Thank you Phil! Now was that so
hard?

Assuming you didn't watch the news or read the papers, what would your opinion of Phil Gould be? No, wait! Don't tell me, I think I know this one. Simply put, you think he is a good coach right?

Before I dive head first into this, I should disclaim that three years ago I pledged never to do three things;

1. Become lazy enough to fail a mathematics examination. 2. Purchase any Justin Timberlake material. 3. Defend Phil Gould for any reason whatsoever.

Opting to put pride aside for the next few moments, I'm going to invalidate pledge number three. Stop the press! Am I really about to defend Phil Gould here? I guess so, but perhaps now's also the time where I confess to have already broken pledges one and two in the past anyways, easing my motivation for writing this.

Class has little room inside minds that save space for spin and justification. It's much easier to twist a tale than provide truth and humility. This is a magic act that the media has perfected and, being so fixated with sales figures, everyone in the press was too preoccupied to send 'Gus' Gould off in a tasteful and professional manner.

It would've been so easy to have done so. Two simple words could've brought an end to an era in a way it so rightfully deserved.

'Thank you'

Thank you, for providing this state with many years of fond memories. Thank you, for fuelling the Queensland desire to win. Thank you, for turning our culture into a winning one.

Now, was that so hard? Would it have pained the press to have set aside a small column or two second time-spot to say those two simple words? Apparently so. In fact when I opened the papers wanting to read about Brad Fittler's fairytale farewell, all I got was another Gus Gould media bashing, again.

Being a g-rated article there is no need to reiterate Gould's exact remarks here, but I can't dislike him for making them. I'd be both lying and hypocritical if I said I did. Like myself, when you ask him about whether or not he thinks he was in the wrong by recently using inappropriate language, he gives you that disgusted look as if to say "I just won you lot State of Origin and gave you something to write about tomorrow. You're all bloody welcome." So bold are his actions, it's as if he stubbornly adapts to The Lord of the Rings dwarf character Gimli's approach to battle; 'certainty of death, small chance of success...what are we waiting for?' Again, I can't dislike him for it.

Phil Gould is everything that I, and probably you envision a good coach to be (although lets not confuse the difference between a good coach and a good person). Often accused of being bias, all he sought after in his team selections was total dedication. You'd think that having taken the blues to six 'and a half' series victories, that fans and board management would at least congratulate him, but instead mass media criticism still sweeps his email inbox.

There is an old boxing saying that 'styles make fights'. Pitt two friendly states up against each other in a three-match series, and its pretty good. But, throw an arrogant and controversial coach to add fuel into the equation, and it's going to be pure magic. Where am I taking this?

Gould made Queensland want it more, and is criticised. He made every player want to dedicate themselves to greatness, and is criticised. He made Origin football fun again, and is still criticised?

Now, I don't need Gould to tell me what he does and doesn't deserve, I'm not that na?ve. But don't try and coax me into believing the man doesn't deserve that little something called respect either; he does. You know it, and I know it.

Know this: one day the media will wake up in a cold sweat one morning with nothing to write about. No controversies, no steamy press conferences all because there is no Phil Gould. Oh I can already imagine the look on Paul Kent's face when he has no one to slander anymore. 'Come back Phil, please!' is the chant all media outlets will rave in the more 'professional' era after Gus.

Alas, if the media won't give into common decency, I will.

Thank you, Phil.

We had fun.

Thank you very, very much.

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