Saving private Wayne should be top priority

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN: Veteran Broncos mentor Wayne Bennett should be allowed to help coach whatever country he wants, but one of his former players, Wally Lewis (inset), doesn’t agree.
Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett. Photo: AAP Image

WHO could possibly be surprised that Channel 9 has been criticised for showing Julie Burgess sobbing uncontrollably during last Sunday's coverage of the Rabbitohs-Dragons match.

Firstly, who is surprised Nine broadcast the image, which was simultaneously shown on the Fox Sports coverage and on the big screens at the SCG?

And, who is amazed at the criticism?

We are feeding a 'need to know everything immediately' society, so who could possibly judge what is no longer unacceptable?

Julie Burgess, the mum of big Sam, who was seemingly seriously injured during last Sunday's match, is certainly entitled to her privacy.

But by today's standards of decorum, she is considered fair game because she was sitting in the grandstand at a game of footy.

And surely no one was shaken by her understandable distress.

During a sweep of the ground by the Nine cameras numerous concerned fans were spotted, many of them also in tears.

Big Sam is loved and idolised almost beyond comprehension, so it is only natural people would be visibly upset.

And it is surely predictable - again in this day and age - that a TV company that paid close to $1 billion for the rights to broadcast the game would milk the occasion for all it was worth.

But in my book a far greater invasion of privacy was the spying camera trained on Broncos coach Wayne Bennett as he waited - on his own - for the start of the press conference following the loss to the Panthers last Saturday night.

As is his want, Bennett often takes private time away from his team after a loss, and that's what he did at the weekend.

And while no incriminating footage of Bennett was shown on the Matty Johns Show this past week, surely his few moments of private reflection should be just that.

If not illegal - and maybe it could be under the Surveillance Devices Act - it is at the very least discourteous and dishonest to broadcast an image of someone in a private room without their knowledge.

And I will again hark back to my long-held claim that screening images of animated coaches such as Craig Bellamy and Des Hasler is also unacceptable.

On game day the coaches' box is their office, and should be respected as such.

But then we live in a 'we must know everything now' society, so who knows what is and what isn't acceptable.

Expectation: Using the past is a barometer, tomorrow night's Broncos-Cowboys clash, in front of an anticipated full house, should be Easter entertainment at its very best.

Expectation 2: If the Rabbitohs are trailing by two points tomorrow afternoon with just seconds on the clock, Greg Inglis will not attempt a field goal.