THE hysteria about whether Mad Monday should be scrapped is really just a matter of semantics.
What do we expect our players to do the Monday after their season ends? Stay home and knit? South Sydney have simply stopped club-sanctioned Mad Mondays. They can’t stop grown men going to the pub and they probably can’t stop them dressing as Wonder Woman.
There are plenty of precedents in the wider world for parties on company property being a thing of the past. Even Christmas parties are dying out.
We have media Mad Monday every year but no-one has ever suggested we do it at News Limited or Fairfax or that those organisations fund our indulgences.We exchange texts and phone calls and decide on a convenient venue amongst ourselves.
Players will have to do the same, probably. Face it: life is just less fun than it used to be.
THIS week’s Discord comes to you from Townsville, where the Australian team trained in earshot of an ernest game of bingo at the Brothers ground today.
Everyone is in a good mood, it’s stinking hot and the game is sold out. What more could you ask for?
Last Sunday I saw the other end of the scale when it came to international footy when a desperate defensive effort saw Cook Islands hang on for a 28-24 win over Lebanon at the Crest in Bass Hill.
The scramble to ankle-tap flying Cliff Nye 10 metres from the tryline with 10 seconds left was even more remarkable given that – in the absence of a scoreboard or ground announcer – the brave defenders had no idea what the score was and how important their feats would be!
On to Thailand on Monday for Thailand v Phillipines – the first full rugby league international ever played in Asia.
As a result of last week’s column, I’ve been on Twitter a lot this week. More of that later. One fellow yesterday asked for an apology given the findings of the NRL that the Bulldogs’ Mad Monday comments had not been directed at a Channel Nine reporter.
I’m happy to say I’m sorry or admit a mistake but I wanted to check what I was apologising for, first. There were six points regarding the Dogs in last week’s column.
Point one was about the conventions of covering Mad Monday – not affected by the NRL finding. Nor was point two about footballers getting more favourable treatment that other entertainers. Point three about the Bulldogs failing to generate goodwill with previous media engagment – no impact. I certainly won’t distance myself from believing clubs now have to deal with reporters they don’t know with as much respect as those they do.
Now, point five is the big one. If the comments were incorrectly reported by Channel Nine, then I do apologise for saying some good has come out of this. But the reporter involved still insists they were directed at her and not as presented by the Bulldogs. So it’s still hard to know on this point. I’m not in a position to call either party liars.
As for point six, about the absence of an experienced media manager, the NRL’s findings have no impact there.
NORMALLY there is a section at the bottom of Discord called Feedback, where we respond to the four, six or 10 comments people have taken the time to make about the previous week’s column.
This week there were 101 comments.