Look, we’re not under any illusions here: Being constantly in the eye of the media would be a right pain in the arse. It’s a story-thirsty industry that’s constantly on the lookout for angles, yarns, whatever it can get to stand out from the pack. Believe us, we know. Oh boy, do we ever know.
The problem is, the media will never be able to squeeze the blood of a ridiculous story if the stone to get it from simply isn’t there. Or, in other words, the yarns you read in the media are only ever as weird as their source material allows them to be.
Jarryd Hayne, he of three professional sports within the past 12 months (which we state with the utmost respect and reverence), has had a very immediate impact on the Gold Coast Titans ever since he sensationally decided to resurrect his NRL career, after reasonably brief tilts in both the NFL and in International Sevens Rugby.
As inarguably one of the highest profile athletes in the country, and by virtue of his constant code-hopping one of the most inherently interesting, he’s had acres more than the average man’s fair share of media coverage. Some of it good. Some of it bad. Some of it somewhere in between.
Needless to say, the man himself has developed something of a prickly relationship with the sporting media. And it’s definitely not going to be helped by today’s encounter.
In a very strange press conference, Hayne dodged questions surrounding his return to the fullback position this coming weekend, and instead took a very Bible-heavy swipe at the media throng.
Without dropping any specific incident that’s pissed him right off, Hayne launched into the practices of modern media:
“Today’s media, it’s not about factual truths, it’s more leading towards a story or how much they can really blow something up.”
“It’s disappointing and it’s sad but it is what it is. It’d be too long to go through every article or detail.”
“It is sad when people get misled or when an article is written and it’s like you’ve heard a bloke down the pub and written an article based on that.”
“In today’s day and age of the media it’s about selling papers and getting viewers. It’s not about the truth anymore as much.”
From there, it became a discussion on how Hayne deals with media scrutiny and criticism:
“I read the bible a lot and a lot of history and stuff like that.”
“In America it is a huge thing to let the haters motivate you. I don’t want that. I want to be motivated because I have an ability and I want to see that come to the fullest.”
“You know what I mean? That’s the biggest thing for me.”
And then, uh… then it got a bit weird.
Like “comparing himself and his relationship with the media to the plight of Jesus Christ” weird.
“You do read articles and get upset and want to get fired up.”
“When you read the bible you realise everyone hated Jesus.”
“You’ve got to put that in perspective and realise how much he stood up and was still him. He could have easily lost the plot and lost his shit but he kept it together.”
“When you get into that situation you’ve got to pull your head in and see what he went through to make the ultimate sacrifice for us.”
At the risk of playing into exactly what he was talking about before things got *weird*, if any of y’all can figure out what he means by that, please let us know.
Hayne’s return to fullback is expected to draw a crowd of 20,000 to the Titans’ Round 25 clash against the Panthers, the Gold Coast’s final home game for the year.
Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty.