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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

NRL's Dirty Little Boys 

Seems like a headline from the New Zealand Herald lately but it's actually just me trying to snatch all those tabloid websurfers out their. I noticed that the other day a search for "stacy jones personal life" had led somebody here after our site turned up at number 10 in a google search. Kind of weird as I don't recall bringing up his personal life at all. Rumour has it though that a member of the Warriors got one of the cheerleaders pregnant. I wonder who it was?

Personally I'm disgusted! I mean have you seen pictures of the Warriors cheerleaders?! Myself and dc_red 'observed' a few of the NRL cheerleading squads a while back which I've linked to there.

I'm not quite sure what the point of having cheerleaders is. It's supposed to be to entertain the crowd but at high school it was so the guys in the first fifteen could get laid, in American colleges it's so the guys in the b'ball and football teams can get laid and in professional sport we all well know it's so the entire damn franchise can get laid.

Anyhow enough rambling (albeit strangely and unintentionally still on topic ... more or less).

I've been reading lately, as anybody who reads the sports pages would have too, about all the dodgy goings on of NRL players this year. Usually the dirt takes place on the field. Like in the Warriors game v Canberra where Jerry Seuseu was suspended for 7 weeks after whacking two guys in the head and kneeing another player in the gonads, Francis Meli and Sione Faumuina got 5 and 4 weeks respectively for merely picking a guy up and throwing him onto his head. I mean it was his own head for gods sakes!

Joseph Romanos has a nice summary of events thus far this season and it certainly has got a bit out of control. Although let's face it, it takes place in all professional sport, there's no need kidding ourselves there. NZ rugby has had similar nonsense, the EPL had it with Leicester and Newcastle this year, American football and basketball has it constantly + the wonderful extras like murder, gun possession and drug dealing thrown in for fun and you could go all day thereafter about all pro team comps where big money and big boys are involved...

Anyway check out what Romanos has come up with merely from the NRL this year...
Various clubs, such as the Melbourne Storm and Canberra Raiders, have had discipline issues that have hardly made headlines because of the bigger problems of the Canterbury Bulldogs and the New South Wales Blues.

The Bulldogs had to deal with the gang-rape case that resulted from their pre-season training camp on the Gold Coast. The police investigated for weeks, but then declined to press charges. They made it clear that they believed rape had taken place, but could not compile enough evidence to take the case to court. Half a dozen Canterbury players breathed a sigh of relief, then demanded apologies from all and sundry.

Canterbury boss Malcolm Noad said the players had been "vindicated", but then the club fined them hundreds of thousands of dollars. Canterbury also had to contend with fan violence and drugs allegations in the early weeks of the season.

On the eve of the first State of Origin match, many in the Blues team got into trouble, acting unprofessionally at an autograph session, making lewd phone calls and being involved in various other misdemeanours.

Two players, Anthony Minichiello and Mark Gasnier, were cut from the team and several others were fined.

I was amazed to learn that the players had been given $1000 each to enjoy their night. How many ways are there for young men to spend $1000 in a night? Not surprisingly, alcohol, gambling and a visit to a brothel were involved. What were officials thinking?

Blues coach Phil Gould's effort was far from outstanding. He said he was disappointed with the players. "They have to remember the media and the public own them every minute of every day," said Gould. That doesn't sound like a condemnation of player behaviour. It's more a warning that people are out to get them...
In Phil Gould's defence (can't believe I said that), he did say:
"A group of my players have done the wrong thing and I'm filthy ... I cannot begin to tell you how much that hurts."

Gould said he refused to be treated like a fool by his players, who had failed to respect his orders. "I can't remember a time in my coaching career when I have been more disappointed than I am right now. "The events of the past week have been a gut-wrenching experience for me. "This will definitely be my last season as NSW coach."
It remains to be seen whether or not he will be true to his word, and the way he ran onto the field to embrace his players after their golden point win in extra time of the first State of Origin Game suggests he may be rather forgiving of his troops. Although in saying that, the prime 'culprits' (Minichiello and Gasnier) had been given the boot from the squad earlier in the week.

And more from Romanos...
Following all this came news that I found even more staggering. The Cronulla Sharks A grade team had, with club approval, organised a lesbian stage show and offered oral sex as a prize for a fundraiser last month.

The fund-raiser was canned only after it was advertised in newspapers and local politicians and police got wind of it. Cronulla officials eventually conceded that "in hindsight" the show was a bad idea. Fancy needing hindsight to realise that.
I'm not sure if this is a defence or not that I'm about to enter into... but I was involved in a rugby team several years back that played a final at Eden Park. Yes, the hallowed rugby ground in Auckland. We got to use the All Black dressing room and low and behold somebody arranged strippers for after the match. So there I was, totally buck naked save for a towel on my lap after getting out of the shower, sitting on the same seat that would have had the arses of Sean Fitzpatrick, Michael Jones, Grant Fox et al in the past, with a tanned hottie gyrating in my lap. There was also a draw amongst the team and management to get a free 'massage' (fuck) from one of the hookers at the same joint that the strippers came from. I didn't see a problem with that but then again I suppose, there aren't 10,000+ coming to watch us play each week. Also I imagine a shitty NZ newspaper would have quite liked to pick up the story as one of those scandalous human interest stories that everybody loves so much.

and Romanos concludes his piece...
The NRL involves hundreds of wealthy young men with not enough to do to fill in their week outside rugby league. Many of them seem lacking in judgment and devoid of social graces. In view of that, it would behove league officials to tread extra carefully, not bow to the star syndrome.
Apparently sportsmen should be socially graceful whatever the hell that entails. I actually agree with Romanos in principle, that the NRL does need to clean up it's act otherwise there will just be a procession of guys coming into an unhealthy, moronic boof head scene and being 'forced' into being part of it (let's face it, peer pressure gets us all). But as well as the clubs bitch slapping their players into shape, the media could concentrate their attention on some bloody good footie that takes place each week and let the police deal with the criminal stuff should it pop up. If it ain't moral then sit back and think about all the similar stuff you have done and if aint illegal then pay no mind.

Also I'd like to know how these guys can go off boozing so much when they have nightmarish training sessions and brutal games every other day. After a big night out on the turps I'm barely in good enough shape to find the tv remote well after lunchtime let alone do 40 minutes worth of sprint training followed by 30 minutes of tackling practice etc at 10 in the morning...

and I'm off to soccer practice ... where we have no cheerleaders ... but our female coach has had 'sexual relations' with multiple members of the team. Now where's the newspapers?! Oh that's right, we aren't famous.


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