At times it is easy to form the view that the NRL is a joke organisation run by clowns, puppets, and crooks. But that view would be unfair to those in the game who are capable and honest administrators motivated by their love of the game. It would also be unfair to circus performers and wooden dolls, as well as to certain honourable thieves such as Robin Hood. Win at all costs has been the attitude that has characterised the Melbourne Storm's on field efforts over recent years. Grapples, squashers, chicken wings, you name it . . . but it seems that culture was embedded throughout the whole organisation. Sure there are rules, but breaking the rules is part of the game if you can get away with it. Right? The discovery of Storm's cheating was of course just a fluke. These things arenÃ¢Â€Â™t supposed to happen. The reaction of the NRL was swift and spectacular. Unfortunately it was also in some respects bizarre if not slightly idiotic. The retrospective stripping of premierships was quite impressive. Stern. Not unwarranted, to be sure, yet absolutely unprecedented. The fines imposed were no surprise, as each year some clubs break the salary cap and fines are the usual penalty. Requiring the return of prize money was also a logical position. However, condemning Storm to play out the next 20 rounds while being ineligible to collect any premiership points or to make the finals is surely the epitome of a knee-jerk reaction. It appears to have all the hallmarks of a knee-jerk reaction. One can only conclude that it was, is, and will always remain a knee-jerk reaction. How could this occur? What is wrong with Gallop's knee, and why is he such a jerk? For, while everyone except their own fans must be relieved that Storm wonÃ¢Â€Â™t be a threat for this year's title, the anomalies and absurdities will now be played out week after week for the next 6 months. The fact that Gallop kept the devastating news so secret and un-leaked (well, except to some serendipitous punters who hit the wooden spoon market with gusto) may be his greatest-ever achievement. Very impressive. As a result he was able to announce the problem and the solution at the same press conference. This presumably was his strategy for limiting the damage that would flow were the debacle to be played out over a protracted period on the front pages. Unfortunately, if he or his brains trust had taken more than six minutes to think about the various options, they may have stumbled upon the obvious. Namely, that making Storm's role in the remaining rounds an aberration merely guarantees the whole season will be clouded by suspicions and dubious credibility. Unfairly critical? Maybe nothing Gallop could have done would be able to contain the damage. Having once devised the salary cap, and appointed Ian Schubert to police it, in effect what was created was an Ã¢Â€Â˜honourÃ¢Â€Â™ system. So what else could be expected? The nature of clowns, puppets, and crooks being what it is, some club or clubs would naturally decide that the real lesson of the Bulldogs cap rort was simply to be smarter about concealing the payments. This sorry saga must provide the final impetus for the immediate establishment of the Ã¢Â€Â˜Independent CommissionÃ¢Â€Â™, because the game canÃ¢Â€Â™t afford further delays. At least, not without risking being known as Ã¢Â€Â˜the greatest shame of allÃ¢Â€Â™.