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

A-LEAGUE-HEADER-2

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.

frownlow1

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.

frownlow1

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.

frownlow1

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

Post Football Blues Earn Lazar Vidovic a Nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

frownlow1

Former AFL player Lazar Vidovic has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame for behaviour which he blamed on retirement from professional football.

The used-car salesman pleaded guilty to numerous charges of forgery relating to his automotive business and his lawyer claimed that he was drinking heavily and suffering from stress at the time of the incidents, all because of “post football blues”

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.

The lawyer also argued that Vidovic “…learnt to party hard at St Kilda” and that this contributed to his crimes, which included forging the signature of a magistrate in order to avoid punishment for infringement notices pertaining to cars he owned.

He was fined $7,500 as punishment.

The ex-ruckman was unable to convince the judges of the court and will have to wait until late 2018 to learn if he has done enough to persuade the Frownlow judges and earn a coveted position in The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

Image:Nuna

Suleiman Kangangi Finishes in Top 20 at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

SuliSalim

Suleiman Kangangi was pleased but not elated with his 19th place finish in the recent Commonwealth Games Road Race on the Gold Coast, Australia.

The Kenyan cyclist crossed the line 57 seconds behind race winner Steele Von Hoff of Australia and was satisfied with the effort he applied against riders from some of the best professional teams in the world.

“Results don’t really reflect how well we raced. Nevertheless, it’s still OK considering everything,” he summarised.

Kangangi was prominent in the bright red Kenyan jersey as he joined the first significant break-away with 115km remaining in the race. The strong group included African arch-rival, Rwandan Joseph Areruya, and Australian Matt Hayman, a former winner of Paris-Roubaix.

Sky team rider Luke Rowe, of Wales, brought Kangangi’s group back into the peloton, where the Kenyan rested before following more attacks up the two climbs in the middle of the course.

After Peter Waruiru and David Kinjah fell too far off the pace and were removed from the race, the Kenyan team consisted of Kangangi and Salim Kipkemboi

“Salim went with the next move while I kept my cool in the peloton, trying to save energy. It wasn’t easy with such a small team.”

SuliSalim
Suleiman (left) with Salim Kipkemboi at Gold Coast 2018.

The boy from Eldoret, in the Rift Valley, started the final lap in the peloton, alongside Kipkemboi and another Bike Aid teammate, Charles Kagimu, who rode for Uganda and finished in 20th place, with the same time as Kangangi.

The trio fought to stay in touch with the leaders as the favourites from the British Isles, Australia and New Zealand launched attack after attack.

“I knew something would happen before the finish, but at this point Salim was already spent and I just couldn’t put myself closer to the front, due to the wind and the fast pace,” he explained.

“On the first climb, New Zealand went full gas and I was caught a little bit behind. On the second climb I managed to get back to the front group which was like a selection of 10 guys, but before I could catch my breath (Individual Time Trial winner Cameron) Meyer attacked and I couldn’t follow immediately.”

“Hayman and I got dropped and we tried to ride to the finish, but another group from behind caught us.”

Kangangi, Kipkemboi and Kagimu now head to Kenya before resuming their racing season in Europe.

Images:Bike Aid

 

Commonwealth Games Road Race Leaves Salim Kipkemboi ‘A Bit Tired.’

received_1076565785819364-1
Kipkemboi (left) with fellow Kenyan Suleiman Kangangi. Gold Coast 2018.

Kenyan cyclist Salim Kipkemboi was “a bit tired” after finishing 39th in the Commonwealth Games Road Race on the Gold Coast, behind gold medallist Steele Von Hoff of Australia, who won in 3:57.01.

Kipkemboi battled hard all day and featured in the second major break-away of the day, before Von Hoff’s teammates, especially Individual Time Trial gold medallist Cameron Meyer, brought the group back into the peloton, where Kipkemboi joined compatriot Suleiman Kangangi.

Both Kenyans were in the peloton when the bell sounded for the final lap, before Kiwi powerhouse Jack Bauer launched the first serious attack and decimated the peloton. A small, elite group fought out the final bunch sprint, 2:38 minutes ahead of Kipkemboi.

“The result is not so good, but I did my best,” he said after the race.

Kangangi also featured in a major break, and Kipkemboi explained that this was a deliberate strategy.

“We had to be in moves. There were only two Kenyans left for most of the race because our other teammates ( David Kinjah and Peter Waruiru ) got dropped on a very fast lap.”

Kipkemboi’s presence in the break-away group, which dangled in front of the peloton for about 50km, drew praise from the Australian commentators, who saw it as a sign of the progress of cycling in Kenya and Africa.

Salim big smile

The rise to international competition, against cyclists who race for the world’s very best teams, is also a sign of Kipkemboi’s personal progression. It is not so long ago that he was selling firewood on the side of the road near his home in the northern Rift Valley. Now he is a full-time, professional cyclist.

“Cycling is now a major part of my life, since I signed a contract with a continental team. I now see a bright future and a better life,” he explained.

“My parents couldn’t afford to pay for my secondary education, but now I have managed to buy myself a piece of land and I’m looking forward to building a house, God willing.”

“I didn’t know cycling was going to take me this far, but now I realise it is a privilege and it is important as a way of earning a living. I’ve been able to help my parents and my brothers and sisters and it’s been a great adventure to see different parts of the world.”

One part of the world he is now more familiar with is Germany, the home base of his new professional team, Bike Aid, with whom he signed after strong results for his first team, Kenyan Riders.

It was in Bike Aid colours that he achieved his best result so far, a stage win in the Sharjah Tour earlier this year.

The toughness required for elite cycling is something Kipkemboi developed as a child in rural Kenya.

“The most interesting thing I can remember about my childhood was how I used to enjoy playing with my neighbours. After school we would walk and play bare foot and at the time it was painful whenever I stepped in thorns, but that was just normal.

Now I know that it was making me hard for my future,” he laughed.

A future, he hopes, that includes participation in the biggest cycling races in the world.

Images: Bike Aid.

Jason Roe Nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

frownlow1

Former AFL player Jason Roe has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal after pleading guilty to drug charges.

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.

Roe pleaded guilty to possessing and selling a commercial amount of cannabis in 2015 in the Northern Territory.

The drugs were apparently sold to another former AFL player, Heath Culpitt, but did not attract a severe punishment after Roe’s lawyer, Peter Maley, argued that the former Brisbane Lion had been exposed to the drug whole working for a mining company and that,

“He’s the picture of role model for Indigenous Australians.”

Image:Nuna

Israel Folau Plays Hugby.

folau

Israel plays Hugby. He plays Hugby for NSW and Australia and he is one of the best and most famous Hugby players in the world.

He loves playing Hugby.

He also gets played a lot of money to play Hugby.

I know what you’re thinking, Israel Foloau plays Rugby.

Not according to a Brazilian friend in Sydney, Australia, home to Folau’s club team, The  NSWWaratahs.

According to my Brazilian friend, Folau and his teammates play Hugby, because Brazilians often replace the R sound with the H sound when they speak English.

So, Rugby becomes Hugby.

I learned this when I went to a friend’s house to watch a game of Super Rugby, and his Brazilian wife asked which football code we were watching on that particular occasion. We told her “Rugby”, as we call it colloquially in Australia, as opposed to “League”, the vernacular for Rugby League.

When we told her we’d be taking over the lounge room to watch Hugby, she joined her friends to ‘fofocar’, after asking;

“Is this the game where they run into each other or the game where they jump on top of each other?”

According to Samia, League players just run into each other, while Hugby players just jump on top of each other.

I’m sure Israel Folau loves jumping on top of other players, he loves Hugby.

Image:www.en.espn.co.uk

 

God’s Plan for Israel Folau is The Frownlow Medal.

frownlow1

God has spoken.

Israel Folau is now nominated for The Frownlow Medal following a controversial homophobic statement on social media.

Folau said that God’s plan for homosexual people is Hell unless they repent of their sins.

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 star Rugby Union player’s comments were met with a torrent of responses from incensed social media users.

The original post was later removed, following the backlash, but it is unclear whether that was before or after Folau attended confession.

In a case of irony that seems to be the exclusive realm of modern professional sportspeople, Foloau was the face of the Bingham Cup, an amateur gay Rugby Union tournament, only four years ago.

The Waratahs and Wallabies star now becomes the second code-hopping footballer to be nominated for The Frownlow Medal in 2018, after Karmichael Hunt was charged with drug dealing for the second time in his career.

Folau will discover later this year if he has won The Frownlow Medal, unless he receives a message from upstairs in the meantime.

Image:Nuna