Sport

Should fans get benefit from stars?

ON Wednesday, Queensland's State of Origin team visits Roma for a fan day and every player is likely to suffer some form of writer's cramp on the flight back to the Sunshine Coast that night.

More than 5000 people are expected to turn out to welcome the Maroons in what will be the biggest influx of visitors since the Broncos played in Roma in 1994 and, conservatively, each Queensland player will autograph a minimum of 100 items.

They will sign everything from football jerseys to scraps of paper, and do so in the spirit in which they are visiting the flood-ravaged town.

But, as is the case at similar events, a few gold diggers will produce a piece of memorabilia that will increase in value carrying the signature of Mal Meninga, Johnathan Thurston or Billy Slater. It is, sadly, the nature of today's greedy and opportunist society.

A few weeks ago, Bundaberg Rum released its Darren Lockyer No.6 bottle of rum, 'expertly crafted' the company said to signify Locky's service to the No.6 jersey.

They filled 37,200 bottles, each with a recommended retail price of $60.

Lockyer attended the launch and signed the first 200 bottles sold that day. Such was the expected attendance that Bundy asked customers - who were limited to one bottle each - to register online for positions in the autograph line.

Now, one of those bottles - No 10 - is on eBay at $6000 - a bountiful windfall for the original buyer. The bottle is signed and boxed, and would be a treasured collectable for some wealthy fan keen to grab a keepsake.

Another signed bottle is being offered at $1085, and an unsigned one at $135. Even a flyer from the launch was listed at $18.25 - a sure message that the former Broncos, Queensland and Australian skipper is still very much loved and admired.

The question begs to be asked, however - is this fair? Should opportunists be able to prostitute the signature of a sporting icon to this degree?

Doubtless Lockyer was paid handsomely to endorse the product, and his kids will treasure the No 6 bottle he was given. And without question Bundy will make a killing.

In my seven years at the Broncos, 'commercial' signature seekers - for want of a better description - became easy to spot.

They don't fool anyone, least of all the players. And there are ways and means of drafting the wheat from the chaff.
But these bloodsuckers ruin it for the genuine fan. They put the players on guard and impinge on their good nature and generosity.

Thankfully, I doubt many of these parasites will make it to Roma.

Topics:  nrl rugby league state of origin



Council at a glance

The Tweed Shire Council supports major supermarkets banning plastic bags.

Find out what council discussed at last week's meeting.

Splendour: police dogs sniff out 267 people carrying drugs

Police sniffer dogs at Splendour in the grass festival.

DRUG detection dogs led to 267 busts at Splendour.

Local Partners

Village battles to save historic railway station

Glenreagh residents have gathered more than 600 signatures on a petition to save the village's historic railway station.


Why crowds are loving Happy Kanye at Splendour

Danger Dave and Melissah Marie with the artwork Happy Kanye at Splendour in the Festival 2017.

By Barcelona-based artistic collective Hungry Castle

Amber Heard, Elon Musk among Splendour celebs

Bernard Fanning plays the main stage at Splendour in the Grass 2017 on day 2.

DAY TWO of Splendour in the Grass was the day of celebrities.

VIDEO: Girls can feel safe at Splendour

Punters at Splendour in the Grass 2016 at Byron Bay.

High visibility police will be among the crowd at all times

ABC's Q&A: Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote?

IS IT time to lower the voting age to boost youth engagement in Australian politics?

Wilkinson back on air after ‘holiday hell’

Lisa Wilkinson returns to air, cast in hand.

Lisa Wilkinson still feels "a bit ordinary" after holiday from hell

Northern Rivers truckie takes on Ninja Warrior Grand Final

RIGHT AT HOME: Tom Hazell in his backyard ninja set-up.

Truckie one of 21 ninjas in Australian Ninja Warrior grand final

Police sniffer dogs busy at Splendour

Police sniffer dogs at the Splendour in the Grass festival.

Festival upholds its zero tolerance stance against drugs

Diana Chan crowned MasterChef's 2017 winner

MasterChef Australia's 2017 winner Diana Chan. Supplied by Channel 10.

MELBOURNE accountant comes out on top after 8-hour showdown.

Mini ninjas get into training

Gary Nowlan, 12, of Gawler East trains in X-Park at Bounce.

Kids as young as 12 are already dreaming of becoming Ninja Warriors

Families that game together, stay together?

Gaming is becoming an increasingly popular opportunity for family bonding, according to new studies.

More parents, grandparents turn to gaming to connect with kids

How Gladstone's cheapest and most expensive homes stack up

SPECTACULAR: This home on Springs Road, Agnes Water, is selling in the mid-$2 million range.

With the market currently low, now is the time to invest.

Billionaire faces off with NSW Premier over Kings Forest

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian answers questions at the Tweed Chamber of Commerce.

Gladys Berejiklian visited the Tweed today.

'We’re goin' to Bonnie Doon!' and now you can too

How's the serenity?

The experience will have you exclaiming “how’s the serenity?”

New life for Bree and historic Oddfellows Hall

TWO CHANGES: Bree Dahl with her new baby Ivy in front of the historic Oddfellows Hall she purchased at auction and will renovate into a house.

Historic hall to be turned into home