You see, fans, coaches, club officials and the media can talk as much crap as they like about a player. At the end of the day, as long as he can still play football, he will always come out a winner.
As the season draws closer and coaches change their mindset from preparation that will lead to open ended success, to worry that not enough has been done and it would take nothing to have the season from hell, players who have become a bit of an outcast will get looked at, considered and eventually become hot property.
Not wanted? He ended up having two clubs chasing his signature and squeezing him into their tight fitting salary cap!
Now the Cowboys are a very interesting team this year. They have a few things to watch for.
Firstly, Neill Henry has stepped down from his State Of Origin duties to concentrate on getting the team back to the finals. The Cowboys have been a real dissapointment for about five years now, they need a huge turn around.
On top of that they have to do enough to convince Jonathan Thurston to take less money to stay in Towneville, and yet show him they have a team that is capable of letting him lead them to the top.
The problem the Cowboys have is, they have relied for too long on everyone else castoffs. Players other clubs let go, the Cowboys make feature players in their side.
It can work, but you need a fully fit wizard in Matthew Bowen (Who hasn’t been fit for two years), you need Jonathan Thurston at his best and you need your next level down players to be pulling their weight.
Mason is now one of those next level down players. Not a star, not finished as a football player, but the end is neigh.
I think Mason will be a good buy for them, and I think if he is not rushed into a big role at the club he can really surprise a few people.
Keep in mind he has a major surgery a few years ago, last year showed glimpses of his best at a terrible club….2010 might see him get some of his old self back. I think he has the ability to play Origin again.
The Cowboys have rolled the dice, it will be interesting to see how the gamble pays off. The prize, Thurstons signature.