Entertaining Possibilities

I have entertained many possibilities over the past few seasons of rugby league. What should I wear to the footy? How should I do my hair? Coke or light beer? Beyond this, there is another question I ask myself that is perhaps even more stunning, outrageous and radically enough, also relates to rugby league. Does Sonny Bill Williams wear illegal shoulderpads?

Egads! The Bulldogs faithful would treat me like a Cityrail train carriage if they only knew what I looked like and where to find me. How could I even entertain such a possibility about the most marketable commodity in rugby league today? What next? Will I suggest Braith Anasta wears false teeth? Well there would be no point to that, considering we all know he does.

The media hype surrounding Sonny Bill Williams right now is far too much for my tender Parramatta heart to handle. Given the fact I suspect Sonny Bill is using illegal shoulderpads, I also feel the publicity given towards Sonny Bill is undeserved and unjust. But why is it that I feel this way? What makes me suspect Sonny Bill is in fact using illegal shoulderpads? Well to start with, let?s take a look back in time. The Bulldogs history of using illegal shoulderpads is a terse, yet sordid affair.

It all started with Canterbury?s less than grand inception in 1935. After suffering the two most humiliating and lop-sided losses in the history of rugby league, the ?Berries? were completely dumbfounded. Without the funds to exploit the non-existent salary cap of the time, the team was left with no choice but to explore other sinister options. Canterbury is known as the family club and not without reason. Through their mafia links, the team gained access to what would become known as the first illegal shoulderpads ever used in rugby league. As a result, the team avoided the wooden spoon. But don?t be foolish and think that was the end of it, for Canterbury was only warming up. During the ?80s ? Canterbury?s apparent glory years ? members of the team were caught red-handed on camera wearing illegal shoulderpads made of advanced fibreglass compounds, designed to seek and destroy even the toughest of opponents.

But how does all this relate to Canterbury?s latest superstar? Well for starters, Sonny Bill is well known for his shoulder charge, once described by league journalist Roy Masters as ?stinging?. Suspicious? You have every right to be. Now let?s take a look at Sonny Bill?s origins. Sonny Bill was born in New Zealand, a place completely unlike Australia. Evidence of New Zealanders being good at sports is scant at best, so what could make Sonny Bill so radically different from his fellow countrymen? Gatorade? I don?t think so.

What can we make of Willie Mason recently attending the concert of American hip-hop star Xzibit at Sydney?s Hordern Pavillion in a seemingly unrelated incident? Let?s place that situation into perspective. The Game, tight with G-Unit star 50 Cent and not much unlike Sonny Bill in the sense that he is rap?s latest sensation, recognises Xzibit is ?bulls**t?, citing ?his time has come and gone?. Assuming The Game?s opinion is correct ? and I see no reason why it wouldn?t be ? it has to be asked: Why would Willie rather see some washed up rapper perform a lousy set, as opposed to his fellow team-mates play against the Dragons in their first game of the season? What is Willie?s problem with the Bulldogs establishment?

What I?m about to entertain may sound like nothing more than a ridiculous conspiracy theory, but it is clearly not without basis. Does Willie Mason feel Sonny Bill?s illegal shoulderpads give the ?wonderkid? an unfair advantage in pending contract negotiations? In these post-Oasis times, the Bulldogs don?t have enough money to keep everyone happy. If Sonny Bill signs a contract for what some pundits are predicting, Willie may be forced to another rugby league team or worse yet, rugby union.

You may dismiss suggestions of Sonny Bill cheating as the ravings of a lunatic Parramatta fan, but keep this in mind ? the Bulldogs are definitely up to something, it?s just what they do. I am willing to admit their scam could be something else, such as running an illegal sweatshop with migrant workers or paying video referees to make poor decisions against the Eels, but if in the future we do find out Sonny Bill is using illegal shoulderpads, I for one will not be surprised.

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