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 Ltd or Fairfax or that those organisations fund our indulgences. We exchange texts and phone calls and decide on a convenient venue among ourselves.
Players will have to do the same, probably. Face it: life is just less fun than it used to be.
DEFENDING INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE
This week’s Discord comes to you from Townsville, where the Australian team trained in earshot of an earnest 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, with 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 Philippines – the first full rugby league international ever played in Asia.
MAD MONDAY POINTS STILL STAND
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 than other entertainers. Point three about the Bulldogs failing to generate goodwill with previous media engagement – 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.
I want to thank everyone for taking the time to write, even if you bagged the hell out of me. It’s good to think about this stuff enough to write something down and I must say for all the talk about ‘‘trolls’’, everyone I have engaged with on Twitter over the past week has been civil, even if they started off a bit hot under the collar.For this week’s feedback, I’ll respond to the ones that invite a response. If you just made a statement, I guess there’s not much more I can add.
Zeadney has been joined by many people in comparing this to the Kate Middleton topless photos. I think my argument to this is covered above – they were in their workplace. Would Kate Middleton stand topless in front of the window at Buckingham Palace?
I agree with JJ: sport is just reality TV that is very cheap to make, when compared to Big Brother. TV is buying personalities as much as athletes with their $1.025 million.
Ian Camlett, amateur sports are about staying fit and winning. Professional sports are about entertaining people. That’s why they get paid. The coach is in the job of winning, the membership manager is in the business of selling memberships and the media manager is in the business of dealing with the media. You wouldn’t let the membership manager coach the team any more than the football department should run media interaction. Rugby league does not feed me, journalism does. I SPEND money on rugby league. Who is paying for my hotel in Townsville, my flights to Thailand and onto Hawaii for rugby league? Not the Herald.
Vonnie, many others have suggested to me since last week that had there been better access the night before, electronic media would have got their shots of players in silly costumes on Mad Monday and gone away. I hadn’t really considered this. There was nothing but three all-ins from GF night for the only Sydney team in the grand final – the worst access in grand final history. The Bulldogs’ fine for this will be their fourth under the new media guidelines – and they only came in mid-season.
I agree with some of what Wendy said. Traditional media have become entertainers rather than informers and rugby league players plus clubs struggle to understand that – which is why media managers who understand this have become more important. Someone said ‘‘oh, so they need someone to deal with the chaos your profession creates’’. In a word, yes.
Rudy, my point regarding international football is that it seems a joke in the countries where those sports are popular. Oh, Canada playing cricket. Ha ha. But who cares what they think in those countries? Because in the case of rugby league, our most powerful country has little influence on world affairs. Why should we care as a sport about how things look from here? If 51 per cent of Americans one day understand there are two kinds of rugby, that will be an achievement to dwarf any television deal the NRL does. Your argument seems to be ‘‘don’t underline your weakness by addressing it’’. We don’t WANT to be the national sport. We would be happy to be as big in Thailand as ice hockey is in Adelaide. That’s better than nothing.
Amin, yes. I am saying ‘‘waa-waa’’. And I’m throwing the toys right out of the cot as well.
Spannaforce, see my comment above about the mainstream media being more about entertainment these days, which has happened to counter the internet.
Liklik, do you know how many things the sports media do every day, which other journalists would not do, to help clubs and players? We respect closed training sessions even when they are on open fields that the public can see into. We don’t approach players at airport carousels when we are told not to, even though they spend ages signing autographs and talking to everyone BUT us. Recently, I read, Des Hasler asked for footage of wrestling training to be taken off Fox Sports and it was, even though it was obtained completely legitimately.Would political journalists, police rounds reporters, or court reporters do these things? I think not. The rule we are supposed to work under professionally is if you can walk up to someone, see someone, take a picture of someone, then so can we – because we represent everyone else who is not here right now. If sports journalists started a work-to-rule where they used all the numbers in their contact book, went to everything any member of the public could go to and started asking questions of anyone, anywhere any time, just like you can if you want to, there would be chaos.
Behind the scenes, I have to take you to task on some of your points. Channel Seven may have CLAIMED they knew who said things but that has still not been established, a week and a half later. The Swans ‘‘managed’’ Mad Monday with some brief access – like most clubs do, but which did not occur on this occasion. My argument was that this contributed to the situation. Seven and Ten were NOT invited inside. The reporters have kept texts from the club saying they were not welcome. Who was mouthing off, and saying what? I’ve not heard that anywhere.
Antfit31, were you daring the Herald to publish your comment? Dare met, I guess. I don’t determine which comments are published, for the record. That is done in the office.
Kelvin, many people agree with you regarding reducing the number of interchanges. But the medical lobby will disagree and will probably be the main hurdle to this happening.
Of all weeks, I should have included the forum link last week. Oh well, here it is.
See you next week from Bangkok.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.