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Rave Review - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Wed, 18 Jun 2008 11:45:00 GMT
Rugby League’s greatest historian and most respected statistician have combined their love of the game to produce the most important publication of all.
Ian Heads and David Middleton together tell the complete season-by-season story of Rugby League’s first 100 years in Australia.
Commissioned by the Australian Rugby League and the National Rugby League, this massive project is well presented in the form of detailed anecdote and history.
The scandals and the triumphs along with the bad haircuts are magnificently covered by hundreds of extraordinary photographs.
While we still have no visual evidence of the famous Kangaroo player who walked the streets of Ilkley, England, in a tie, a bowler hat and nothing else, you will find major facts and revelations care of thorough interviews and intensive research.
Australian rugby league's 100 greatest players of all time announced in February – from Dally Messenger to Darren Lockyer, as chosen by the ARL especially for the centenary year – are naturally profiled in the book.
It is unfortunate however that there is an absence of some light-hearted creative chapters.
For instance, a chapter devoted to the media personalities that have sold the game so successfully to the fans would not have hurt the seriousness of the moment.
From Frank Hyde to Daryl “the big Mahn” Broughman, could you watch a game on TV or listen to one on the radio these days without the entertaining personalities and the intelligent analysis? Probably not.
In an increasingly crowded Australian sports market when it comes to football (AFL, League, Union and Soccer), it is the voices of passion that keep the game strong by acting as an emotional supplement for fans who can’t make it to a live game to scream out “That’s my Team” or “Sack My Coach.”
Chances are you’ve also missed the train to work once in your lifetime by stopping at the newsagent to grab the Monday paper featuring your favourite League columnists.
As one journalist arrogantly but correctly told an NRL official in the press box some years ago “we’re the reason you’ve got bums on seats.”
“A Centenary of Rugby League” is a rich hard-cover book covering a hard, tough game that has lived up to the great Australian ideal of bucking the status quo.
A Centenary of Rugby League by David Middleton and Ian Heads is published by Pan Macmillan Australia and is now on sale in most good leading bookstores; RRP $75.00 - Read More, Here