In Ancient Rome, a general that won a great victory in the service of the State would be rewarded with a Triumph.
For one day, the general would essentially be treated like the emperor. Dressed in purple robes, paraded through the city in a chariot and celebrated for his achievements.
That type of adulation and celebration could easily go to a man’s head. So to combat that, following the general around would be a slave or assistant, constantly reminding him that he was human and he would die one day – a memento mori.
Peter V’landys would likely have been well-suited to the world of Roman politics, brinkmanship and war.
He barrelled his way through the COVID crisis, earning himself plenty of plaudits and in many ways, the modern version of a Triumph – being celebrated by the notoriously fickle rugby league media.
No previous head of the NRL or ARL had been celebrated quite like V’landys was during the 2020 season.
Perhaps the NRL should have used one of the staff they dismissed last year to follow V’landys around, reminding him that this too shall end.
That all this pomp and ceremony, all of this goodwill, will end as quickly as it arrived.
And it will end because V’landys believes it never will.