Better to talk up game
ANYBODY with infant children will attest to the regularity of the early morning wake-up and between my wife and I, anywhere between 4am and 5am is about the norm in our household.
One of the benefits to this, apart from getting to spend some quality time with my kids is the opportunity to catch up on all the latest and breaking sporting news.
Yesterday was a prime example and I watched with interest the exclusive interview that England rugby league coach Wayne Bennett provided Fox Sports news.
Uncharacteristically candid, Bennett answered some hard-hitting questions about some recent criticism he has received, namely from the English press about his trademark interview demeanour.
The English sporting public were not impressed about his cagey, one-line answers during the start of the Four Nations tournament and it was these responses that have lead the media to explore a multitude of different angles as to what makes the super coach tick.
Any league fan in Australia will tell you that Bennett has always been a polarising figure in the media, like it or not, he has always been a man of action rather than words.
This works for some and not for others.
For me, I liken his responses to the thought out, unambiguous answers that a police officer may give a defence barrister, answering honestly but without giving away too much.
Understandable behaviour, given his police service but I understand not everybody sees it in that context.
Paul Kent wrote in the Daily Telegraph yesterday that he thinks Bennett's silence is a coping mechanism to protect vulnerabilities.
I am not sure I agree with that 100% but I do know that in this age of information, the public hate to be uninformed.
Bennett's old-school, surly approach will not cut it moving forward; I feel as though he is a figure that younger players will struggle to relate to.
Fans are after transparency and with comments like "I am not interested in cheap talk. I am not interested in getting out there thinking I can promote the game by something I say,” shows disregard for the consumer, who in essence is paying his way.
If you compare comments like that to some of those that say Des Hasler or Ricky Stewart rattle off in a press conference, it is not hard to see the difference and the result.
Wayne Bennett is a legend of the game who has done and seen it all, I just wish he would talk a bit more.
Because I for one, want to hear what he has to say.