Sam Thaiday will play his 250th game.
Sam Thaiday will play his 250th game. DAN PELED

An open letter to Mr Sam Thaiday

HEY Sam, I want to set the record straight.

Firstly, congratulations on your 250th NRL game for Brisbane tonight.

That's a magnificent milestone and I am sure there are many more games to come seeing you are only 31 - I hope I got your age right Sam.

There was something about you when I first saw you playing as a teenager that stood out.

But it wasn't the comments a certain colleague of mine and now Brisbane communications manager Trad McLean couldn't wait to tell you and which you frequently remind me of, like this week when you greeted me at training at Red Hill on Tuesday with "too fat, two slow” on the eve of your 250th game.

Now I did make a comment to Trad some years ago while watching you play for Queensland in an under 17s interstate game against NSW in 2002 - but it wasn't quite as blunt as "that Thaiday kid is too fat and too slow” to make it.

But I'm sure, knowing Trad and his sense of humour and love of a good prank, my words were, and have been, embellished over the years.

In fact, as I recall, you were a fiery young kid who even back then had a dig.

But what I said was more like "that kid has to work hard to improve his fitness” if he is every going to play in the NRL.

So Sam, I'm glad you took my advice and you have one of the best motors in the game.

And can I just add, I've enjoyed watching you play and enjoyed writing about you and all the things you have achieved, winning grand finals, Origin series, Test matches and being named in the Indigenous team of the Century.

What I can say Sam is one of us is "too fat and too slow” and it's not you.

I'll see you at training on Monday morning, and no, as you always say Sam, I won't be late.

WAYNE HEMING



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