Reports: Number of footballers in media set to exceed number of actual footballers

Dane Eldridge Columnist

By Dane Eldridge, Dane Eldridge is a Roar Expert

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    Faux news: A report has revealed rapid growth in the rugby league media, with numbers of players-turned-pundits on track to outgrow the amount of those actually playing the game.

    The report – compiled by little-known and untraceable data company ME – forecasts flooding of the industry to peak over the next decade, as retired footballers capitalise on a ceaseless news cycle dependent on hyperbole.

    Such is the rate of growth predicted, it could threaten the record set 60 years ago when a handful of analysts for television replaced that one speedy-pitched nasal bloke used since the 1900s.

    Rugby league’s media industry has exploded in recent times on the back of a 24-hour channel and the acute decay of traditional journalism, with upsurge icons like Matty Johns often seen on multiple platforms 28 hours a day.

    However, it appears this is only a taste of what lies ahead.

    The report predicts waves of unemployable and sometimes indecipherable footballers will flock to the industry in numbers akin to ‘a Laurie Daley Origin shortlist’.

    Many are blaming the players’ growing fear of the conventional workforce, while another factor raised is the appeal of receiving $500 per hour to cultivate content about trivial spats and horseplay.

    Radio and television are likely to feel the heaviest brunt of the growth, however print media is predicted to be initially spared, with concussion rates in the game tipped to remain steady.

    Media heavyweights have welcomed the report, with one executive claiming the figures as a significant blow in the industry’s ongoing battle with rugby league to become the pinnacle of the game.

    He believes the numbers finally underline rugby league’s transformation from a professional sport to a nursery for preparing young men to deliver overpaid hot takes.

    While acknowledging analysts’ predictions that the growth is unmanageable, the executive plans to meet supply issues by dropping recruitment standards lower – even lower than they are now.

    He declared not only will this create greater opportunities for all, it will mean “knowing nothing about football will no longer restrict you to Channel Nine”:

    “Punditry has come a long way from the days when Fatty Vautin could get by with exaggeration and a ‘whooshka’.

    “Now it will be much worse than that.”

    However, the Rugby League Players Association responded by condemning the forecasts, labelling them “The greatest threat to the game’s existence since the last threat.”

    A representative claimed there was already enough agendas, conflicts of interest and mispronounced surnames in broadcasting.

    He then urged the industry to leave the players alone and to keep the status quo, which is poaching cheap-yet-visually inoffensive talent from other lower profile sports.

    “The rugby league media was happy to lure Matt Shirvington across, and Ben Ikin from whatever industry he made his name. Why the change now?

    “Leave the players to do what they do best. Breaking curfews.”

    While acknowledging punditry’s threat to poach youngsters and outgrow actual rugby league, he said the association’s chief concern was procuring a lounge for the Fox Studios that could house the arses of 25 front-rowers.

    Dane Eldridge
    Dane Eldridge

    Dane was named best and fairest in the 2004 Bathurst mixed indoor cricket competition. With nothing in the game left to achieve, he immediately retired at his peak to a reclusive life ensconced in the velvet of organised contests. Catch the man on Twitter @eld2_0.

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • April 20th 2017 @ 6:38am
      Bill said | April 20th 2017 @ 6:38am | ! Report

      Like

    • Roar Rookie

      April 20th 2017 @ 9:03am
      At work said | April 20th 2017 @ 9:03am | ! Report

      Great timed article, like.

      One piece of feedback if I may, don’t start off with saying it’s “faux news”, as I love seeing posters not realise that it is a satirical article and complaining about it in come way

      • Roar Pro

        April 20th 2017 @ 11:26am
        MrJSquishy said | April 20th 2017 @ 11:26am | ! Report

        I was going to say something similar, but more along the lines of: it’s a sad day when such an obviously satirical piece needs to start with ‘faux news’ just to (hopefully) appease those not witty enough to get it.

        Great article, many chuckles in there. I personally liked the “…and Ben Ikin, from whatever industry he made his name in.” Brilliant!

      • April 20th 2017 @ 6:22pm
        John said | April 20th 2017 @ 6:22pm | ! Report

        Yeah I gotta agree, not a fan of the faux news for the same reason.

    • April 20th 2017 @ 9:32am
      E-Meter said | April 20th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

      Nice one Dane. The Fox league line up is almost as large as the QLD parliament. And almost as useless.

      • April 20th 2017 @ 5:17pm
        kk said | April 20th 2017 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

        Agreed

    • Columnist

      April 20th 2017 @ 9:57am
      Stuart Thomas said | April 20th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

      Hate reading your articles Dane. Always wish I had written them. ?? Brilliantly done.

    • Roar Rookie

      April 20th 2017 @ 12:32pm
      catcat said | April 20th 2017 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

      Just in- number of off-contract players now exceeds contract players – team lists to be issued 5 mins before kick off

    • April 20th 2017 @ 1:02pm
      bigbaz said | April 20th 2017 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

      I forsee problems with midseason channel changers.

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