Dad, how could you?

The try line opened up in front of me. I was just 10 metres from glory and my first ever try in rugby league, plus a chance to send my team into the final of the Sydney Metropolitan U/6 round robin tournament.

I fixed my eyes on the prize and tucked the ball under my right arm. I gritted my teeth and charged for the try line when I saw a shape emerge from my left. It grew in size as it approached with zest and I knew it was aiming to cut me down. Through pure instinct I stuck out my left arm and produced a fend which belied my size and strength and sent the opposing halfback tumbling to the ground.

The elusive prize was still within my grasp and with growing confidence and eagerness I tore towards the opposition line as fast as my skinny little legs could carry me. I was nearing the line and the white chalk shone more brightly against the scuffed green grass and stud-marked mud. I was adamant that nothing would stop me from claiming the four points and the resultant hero status.

My eyes bulged with excitement until I felt another presence looming up on me. This one approached from behind on my right and I knew it had to be the opposing team’s speedster who had scored two of their tries with his blistering pace. Through intuition alone I anticipated his lunging tackle and stepped deftly off my left foot to leave him grasping at air. The try was still on.

No more than five metres separated me from victory and I lowered my head and charged towards the intersection of the try line and the touch line, as I knew this was the only way to evade the approaching cover defence. 4, 3, 2 metres and I had to keep charging and commit to the corner. The ball was cradled firmly within my arm and I made my final push. Smothered by two opposing players I crashed into the corner and was trampled into the mud, legs buckled under the two tacklers and arm outstretched to plant the ball over the try line with downward pressure. I had face planted and eaten dust and mud and grass and chalk and I knew I would be sore all over for days. I didn’t care. I was elated. I had scored the winning try which would propel my team into the grand final and a chance for metropolitan glory at the tender age of 5, when winning any game felt like winning a world cup.

I heard a muffle of screams and whoops and claps and groans as both teams reacted to my victorious lunge. I felt my team mates simultaneously jump on me and drag me off the ground and all pain subsided in a rush of joy and adrenaline.

On the way up from the ground, it happened.

I caught a glimpse of the linesman.

I knew I was close to the corner. That was deliberate. That was my only chance to score. I knew I had made it. I was sure I had landed within the field of play. I was pretty certain I had made it. I was confident. Surely it was a try.

Or was it?

As I regained my feet and was revelling in the adulation of my teammates and supporters, I saw it. Through flailing arms and back slaps and high fives I saw the flag. The linesman’s flag left his side and slowly, in a painstaking, slow motion arc, rose from the his hip up to his chest, beyond his chest, to his shoulder. Up, up it went. Up, up higher. Not Up, Up Cronulla, but up, up above his head until it was a mere extension if his outstretched arm.

The try had been disallowed. In the commotion, we had not heard the final whistle. We had lost. Elation turned to despair. The knock-out comp had knocked us out. It was all over.

I looked despairingly at the linesman.

How could you Dad?

Image:www.backyardfootyposts.com.au

Sammy Wanjiru and the marathon mystery.

Sammy Wanjiru achieved one of the most remarkable feats in Olympic marathon history, but what followed is a story of mystery and tragedy.

The Kenyan set a new Olympic games record of 2:06.32 when he won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games ahead of Jaouad Gharib of Morocco and Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia.

An Olympic record is a remarkable achievement in any circumstances, but Wanjiru’s is all the more impressive. Beijing was extremely hot and humid on the morning of the race and even the spectators in the main stadium and on the roadside were drenched in sweat. The heat and humidity combined with Beijing’s famous air pollution to make conditions some of the least favourable for a marathon runner. Despite this, Wanjiru attacked from the gun, and ran the first five kilometres in 14:52.

Legend has it that when the newly-crowned champion was asked about how the conditions affected his tactics and performance, he said that because of the heat he wanted to finish the race sooner so he just ran faster.

The comment illustrates something of the Kenyan mentality towards distance running. Ultimately, they believe that the key to success is hard work. The key to success is working harder in training than you do in a race. The key to success is working harder than any of your training partners, or anyone else on the track or the trails around Iten in the Rift Valley. This philosophy works because most of the other athletes running around Iten have enough raw talent to be the best in the world.

Wanjiru’s compatriots and training partners are also motivated by something other than patriotism, the Olympic ideals and the quest for personal excellence. They are motivated by money.

Most rural Kenyans, especially those from the running heartland of the Rift Valley, have very few opportunities to make enough money to live a comfortable life, free of the endless, monotonous physical labour which defines the life of most Iten locals. Running is their chance to make serious money.

It may surprise many people, even keen fans of Athletics, to know that Wanjiru won the first ever Olympic marathon gold medal for his country. Kenyans are famed for their long-distance victories, but have actually had more success in middle-distance events, or on the lucrative international road-running circuit.

Wanjiru and his neighbours grew up seeing successful distance runners making money. Champions bought nice houses for themselves and their families, wore good clothes and drove modern cars. They looked after their families and sent their children to good schools. Wanjiru and his peers grew up desiring this success.

Unfortunately, Wanjiru was one of the successful Kenyan runners who suffered from sudden fame and wealth and died in mysterious circumstances.

Wanjiru died after falling from the balcony of his home in Nyahuru 2011. The great champion, who still holds the world junior record for 10,000m, who won the London and Chicago marathons and set three world records for the half marathon, was dead before his 26th birthday.

The tragedy of a rare talent lost for ever is matched only by the mystery of his death. It was never established if Wanjiru was pushed, fell or jumped from the balcony.

The official police investigation and court proceedings failed to prove conclusively how Wanjiru died.

One theory suggests that his first of three wives, Triza Njeri, found him in bed with another woman and locked the couple in the bedroom. When she apparently ran outside Wanjiru jumped from the balcony, causing his death.

Another theory suggests that Wanjiru was murdered by a group of men working alongside Njeri. Wanjiru’s mother, Hannah told a court that she believes her son was murdered. During this investigation, a former pathologist claimed that the champion jumped from the balcony or was pushed, that he landed on his legs but was then struck by a blunt object.

What is known is that Wanjiru had been drinking at the time of his death. He had battled alcohol addiction throughout most of his short adult life, even while he was winning major international races and breaking records. This surely is testament to his talent and the amazing toughness of a fierce competitor whose finishing time in the stifling heat of Beijing is still the Olympic record.

A look back at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The world’s best athletes should be competing for the ultimate prize in world sport right now, but will instead have to wait another twelve months to test themselves against sport’s elite at Tokyo2020 (2021).

For fans whose sporting body clocks tell us that we should be glued to the screen, or shouting ourselves hoarse at a stadium, we can attempt to fill that void ever so slightly with a look back at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

National pride

Sport evokes a depth of patriotism matched only by war, and this is on clear display at an Olympiad. For Chinese citizens, their pride overflowed as they hosted their first ever truly international sporting event. Everyday Chinese citizens went out of their way to be helpful to foreigners, regardless of the language barrier. The roar of the crowd, in perfect unison inside the stadiums, was deafening and at times frightening. The hosts wore their patriotism on their sleeves, their faces…

International visitors also proudly displayed their national colours, at the stadiums, on public transport, in the streets, restaurants, bars, hotels…everywhere.

National pride consumes the athletes in ways that only a national representative can understand. Unrivalled emotions are experienced when athletes enter the stadium for the opening ceremony, in national uniform, alongside teammates united behind their national flag. For flag bearers, the honour compares only to the victories which earned them this right.

In Beijing, a funny thing happened during the opening ceremony. Something that caught many international spectators by surprise. Nations entered the stadium in the order of the spelling of their name in Chinese, not in English or French.

One thing didn’t change, though. When the host nation entered the stadium, the crowd erupted.

World class stadia

China delivered some of the world’s most impressive sporting facilities. The Bird’s Nest, which hosted the Athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies, and the Water Cube which hosted the swimming and aquatic events, are some of the best-known sporting facilities in the world.

An army of volunteers

China has one advantage over the rest of the world: An enormous population. They used this population to good effect at the games. The opening and closing ceremony performers were apparently armed forces members, accustomed to following directions and repeating actions again and again until performed with military precision. Day after day they filled the bowels of the Bird’s Nest waiting to rehearse their section of the elaborate ceremony.

The practice paid off. The opening and closing ceremonies were some of the most impressive in history, and a triumph of theatre and spectacle.

But is it sport?

No. And there are many sports purists who believe the theatrics of the opening and closing ceremonies are out of control as each host city tries to outdo its predecessor. They argue that the budget for the ceremonies alone plunge taxpayers into debt and the performances become so grand they threaten to overshadow the true stars of an Olympics, the athletes. The ceremonies in Beijing certainly supported this theory.

What about Tokyo?

What will the ceremonies look like in Tokyo? Assuming the games go ahead at some point in the future, can the government of Japan justify elaborate and expensive ceremonies after Japan has suffered the economic crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Mystery and secrecy

The Chinese government and the organising committee went to great lengths to guard a state secret during the 2008 Olympics. Not its actions in Dafur, not its actions in Taiwan or Tibet. A secret more guarded than its policies in Xinjiang and the South China Sea. The secret it would not reveal is the most precious secret at any Olympiad: Who would light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony.

In the days preceeding the ceremony, rumours spread throughout the media village and the entire city as to who would light the flame, and how. Pundits suggested all manner of techniques, drawing on the oldest and strongest stereotypes of the host country. The slightest movement on the roof of the Bird’s Nest sparked yet more speculation and theories.

Eventually, the world watched gymnast Li Ning suspended on a wire like a hero in a martial arts movie run a slow motion lap around the rim of the stadium before lighting the cauldron.

The party’s over.

Once the opening ceremony is finished, the work begins. The serious business of sport takes place and athletes do what what they have trained to do every day for years and years. Of course, the stadium had to be returned to a sporting arena after the ceremonial extravaganza.

Sporting superstars

Every fan has their favourite moment, favourite athlete or favourite team from every Olympics. Australian fans lucky enough to be in Sydney in 2000 will recall Cathy Freeman’s victory in the 400m on the Athletics track. Fijians still beam with pride at the memory of their first ever Olympic medal, gold in the men’s Rugby 7s in Rio.

Chinese fans were robbed of a Cathy Freeman moment when their national hero and pre-race favourite, Liu Xiang, withdrew from the 110m hurdle event with a knee injury in 2008. I was in the stadium when it happened and the grief and disappointment among the Chinese people was palpable. Liu reached down to touch his knee before setting himself on the starting blocks, something he wouldn’t normally do. He then raised his hand and walked off the track. He was out. He couldn’t compete. He couldn’t win gold in front of his adoring home fans. Some locals screamed, all stared in disbelief at the big screen. Men and women cried, and every second journalist in the stadium rushed to find him and get that quote. Alas, for Liu it wasn’t meant to be.

International superstars grace every Olympics, in many different sports. In Beijing, one of the most famous faces on the planet, Lionel Messi, took gold in the men’s football with his Argentinian teammates, including fellow star Juan Riquelme.

One World, One Dream

One World One Dream, One Country Two Systems, China talks a lot about unity. It is interesting to note that since the 2008 Olympic Games, China has sought to create one world – under its control. Its policies and actions in Tibet, Xinjiang, the South China Sea, Taiwan and Hong Kong indicate China’s desire to exert control over its region and the rest of the world. Just as interesting is that despite this, Beijing is scheduled to host another of the IOCs major events, the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Until the world’s best athletes meet again in Tokyo, or elsewhere, at some point in the future, we leave you with these memories of the 2008 games. What was your favourite moment in Beijing?

Matshediso Bakang Ebudilwe is fulfilling a dream.

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Each stroke of the pedals brings mountain biker Matshediso Bakang Ebudilwe closer to realising her dream.

Her ultimate goal is to manage a professional women’s cycling team, and the determined cyclist from Botswana has already taken the first steps to achieving that dream. Baks, as she is known to her friends, became the first Motswana (citizen of Botswana) to represent the African country at a UCI world championship event, when she battled the hills in the u23 category in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, in 2018.

“That was like a dream come true,” explains the pint-sized rider.

“I was so happy and I felt like a hero. That was the best thing that I have ever done for this mother land.”

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The next goal is to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in the Mountain Bike Cross Country event, where she hopes to join some of her team mates from The Sufferfest African Dream Team.

“African Dream Team is the only UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) registered team in Africa. It is an MTB team for African riders from Lesotho and Botswana, although I’m the only rider from Botswana.”

Ebudilwe is hoping to draw motivation and advice from her team mates, including Phetetso Monese, who competed at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The establishment of The Sufferfest African Dream Team is the major reason that Ebudilwe switched from road cycling, where she won multiple national titles, to mountain biking.

“The scholarship for the African Dream Team was available only for mountain biking, so I decided to try for the scholarship because I didn’t want to miss that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

This opportunity sees Ebudilwe divide her time between southern Africa, where the team trains on the hills and altitude of Lesotho and South Africa, and Switzerland, where she is based during the European racing season.

Switzerland is a long way from the village of Mahalapye in the north of Botswana, where the self-confessed tomboy grew up.

“I grew up with my brother and cousins as the only girl, playing with the boys and everything they did. I did my primary and secondary school in Mahalapye, where I played soccer and I was the team captain.”

“I moved to the great city of Gaborone for senior school, and I got involved in cycling when I was doing my final year. I wanted to try a new sport, then I thought cycling is not so popular, so let me go for it.”

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A background in road cycling explains where Ebudilwe’s strengths lie as a mountain biker.

“Since I started cycling with a road bike, I’m better on flatter trails, where I can just put the hammer down and go without any obstacles to do. I think I am better at endurance, definitely not climbing, because I’m from a very flat country and low altitude.”

That said, she is certainly enjoying her adopted sport.

“MTB is fun, it gives me freedom. I go anywhere I want. It’s also challenging mentally on some of the obstacles.”

Ebudilwe’s ascension to the world championships began on African soil, where she competed in the African Youth Games, the African Road Championships and the African MTB Championships. It is also where she joined fellow Dream Team rider Likeleli Masitise for a very credible 3rd place in the Elite Women’s category of ‘Lesotho Sky’, a six-stage cross country race through the high-altitude trails of the land-locked African nation.

While Ebudilwe is the first Motswana to challenge herself against the sport’s best at the world championships, she doesn’t expect to be the last.

“My federation is trying to make the MTB sport grow. They took 7 guys to the African Championships in Namibia this year, so they’re really trying.”

She also credits the federation, as well as her support network, with her rise to the elite level of the sport.

“There are lots of people who contribute a lot to my cycling career. My local club Tsela riders, my team African Dream Team, my federation, my parents and friends, they support me left, right and centre.”

The 22-year-old revealed that she was chubby when she was 17/18, and that her dedication to training helped her to lose weight and develop the endurance of an elite cyclist.

“I train hard, I build my power in wattbikes and I try to push myself, even if it’s painful. I want to go to the Olympics next year.”

The time spent sweating in the lab is also taking Ebudilwe closer to her ultimate dream.

“I want to get a degree in sports management. Having a lady’s team is one of my dreams, and I also want to have my own beautiful family one day and own a laboratory for sports tests.”

Baks describes herself as a quiet person,

“…but that depends on where I am and who I am with. At school I was the funniest.”

It’s no surprise then, when she reveals;

“Above all, I want to live a happy life.”

Images: supplied

 

 

How do you stop Lionel Messi?

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How do you stop Lionel Messi?

Many footballers, fans and coaches throughout the world would love to know that. The Argentinian superstar is still scoring goals and winning games for Barcelona and Argentina and he remains one of the best footballers on the planet.

Thus, how do you curtail his whippet-like speed?

How do you halt those magical feet?

How do you stall the champion and detain him, hold him stationary for more than a split second?

You might try the following method.

Herd him into a narrow space.

In this case, the broadcast area of the mixed zone at the Beijing Olympics, where Messi had helped Argentina to beat Nigeria and take the gold medal.

Smile.

Thrust a microphone at him.

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Ask, politely, in Spanish, if he has time to answer a few questions.

Steps two to four will prove more successful if said microphone is held by Mexican television presenter, and former Miss Universe contestant, Marisol Gonzalez.

Messi is sure to stop, smile, and linger a while.

That is how you stop the great Lionel Messi.

 

Is it right for girls to fight?

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I saw teenage girls fighting Muay Thai recently in Bangkok, and I’m still not sure how I should feel about it.

The fight featured girls as young as 14 battling for glory in front of a healthy crowd of tourists at the end of the Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives spectacular at Asiatique: The Riverfront in Bangkok.

The promise of authentic Muay Thai fights had lured many visitors who lacked the desire or means to attend a local Muay Thai event full of predominantly testosterone and alcohol charged men betting their life savings on their chosen warrior.

The tourist friendly show, in contrast, features real fighters throwing real kicks and punches, and spilling real blood, in the comfort of an air conditioned theatre complete with plush chairs, cup holders and popcorn.

My comfort was jolted when I saw the two girls emerge for the female fight. They were tiny. Both were short, slim, fit, athletes who looked more like junior marathon runners than fighters.

They’re going to fight?

Surely they’re too young, too small, too slim. They’ll snap in half.

While the girls performed the customary pre-fight ritual, I wondered how much they must weigh, and where they would be placed in boxing categories; featherweight, bantamweight, flyweight…?

Then my questions were answered. Look  ‘Supergirl’ Jaroonsak weighed in at just 48kg. The 15-yr-old would be classified as Mini Flyweight, and her opponent was actually shorter and younger than her.

The next shock arrived with the sound of the opening bell. The girls charged at each other, bouncing, kicking, clinching, kneeing and punching with the energy and freedom of a schoolyard brawl, which any school teacher would feel compelled to break up. The fights continued under the watchful eye of the referee and the young fighters’ natural athleticism, impressive flexibility and sharp skill created two very entertaining contests.

The pint-sized warriors didn’t hold back. The punches were real, the kicks were real and often well placed. The pain was real and so was the blood.

The fight didn’t last the distance, unfortunately. While ‘Supergirl’ lived up to her nickname, the fight came to a premature end when her opponent had to retire hurt. She was stopped not by the barrage of kicks to the leg or torso, not by the punches to the face or the elbows to her crown. Nor did she succumb to Jaroonsak’s  lethal knee strikes. No, she was stopped by a sprained ankle; the same injury she could easily sustain running cross-country or playing tennis or netball.

This incident reminded me that this fight was simply competitive sport for the girls, the officials, the coaches and even the families of the girls, who clapped their daughter upon victory or consoled her in defeat.

It was certainly a sport to Supergirl’s infant brother, who lapped the ring imitating his sister’s kicks and punches with great enthusiasm.

So, while one young girl limped out of the ring with an ice pack around her ankle, I began to think.

Why am I uncomfortable with girl’s fighting?

Would I feel the same way if the fighters had been 14-15-yr-old boys? Am I simply being sexist and conservative?

The girls appear to be fighting by choice and the hours of training had certainly kept them healthy. They demonstrated a high skill level and a genuine respect for the sport and its history, which had been outlined in the preceding stage show.

Is the sport as brutal as it looks?

Is my reaction the product of the safe, sanitised Western society in which I was brought up?

Would my opinion change if I stepped into the ring with them? They’d probably snap me in half.

Are the girls fighting for fun or for a future career?

According to a Thai friend with whom I spoke a few days after the fight, top Muay Thai fighters can earn very good money in Thailand, a country with limited economic opportunities.

Regardless of my doubts, one thing is certain. I don’t remember the names, ages or weight of any of the male fighters from that night, but I certainly remember ‘Supergirl’.

Image: http://www.fightland.vice.com

 

 

Why do A-League players commit less scandals than players from the NRL, AFL and Super Rugby?

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How many A-League footballers have been involved in off-field scandals in recent years?

How many proponents of The World Game have been caught taking or dealing illicit drugs, beating their wives, fornicating with dogs, urinating in public, gambling to excess, abusing alcohol, drink-driving or creating a social media scandal?

Can you think of any? Can you think of one?

If you can’t think of many, or even one, that’s not a surprise, because ‘footballers’ who play in the A-League have been involved in only a few scandals in recent years, compared to players from the NRL, AFL and Super Rugby, whose names constantly appear in the media for controversial incidents.

Where is the evidence?

The evidence can be found in The Frownlow Medal, a satirical award given to the footballer, from across Australia’s four major codes, who commits the worst off-field scandal in a 12-month period. The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours players who have committed scandals in previous years.

Previous winners of The Frownlow Medal are Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Corey Norman and Tim Simona, who are (or were) NRL players, and Karmichael Hunt, who played NRL and AFL before finding a home at the Queensland Reds Super Rugby team. Famous Hall of Fame inductees include AFL bad boy Ben Cousins and NRL player Julian O’Neill.

The total number of nominees per code since the awards’ inception in 2015 are listed below:

A-League – 5

NRL – 138

AFL – 57

Super Rugby – 20

#figures correct at time of publication.

Why?

What makes the A-League different?

The game?

The A-League is the only non-contact sport. Super Rugby and AFL require their players to put their body on the line, while Rugby League is simply brutal.

The History?

The A-League is the new, mainstream incarnation of a sport built by migrants and it is far more racially diverse than any of the other codes. The new mainstream appeal of the sport sees it enjoy consistent support throughout the country.

Rugby League emerged from working-class, inner-city Sydney before spreading throughout NSW and Queensland, while Rugby Union players traditionally came from exclusive private schools in those two states.

AFL, meanwhile, attracts players and supporters from across the social divide throughout Victoria and many other states.

Alcohol?

Alcohol is a common thread in nominations for players from all codes. So do NRL and AFL players drink more? Are they less capable of holding their drink?

What about Super Rugby players? They certainly enjoy a drink, but they are still less represented in the list of nominees. Can the private school network of Australian Rugby Union simply afford more expensive lawyers to keep their players’ names out of the papers?

Race?

A- League players and fans are truly drawn from every race in Australia. The three other codes are still predominantly Caucasian / Anglo-Saxon, although League and Union have seen a huge increase in players of Pacific Island descent. AFL, in particular, has made a deliberate attempt to identify talent among many ethnic groups, particularly the tall, athletic Sudanese men who seem ideally suited to the game. That said, none of the three codes enjoy anywhere near the same multicultural mix as the A-League.

Fame?

How many A-League players, apart from the marketing masterstroke Usain Bolt, are household names throughout Australia? In fact, how many Socceroos, apart from the recently retired Tim Cahill, are household names outside football circles?

Compare this to the unabashed adoration of AFL players in Melbourne and the rest of Victoria, as well as in SA, WA, Tasmania and the NT. Compare it also to the hero status of League and Union players in NSW and Queensland.

So, can we identify any of the factors listed above as the reason for the lack of off-field scandals among A-League players? Perhaps it’s a combination of all of them.

Who are the five A-League players to be nominated?

To find out, head to http://www.instagram.com/thefrownlowmedal/ or thefrownlowmedal.wordpress.com. Here you can find a full list of the A-League players and every other player who has so far been nominated for Australia’s most prestigious inter-code award.

Image: http://www.a-league.com.au

The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame Presents The Five-Man Scrum.

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The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame is excited to announce the greatest innovation in the history of Rugby Union – the five-man scrum.

The five-man scrum combines the traditional eight-man scrum with the three-man scrum employed in Rugby Sevens and has been introduced in honour of the five ACT Brumbies players who employed the tactic in an argument with a South African taxi driver, which also earned them a nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 before Corey Norman in 2016 and Tim Simona in 2017.

The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.

Former ACT Brumbies players Joe Roff, Rod Kafer, Owen Finegan, Bill Young and Peter Ryan formed a scrum to push a taxi away from a police station in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2000. The driver had pulled into the station for assistance after the players had refused to pay the fare. Instead of finding a solution, however, the driver found his car down the street with no taxi metre and damage to the vehicle.

This occurred after the five players had become intoxicated at a restaurant, causing them to run around with their pants down and draw all over the tables with tomato sauce.

Rumours surfaced at the time that the players behaved in this manner at the restaurant because Brumbies officials had refused their demands to take them to McDonalds, buy them a McHappy meal and let them play in the kiddies’ playground.

Three of the players were fined and suspended by rugby authorities as a result of their behaviour, while two were issued with warnings.

The five-man scrum is expected to be a hugely popular addition to the game they play in heaven. Proponents argue that it will help to speed up the game, which will attract more viewers in an age of short-form sport.

However, northern hemisphere teams have fiercely rejected any move which will threaten their stranglehold on this facet of the game and hand an advantage to the already dominant southern hemisphere nations.

The revolutionary concept carries a gender-specific label because it will be implemented in the men’s game first, as it was invented by male players from the Brumbies. It will then become the norm for the women’s game and even filter down to the junior level.

While the finer details are still being formulated, it is known that players will be forced to drop their pants before forming the scrum, in another tribute to the scrum’s creators. This is a very exciting prospect for those packing down in the second row and for the audience, particularly if they are enjoying a meat pie while watching the game.

The taxi debacle was one of a number of drunken scandals involving Australian sportsmen (including Rugby League players) to occur around this time. This prompted a report on the ABC Radio program ‘PM’ into player behaviour, during which NRL spokesman John Brady claimed,

“…the fact of the matter is there’s been an enormous amount of work done and there are very few incidents.”

Judges of The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame invite Mr. Brady to stay tuned to this blog, and to consult http://www.instagram/thefrownlowmedal for the latest updates on Australian based footballers who have been involved in off-field incidents.

Image:Nuna

Nick Phipps Urinates His Way to A Nomination for The Frownlow Medal.

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Rugby Union player Nick Phipps has joined a long and illustrious list of players to be nominated for The Frownlow Medal for public urination.

The NSW Waratahs club captain admitted to urinating on the public bar at the Woollahra Hotel, in Sydney, while celebrating his buck’s party. He was suspended as club captain and fined $4000 for the incident.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 before Corey Norman in 2016 and Tim Simona in 2017.

The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.

Phipps has announced his candidacy for The Frownlow Medal this year, but will find it hard to enter The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame up against some of the true masters of public urination.

Former NRL player Todd Carney is the most famous urinator, and his ability to demonstrate such impressive accuracy and control, as well as maintaining recommended levels of post-match hydration, saw him inducted into The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

Former NRL player Greg Bird also earned a nomination during his wedding weekend, but outshone Phipps when he urinated on a Police car in Byron Bay.

Bird and Carney head a list of past and present NRL players, and Frownlow urinators, including Craig Gower, Anthony Watmough, Willie Mason, Mitchell Pearce, Paul Gallen, Terrence Seu Seu and Frownlow legend Julian O’Neill.

Phipps will discover later this year if he has done enough to win The Frownlow Medal.

Image:Nuna

Daly Cherry-Evans and Jackson Hastings Take Their Bromance to The Frownlow Medal.

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Rugby League players Daly Cherry-Evans and Jackson Hastings are the latest footballing besties to be nominated for The Frownlow Medal.

The Manly halves pairing captivated Frownlow judges with their torrid tiff, which earned Cherry-Evans a $10,000 fine and saw Hastings potentially banished from the NRL.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 before Corey Norman in 2016 and Tim Simona in 2017.

The playmakers proved that halves who play together stay together when they were involved in more than one altercation in Gladstone, Queensland. It is believed the second tiff happened at a strip club. There are unsubstantiated rumours that it started when a stripper tried to get between the two star-crossed lovers. This followed several off-field incidents involving Hastings.

Like every great football bromance, the relationship was repaired after the players kissed and made up, put the incident behind them and committed themselves to winning games and moving forward…

The pair will now attend the grand awards night for The Frownlow Medal later this year. They will take their place at the Bromance table alongside Justin Hodges and Corey Oates, James Tedesco and Shannon Wakeman, Wayne Carey and Anthony Stevens, Billy Brownless and Garry Lyon, as well as Ben Cousins and Daniel Kerr, and Daniel Cousins…

Image:Nuna