All Star game is fine until someone ends up seeing stars
As worthy as Preston Campbell’s efforts are in celebrating the NRL’s indigenous players, tonight’s much-hyped NRL All Star game will be a farce. Nothing surer.
While it’s inevitable that thousands of rugby league starved devotees jonesing for their first footy fix of the year will climb on board the Preston Campbell Express and tune in but what will it all mean apart from a few more dollars in the coffers of the NRL? Not very much.
Sure Preston Campbell and the others responsible for the concept have done great things to raise awareness of our Indigenous players and those players have in turn become potential role models for the Indigenous community and indeed all young Australians.
That is until one of them abuses the referee on the field or drinks a dozen too many and makes a goose of himself after the game. Players on both teams have proved themselves more than capable of that. Perhaps that’s where our focus could lie, eradicating any all star buffoons from the code.
All Star games and Pro Bowls, whatever you like to call them, mean nothing.
Take the NFL version for example – the Pro Bowl was this year played the week before the Super Bowl – without players from the two best teams. What a farce.
Or the upcoming NHL game where two captains pick their own line-ups in some sort of glorified draft like selecting sides for a junior high dodge ball game. What a farce.
These games, like the one on the Gold Coast on Saturday night are just another way for leagues around the world to try and make some extra coin at the expense of the players who are constantly complaining that they play too much footy. Or hockey. Or baseball.
There is no prize on the line, no higher honour, no real reward for the player. You can’t honestly tell me that a young player is out there thinking, instead of winning the comp or pulling on the maroon jersey for Queensland or the Green and Gold of Australia, “I want to wear the All Star jersey. In February.”
And what of the fans? Where is our reward, unless you count the fact we get to vote for the players. Woop-de-do. Or one from each NRL team that is. What a farce. I mean, with all due respect, there are a number of players that will take the field this weekend that are hardly stars.
For the most part it’s generally a few hours of below par sport where the risks far outweigh the benefits. Now I might be talking through my wallet or bleating with a healthy dose of anticipation in my team’s hopes this year but I don’t want to see my “star” injured ahead of the main event that I’ve bought season tickets for.
That would be a blow to a real fan. Just ask Kurt Gidley and the Knights.
The truth is, games played with nothing on the line, not even the first grade jersey that a measly trial game offers, should not be played. They are a farce and they are an insult to real fans.
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