NRL is going to end up as redundant as the Wallabies if those in charge are not careful.
The 2013 final series has featured many of the flagship NRL sides and yet the crowds, the interest and the excitement just isn’t there. I recall a time where NRL finals time totally changed the atmosphere around Sydney.
Regardless of whether your team was in it, you had an opinion as a matter of course and you’d share it with whoever would listen… you didn’t need to bloody tweet it.
The only thing this final series lacks is probably a Queensland team cracking the top 4. If you added a fully firing Brisbane, it’s a promoters dream. None the less, even as a Newcastle fan a final series featuring a mercurial South Sydney and an all star Roosters side should have me (and everyone else) frothing at the mouth… but it doesn’t. The promotion of these games is rubbish and the crowds are reflecting that, it’s getting so bad that I’m not alone when I say I really don’t care, even worse I’m not feeling the necessary venom to hate Manly like we all should, I catch myself at times wishing them well! That isn’t how rugby league should be.
When you have NRL final series crowds comparable to the average attendance at a Wanderers game, you are in big big trouble. Even as a diehard Wanderers season ticket holder there is no way this bloody wog ball should be growing like it is, I should be following soccer as a niche sport shared with crowds of 8-12 thousand. But the cliche of Western Sydney being NRL heartland is becoming a myth and with A-league membership up 50% this year, it isn’t just the AFL invading NRL territory.
Whether it be Tom Waterhouse, the farcical Footy Show, the bias commentary toward any player contracted to Channel Nine, the total lack of innovative engagement with fans, the doing everything 2 steps behind the AFL, the multiple scandals or the shambolic leadership of Dave Smith, the NRL is a fading force despite producing year on year more exciting football.
So please Rabbitohs, from a Newcastle Knights fan embarrassed by Nathan Tinkler, can you just play Roosters in the grand final, narrowly beat them then we can all clap modestly and move onto a summer of getting down to Wanderland or Etihad stadium and watching a game on the up.
Oh and while I have the chance because it may be a long time between posts, Ben Barba is the most disloyal, overrated, selfish, traitor on the planet, more undeserving of praise than 10 Benji Marshalls.