THE Newcastle Knights unveil their new logo, accompanied by an explanatory statement on their website.
"We understand the history and deep significance that sits behind our club brand and logo, and we have worked hard to ensure this is respected in the new design," the spiel reads.
"Core elements - the Knights head, name, and club colours - have all been retained.
"But symbolic changes have also been made ... these changes, along with the retention of the elements that make the brand iconic, allow the brand and logo to be modernised while ensuring our proud history remains undiminished."
In other words, they have flipped the emblem over and removed the word "Newcastle".
But apparently the trademark helmet is now "looking forward into a bright future". Touch wood.
If there has been a consultancy/advertising agency hired to oversee this, hopefully they are getting paid by the hour.
THE voice of reason, Willie Mason, seems to think David Klemmer has been hard-done-by after the Origin prop emerges from Newcastle's presentation night empty-handed.
"Awards were rigged last night big boy!" big Wilbur declares on Instagram. "F--k me when things are so blatant it f----n shits me."
Manly coach Des Hasler has a similar opinion of the authorities after his team's narrow loss to Souths in their do-or-die final.
"Could we have won the game? Of course we could have," Hasler says. "We could have won it two or three times. Was there issues about the game? Yes, there was.
"Do I think we were dudded? Yes, I think we were dudded."
Poor old Dezzy. Sounds like he should borrow Bozo Fulton's cement truck.
That had the desired effect, back in the day.
Not that Des is likely to receive much sympathy. Non-Manly fans have been waiting since 1978 for karma to get square for Hollywood Hartley and that seven-tackle try. Better late than never. Suck it up, Silvertails.
THE Old Fox reveals at his post-match press conference that he didn't realise the Bunnies were leading at half-time.
"I gave them the half-time 'we're behind' speech, and to make sure we're in front at the end of the game," Benny says. "Then I walk outside and Sam [Burgess] grabs me and says: 'Hey coach, do you know we're leading', and I said: 'Piss off Sam, what are you talking about?' He said: 'Coach, we're leading 18-16'. I had no idea we'd scored, no idea at all.
"So I changed the speech again very quickly. I started clapping and cheering and said: 'We're in front boys. Let's stay in front'."
Ordinarily I'd be keen to put the boot in here and suggest the Old Fox has lost his marbles. But I've done a similar thing myself.
About 10 years ago, I was reporting on a Newcastle Jets game and I needed to speak to the club's owner, Con Constantine.
That meant leaving one grandstand, exiting the stadium, and walking around to the chairman's lounge in the Andrew Johns Stand.
It was 1-all when I started my trek, and I assumed when I returned to my seat it was still 1-all.
I thought it was a bit weird at the press conference that Brisbane Roar coach Frank Farina was so upbeat.
It was only when I watched the highlights later that night it dawned on me the Jets had been beaten 2-1.
Happens to the best of us.
A GOSSIP column item suggests that ex-Knights coach Nathan Brown is in the running for the vacant assistant's position at Cronulla.
There is only one slight drama: the Sharks have recently signed Jesse Ramien, the young centre Brown punted before he got punted/quit/moved on himself. Oops, awkward. I'm guessing a multi-national construction company would be needed to mend that particular bridge.
HOW good is Kalyn Ponga? Scores great tries, kicks goals, gives his headgear to small kids ... and he's an Arsenal fan, to boot.
KP posts a photo of himself and Connor Watson outside Emirates Stadium, about to watch by far the greatest team the world has ever seen beat Aston Villa 3-2, and a video of the crowd going nuts after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores the winner from a free kick.
Just goes to show that missing the NRL finals is not the end of the world.
THERE hasn't been this much excitement in Canberra since the days when Josh Dugan and Todd Carney were disgracing themselves on the Bacardi Breezers.
The Raiders are hosting a preliminary final, and it's bigger than Christmas.
There is green bread in the bakeries, green sausages in the butchers, one fan has had her own personal Green Machine custom sprayed, and then there's the bloke who dresses himself up as "Darth Raider".
And now the ACT Legislative Assembly has continued the "green" theme by passing a bill legalising possessing and growing cannabis for personal use in the nation's capital.
Canberrans over 18 will be allowed to possess 50 grams of cannabis and grow two plantsas of January 31, 2020.
Who says Canberra's boring?
THE Old Fox raises eyebrows when he reveals the Bunnies will car-pool it to Canberra, rather than boarding the team bus or a plane.
The logic, apparently, is that it will help as a team-bonding type of exercise, but I can't help thinking it's fraught with danger.
For starters, there is always one tightarse who will pretend he left his wallet at home, rather than kick in for petrol.
In addition, nothing surer than someone will get booked for speeding around Goulburn. There's a police academy there and the whole joint is always crawling with radar traps. Been there, done that.
In other words, by the time they reach Canberra, it's odds-on players will have the Darren Britts with each other. As for the Old Fox, when asked who he will be car-pooling with, he replies: "Myself, I enjoy my own company".
Good old Benny. Obviously hasn't heard of the petrol crisis ... or global warming.
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