Phil Rothfield: Australia is not America
February 3, 2013 § 1 Comment
Some loving advice from Phil “Buzz” Rothfield for new NRL chief exec Dave Smith as Super Bowl XXVVVIXLC (probably not the correct number but I dig Roman numerals) is about to kick off. Some highlights:
“Hundred of thousands.. have converged on New Orleans for a spectacular week-long celebration… a massive event that stops the country… reminds me a lot of the Sydney Olympics, but amped up even more… having experienced this, the NRL needs to turn our grand final into a much bigger and more extravagant event.”
No, Phil, no. Let’s start with some perspective. Australia has 20 million people, many of whom are a) not rugby league fans and/or b) are not fanatical about sports, also enjoying other pleasures in life, like being outside and playing games of their own.
We don’t converge on another city for sport, or anything else for that matter. And if you want to bring up the Sydney Olympics, let’s look at that: it was a once-in-a-century event for the city of Sydney. I’m pretty sure we were satisfactorily “amped up” for that occasion- any more amping and we’d have had thousands dead from heart failure.
Could the NRL Grand Final be a better event? Sure. More extravagant? I’ve spent years in the US, Phil, and if you like the kind of disgusting, overhyped, overspent, corporate splurgefest that is the Super Bowl, you may need to give up Australian sports. Because our games will never approach that, as long as the Dave Smiths of this world do the right thing and ignore your pleas for moremoremore stuff.
“Use the money.. broadcast-deal cash.. to bring major international acts for halftime entertainment and live shows in the leadup to the decider.”
No, Phil. Have you watched the crap that pours forth from the TV before and during these games? Unadulterated horse-poo. Let’s save the cash and pour it into stuff that actually grows our game: junior development, effective marketing of the game itself and more exposure in non-league areas.
“Why not allow Brisbane and Melbourne to bid for the hosting rights?”
You make me smile, Phil. Sure. Let them bid. Three cities. Every year, three cities, until Adelaide, Perth and Broome are allowed to bid as well. This is not America. Please explain how Sydney fans are “taking the game for granted”. We send 80,000 people to the game every year. The ratings are through the roof. What else? Nude NRL picnics on Bronte beach?
Some of what Rothfield says is right: more involvement from league players on the eve of the game; better advertising. Maybe a few more public events.
But that’s it. Let America do what it does best: waste a whole lot of money on lights, noise and froth & bubbles at the expense of anything authentic and digestable.
And we’ll stick with what is perfectly appropriate for us: a game to be played and an event on a human scale.