Rugby league – a simple game played by (some) even simpler twits

It was great news for St George rugby league fans when Josh ‘Tweets’ Dugan signed for the injury scarred NRL team. Well that’s how it should read. But in most people’s minds, those who have an IQ above their age, there would be a lingering doubt about Tweets.

There is a sense that he actually still doesn’t understand the implications of responsible use of social media let alone know how to spell it. Some may remember that Tweets Dugan was put under immense pressure for not getting the accolades he so richly deserves and then by telling a fellow tweeter to “end it”. Dugan got involved in tweets at twenty paces after he posted a photo of himself and a friend with their shirts off on photo-sharing app Instagram. The conversation went badly like this;

“I’d hate to be ya nuffie, At least my dog doesn’t speak up like you ya loud mouth … who are ya by the way? I could never play another game of NRL and I’ve still accomplished more than you. Haha righto Marky Mark: go get another Raiders Tattoo then end yourself. Your mrs is hot too by the way haha you obviously don’t read the news more the fool you haha your a joke. All my tats put together are better than your one rubbish one plus your bad head. Should call you don bradman ya batting well above average with her. Send her my way ill show her the time of her life.”

When exposed by mainstream media and ending the possibility of a $2M deal with the Brisbane Broncos, Tweets blamed pressure.

“I know I coulda handled myself better but things have built up!”

It’s not so much that Tweets doesn’t appear sincere to resurrect his flagging career. He just doesn’t seems that bright. But compared to one of his fellow tweeter twits, Tariq Sims he is pure Genome Project. Tariq plays for the North Queensland Cowboys and his parents gave him an Arabic birth name that apparently means “evening caller” or “striker”. But that is not apparent from his Twitter account where his profile proclaims that he is;

“part time rapper. heapppsssss into fishing Chuck Norris wannabe tha vill”.

Now I’m not sure what Tariq is fishing for or what bait he is using but he has captured the imagination of 7,359 followers. But I don’t think he is employing even a tincture of imagination here as he seems pure polyester. Now I know the conventions of Twitter allow most to spell as if they were shortchanged by being given only a 12 letter alphabet but this character has single-handedly reconstructed the English language.

Tweets Duggan has told the media that during his suspension he spent time on a building site and found that actually having to work for a living made him realise what he had given up. What he had given up were those sunny afternoons sipping cruisers with Blake ‘Fergo’ Ferguson and becoming involved in inane tweetathons with inked lumpoonies who love to act like faux gangstas from LA but who actually come from small breadbins like Cooma or Gerringong.

St George hierarchy see no reason to stop Tweets from using social media responsibly. Their CEO, Peter Doust says “There will not be a ban at the club for Josh however, he will be required to adhere to the Club’s comprehensive social media and communications policies and be involved in ongoing education in this area, in particular. We recognise that social media is a contemporary method of communication that can be extremely positive for communication when used responsibly, particularly for athletes in communicating with their fans.”

Well it is or indeed it could be a great communications tool for the Striker Sims, Fergs, Tweets and the wonderfully named Sandor Earl. Sadly the only tools here are the athletes. A sample of recent tweets from these great communicators;

Blake Ferguson ‏@fergyferg2 9 Mar
@tariqsims @chicko9 @josh_dugan @sandorearl @williams_297 thanks my bra! Miss ya head lad even tho I see it on insta modeling up 24/7

Sandor Earl ‏@sandorearl 10 May
Me and the man himself getting our supplement fix at elitesuppscanberra elitesuppscanberra… http://instagram.com/p/ZIX6LTJkNr/

chicko segeyaro ‏@chicko9 20h
“The wolf on top the hill is never as hungry as the wolf climbing the hill..true but wen the wolf on top the hill is hungry the food there”

Tariq sims ‏@tariqsims 9 May
View from my windo!! Notttt baddddd pic.twitter.com/AlbbXlEcoB

What a rich field of thought and language these chaps traverse. Apart from assisting Australian school kids to slip further down the OECD educational rankings these clowns do not want to use social media to communicate with fans in a thoughtful way. All they seem to want to do is spell badly, show off their tats on Instagram and indulge in banal fart-like social squirts.

The majority of NRL players are good solid young blokes who bash and barge each weekend and end up with bad knees. We don’t really want them to communicate. We just want them to play league well. They shouldn’t use social media to continually prove that they are a few sandwiches short of a picnic. We need to stop them bringing the game into disrepute. My social media policy for these and other NRL lumps would be quite simple. It’s titled “Social Media for Clowns” and is deliberately quite simple.

“Every rugby league player has to pass a primary school ethics and a Year 6 spelling exam before they are allowed to have a Twitter account.”

Now that should sort the wheat from the chaff even though I know the resultant yield would make a very, very small loaf of bread.

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