The thing I love about sport is that at the end of the day it really is only a game.
Yes we commit hours of our time watching games and debating the latest hot topic, and we spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on tickets, merchandise and pay TV.
But it’s just entertainment, and as excited or upset as we might get at the end of a match it makes no material difference to our lives who wins or loses.
But for some the National Rugby League is how they provide for their families and how they identify as a functioning part of society. Whether it’s a club administrator, media personality or even a stadium canteen employee, for them the NRL means an awful lot.
Of course there is a group for who the numbers on the scoreboard and stats sheet can literally be life changing. For the 400 players of the NRL one crucial dropped ball or missed tackle can be the end of a career, as can the emergence of a younger and better player, or an injury.
A quick Google search reveals that the average career of a player in the NRL is 43 games over three or four years, and that does not count the hundreds who never make it to the top grade.