To those fortunate enough to be apathetic about the final outcomes of NRL games, I would like you to do something for me.
Please chug a foaming schooner of H2O from the Ganges and then embark on a seven-day pushbike ride across the desert without any Alka-Seltzer or Imodium. Make sure you’re wedgied from head-to-toe with spandex and that you stop halfway to reluctantly part with $20 to a smarmy workplace colleague.
If you make it back alive, you will have experienced the same discomfort levels endured by ambitious rugby league tipsters in 2014.
Sure, I acknowledge that tipping winners in the NRL has always mirrored dysentery, especially in the salary cap era where the competition is as even as an Edrick Lee flat-top. I also recognise that 2014 is still but a little baby prone to the whimsies of its first tender days.
However, even with such allowances, the results so far in 2014 are still wrong on so many levels.
The first five rounds has been a volatile churn of unpredictability that has wickedly tormented our aspirations like some omnipotent strain of satanic vindaloo’s revenge. Anxious guts and cold sweats are plaguing the vast majority of the eastern seaboard as events as simple as smartphone tipping reminders trigger widespread upchuck.
It seems that the steady guiding markers of yesteryear are gone. There’s no more security with home teams, credible clubs that are ‘due’ or Melbourne.
What seems right, reliable and Souths is a merciless booby trap. What seems wrong, unbackable and St George is an evil smokescreen.
Meanwhile, the top of the leaderboard becomes flooded with bunkum artists, shady racetrack figures and internet bots, the types who feign fandom by making their selections on stable guidelines like jersey colour and bun tightness and not the usual blood and sweat of six hours of Big League absorption that the true fan endures.
So if you’re like me and you’re languishing in Cronulla territory on the workplace order of merit – and let’s face it, you probably are – then you’ve probably had a gutful up to the ears.
Let’s face it; it’s a bloody long season and that workplace Homer Simpson chipping away at your Frank Grimes league ego WILL eventually compel you to go postal, so the time for drastic measures is now.
So what do we do?
Well, there’s no pens or computers in jail, so we still want to keep the whole caper legally compliant. That rules out a quick coffee fix with Ryan Tandy at the Berkeley Vale TAB.
Well what about the Grays Sports Almanac I hear you say?
Unfortunately, the Hill Valley publishers from the fake 2015 weren’t able to confirm if another edition of the results book could be printed, or more importantly, if it’s actually a thing.
OK, so those ideas are lazy, fictional and incriminating. It leaves only one other obvious option, and that’s the magic of classic situation comedy.
People, the guidance we crave lies in the ideologies of George Costanza.
When the short, stocky, bald man hit rock bottom in Seinfeld, he slung a change-up of mammoth proportions by deciding to completely ignore every urge towards common sense and good judgment he had from that day forth. It became his religion, and it worked right up until the end of the episode.
Now that we too are desperate losers much like Costanza – some might say the tipping universe’s unemployed who live with their parents – we too must ignore all of our best decision-making instincts and go totally reverse on our prognostications for at least 22 minutes plus ad breaks.
What do we have to lose besides $20 and face?
Just at least give it a go in Round 6. Satisfaction or your money back. (Not a guarantee.)
The Roosters wuz robbed and Sonny Bill Williams returns. The Dogs are specials.
Brisbane on a Friday night? Running hot and playing last year’s spooners? Plonk on Parra.
The Storm at home with a returning Cam Smith. The Titans in their garish travel strip. Tick one up for the GC.
Cronulla down to skeleton staff and winless. Sharks! (Warning: take the draw.)
Get the drift? If it’s right, it’s wrong!
Lepers of the ladder, we must put a stop to this illness that is controlling our lives, so become master of your domain today by taking the Costanza approach to tipping!
(The Costanza approach is also highly recommended when agreeing with the advice contained in this article.)
You can follow Dane on Twitter at: https://www.twitter.com/eld2_0
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com