5 hours ago
Off the Wall
Yesterday's "public tribute" to Arthur Beetson at Suncorp Stadium attracted not much more than 1,000 members of the public.
That is a disappointment - but there is a good reason for it.
Before you could attend, you had to go online and obtain a "free" ticket - or go to a Ticketek office and collect one.
Why was such nonsense necessary?
Because the event was effectively run by the State Government!
Arthur Beetson is best remembered by a generation that is not as internet savvy as the current generation.
A parade of callers to Brisbane radio station this morning said they would have attended but they don't have a computer, or if they do they don't have a printer to print out the ticket.
Rugby league needs to take control of tributes to the game's greats - the AFL most certainly does - and tell governments, regardless of their political complexion, to get out of the way.
The event should have been organised by, and paid for by the NSWRL/ARL/QRL.
If it can afford to drop a six figure sum into the account of a former ARL Chairman for "legal fees" connected with the establishment of the IC, then the ARL/NSWRL/QRL could have fully paid for the Arthur Beetson tributes in Brisbane and Sydney!
Arthur Beetson was not accorded a State Funeral clearly because holding one was not the wish of his family.
Rugby league administration needs to lift its game when it comes to honouring rugby league's heroes.
And that means when there is a public farewell or tribute to a legend of the game, access by the fans should be totally accessible - and not tied up in the compulsory advance acquisition of tickets!
The great man deserved better yesterday.
But there will be other opportunities to honour his contribution to the greatest game of all.
And can we make one simple request - when they occur would politicians, and governments, get out of the way?