FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - FEBRUARY 06: Michael Irvin is seen on stage during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010 Press Conference held at the Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center as part of media week for Super Bowl XLIV on February 6, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Anyone who caught Michael Irvin's performance on 4th and Long knows well the former receiver's penchant for delivering impassioned motivational speeches. Stalking the Cotton Bowl (where the program was taped) in all black, Irvin would inevitably descend the stadium steps each episode to rally the NFL hopefuls; to deliver a speech that made even the laziest viewer consider getting off his or her couch and running wind sprints for no particular reason.
It is this sense of rarely-matched moxie--usually manufactured in a writing room at Disney--that inspired Russell Crowe, the actor, Australian rugby owner and friend of Irvin, to invite the Hall of Famer to fire up his team before a preseason match in Coffs Harbour.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Irvin joined the South Sydney Rabbitohs on a trip to Coffs to play the Gold Coast Titans in a preseason exhibition; he delivered a speech on the team bus before the match, and mingled with players afterward at Crowe's house in Nana Glen, New South Wales.
John Lang, the head coach of the Rabbitohs, said the team also watched highlights of the 1992 season, which culminated in a Super Bowl XVII victory, the first of three for "The Playmaker."
"It was just a great experience for all the guys," Lang said. "I enjoyed it, too."
Lang said he believed Irvin enjoyed his time down under. "He said he did," Lang said. "I think if you're involved in sport you always enjoy watching other sports, and it is not dissimilar to the one he played."