As the clock ticks towards tonights Bulldogs Board Meeting; the fate of Willie Mason will be known soon enough.
The human headline has done it again, stealing all the major space in the sports sections of NSW media outlets – as he remains at loggerheads with his Belmore club. As judgement day approaches, Malcolm Noad and his Boardroom boys will certainly be happy about one thing – if they decide to cut Mason loose, the likelihood of a massive payout is very slim.
Because Mason has broken several contractual obligations and has mentioned quitting himself, the club probably won’t have to send him packing with a big fat pay cheque. For Willie, it is simply a matter of cleaning out his locker, hopping in his Hummer and zooming off out of the DogHouse HQ in Belmore.
The upside for Mason is that once again he has shown his power of marketability. Love him or hate him, this guy can command big media exposure and for companies wanting to get their product in the limelight he is the ideal vehicle. Even if Willie heads to the Roosters or the Sharks and drops 200k in wages; the likes of companies such as Nike, Reebok, Asics and even clothing companies would clammer to top up Willie’s wallet with fat sponsorship deals.
The only real concern for Willie Mason is the risk factor around injury. Moving away from his safe house of Belmore where a long contract was in place means that if the aging star gets into trouble with injuries; a new club might not be as forgiving – so the chances of reduced payments in years 2 and 3 are a very real possibility (if clauses are added to his new deals).
While many of us wait with anticipation to hear the outcome of the Bulldogs board meeting; I don’t think big Willie will waste a second worrying about the decision. Chances are he will be cruising the mean streets of Punchbowl in his late model Hummer, with the sounds of his stereo drowning out any thoughts of concern.