Where were we in the football world before the rude interruption of The Plague so suddenly descended upon the land? I remember.
Rugby league was going so well it could spend $500,000 a day, every day, and barely blink. Rugby union was on what looked, at the time, to be the bones of its arse – even if, with the benefit of hindsight, that previous position now looks like living in the lap of looo-xury. AFL was doing the reverse cane toad – month after month, spreading out across the land from the south, getting ever fatter as it gently munched up oval after oval, school after school, town after town, city after city, heart after heart. And Australian soccer was pursuing business as usual: in a bit of quiet trouble, struggling to gather a crowd but still more or less paying its bills. It had nothing to worry about too much.
And then came The Plague.
Almost overnight, all sensible sports administrators shut down their sports immediately, followed by the AFL and NRL a fortnight later.