The Terrograth is at it again.
BENJI Marshall: the edifying face of the game or precocious little … you get the drift.
The answer to that depends on who you speak to.
What isn’t in dispute is that he’s on the unofficial first line of betting to win his first Dally M Medal at rugby league’s night of nights at the Royal Hall of Industries on Tuesday.
Should he win, how could it be in dispute?
Marshall’s freakish skills that others have been panting over lately are hardly a revelation.
Mid-air sidesteps. Flick passes. Behind-the-back flick passes … All standard fare from the Wests Tigers five-eighth.
This season, though, what impresses is his ability to put the money play away and control
the game, as all champion playmakers worth their drinking silver before him have done.
The Tigers’ season was buried under 12-feet of wet cement mid-season. He’s turned it on his head.
Should he win the medal, the thoughts of many will be on the humility he displays as he accepts rugby league’s highest individual honour.
Last week, this column was criticised in one section of the media for a story explaining how Marshall had come across as far too cocky while sitting in the witness box as he defended an assault charge that could’ve landed him in jail.
For the record, the story was checked off with The Daily Telegraph’s court reporter before it was filed.
Either way, there can be no dispute that Marshall polarises opinion.
At his own club, allegiances are formed along the fault line between him and captain Robbie Farah, who he doesn’t get on with.
You can also take it to the bank that senior players at rival clubs struggle to stomach him.
They watch him take the piss out of Brad Fittler and others on The Footy Show as he often does, and while he considers it funny they see it as disrespectful and out of line.
Ask the fans, though, and there is no dispute: Benji is King. The one they pay to see.
To that end, we’ve heard that Benji’s public persona is explored in great detail in his forthcoming autobiography Benji: My game, My story, to be released on October 11.
It helps reveal the other side of him. It explains in his own words how the showman he is on the field follows him off it.
Often that is misunderstood as arrogance, when in reality he’s a humble guy. We’ll see. It will be interesting to discover who the real Benji Marshall is.