NRL. The big picture
Updated: Apr 29
When you stand really close to a wall, you see bugger little of it at all.
The greatest game of all has always been run by some of the greatest people of all. Rugby league people. Their history, their passion, and their credentials are exemplary. The greater the rugby league person, the greater influence they have within their great game.
And therein lies the problem.
I have marveled over many years why one of the worlds greatest sporting products has not progressed in over 100 years. In fact, the halcyon days were closer to its beginning, in the simpler days of the early to middle part of the 20th century. Since then, the game has bounced up and fallen down, progressed then regressed, never advancing to becoming the premier sporting event that it should be.
The great game is unknown beyond the borders of a handful of nations and maligned by many within those borders. The great people running the game have not found the formula to bring it the respect it deserves. No advancement has been made to have the NRL as a world brand. A brand that should be mentioned with similar reverence to EPL, La Liga, NFL, NBA…
In this digital age, advancement requires more than rugby league expertise. This is a time when more than ever the opinion of female sports fans is shaping the direction of sporting landscapes. Yet the direction of league clubs is guided by traditional hard-as-nails men who don’t always empathise with the needs of the whole sporting population.
However history will judge Todd Greenburg, his contribution to advancing the women’s game will be his most important. The NRLW has been a shining light, and the best step forward in developing the game for 50 years. Almost overnight, it has brought in a fanbase that was previously alienated or disinterested. That now has something to which it can identify. And role models to follow who will not make a habit of letting them down.
Smart people from outside the game can make important contributions to its progress. They may be less swayed by emotion and convention, and have the ability to think outside the square. They can stand outside the game and look in, seeing the picture that the world will see. Smart people can shape that picture to a view that the world will be pleased to see.