This is 26 Rounds, signing off…

They say the bye week can be a blessing or a curse. It can cruel momentum and have you back to square one, fighting to get that momentum back. Or it can allow you to recharge the batteries and kick everything off like its a new day.

Can it be both, though? I argue it can be, and for me, it has been.


This weekend, I pulled a Costanza and went to reflect by the beach, metaphorically speaking. I went to the shore, skipped a pebble across the water and listened to Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello?”… again, metaphorically speaking.

In reality, I slept like a fucking log for the first time since February, played basketball for the first time since November, went to the gym, walked around the city and chilled. Just straight up chilled.

My real job — the one I get paid for — just ramped the fuck up. I can throw a dart in any direction and hit something that’s well past deadline. And my weekends, when the blog is thrown in, are normally spent doing nothing. Like, literally, nothing. I’m fucking wiped at the end of the week and want to just sit and stare at a wall like Elaine has been prone to do.

That can’t be good for business. That can’t be good for anyone.

So, sitting at the pub with Wifey on Sunday, a bye week in hand and following 48 hours of downtime, I came to the decision to cease regularly publishing stuff for 26 Rounds. I had considered holding it out until the end of a season in which I still fully expect this proud and oldest club to go back-to-back. I have yet to see any club — apart from maybe Manly — stand up and say this season is theirs, and the Roosters still have the opportunity to take that moment to put theirs up.

But I can’t find the time anymore to give it the effort it deserves. I’ll maybe post occasionally, and I’d like to keep the stats section going — I don’t think there’s a website out there that quite does it like we do, to trump one’s own horn. But the previews, reviews, team namings, injuries, rumours, and breaking news? I can’t see that happening, I am afraid.

I have a book idea that I want to get going. I also have some ideas for Roosters-based fashion/clothing: so if there are any people out there who know what they’re doing in that area, let me know.

I’ll miss it, for sure. And it’s ending on a high, with a readership much higher than I ever even thought remotely possible.

There’s plenty of people to thank for that. People such as Samantha B and Jimmy Choox and Boothy and Jimmy Rosenberg and Tobin and Aman ans Sam A and Ela and Dr NRL and Stevera and Nadile and Case B and Mario; who were reading, retweeting, responding and/or sharing to the point that I’m sure they suffered an RSI. Alby, appreciate the plugs too mate, and you’ve got a heck of a product over at Steele Sports.

Contributors such as Tim, Chris and DMW —  especially the latter, whose believing in the blog kept it going as long as it did and made some brilliant additions. Wherever you are mate, appreciate it. Ditto, the sources who gave me stories upon stories to post (you know EXACTLY who you are, but I will never tell anyone your names).

But there’s a few people I want to thank the most. The first is a Storm fan with a Simpsons/Seinfeld fetish who opened up the blog to a larger audience of fans: Mitch180. Appreciate all the efforts and the columns, dude — we disagree on a bunch of stuff but at least we agreed to disagree. And you helped put 26 Rounds on the map, like Brockway, Ogdenville and North Haverbrook:


And I have no doubt that, deep down, you’d have no hesitation to become a Roosters fan if we signed Ryan Hoffman or some shit. #Mancrush180 and all that.

Eastsfan, really appreciate the avatar, the sharing on Facebook, the plugs, the #realtalk and the constant retweeting. And your missus deserves some mad credit, too. Her more than kind words about the writing made it worthwhile.

But the InfoBahn takes the cake (I had to use that nickname at least once in a blog). The Heighway has helped grow this shitty website, and he’s been its biggest supporter from the jump — well, him and his dad — and any metric of Twitter mentions for 26 Rounds will invariably include this dude.

(By the way — how come we haven’t given the Heighways the same privilege we adorned the Burgii? There’s just as many of them; surely the Heighwii works, right?

Oh, they aren’t fucking grubs? OK, noted. Heighways it is then.)

I’ll still be on Twitter and Facebook, but more the former. Love the banter, and I’ll catch y’all there.

But if you aren’t on Twitter, just remember: I — will — always — love — U — nited — Airlines.

(That’s the final blog-based Seinfeld reference, by the way. Good night, y’all.)

# # #

Oh! I almost forgot!

I’ve clearly seen too many Marvel movies of late, and have gotten a taste for credit Easter Eggs — you know, when they have a teaser to leave you hanging?

In X-Men: The Last Stand, for instance, we see Charles Xavier speak through the body of a formerly comatose patient, paving the way for the possibility of Days of Future Past.

I love that shit, and thought I would leave you with something that sounds God-damned absurd — but no more absurd than a fucking telepath somehow transferring his conciousness to a vegetable.

What former premiership winning Rooster will return to the club — if not next year, the year after — to finish out a storied career?

What appeared to be a falling out when he left the club has apparently been mended, and both he and Uncle Nick remain tight. It sounded absurd when I heard the name, and the fact he may play again with the Chooks despite his advanced age sounded even more ridiculous.

But I’ve been assured there has been discussions between both parties, as silly as it sounds. If he is up for it, he’d likely play out a season off the bench in spot minutes before retiring at the club he won a premiership with. And he’s still match fit — well, enough to play 20-30 minutes off the bench at least.

And no, it’s not Luke O’Donnell.


42 responses to “This is 26 Rounds, signing off…

  1. Extremely sad to hear the news. I literally looked forward to your posts each week, and I found that your posts- more than any other I could find (especially on the net)- showed reason, level-headed-ness, humour and intelligence in a sport where a monkey with a typewriter is greater than the average “journalist”.
    You will be sorely missed 😦
    P.S. The only players that come to mind in relation to your post-credit spoiler are Flannery/Crocker (who I’m pretty sure are retired); Hodges (who I couldn’t expect to be playing “20-30 minutes off the bench) and Craig Wing. At least give me a hint if I’m close 😉


    • Thank you very much mate for the kind words, it’s been a slog the past few months though, and while i’ve loved every minute something had to give — unfortunately it was the thing that I enjoyed the most but that didn’t provide for the fam.

      I’ll leave you all to determine who the player is haha, it sounds absurd even to me after hearing it from a few people, if that helps!

      But what is a teaser if it gives away the thing it’s teasing about?


  2. Thanks for all your hard work,was a highlight of the week,was best info and entertainment,please give more clues,Crocker is the only fit so far Cheers enjoy your easier lifestyle LOL am sure you will


    • I cannot give more clues without giving away the farm haha…

      Thanks mate, glad people actually enjoyed the site — never thought it would ever reach the heights that it did…


  3. Thank you,best and coolest site over and above being about the Roosters,highlight of the week was reading lots of wit,facts and stats and rumours.More clues please,leaning towards Graig Wing ,great move if it is him.Off track a bit,often wondered with Fergo coming and McDonald, why not SKS to forwards .Enjoy your new life,LOL, am sure you will.Cheers


    • Yeah man i’m looking forward to reclaiming a few things in my life, but i’ll miss this for sure. There’s a really good online community of Roosters out there and I’ve locved the back-and-forth, the banter….

      SKD will be interesting next year — although i think he’s earned that spot given he’s been among the best this year…


  4. Sad to hear that this daily coffee hit will not be part of my morning start up.
    Thanks for the great blogs and on the mark reports.
    It feels like we won the 2 points for the bye but lost the game.
    Tri-colour Rooster Born A Rooster


  5. Loved your stuff mate. Looked forward to reading your blog posts every week. The blogosphere won’t be the same.

    P.S. What about Morley?


    • Cheers Clint, there’s a few other options out there — head over to Bondi Surge, they’re doing some good stuff…

      And no more clues I’m afraid, it’s a teaser 🙂


  6. Jake, awesome stuff mate. You have gone above and beyond on all things Roosters so cheers to you. I will still email you now and again with news that I get from my sources…just for your own info now!


    • Haha cheers man, looking forward to it — and always good to have a yarn about the goss that’s always floating around 🙂


  7. Wouldn’t it be great for the Roosters to have Morley back for a season! My favourite player – ever … He has the rugby league ‘kavorka’. Sure, he had a few defensive issues, but he was never dirty – no face rubs, no elbows or forearms, just a dodgy & lazy tackling technique! He didn’t need to be dirty. He knew he was tougher than ANYONE else, and so did they. I can only hope …

    And thanks for the mention in your article. I’m undeserving, but touched. 26 Rounds has been an awesome read, well written, thoughtful and passionate. And the GIFs! Oh, the GIFs…

    Looking forward to your now ‘irregular’ musings. I can sympathise with your reasoning, as I’m about to do the same, which will be awfully traatuc, sure, for a handful of people, lol. Only so much time in the day/week/yada yada.



    • That’s it man, eventually life catches up and decisions need to be made for the betterment of the rest of it… unfortunately, something has to give. I hope we still see your musings around mate, and your mention is truly deserved.

      Im actually going to miss the Gifs more than anything, making Gifs of the Sheck was a true highlight 🙂

      And I miss Morley, we should get him back… if only for a 10 minute cameo and send off in round 1 🙂


  8. I thought I’d be better putting this on here instead of twitter…bra-fucking-vo for the work and time you’ve put in for us. It was always readable, informative and just damn fun. Thanks for the ride mate, you’ve done a great service for us Easts folk.


    • Appreciate it Dean, I think Easts folk deserve the dredit for making this fun for ME for so long!

      Thanks for reading bro, been a pleasure….


  9. Always an informative and entertaining read. Will miss your informed views and generally on the mark rumours. Thanks Jake and maybe catch up for a beer or Two at some stage.
    PS Morley was the name that came to my mind. I know I know, I know nothing sargent Schultz.


    • Sounds good man, and appreciate the kind words 🙂

      I’ll leave i up to everyone else to determine who the player is — it could very well be totally wrong, but why not leave with a rumour?


    • Didn’t mean to be anonymous thought it would automatically put up my info as I’m posting message via FB. Cheers john Heighway.


      • Oh, Cheers John! Your support has been greatly appreciated the entire time — you and Ryan have been instrumental.


  10. Very sad to hear you’re leaving us mate but like with Billiams leaving at the end of the year I can’t be mad, just thankful.
    You made the premiership year all the more memorable by filling my bias opinion in with things I may have missed when I either didn’t get to see the game or went to the game and had no idea what was going on (it really is a game made for TV isn’t it?)
    I wish Nick would put more of his bottomless money pit to use and hire u as the official roosters blogger, even if he has to pay u in cars (or swollen paper bags).
    Thanks again Jake, I hope to meet you one day you have a great perspective on the game that has influenced me greatly. I will absolutely buy a book if you put it together, even if it’s just a grantland style collection of all your blogs, with hologram RTS gifs. That’d be revolutionary for print media.
    Anyway, #rwblegacy #backtoback all all that, but it’s probably only right that we finish with this.


    • Awesome man haha, love that bloody montage!

      You’ve given me an idea for the book mate, hmmm….

      And that was always the intention with the blog, to keep it as unbiased as humanly possible. I certainly strayed from the mission statement on more than one occasion, but hopefully I could balance out a lack of media interest in the Chooks with a blog that covered the rest of the bases.

      I don’t think the Roosters would be too happy with my potty mouth antics on here, so I am not holding my breath for a job with the Chooks — I’m happy enough being humbled by everyone’s kind words 🙂


  11. Also the fashion thing, I have no idea but I’ve been saying for years that soufs have been killing us in that area. Obviously they made merch wearable by ditching their awful colours, but my brother wears a Cleveland Indians cap to chooks games coz he can’t find a good one of ours. Surely a simple navy hat with a nicely stitched old school roosters logo on the front would sell plenty?


    • Cheers Bonilla, high praise indeed! Gonna miss the whole thing, seriously…but time is too precious now 😦


  12. Thanks Jake. Spewin’ you’re pulling back. I rarely contributed, but always read with interest.


    • Hey man that readership is huge, and very much appreciated 🙂

      Readership doubled almost month on month (offseason excluded), and it finishes on the highest note possible IMO.


  13. Mate thanks for all your blogs, been great reading. Your a man after my own heart with your love of Easts and Seinfield. All the best in the future.

    In regards to fashion, def agree with the hat, a simple one with an old school Rooster is all thats needed. The club just cant seem to come up with a decent one. Also I know you wont tell us but its gotta be C Wing coming back, would be great to see him back in Roosters colours to right the wrong in the way he left us to go to soufs.


    • Haha it should really be a way to everyone’s hearts: Roosters and Seinfeld 🙂

      Appreciate it mate, and agree — Rugby league Fashion is hideous. By no stretch am I a fashionista though but the shit we put up with is atrocious. Surely there’s more that can be done??


  14. Your articles are going to be missed Jake. Thanks so much for all the work you have done here, it is much appreciated. When I read your bit of potential goss I immediately thought of Wingy and then the Morely idea came along in the comments. I love it.
    Cheers mate,


    • I thought i’d leave the blog on a bit of a cliffhanger haha.

      Cheers Gavin, appreciate your contributions over the year and a bit, it’s been great 🙂


  15. Well……so my week has gone from bad to badder! Understand your reasons and priorities though, but I dread the thought of having to rely on the so-called experts for interesting and amusing reporting. Best wishes to you, and hopefully you will return even occasionally. Missing you already…:twisted:


    • Thanks very much for the kind words… This is becoming a Rudimentals song right now… feeling the love.

      Much appreciated 🙂


  16. I too will miss your blog, use your free time now to WRITE THAT BOOK. You have a gift and should use it. All the best!


  17. JJ very sorry to hear. Have spread the good word about the blog over the past few seasons with great feedback. you should be proud. references, stats, commentary, seinfeld quotes all spot on.
    cheers for making the work week bearable


  18. Hi – I’ve enjoyed your posts on 26 rounds. Sad to hear you are stopping it but thanks anyway and good luck with whatever you do.

    Anyway is it Craig Wing coming back – former premiership winning player, still match fit ??

    Thanks again


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