Mick breathed in but his Cronulla Sharks football jersey struggled to contain his well-insulated six-pack and he held up his hand as he approached Bazza in the front bar of the Top Pub.
‘I’m not talking about politics, Bazza. I’m not talking about what’s going on in Canberra. It’s just one scandal after another. I want to talk about the start of the footy season.’
Bazza raised an eyebrow.
‘No worries Mick, but the rugby league has some similar problems. One does wonder if the NRL is just a big feeder club for our parliamentary team.’
‘Now Bazza, as you know, I barrack for Cronulla Sharks. At the beginning of each season I like to rewatch their grand finals. There is the historic win in 2016 but the one that I like most is the 1973 grand final against Manly. I tear up when I watch it. The boys really went after the Silvertails. Remember that pommie Cliff Watson for the Sharkies and the biffo? A settling in period that went for eighty minutes. How good was that? Anyhow it got me thinking.’
They both took a generous drink of their beers and a decent pause.
‘But Mick you’ve got to admit the off field behaviour today is a bit like…’
‘Just hang on a bit, Baz. I’ll get to that. You see when I was shedding a tear during that replay, I thought about the future of the game and how to reset its image in the public eye. I reckon they need to conduct some inquiries. One into questioning the ongoing need for the video referees. Another into going back to the four tackle rule. A third into getting rid of the sin bin and finally a major one into the need to “bring back the biff”. By gee I miss the biff. These reforms would get the Sharkies up in 2021.’
Bazza’s eyes widened and he leaned back on his stool.
‘That’s pretty dramatic with four inquiries, Mick. Not sure if it’s taking the game forward. It’s taking us back to the ’60s and ’70s . Bringing back the biff hardly promotes the game and the injuries are often permanent.’
Mick gave a long sigh and shook his head.
‘Bazza, none of these reforms will ever get up but the inquiries will be so controversial it will ensure that we are not focusing on the off field behaviour of the players. Sure a couple of them might need to be dropped, but it will be all about the footy. How good would that be?’
Bazza picked up his beer and gave it a swirl.
‘My bloody beer has gone flat, Mick.’
‘That’s odd. Mine seems to have plenty of froth.’
Have a beer with Baz at [email protected]