DEBATE: Should the NRL be granted an early return?
GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT
IT HASN'T been easy but the NRL have finally managed to get the green light for a return to competition on May 28.
After what has been a nightmare month for rugby league in Australia, NRL CEO Todd Greenburg stepped down from his role at the top before any deal with national and state governments could get across the line and while this may be a loss, the victory to follow is oh so much sweeter.
The NRL has seemingly been bleeding money and their fractured relationship with major television rights partner, Channel 9, is hanging on by a thread.
Nine were clear in the way they felt about Greenburg and the way he ran the competition, and while there are a wide range of problems, he was the easy target.
Other networks have been circling to steal the rights from Nine's clutches but now, with an early return date and a reshuffle at the top of the NRL, rugby league could be as valuable as ever.
Now, I believe it's harsh to put these players through this ordeal, separating them from the outside world just so we can see a bit of footy, but in reality this is the only solution in order to keep the game on its feet with a huge deal of financial pressure resting upon them.
Another issue is the precedent being set by the government in telling everyone to stay home but letting footy players get out and play such a heavy contact sport.
This has certainly caused some issues but what better way to get people to stay home than to get footy back on TV?
MURPHY'S LAW WILL PROTECT PROJECT APOLLO
CALL it Chaos Theory or Murphy's Law, you can only predict disaster when the NRL comes up with a plan to corral all its teams into one place so it can get its season going in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
In the movie Jurassic Park, the scientist, Dr Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is seriously unimpressed with the security of the park.
Not because it was not thorough, but as a chaos theorist, he knew the idea of putting a heap of resurrected dinosaurs together was square rooted.
All it takes is one velociraptor to jump the fence and all hell breaks loose.
A century of rugby league history shows you there is more than one velociraptor running around in Australian footy clubs.
Just calling it Project Apollo makes you wonder if there is a just a little bit of hubris happening as well.
Anyone with a passing knowledge of Greek mythology knows Apollo is the son of Zeus who has a penchant for involving himself in the affairs of humans. Rugby league players might think they are gods who walk among us and to whom the normal rules do not apply, but we don't have to pander to that delusion.
So far, strictly adhering to intensive testing, social distancing and quarantine rules have spared Australia the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the experts have urged caution. We don't have a vaccine, the population is just as susceptible to the virus as it was at the start of the year and the stark reminder that "Winter is Coming".