NOW there is one. The resignation of the NRL's long-term media manager John Brady leaves the code's administration with only one executive employed since the pre-Super League era with any meaningful corporate memory.

Salary cap commissioner Ian Schubert - whose role has recently been emasculated - is all who stands between the ARLC and another anachronistic decision, such as rebadging the Wests Leagues clubs at Ashfield and Campbelltown with the Wests Tigers logo. ARLC chief executive Dave Smith is a genuine and highly capable leader but the code has some major decisions ahead and a knowledge of history will be helpful.

Anyone contemplating relocating the Sharks should remember the march of the 50,000 protesting the axing of the Rabbitohs. OK, it's unlikely the residents of the Shire will take their tubes of sunscreen as far as Sydney Town Hall to object but any decision to rename them the Central Queensland Sharks will excite the politicians.

The Shire is Liberal heartland and the Coalition is in power in NSW and federally. Any move to shift the Sharks will excite some heavy political hitters and Brady, along with the recently departed NSWRL chief executive Geoff Carr, is one of the few officials who understands the peculiar nuances of the code's history.

Brady also safely harboured many secrets and never committed what is the media manager's cardinal sin: passing on information to a journalist given to him by another journalist. The sports media is becoming increasingly precious about scoops. Too often ''the public's right to know'' is really the journalist's need to tell.

This was evident during the pursuit of NRL football manager Todd Greenberg, who may have covered up a case of domestic assault but probably believed the protection of the wife and children of a player overrode this. Brady sat between a media braying for blood and a boss fearful of losing his job. One who prides himself on honesty was wedged between a posse obsessed with the truth and a superior accused of telling a lie. In short, his was a bastard of a job.

My knock on Brady was that he satisfied too readily the media's lust for a quick kill - head shots and graphics to make the six o'clock TV news. Yet one of his media critics described him as ''old school''.

He was one of three people advising former NRL chief executive David Gallop to hand down instant punishment to the Storm for salary cap breaches. There was no communication with the ARL directors who represented one half of the NRL board, just a servile dialogue with News Ltd who were then owners of the Storm and the other 50 per cent equity holders in the NRL. One hour later, two premierships were stripped away for the crime of guaranteeing third-party sponsorships, a concession that is allowed today.

But the Cronulla supplements saga has seen players being treated more humanely and the NRL acting more maturely. I suspect Brady's moderating hand in this. The rush-to-judgment demand of journalists for ASADA to announce two-year bans - or sack itself - has been quelled, partly by the stoic silence from Smith and Brady. Now, most scribes accept that they will have to wait for their enemy - due process - to take its time.

Brady was incredibly loyal to his bosses, yet demonstrating fealty to some, such as the bewildering David Moffett, must have taken some doing. He addressed the issue of whether he had been pushed in an email to his staff Wednesday.

''Was I pushed? Dave has gone out of his way to get me to stay and that has been a little humbling on my part. Is it a problem with Dave Smith? No I've learnt a lot from him and again he has been incredibly supportive. Do I worry about where the NRL is heading? No. The chance to be a part of its growth in the coming years is one of the hardest things for me to leave because I can see there are some great times ahead with Dave in charge.''

My old chairman at Western Suburbs, Bill ''The King'' Carson, who died in 1984, would have been amazed at the positive changes already made. But he sagely recognised that in this pursuit of progress, ''we burn our good people out''. After 18 years in rugby league's hottest seat, the code has finally burnt out one of its best.