I’m a Raiders fan and I’m generation x. I also need a bex and a good lie down!
I must admit I am struggling to understand the “me, me, me”attitude of generation y and all its trappings. In the space of 24 hours, we have two twentysomethings charged with criminal offences for nothing more than sheer stupidity, bravado and grog. Blake Ferguson, Canberra’s prodigal son, is at it again. In the interests of innocent until proven guilty, I will comment on the stupidity of what happened in the lead up to the alleged indecent assault in Cronulla on Sunday night. I’ll reference fellow bonehead Josh Dugan as well in the interests of catching all the stupid fish with a very small net.
We’ll get to George Burgess’antics later. Let’s just focus on Harry and Lloyd, aka Dumb and Dumber. Both were selected for NSW for Origin II and both promptly decided a celebration was in order. A rooftop could not be found so Cronulla was the destination of choice. Warning bells anyone? Origin Camp started the following day and a bonding session ensued but that was not enough for these two. They had to get on it ASAP and were spotted drinking champers out of the bottle after leaving Northies for 2230. With so much at stake, neither player once thought to put the well being of the game before themselves.
And that’s what stinks the most. I hear people excusing Dugan and said he did nothing wrong. Technically correct, but wouldn’t the Dragons be more than a little miffed he was drinking after walking around in a moon boot over the weekend? The Dragons must have grave misgivings about Dugan’s ability to see out the duration of a contract longer than three months. Caveat Emptor I say when referring to Dugan. A ticking timebomb and the fuse has been lit.
What was Ferguson thinking and did he, at any time stop to think about the consequences of his actions? Obviously not. His selfish attitude sickens me and his complete arrogance and disregard for his club, the fans, NSW and the game itself shows what a selfish bonehead he really is. I simply cannot make excuses for such poor behaviour on an ongoing basis. All the do gooders will be saying he needs help but we’ve been down that path before and Ferguson has thrown it back in everyone’s faces, especially NSW coach Laurie Daley. What must he be thinking?
The thing I fail to understand is the generation x nature. A gifted athlete like Ferguson has had a career in Rugby League littered with indiscretions and there are surely some we don’t know about…yet. How does the game make these players see the light? Do they insist players partake in work experience to see how the other half live? Give them a taste of the real world? Take them way from the rarified atmosphere of being a sporting god. Let them feel what it is like to work for a living.
The NRL are on the right track as far as the Integrity Unit is concerned. Swift and decisive action has now been taken against three players in James Tamou, Blake Ferguson and George Burgess with the former two paying a sever financial penalty when you consider they lose their Origin pay cheque of $30,000 per game. Kudos to Dave Smith on this move. We might see things get worse before they get better though. It’s the way things usually happen. Be prepared people because by their very nature, Rugby League players are slow learners, very slow. Look at the number of players involved in alcohol related incidents over the past few years. It’s an indictment on the game that they can’t bring these neanderthals under control.
What should the Raiders do with Ferguson? Sacking gifted players has come back to bite the Raiders on two occasions. First Carney and now Dugan. By sacking Ferguson, the Raiders lose a gifted player and some other NRL team will pick him up on the cheap for a season then offer him a multi year, multi million dollar deal. How do the Raiders benefit in any way by sacking Ferguson? The answer is they don’t. The Raiders should keep him. Suspend him for ten weeks. Not fussed but don’t let a team like the Bulldogs or Dragons pick him up for next to nothing and reap the rewards at Canberra’s expense.
What about old Georgie boy? Nice effort George. Threw a street sign through a car window in Cairns. Not sure what prompted that course of action but it’s up there as far as boneheaded behaviour goes. Has already pleaded guilty and has been stood down by the NRL. Not sure how long for but is there a chance George could be deported and have his working visa cancelled due to criminal conduct? That would send a strong message to any player hoping to get on the NRL gravy train from abroad and run amok once they get here.
Sure, these are young men in the prime of their lives but when are they going to stop and think about the consequences of their actions? Are we the public building these boofheads up to the point where they think they are above the law? Sure looks that way.
The NRL are on the right track but we all know as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow this is not the last we will see of this oafish behaviour. The players won’t heed the call to behave and the public will be forced to endure more stupidity from immature, overpaid athletes who have nothing better to do with their time than drink and cause trouble.
It will be repeated in the CBD of every major city in Australia this Friday and Saturday night.
If I had all day I’d list the shame file of players who have been involved in news breaking headlines for all the wrong reasons but I have work to do folks so you’ll have to excuse me.