IF Sporting Declaration was looking to launch a business selling snow to the eskimos, my preferred vendor would be Nathan Brown.
Browny has always talked a good game.
One of his greatest assets as an NRL coach has been his rapport with the media.
Some coaches regard dealing with the press as a tedious chore. Some are wary, others are contemptuous, even hostile. Whereas some can't wait to whinge about a refereeing call, or blast any journalist who asks a touchy question, Brown is invariably unflappable.
He strikes me as a genuinely likable bloke by nature, and hence he is universally popular with the people who write the stories and host the TV shows. That has been highlighted by the reaction since Brown's decision early last week to part company with the Knights at the end of this season, which was expedited after last Saturday's humiliating 46-4 loss to Wests Tigers.
Brown has not said one word criticising Newcastle management or his players - indeed, to the contrary - but plenty of pundits have done so on his behalf.
If you listened to the outraged narrative from high-profile commentators, it would be easy to form the view that (a) Brown has been harshly treated after performing a wonderful job in rebuilding the Knights, (b) club management conspired ruthlessly to shaft him, (c) players had staged a mutiny and (d) the timing of last week's announcement derailed an entire season, just as the Knights were about to surge into the finals.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good beat-up.
Let's take a closer look at those four theories.
Most Knights fans agreed with the overall philosophy of the job Brown was handed in late 2015: clean out the dead wood, introduce and develop talented youngsters, strategically sign quality imports, and set the club up for long-term success.
Naturally patience would be required, but at some point Brown would inevitably be required to deliver results. This was the year he would be judged, and he must have known it.
But alarm bells have been ringing since early in the season. After a five-game losing streak, speculation started mounting that Brown was a shot duck.
The Knights bounced back with six straight wins, only to lose seven of their next eight games. With five games remaining, they appeared certain to miss the finals.
This left Knights management facing a dilemma, and querying whether Brown had reached his use-by date. It was an obvious conclusion to reach, given his record (which ultimately finished as 24 wins, one draw and 69 losses from 94 games).
So they put into play a contingency plan, making inquiries behind the scenes to establish what other coaches might be available.
It is my belief that nothing was set in stone. Had Brown been able to turn things around and qualify for the finals, I find it hard to believe he would have been sacked. I can't imagine the powers-that-be wanting to explain that to the lynch mob.
Unfortunately, it seems Brown became aware other coaches had been sounded out. His response was to front CEO Phil Gardner and advise that it was in the club's best interests that they part on amicable terms, and within 24 hours the pair were exchanging platitudes at a press conference.
Two important points should be noted here. Firstly, the Knights had not made a definitive decision on Brown's future. They were just preparing themselves for the worst-case scenario.
It was his call to bring matters to a head, and given that Brown had already informed players and staff, Gardner's only apparent course of action was to release the news publicly.
Gardner has since admitted he could have handled things differently, but replacing a coach is more often than not a no-win situation for the club.
Just consider an alternative scenario. Knights officials, although concerned about the team's performances, opted to stick with Brown for another year.
But then five games into 2020, with Newcastle one and four, Brown is sacked and another season is effectively written off.
At least now the new coach will be at the helm for the start of the pre-season, allowing for the smoothest possible transition.
As for the theory espoused by Andrew Johns and company that last week's developments were a catalyst for the woeful loss to the Tigers and had "sabotaged" Newcastle's campaign, what a load of nonsense.
Their finals hopes were already on life support.
As senior forward Tim Glasby admitted this week, capitulating under pressure has been a recurring trend, especially over the second half of the season.
The Knights have been in a downward spiral that, with the benefit of hindsight, probably dates back to the Origin period and their 34-4 loss to Melbourne in round 14. The loss at Campbelltown was by no means an aberration.
As for whether the players betrayed Brown, I can't imagine Mitchell Pearce would have made the effort to pay him a visit on Tuesday night, after he officially ended his tenure, if that was the case.
Like the coach and Knights officials, the players would be disappointed about how this has panned out.
The hysteria whipped up by Brown's mates in the media strikes me as far removed from the reality of an unfortunate situation.