Forum Sevens:
The Glory Days of Rugby League

Do you all remember how your fathers told you about the day he saw Clive Churchill run out onto the field, or when he saw how the Saints win all there premierships and were unstoppable? Where have these days gone? These days of a family day out at the Rugby League match with crowds of 30,000 at the SCG have been replaced by the new age stadiums and overpaid players. Yobo's are the norm at our games now, with the high level of access to alcohol tainting the image of Rugby league in our country.

Do you remember the good old days when the Winfield Cup was in existence and there wasn't threat of legal action for inappropriate sponsors? The Winfield Cup was banned due to the inappropriateness of the sponsorship, yet alcohol companies are still aloud to sponsor football grounds today? Why is there a supply at the ground? Isn't this setting a bad example for our future generations and pushing families to rival games such as AFL.

Remember the good old days when there was no gambling, corruption, salary cap, or big money, players played for the love of the game and not for the purse. Player loyalty is an aspect of our game today that doesn't mean anything. The young new age players are travellers going everywhere where the purse is better.

Remember the good old days when technology was non-existent and there was no video referee. People relied on the referee to adjudicate and he either got it right or wrong and people copped it sweet, no appeals. The video ref has tainted our game to the extent that a referee has hardly any responsibility to be any good in a match because all he has to say is “can you check that mate?”.

Remember the good old days when touch judges actually did something in adjudicating on circumstances within a match, instead of just standing on the sidelines like any other spectator.

Remember the good old days when there was no such thing as gambling on footy. Look what gambling brings. Gambling brings corruption, disloyalty and cheating. What has our game come to when the players we love put money on their own team to win, lose, or draw? Is this truly a FANS game when this occurs? Why isn't enough for the players to be satisfied by the fact that they are role models to millions of young children who aspire to be as good as them?

Remember the good old days when our heroes where well behaved and respected by the public. There was no drunkenness, or destroying hotels. It was public functions, and signing autographs. Our older players should be more respected for what they did for our game, what they did for Australia.

Remember the good old days, when League was the dominant sport, no one supported union or AFL to the extent that people supported league. Now due to absurd innovations such as the salary cap, it's forcing our better players to go overseas and to rival codes, it is a disgrace to this great game.

Remember the glory days of rugby league when winning a premiership was worth more to a player than thinking how being part of a premiership side will increase their pay. A premiership meant all the hard work paid off. It just seems it doesn't mean as much to the players of this era as it did a decade ago.

Rugby League is Australia's greatest game. It deserves respect in its place amongst the realm of sport in the world. Unfortunately this isn't occurring, with young people deciding to play more European games such as soccer, as they feel Rugby League wont be rewarding enough for them. Our game is in the hands of the NRL. This body has the chance to bring back the game as it was in its glory days. It has a chance to make League the way it used to be a fun place to be. It is their job to make this great game of Rugby League more accessible to the common person. Rugby League is a working class game, and now it seems to be drifting away from it. Let's make our game the best in the world. Let's make our game a fun place to be again for mates, individuals, families, and more importantly the kids who aspire to be our greatest stars.

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