Take a look at the injuries in the past week and tell me we're doing enough to look after our top players. We can't possibly be.
Anthony Watmough goes down with an ankle injury, Boyd Cordner breaks his ankle, Josh Dugan breaks his thumb, Trent Merrin has a knee problem.
These four guys all played for NSW in State of Origin III.
Throw the likes of Greg Inglis, John Sutton, Ben Barba into the mix, all of whom were either injured during the series decider or in the weeks after.
Surely that tells you something.
Maybe that our players are worth more than what they're being paid, but I'll get back to that in a moment.
The main problem is that the length of our season and the demands on our elite players are out of control.
Most clubs play a couple of trial games. Then we have 26 rounds of the home-and-away season. There's the potential of a mid-season Test, a City-Country clash and a few Origin energy-sappers for our elite. And then a four-week finals series.
Did I mention the end-of-year World Cup this year?
It just seems to go on forever. Where do we stop?
Our players aren't robots. I know a lot of people will say some of these injuries are from freak accidents or unlucky collisions. But surely wear and tear on bodies is playing its part.
I know the proposed Nines tournament in New Zealand next year is going to be a great money-spinner for the cash-hungry clubs, but it's not going to help player burnout either.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy is a genius at managing his elite players.
He'll rest them at various stages post-Origin and he won't bat an eyelid if they lose a couple.
Having the likes of Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater fresh and firing come finals time is all he's worried about.
His formula seems to work best, but why should he feel the need to rest his players? Why can't our season be shorter and then it wouldn't be a problem?
At the very least, if we're going to make these extreme demands on our elite at least we can massage the salary cap structure to reward them.
This is where the NRL should follow the lead of rugby union and cricket.
I'm a huge advocate for a central contract system or a top-up scheme, which is preached in the other two mainstream sports.
Why can't we have the best two players from each club come under a marquee system with a percentage of their wage being paid by the NRL? They do have a coffer filled with money from the $1 billion broadcast deal after all.
Take Inglis for example. If he's worth $800,000 per season, maybe the NRL could pay half his salary.
Even if the salary cap remains at its current level, there's an extra $400,000 Souths could use to beef up their squad.
And I'm not talking about paying overs for other members of their squad, I'm talking about extending the 25-man roster to include a couple of extra players.
Maybe that's one way to accommodate the dwindling playing rosters we seem to have at the back end of each season.
Selfless Fien shows way for juniors
I really hope Nathan Fien’s legacy isn’t defined by his last year at the Dragons, where he’s selflessly volunteered to play halfback in a struggling side.
Fien (pictured above) has copped some criticism, but deep down even he probably knows he’s not suited to the No7 at this stage of his career.
I thought about the best way to describe him shortly after Thursday’s retirement announcement.
I came up with a great competitor, a great clubman and someone who always put the team before himself.
He’s done everything in the game: played State of Origin, won a World Cup with his country and an NRL title.
But more importantly he’s the type of bloke you want in your club.
What a perfect role model for any aspiring young player.
Linking the chance to grow base
I was rapt with the news the NRL has joined forces with touch football.
The participation base has obviously just improved exponentially but I’m excited about the exposure and fan base it will provide rugby league.
The challenge now is to get those people to games. It starts with ticketing prices, which need to be drastically reduced.
But imagine how great it will be for the game if we can cash in on the new market it’s about to tap into.
I’m hoping a not-too-distant picture will be painted when a sponsor can turn on a television and see vastly improved crowds as a result of this partnership and cheaper ticket prices.
Maybe then we can again grow the corporate support our game sometimes lacks.