Post-match cliches have players at sixes and sevens
Wayne Bennett might be Tinkler's big name choice but he'll also be under plenty of pressure
With negotiations for the NRL’s will-they-or-won’t-they-get-a-billion television rights deal now behind closed doors, here’s a radical idea for cramming more commercials into a telecast: scrap tedious post-match interviews and fill that time with more ads instead.
Since getting the call-up for The Roar I’ve been trying to take things one week at a time, but a week is a long time in journalism and at the end of the day last week’s column is this week’s fish and chip wrapper.
Full credit to the boys.
If those clichés don’t ring a bell, you’re obviously smart enough to turn the TV off as soon as the fat lady has sung or the horse has bolted or whatever other droll one-liner has rolled off the tongue of the head commentator.
Which means you’ve missed out on a collection of interviews that, even at their best, are about as insightful as a Tony Abbott asylum seeker policy announcement.
To be fair, it’s a flawed premise to begin with. The formula for post-match interviews is this: put a microphone in the hand of a guy who has spent 10 to 15 years of his adult life getting belted by large, testosterone-heavy men and then put him in front of a guy who’s spent the past 80 minutes of his life getting belted by even larger testosterone-heavy men.
Then, add a sum of zero media credentials and even less charisma.
What do we expect? The witty repartee of The Avengers, or the mono-syllabic grunts of The Expendables?
Here’s a dramatisation of how the average post-match interview rolls…
Recently Retired Legend: “Mate, tough game out there tonight, how do you think you got over the line?”
Semi-Coherent Player: “Mate, the boys have been great since I got here and I know I’ve got the board’s full support. As long as we stick to the game plan and put our best foot forward I know we’ll be there or thereabouts come September.”
RRL: “Mate, where was the game won and lost tonight?”
S-CP: “Mate, we’re really working hard on our completions. Week-in, week-out, it’s all about momentum and laying the platform and leaving something in the tank at the back end of games.”
RRL: “Mate, that was a great win, did you expect to get there in the end?”
S-CP: “Yeah, nah, they had us at sixes and sevens for a while there mate, especially when one of the boys had a brain explosion, but luckily he was playing like he had spiders on him – and that’s not his go anyway. We just knew we had to turn up to play and win the wrestle and dig deep and keep putting in 110 percent and the bounce of the ball would go our way. That’s footy.”
Home Viewer: “I can actually feel my IQ dropping.”
So let’s put an end to this madness. After all, who really cares about the thoughts of an exhausted bloke on a game we’ve all just watched anyway?
That time could be much better spent being bombarded with sales pitches for exclusive numbered slides of Benny Elias head wound blood, cross-promotional tie-ins for reality TV sewing contests, and innuendo-laden ads for male hygiene products.
Whatever it takes, really, for NRL fans to be able to proudly walk into an online discussion about broadcasting rights over the next five years and look taunting AFL fans in the eye.
As for Former NRL Greats getting behind the mic?
You’re a long time retired, so put your best foot forward and work on your completion rate over three years of a media degree. That’s what Origin football is all about.
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