Kent: Who else can Maroons turn to now?
The Vessel is a Redfern legend who gets the early mail on most things worth knowing and some things not worth knowing at all and, most often, can be seen tipping tiny pearls to Triple M's Anthony Maroon.
The Vessel was in full voice on Tuesday. He is a wise man with a weak voice hidden behind a harelip but on Tuesday he needed a microphone.
He tapped into the NRL pipeline to declare not only to Maroon but to all and sundry that the mail is strong that there is a chance that Cameron Smith might possibly be thinking of a potential Origin comeback for Queensland.
In other words, it's a long shot.
What is more certain is that it is the only choice left for Queensland and Smith.
Before the last round Queensland coach Kevin Walters was moving toward the most significant Queensland Origin rebuild since Wayne Bennett was lured back in 2001, the year after Bryan Fletcher set off the famous Blues hand grenade.
Walters had moved past contemplating Daly Cherry-Evans as his halfback and was considering him as the captain after Greg Inglis's shock retirement a fortnight ago.
And this was Cherry-Evans, just a season back in the Maroons' jersey.
He was slotted in at half with Cameron Munster five-eighth and Ben Hunt set to play dummy-half. Jake Friend was also shaping as a possible hooker, which would leave Hunt to play utility off the bench.
Michael Morgan was being talked about at left centre where Inglis was slotted to play.
But then Cherry-Evans went down Sunday with a high ankle sprain. On Tuesday he was operated on and the best they give him to be back is four to six weeks.
Three days earlier Friend ruptured his biceps and now faces three to four months on the sideline.
Having waited behind Smith for a decade Friend was now suffering the cruellest twist. Add to that, Val Holmes is playing NFL and leaves the Maroons short a first string goalkicker.
The end result is Queensland is short a position in the spine. Hunt is now every chance to move to halfback leaving a dummy-half spot open.
The Vessel is convinced a Smith return is the only move left for Queensland. It makes great sense, which is all the Vessel cares to talk about.
On Queenslanders Only Hannah Hollis asked Walters about Smith possibly returning. Walters immediately included Cooper Cronk in his answer and said they had made their decision and that is "where they stand right now" and that it was up to the next generation of Queenslanders to do the job.
It was the perfect response for a coach that needs to move forward.
It shows trust in the group expected to be named and leaves all the wriggle room you need for the unlikely return, should it happen.
Smith was unavailable for comment on Tuesday. He seemed to be training most of the day.
Smith would slay most politicians when it comes to managing an interview. He is charming and disarming.
Earlier this month I asked him on NRL360 about a possible return to Origin this year. Humour is the best form of defence in rugby league. Why deny when a joke can distract?
"I'm always available to talk to Kev about my input …" he began, heading down a line that begged interrupting.
"He wants you to play," I said.
Of course, this is no great scoop.
What coach wouldn't Smith in his team? Smith is still the best player in the game the same way he has been the best player in the game for 15 years.
He is quite easily the most influential to ever play the game.
"Does he? Has he said that?" Smith said, laughing off the line of questioning.
Of course, Walters does not need to say it. It is as obvious as a man saying he needs oxygen to breathe.
Smith smiled and finally relented, saying, "Whether I speak to him face-to-face, over the phone or via text, he always chucks a sneaky question in, are you free to play Origin?"
He then moved to close the door on selection.
"I was lucky enough to play 15 really enjoyable years of Origin so I'll let the younger boys take that spot now."
But if only there were.
The landscape changed significantly for Queensland over the weekend.
Queensland has drifted from the most dominant team in Origin history three years ago to a squad of mostly empty jumpers Walters is finding hard to fill.
When Bennett rebuilt Queensland in 2001 he began by picking 10 debutantes for the series opener at Suncorp Stadium, which Queensland won 34-16.
Still, the series was squared 1-1 and Queensland suffered injuries when Bennett pulled a masterstroke.
He had the debutantes, like the fresh blood Walters will have now, but he still needed a leader.
He looked up Allan Langer's number in Warrington, playing in his second season in the English Super League, and called him.
"What took you so long?" Langer asked.