Hayne's brave new world
If Jarryd Hayne is mocked or even crucified for the criticism of the way the Australian media landscape has evolved in recent years it will only serve to prove his point.
It seems appropriate to use a Biblical reference because in a press conference that began as a stock-standard promotion for Saturday's crucial home game against the Panthers, Hayne talked of the persecution suffered by Jesus as a way of down-playing any impact that media criticism has on him personally.
It became apparent from his opening press event as a Gold Coast Titan that Hayne would once again sit among a very select group of players with the confidence and fortitude to stand in front of a bank of cameras and express a forthright opinion.
On Wednesday he spoke very matter-of-factly about resuming his role as an NRL fullback and was effusive in his praise of Panthers whiz kid Nathan Cleary but almost 11 minutes into what would be a 16-minute press conference Hayne responded to the subject of media treatment in a way none of the assembled journalists could have predicted.
He pointed out that today's media is becoming more and more about "selling papers and getting viewers, it's not about the truth as much anymore". He says that players in America are more open in interviews because they have a greater level of trust that their words won't be misconstrued to the wider public.
"Today's media is not about facts or truths anymore. It's more leaning towards a story or how much they can really blow something up. It's disappointing and it's sad but it is what it is," was Hayne's opening statement.
"It is getting pretty sad. I've seen other articles about other players that I just shake my head at. If I know what's going on and I see it just trying to create a bit more smoke where there's fire it's disappointing."
Perhaps as media types we should have been taken aback by what Hayne was inferring but the openness in the way he addressed it and the fact that he never once looked for an escape route as the questioning continued was far too refreshing to want to put an end to.
We were happy to stand there and take punches because more and more we are confronted by a subject who refuses to lower their defence for fear of being caught by even a glancing blow.
"So many players are so guarded in what they say because it just gets twisted and pulled in other directions," said the 28-year-old two-time Dally M Player of the Year.
"When you get here you don't want to be going into detail about things because of the way it can be twisted.
"[In America] a lot of players do go into a lot more detail because they do feel a lot more secure when they do interviews, that it's not going to get taken out of context or blown up in a direction that's for selling papers instead of selling the truth."
Throughout his extraordinary journey to play for the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Hayne was followed so intently by Australian media outlets that it became embarrassing for him.
San Francisco teammates who had performed outstanding feats on the football field were literally bumped out of the way by journalists seeking to get a daily update on Hayne's progress.
This was a sporting story that captivated the nation like few that had come before it and the insatiable way sports fans in Australia consume any content relating to Jarryd Hayne ensures it would continue to feed on itself.
Whether you like him or not, the more we give you the more you seem to crave.
His return to the NRL has been no different but just as he has been providing the Titans with a return on their sizeable investment, so too has Hayne become someone the media can rely on to boost clicks, sales, listeners and viewers.
And while other players will look you in the face and tell you that they don't read newspapers or what is said about them in various media forms, Hayne had the audacity to raise the curtain on how it does affect players and drop a lesson in religion like he was talking about completion rates or line speed.
"You do read articles and you do get upset and you want to get fired up but when you read the Bible and realise everyone hated Jesus. So you've got to put that in perspective as well and realise how much He stood up and was still Him," was Hayne's response.
"I try not to let it fuel me. When I was younger or a couple of years ago it might have but I read the Bible a lot and I read a lot of history and stuff like that.
"In America it's a huge thing to let it motivate you but I don't want that. I want to be motivated because I have an ability and I want to see that come to the fullest.
"When you get in that situation you've got to pull your head in and see what he went through and for him to make the ultimate sacrifice for all of us, you've got to pull your head in when you're worrying about a piece of paper or an article."
You may not read much about how he expects to adapt to the demands of playing fullback this week or whether he will defend in the front-line but you now have a greater insight into what makes Jarryd Hayne tick, which is infinitely more interesting than any rugby league-speak that we could throw at you.
Long may it continue.