IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
THURSDAY NIGHT KICK-OFF TIMES IN THE NRL HAVE RAISED THE IRE OF SOME GRASSROOTS SUPPORTERS BUT THE ROBOTIC RESPONSE IS EVEN MORE IRRITATING
Iwas at the Sunshine Coast Falcons game last weekend and there were a couple of rugby types with a group of our loyal sponsors so I actually had to talk to them.
Initially, I was glad I did as they berated rugby like there was no tomorrow and praised what league was doing.
So I actually enjoyed talking to a pair of private school dudes with leather patches on their elbows. It was quite heartening for a change.
That was until earlier this week when I got a call from Phil (Wati) Perren.
If you don’t know Phil, here is a snapshot: lifetime local, great community-minded person, was an excellent athlete until he found that there was a brewery at Milton, can be at times somewhat opinionated that may be mistaken for being obnoxious and is a Bulldogs supporter.
Phil is also the spitting image of Wati Holmwood, the nude streaker from State of Origin 2013.
So Phil rings me the other day, back on his pet subject: kick-off times in the NRL.
Phil blows up about his kids missing games – particularly Thursday nights – and possibly himself missing the second half after being contented with a lamb roast and half a bottle of shiraz.
He, like me, has the opinion Thursday night games should start at 7pm which helps school kids’ midweek and blokes that like a drink watching the footy.
He also doesn’t like the gap sometimes between games and again, I agree with him, which is scary.
Phil decided to communicate with the NRL.
This is what he articulated: “I cannot believe you peanuts who set the time for games and continue with this late start on a Thursday night. My kids miss every
Thursday night and I miss the second half because of the stupidity of YOUR programming. Gettin’ a bit over it.”
NRL response: “We accept your frustration in relation to advertised kick-off times. At the request of the broadcaster, the actual kick-off time for a match can at times be delayed due to a number of factors which can include crowd management to ensure patrons are seated prior to kick-off and the duration of warm-up sessions. It is worth noting, however, that all other matches in each round generally run very close to the advertised kick-off time. We accept your frustration in relation to advertised kick-off times. It is important to note that Channel Nine invests a significant amount of money into rugby league and it is this funding that underpins the NRL clubs and enables us to develop all facets of the game, from the elite levels through to the grassroots. Thanks again for taking the time to write to the NRL. We value your comments and I have ensured your views are registered.”
So Phil had another go – even more articulate: “You mob just don’t get it ... two hours I have waited tonight for the second game ... again, good night ... kids have gone to bed ... I might watch the first 10 minutes ... incompetency at its best ... so long as Channel 9 is happy, that’s all that matters.”
The guy who was replying was called Robert and he sent exactly the same response again to Phil.
It was then that Phil suspected Robert was a computer robot as he was just picking up kick-off time out of the complaint and sending the generic response from Robert, Supporter Liaison.
Wow. I bet rugby would never do that.
Nice work, Mr Beattie.
The game of the people?
“PHIL BLOWS UP ABOUT HIS KIDS MISSING GAMES – PARTICULARLY THURSDAY NIGHTS – AND POSSIBLY HIMSELF MISSING THE SECOND HALF AFTER BEING CONTENTED WITH A LAMB ROAST AND HALF A BOTTLE OF SHIRAZ.