Sunday Footy Show Grand Final Edition

Discussion in 'FFB Fantasy League' started by HappyBadger, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. HappyBadger

    HappyBadger Juniors

    Jul 28, 2015
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    With Brad Fittler and Andrew Johns, I'm Peter Sterling...

    ...and wow! That's all I can say about the FFBRL Grand Final!

    BF: If you out there in the audience were wondering what took us so long to do this programme, well, you didn't see the game, did you?

    AJ: I believe Nine will have the replay on pay per view for $9.99 next Saturday - if you think that's too much, you should have watched it at the Telstra or on the telly when you had the chance!

    PS: We're going to go into the analysis in great and overdone detail in a little while, but first, I have something to say...

    <Brad and Andrew nod knowingly>

    ...if you're wondering where the Ponte Preta manager was during the celebrations, sadly, the director didn't show that on the broadcast, but I knew where to look for the camera feeds isolated on each of the managers, Drew of the Mu'a Saints, and Theo of the Billy Goats.

    If you had seen both of those isos, you would have guessed that Mu'a had won. Watching Theo on the bench, he had what one might call the "thousand yard stare", seemingly seeing nothing. And I knew exactly why.

    You might remember I spent some of my childhood in Wagga Wagga, and started my playing career there. When Theo moved an ASRL side to Wagga Wagga, I was quite happy to see that.

    However, one day, he wasn't there.

    I was at a loss, but I had my career to get on with, and I didn't think about that until I saw him at the MCG in his first home game with the then Scoregasms, against Mu'a Saints. He had changed somehow, not in how he approached the game, but there was something about his demeanour, something weighing him down, and that was even before the game began.

    I did get a chance to talk with him, off the record, and he did give me permission to tell about it now.

    If you've ever lost a loved one, a child, a sibling, a parent, it is very difficult sometimes to get past that. If you're caring for someone close to you, someone with a serious illness, it's even more so.

    Had I known that while he was in Wagga Wagga, he was dealing with the terminal illness of his mother, who had been ill with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for six years, and he had been her primary carer, I could have offered some support. I felt that I had failed him, because I should have seen the signs that he was depressed. When I told him that, he replied, "How could you have seen it, when I didn't?"

    His mother passed away in 2003, during his EIRL championship season in Wolverhampton. He was struggling for several years before that with depression, but he didn't see it, nor did anyone else. So, knowing that, it was very understandable why he left rugby behind as he did.

    I asked him why he came back, and the look in his eyes told me two things - he didn't leave because of any part of rugby league, and he desperately wanted not to leave, but could not stay at that time. He told me that it took a call from a friend who wanted him to take on a side in the FFBRL that was the difference, that he wouldn't have ever asked for the opportunity, because he was ashamed at the manner of how he had left before.

    I heard you, Brad, tell me that if there was a theme song to represent Theo's year in FFBRL this year, it would have been "Mack the Knife." And Andrew, you said it would have been "Let's Face the Music."

    But I saw Theo in the tunnel at the Telstra, waiting to enter the field of play before the Grand Final, and the stadium management chose to put ribbons for each team based on national colours - red for Tonga's Saints, yellow for Brasil's Billy Goats. I saw him shudder, trying to not lose control of his emotions - for it had been over ten years since his only major success in rugby, and I knew full well the feeling that he had - 'can I succeed once more?'

    So, when I saw him sobbing on his bench after the game had ended, I was not surprised about that. Nor was I surprised that Drew ran across the pitch, because he, too, knew what Theo felt.

    If there's a song that epitomizes what Theo felt, you wouldn't have known of it, Brad, nor you, Andrew.

    It's something I remember full well, because I felt a similar feeling, as a player, after winning my third NRL Grand Final - and it wasn't a ten year gap, either.

    But, I will close with one piece of advice for anyone watching: if you know of someone caring for someone, long-term - do everything in your power to make certain that they care for themselves, too, because they won't see that they're wearing down until it's too late.

    We'll be back in a few moments...

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  2. Drew-Sta

    Drew-Sta Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 22, 2004
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    :lol: Classic stuff!

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