Next Thursday the footy returns when the Broncos and St George lock horns in round one of the 2018 NRL season.
It’s true that summer and cricket are like bacon and eggs – a little irresistible.
But all through summer most fans secretly count down the days to the return of the footy.
It’s a little immature, but it is what it is.
Rugby league remains a superb sporting spectacle, played as it is by wonderful athletes and the occasional genius in the halves department.
It is a pity then that such an incredibly good product, if I may call it that, is at times poorly administered and marketed.
It has been said often that the game on the field is so good it can handle a few black eyes off it.
But it’s reasonable to ask if this state of affairs can go on for ever.
The world is changing so fast and so much it’s hard to say.
Rugby league administrators need to have one eye on winning this year’s premiership and another on long term survival.
Here’s our Top 5 things rugby league needs to happen in 2018 if it is to get serious about securing its long term future.
Number 1. Take real action, not just spin, to put bums on seats, cut ticket prices by half if necessary. Empty stadiums are not a good look as a way to attract new fans to the game.
Number 2. Get really serious with penalties for off field offences, life time bans for serious breaches.
Number 3. Get rid of the salary cap. What’s the point now that it’s almost $10 million and only the rich clubs will spend that much on players.
Number 4. Make public players’ salaries and third party sponsorships – transparency is vital to keep the fans’ faith.
Number 5. Direct the Wests Tigers to get out of the inner city ASAP and move to south west Sydney, a rugby league heartland that will soon be lost to soccer and AFL if nothing happens.