Newcastle fans – Friday 6pm is not the end of the world!

Hi Newcastle fans,

Before I go on let me preface this by saying I’m one of you. I love the Knights. I make a point to get to as many games as possible. One of the main reasons why I moved to Newcastle was to see more of the side in action. I sat through all of the 62-0 loss to Cronulla back in 2016 because I support the team.

I am on your side, so please hear me out.

As I’m sure you know the first round of the 2019 NRL Draw was ‘leaked’ (strategically released) in the News Limited press on Sunday. Based on the online reaction you have made it abundantly clear that the scheduling of Friday 6pm home games is less than desirable.

I get it.

For 9-to-5 workers and families the logistics involved in getting to the ground on time can be a tightrope. In an ideal world every home game would be on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Yes we receive more Friday 6pm games than other clubs, but do you know why? The Knights can draw a crowd in the fixture.

We are the exception to the Friday 6pm rule. Rugby League is a business in which broadcasters want content to sell subscriptions and advertising, while the business has to be willing to compromise in the name of getting the best possible deal. If the people making decisions can justify scheduling the Knights at Friday 6pm, I highly doubt the negative sentiments of a few supporters will dissuade from the money to be made.

The NRL aren’t ‘disrespecting you’ or ‘taking advantage of the fans’. There are 15 other sets of supporters who have to worry about picking up kids, leaving work early or any other number of issues that come with being an adult. If not being able to get to a rugby league game at 6pm on a Friday is the biggest worry in your life – you are doing fine.

I can recall a similar confected outrage a few months back during Members Appreciation Round. Some supporters took issue at not being ‘looked after’ by the club while others (supposedly less deserving) received special treatment. Lets get something straight – the club and the NRL do not owe you special treatment. You are not entitled to a draw that caters to your every need.

In a perfect world we wouldn’t be scheduled in the graveyard shift as often as we have over the past two years. The full draw is supposedly released on Thursday. Perhaps we will receive fewer Friday 6pm games. Maybe we will get more. In either case the world will keep happening and if it means you are unable to attend as many matches as you would hope to – that’s ok.

I would watch the Knights whenever they played – but I’m realistic enough to know that isn’t always possible. I know how much this team means to a lot of people – so instead of bemoaning the ‘unfairness’ of a draw that you have five months to plan around, accept what it is and support the side in your own way.

Regards,
Rob

(All hate mail can be directed to @robert_crosby95 on Twitter.)

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