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3 days ago
Rugby League's new Independent Commission has been tasked with taking the game headlong into a bright new future. Forgive me then if recent occurrences have left myself feeling, well, a little nostalgic more than anything else.
In the last month or so rugby league fans have seen ongoing action on NRL expansion, strong trial crowds, information about an upcoming world cup, the introduction of a finals system that people actually like and serious talks of securing a massive financial windfall via broadcasting rights.
That's right folks, it's time to party like its 1995!
After what many described as the greatest season of Australian club rugby league in '94, the 1995 season of the newly christened ARL competition was shaping up as a beauty. There were new teams, plenty of media interest and a great Tina Turner advertising campaign rebooted.
As any footy fan over the age of the age of ten would know though only a month into the season rugby league's brave new world had come crashing down around spectators foot boots in a maelstrom of lies, greed and bitter personal agendas.
Football clubs young and old were decimated overnight, piles of cash vanished into thin air, terrible jerseys were designed and like any war many years were wasted just rebuilding what once already existed.
Flash forward to the present day and rugby league is once again standing on the edge of a great leap forward. The fans have earned the right to be suspicious of the new commission, especially the power it gives to clubs and how this may relate to the international game. However, if the results of the last few weeks are anything to go by it appears as though the team that has been assembled to lead the charge are working hard to make the fans happy, whilst at the same time giving David Gallop the chance to run free with a purpose he didn't have in the past.
The fans realise that something bigger and brighter is waiting just around the corner for rugby league. The difference between 2012 and 1995 is that it appears as though everyone is singing from the same team song sheet, and that this time the fans might actually benefit from the massive financial injections about to befall the game.
Let's just hope when we wake up on April first this time round, the jokes not on us again.