NSW media is killing State of Origin
Why the passionate footy fans hate State of Origin (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
State of Origin has been destroyed by the New South Wales media. What was a great spectacle full of violence, bravery, stupidity and athletic achievement has been brought down to school yard sand kicking by some journalists who have aligned themselves with the Blues.
Numerous articles and conspiracy theories have been written about refereeing bias, when in reality the standard of officiating in the NRL is terrible anyway – but equally terrible to whoever is playing. Every one of their articles talks about how the Maroons are favoured by the footy gods and administrators.
These journalists could begin their own show called “So You Think You Can Whine”, Channel Nine would love it.
These ridiculous theories hit a new low when News Limited journalist, Paul Kent, suggested on NRL on Fox that Nate Myles intentionally lead with his head to deliberately take Robbie Farah out of the game.
There will be many jokes about the fact that the contact was unavoidable given that Nate Myles has a giant head, the size of which rivals small moons. But this is no laughing matter.
Let us break this down.
On a simplistic level, Paul Kents’ accusation suggests that Nate Myles, the best player for the Maroons this year, was sent out to intentionally clash heads with the best player from the Blues, Robbie Farah.
Firstly, from a business perspective this does not make any sense, the risk does not match the reward. If anyone was going to do it wouldn’t it be your least valuable player taking out the opposition’s best? This technique offered no guarantee that Myles would come out of this incident unscathed while impacting upon Farah in any way.
The accusation assumes that Nate Myles was willing to risk possible permanent brain trauma, broken neck, broken facial bones and dental damage by running full steam into another persons head. Not just a head butt but a running, head spearing, NFL style hit, with no helmet.
Would it not have been easier and safer for him to use the point of his shoulder in line with the traditional NRL technique?
In recent times the effects of concussion and repeated head knocks in sports which are not pugilistic have become apparent. The NFL is at the forefront of this as past players are now starting class actions against the organisation for not making them fully aware of the dangers.
Players are now aware of what will happen to them if they suffer repeated and significant head clashes. Nate Myles does not appear to be the most intelligent man but he does not seem completely void of common sense either. Anyone with a pulse would not attempt this.
I think everyone can agree that this was not intentional: myth busted.
However, this is only one conspiracy theory debunked. The Sydney newspapers have been rife, especially after game one, with articles about refereeing robbing them of victory. There is always someone else to blame.
These articles and level of whinging seem like the journalistic version of a five-year-old in a supermarket. It is undermining what was the best State of Origin series in five years. A fiercely aggressive and entertaining contest has been sullied by a few individuals’ emotions getting the better of them.
In the space of three games the New South Wales media has managed to curb my enthusiasm as a neutral viewer and there could be many more like me.
Can these journalists not accept the series for what it was, a great spectacle? This had the chance to go down as one of the great series. Sadly suggestions of the Paul Kent variety will ensure that it will be remembered for its bitterness and vitriolic statements.
What these journalists need to remember is that there is only one reason you lose a game: you have less points on the scoreboard.