Former NRL player Jacob Loko claims he felt ‘out of this world’ upon hearing of his nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Nomination and immediately relayed the news to his ‘business associates’, who know him as El Loco.
The former Canterbury and Parramatta player pleaded guilty to possession of ecstasy at rugby league’s spiritual home, The Star casino in Sydney. As a result, the Bulldogs terminated his contract and did not offer him a new one for the following season.
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 and Sydney Roosters player Shaun Kenny Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while Corey Norman from the Parramatta Eels won in 2016.
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 Todd Carney.
When El Loco was informed that possession of ecstasy is actually a minor charge compared to the crimes of other Frownlow nominees, he replied;
“Is it? I didn’t know that. I’m sorry.”
The former Bulldog faces strong competition from other ex-footballers who have been charged with crimes such as drink driving, assault, domestic violence and even rape of a 14-year-old girl.
His chances of entering the Hall of Fame increased, however, when he reminded the Frownlow judges that he was also banned for four games for involvement in a wild city brawl and was once arrested for high range drink driving.