4 days ago
Off the Wall
I noticed in my local newsagent this morning that the official guide to the 2014 AFL Season is on sale - the full draw, all the teams, team changes, profiles and so on.
I wonder when the rugby league equivalent - 2014 Season Guide - will make an appearance.
Early January? Mid January?
The AFL had its 2014 premiership draw out five weeks before the NRL draw finally saw the light of day in the middle of last week.
Not it may be argued - does that matter?
Well it certainly matters in Western Sydney and on the Gold Coast where the AFL challenge to our game is most focussed.
It seem to me there are some officials at NRL Headquarters who cannot get their minds around the reality that the AFL is not giving up on its challenge to our sponsorship base, our fan base, and the viewing audience.
The fact that we are running a month or more behind the AFL when it comes to effectively marketing the 2014 season is just not good enough.
Sadly, this seems to be so typical of the way our game is run today.
Never has the administration of the game been better funded - yet arguably never has it been more poorly administered.
The AFL has managed the illegal drugs issue dreadfully. And it seem to get worse by the week.
But we are yet to see the full impact of the drugs issue on our game - the AFL is much further down the track than we are.
So we are yet to fully see how the NRL handles the issue.
What we have see so far hardly inspires confidence.
The real test is clearly just weeks away, with penalties likely to be handed out to a number of current and former Sharks officials, and players.
The AFL has managed the drugs issues surrounding the Essendon club poorly. Surely the NRL has been watching that appalling effort - and will strive to do much better?
If you take the start of the official trials, then the start of the 2014 is now just over EIGHT WEEKS away - the weekend of 8-9 February.
The Auckland Nines competition, officially sanctioned by the NRL, so now a part of the league calendar, is on the weekend after that.
The 2014 season is rapidly approaching.
The way the NRL has been behaving lately you would be forgiven for not realising it.
Just not good enough!