Imagine if you will for a moment that you make a living writing about the game of Rugby League.
During the season work is good. There are few sports in the whole world that produce as many stories and as much drama as Rugby League does. There is always a rumour to chase, always a lead to follow up, and if all else fails you can call a player manager, ask if he has anyone off contract he wants to pump up and write the inevitable “Player XYZ is going to Rugby Union/AFL/Soccer/Interpretive Dance” story.
Its all going strong and then….nothing. The International season finished and there is stuff all to write about.
You sit there twiddling your thumbs, trying to find anything at all you can write about and show your Boss that you are not just a useless hunk of meat for 6 months of the year.
So did Brett White get Married? How about that All Stars game in a few months time? Where is Paul Carriage these days?
Hell even for a genius like me, the off season is a wasteland of nothingness with very little to really talk about. I’m not in the business of pumping out rubbish just for the sake of having the site tick over, if there is nothing interesting going on, I won’t write about garbage just for the sake of it.
However, over this off season, keeping an eye on the news, something has caught my eye….
The Sydney Roosters have had a ridiculous amount of news written about them.
This hasn’t just been a case of one team getting a bit more coverage than everyone else, and sure, their off field behavior has contributed. However the amount of puff pieces done by the media on the Roosters is so far out there it must be addressed.
I first noticed it when I read the third article about how Todd Carney had changed his was an was now a good bloke back in November. Then it was almost daily articles about how Willie Mason was not with the club any more and was getting paid to basically stay at home.
Then it was the Daily Telegraph of all newspapers actually writing articles about how Brian Smith was turning the Roosters around.
We had the whole “Bondi Roosters” thing and then the line of how the clubs was working hard to be better behaved.
Channel Nine announced it would cover the Roosters first five games of the season, unbelievable for a team that come last in 2009 and has the smallest supporter base of any team in the competition.
Its was all a bit much really, a bit over the top. Why were so many news agencies pushing the Roosters line?
Then in the last few days, the Daily Telegraph exploded into something that looks like a Roosters Newsletter!
Just look at their current Rugby League news stories:
Of the ten new stories listed there, six can be directly related to the Roosters, and that’s not even showing that they had Braith Anasta in to do their Live Blog yesterday!
If it was a popular club I would say its fair enough, the paper is catering for the supporter base and more people will read these stories as a result. However, as I pointed out, this is the club with the smallest supporter base in the competition, a team that was 16th out of 16 in 2009!
Forget the idea that someone was pushing Todd Carney, a lot of people are pushing the Sydney Roosters, and that makes me wonder why!
Why would a new organization push one club so much?
It opens up a lot of questions, but worst of all, it puts a question mark over the integrity of these news organizations. I’m not saying anything had happened to get the club some publicity, but it looks terrible. At the very least someone should have said “Ok, that’s enough puff pieces about the Roosters, what else have you got for me to look at”.
What ever the case may be, the Roosters have somehow founds more free publicity over the last few months that most teams receive over the course of a whole year.
Not bad for a team with no fans, no juniors and who can’t play!