We’ve just come off air, I can still hear the audience in the studio taking photos with the other hosts.
Mark, one of the audio guys, follows me off set to collect our microphones and earpieces and I savour the last of the mutterings I can hear from the boys thanking and talking to the audience; the positive energy and support for our first show, radiating thought the earpiece.
It’s surreal and almost a little hard to believe our first episode of League Nation, is live.
If you rewind a few hours, the energy in our greenroom was overflowing with excitement, eagerness and, I’ll admit, a little anxiety.
We’ve each worked so hard to get to this point and the moment of truth has arrived.
It’s live TV after all, so once we’re on air the train has left the station and there’s no slowing it down.
It’s my fifth year working in TV and I’ve had my share of time in front of the camera, whether filing a story for news, doing a live cross from ANZ stadium, covering sporting events from around the country like the AFL and NRL All Stars and 2014 SBS World Cup.
But hosting a 90-minute show that strikes the balance between sport and entertainment, with a live studio audience thrown in for good measure, was a new beast.
Despite getting off to perhaps a shaky start (did you hear the fire alarm in the first segment?!) Nathan, Jodan, Aaron and Justin executed a great first show.
I couldn’t be more honoured and proud of the boys for tonight and I’m lucky to be able to call them colleagues and friends.
What you may not have seen at home was our studio audience - they’re a great test to how the rest of our viewers watching at home will digest the show.
We met them just moments before going on air and it was their positivity, plus some familiar faces in the crowd, that settled my nerves, albeit briefly.
One of the reasons I love sport isn’t just because it’s entertaining and great to watch, it’s what sport does for our society.
It’s about reconciliation and social cohesion. It has this boundless ability to unite people in ways that other industries just can’t.
It’s a microcosm of society and that is incredibly powerful.
The audience has made its way out of the studio and the boys have found me backstage for a debrief.
Smiling faces, sighs of relief and an overwhelming sense of pride. Only 30 weeks to go!