NRL should help the messengers do their work
What is the problem with NRL clubs not making players accessible to the media to promote the code this season?
We’re only into round three and already there have been documented cases of poor access to players for television, radio and television interviews.
Another problem is the lack of characters, the players who speak freely, not robotic responses.
Balmain’s bouncing Benny Elias was one of the best for an interview.
I interviewed and chatted about footy with him many times over the years.
Yes, he spoke in cliches at times and waffled, but he spoke the truth.
He didn’t sound like he was reading from a script or a like trained parrot.
He was refreshing.
Coach Warren Ryan, the high priest of rugby league technique, was an intelligent and thoughtful man to talk footy with.
The Wok wrote his own columns which were fascinating reading in the Sydney Morning Herald for many years.
Listen to him speak on the ABC radio coverage of rugby league and you understand the man is smart and doesn’t talk garbage.
He doesn’t pull any punches and he is brave and candid with what he says.
When you were doing a story and you asked the Wok a question you got a straight answer. Not the rubbish many coaches utter in interviews these days or at the post-match press conferences.
The NRL, headed by chief executive David Smith and director of football, Todd Greenberg, should make this clear to the clubs: players and coaches should be readily available for media interviews.
The Roosters and Bunnies were reluctant to provide players to promote their opening round of the season.
Some of the big names like Sonny Bill Williams were off limits.
This is unacceptable. The kids who follow footy want to hear from SBW.
The media is the messenger to inform the league lovers.
We media scribes who have followed the game for years, and love the game, enjoy chatting to the big names and finding what makes them tick.
You don’t want prepared quotes issued in press releases or limited time at press conferences to chat with players and coaches.
The public want to hear their thoughts and views from the heart.
What has been refreshing is the availability of the American baseball players from the Arizona Diamondbacks and the LA Dodgers to promote the games at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
There has been no drama for the media writing stories and publishing photos about the players and letting the public know a lot more about them.
That’s good stuff and rugby league should take note.