The NRL is back after a break that seemed like 12 months, but was in reality only two a half months — just 10 weeks without footy.
For a sports nut like myself, that was 10 weeks of pure hell.
To keep myself occupied, I watched as many replays as I could.
I watched the replay of the 2014 Grand Final between the mighty Rabbitohs and the Bulldogs so many times, I could almost do a full commentary without watching the game.
Which brings me to my first whinge.
Fox Sports, in it’s infinite wisdom, decided show replays of old games, with commentary provided by current commentators.
Listening to today’s commentators giving their views on games they have already seen was nauseating. I ended up watching most of the games on mute.
So I was pumped for a resumption of hostilities.
The first few games didn’t disappoint.
The first thing I noticed was that without crowds, you could hear more the the collisions between the players.
Then someone had a bright idea which leads to my second whinge.
Someone decided to add crowd noise over loud speakers.
I’m not sure whether it’s supposed to make the players feel more at home, or the TV viewers feel like they are at the game — but it doesn’t appeal to me.
I feel like I’m watching reruns of Seinfeld with an added laugh track.
Then another brainwave. Let’s put cardboard cutouts of fans in the stands to add more excitement.
Have you ever seen the classic movie, Blazing Saddles, where the heroes build a replica of the town of Rock Ridge to fool the baddies into attacking the wrong town — only to realise that there were no people, so they made cardboard cutouts and dummies to look like the townspeople.
Every time the camera pans to the stands, I found myself expecting the Waco Kid to fire off a shot and set off an explosion to kill the baddies.
But all jokes aside, the quality of games since the resumption has been pretty good.
Teams like Parramatta have come back in the same good form they displayed pre-COVID.
The Roosters are in super hot form after dropping both games before the break.
The Broncos, on the other hand, went into the break undefeated, and have struggled to score points since then.
So after the first 15 games since the resumption, I sat down on Monday afternoon to watch the last game of the round, the win-less Bulldogs against the equally win-less Dragons.
Two things disappointed me on Monday afternoon.
The first was the weather. After a pretty good weekend, it started to rain during the half-time break.
Why did that disappoint me? I’ll get back to that.
The second was my wife’s nagging, or to be more accurate — her lack of nagging.
During the lockdown, my wife had me doing odd jobs around the house, and on Monday, she suggested I do some painting in the spare room.
I said that after a 10-week break, I wanted to watch a bit of football, which being the wonderful wife that she is, she accepted with dignity and didn’t nag at all.
Why was this disappointing you might ask?
After a first half that was nothing short of diabolical, I went outside to watch the grass grow.
That was much more enjoyable than watching two teams put on a display that made me want to watch soccer.
But then the rain came so I had to go back inside.
If only my wife had nagged me to paint the spare room, I could have avoided the second half by watching the paint dry.
Oh well, there’s always next week.
And remember, there’s not such thing as too much sport.
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