WHO really knows what lies behind the couch? It could be nothing more than loose change. Perhaps the lost remote control from a TV set long gone. Some reckon they’ve even found Jesus hiding there.
But what of maturity and salvation? Robbie Farah discovered these qualities while sitting alone on his couch last Sunday morning. It was during those fuzzy hours between midnight and dawn, and the Wests Tigers skipper couldn’t sleep because of what had just come before.
“I didn’t get a wink,” he says. "On the way home from the game my girlfriend asked me if I wanted to spend the night alone, and I just nodded.
"I just sat on the couch. The soccer was on TV, but I couldn’t concentrate on it. A million things were going through my mind.
“In the end, I had to get out. It was 3.30am. I went up the road to McDonald’s in Lakemba and got a feed.”
Taxing nights like these - as opposed to the paltry cost of a Big Mac meal - are the price Farah pays for being the player he is: competitive, intense, almost narcissistic.
But look beyond the slick dummies, endless try-assists and cheeky grubbers and you’ll find he’s also achieved the footballing equivalent of nirvana.
Farah doesn’t have nearly as many Origin or Test jerseys as he’d like. And he still looks back on the previous four seasons that Wests have failed to play finals football with a regret that borders on rage.
But Farah can say this: he’s the most consistent player in the NRL. When it comes to sustained performance over the past five seasons, Farah stands above Dally M medallists Johnathan Thurston, Jarryd Hayne and Cameron Smith.
Twice in that period, he’s come within a point of winning the award - including last week to Todd Carney. But when all the Dally M points since 2005 have been accrued, the bridesmaid is suddenly holding the bouquet.
Still haunted by the loss to the Roosters, Farah has no idea this is the case when we meet at his restaurant in Leichhardt.
Between mouthfuls of schnitzel and bolognese, Farah talks about high standards. Not about the flashy plays everyone notices, but the basics.
“You can’t be at the top of your game every week,” he says. "But I set the bar pretty high. At the very least, I try to have a fairly decent game.
“Not playing well is not getting the simple things right. Things like making the right the decisions, talking and tackling. I get the shits with myself if I don’t do that.”
And boy, did Farah have the shits after last Saturday night’s defeat. In the emotional scramble to explain how the Tigers lost, most failed to recognise it was Farah who fed that fateful scrum with 30 seconds left.
And then there’s the elementary field goal he missed in extra time. That ate him up big time, too, as he sat on the couch in the basement of his family’s Campsie home.
“I’ve thought a lot about the lost scrum,” he says. "I fed the ball, usually I pack in at lock. But we only had 12 men.
"I kept replaying it over in my head and asking myself the same questions.
"In extra time there were field goals I missed. It’s your dream as a footballer to kick one of those to win a final.
“I want to be in a position to do that. I want to make the right decisions under that pressure. I want to come up with the play. When the game was on the line, I had the ball in my hands. And I missed.”
Before taking on the captaincy last year, Farah might have indulged himself in a moment like this. He might have become stuck in it for longer than necessary as he prepared for tonight’s do-or-die trip to Canberra.
“As captain, I’ve had to understand that I can’t get down in the dumps so readily because it rubs off on the younger players,” he says.
"So I’ve looked beyond what I did or didn’t do. There were just so many positives.
"I thought we played awesome and I don’t care what people say about how we lost.
"I thought it was our best 65 minutes in the club’s history.
"We should’ve been up by 24 points at halftime, but the Roosters did well to scramble.
“We had no luck and struggled with 12 players at the end. I’m very confident that if we play like that again, we’ll beat the Raiders.”
But what about Farah himself? Sure, he’s a solid bet to make the Kangaroos’ 23-man Four Nations squad. But even then he’ll be playing second fiddle to incumbent rake Cameron Smith.
Then there’s Origin. Farah hasn’t had a look-in since saving his most disappointing career effort for game two last year. At the time, many judges predicted he’d struggle to break back into the Blues side. The fact he has outrated his replacement Michael Ennis this season, yet failed to reclaim the No. 9 jersey, gives those theories greater credence.
And in a sad way, you sense Farah is prepared for the worst.
“Guys like Cameron Smith and Billy Slater got their opportunity early,” he says.
"I had to wait a while behind Danny Buderus, and when I got picked [in Origin], I didn’t make the most of it.
"I had no one else to blame but myself. I was hoping for a chance this year, because they made changes for game three after losing the series in 2009.
"I thought game three I might have been chance. I really got into the first two games, but I found that one hard to watch.
“I don’t know what the selectors think of my game or my style. I can’t change that now. I just need to keep producing at club level.”
He’s done that more often and better than anyone in the past five years. There’s no medal or jersey for that but maybe it might help him sleep better when the lonely couch next beckons before dawn.
is it just me or is it bleeding obvious that Josh’s continual conveyor belt of over-glowing positive articles about all things Wests Tigers in recent weeks is just him trying to suck up to them after his mid-season brain spasm?
Well that’s even if he has a brain…Maybe he just wants a free feed from Tiger Tiger…
Wasn’t he spose to be Farah’s mate at one stage?
He is right here…Farah does not need to change his game for anyone…