OK, I admit it. I’m probably more of a statistics nerd than most NRL fans and as such, this probably means more to me than most of you. But, isn’t it just a bit ridiculous that you can’t easily find in-game statistics for individual players such as try assists and tackles made for more than the past couple of seasons?
Maybe it’s just me. But, I would love to be able to see all time (at least in the NRL era) tables for most run metres, line breaks and offloads instead of just games, tries and points.
And maybe it is a petty complaint that I can’t.
But it also smacks of amateurism from the NRL that I can’t. After all, I can look up the number of kicks, marks and handballs a footballer had in the seventies or how many rebounds an NBA player had in the sixties or even how many fours a test cricketer hit in the thirties.
So why then, in a competition that has been completely televised for its entire existence, is it a struggle to find official statistics for players?
But, it gets worse.
In fact, it is actually worse than merely an absence of historical statistical data. Up to the end of last season, I could go back to 2005 on the NRL site – not a complete record of the NRL era certainly, but better than nothing surely. However, at the time of writing this, those same stats have been removed beyond the 2014 season.
So, it’s actually gone backwards!
As a sports nerd, this frustrates me immensely!
And it’s not just the in-game data that is hard to come by. It's records such as most finals appearances and tries too.
We all heard during the recent finals series how Billy Slater had broken the all-time record for most finals tries. But who among us knew that he was on the cusp of this fantastic achievement?
Almost none of us, that’s who!
You see, for records such as this, we rely on a sports journalist such as David Middleton deigning the achievement print-worthy enough to inform us of.
Otherwise, we have to trawl through 110 years of playing records on a site like rugbyleagueproject.org (and at least such a site does exist to make that small thing possible!) to compare playing careers and work it out for ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time for that.
Now that record is all-time. I’m not asking for 110 years of in-game stats, that isn’t practical. But, I would like to be able to compare players in the NRL era.
Maybe I’m asking a lot. I don’t know.
Maybe it’s just me.
But I do think that this amateurish record keeping lacks transparency and makes a complete nonsense of these records.
Or should that be an incomplete nonsense?