won their first premiership three years later.
Fast forward seven years from the drug drama.
The AFL has placed its full and unbridled trust in government, yet again.
In the Victorian Andrews Government, no less.
Good luck with that.
And given what Victoria has been up to when it comes to the thing, that was a rather “courageous” move.
The NRL, on the flip side, has gone about its business, preparing since shutdown day, for a return, staying in contact with government, but not being beholden to the authorities on the matter.
Perhaps this is a valuable lesson to us all during this tough time.
It’s ok to take advice from the government, but maybe you’re better off making your own best judgement and preparing for the future yourself, than slavishly panicking and hiding until you’re told its safe.
Having said all that, what are you looking forward to this footy season?