The simple game played by some even simpler people needs a special solution

So playing in the State of Origin is on top of Tweets Dugan’s bucket list is it? Well, knock me over with a six-pack of stupidity.  Was that the same bucket Tweets and Blake the Shake Ferguson were chilling the champagne bottles in at the 2230 Bar while the Shake was seeking love in all the wrong places.  And look call me old school, but slugging down directly from bottle, a couple of gallons of Merde de la Vigne in a public place, when you have been given the honour of representing your state is a bloody disgrace. 

According to the Illawarra Mercury Blake Ferguson was congratulating Josh Dugan on his return to State of Origin via twitter nine minutes after Dr George Peponis announced the team.  Ferguson channeling twin influences of Shakespeare and Snoop Dog, tweeted; “Congrats to big joshy Dugan very happy for you bra 🙂 @Josh_Dugan #wereback,” By 6.30pm the former teammates were at Northies, the popular nightspot in Sydney’s south, and were happily posing for photographs. Shortly after 10pm, they had made their way to 2230 Restaurant and Bar, where they were seen drinking champagne straight from the bottle. What then happened will be for the courts to decide and despite Blake’s obviously excited mood he deserves not to be judged until all the facts are in.  

What can be judged is the level of stupidity these two serial clowns have demonstrated over the last six months.  Is it simply a case of young, dumb and full of rum or is it more?  Is it a case of ingrained arrogance in certain players that is fed by sycophantic player managers and clubs and recruiters who don’t want to lose the chance of snaring a fallen player or alienating a talented one?

Apart from Shake and Tweets wine tasting adventures in the last two weeks we have had Cowboy and Blues player, James Toot-Toot-Tamou, without a licence and gut full of grog driving pissed in Townsville followed by George Beagle Burgess tossing the caber in public. The 21-year-old George Beagle, one of four Beagle brothers has been charged with two counts of wilful damage after he allegedly threw a street sign through the rear window of a vehicle following post-match celebrations in the Cairns suburb of Redlynch early on Monday morning. A contrite Beagle barked; “I acknowledge that I am a role model for kids and I will do everything I can to restore my reputation through working harder in the community.” One has to ask – what community would want any of these dumb, useless clumps contaminating their space and what could they actually add to the community? Perhaps they could be melted down to make speed humps?

The sport was in crisis. It was obvious then that the movers and shakers in the NRL had to come up with a solution. Wait. Wheels are spinning, cogs are engaging, there is movement as the mighty intellect of the NRL dices and slices. Yes and the winner is! BODYGUARDS. Well I’ll be slowly poked in the eye with a corner post. Why didn’t we think of it? The way to stop this bad bevaviour is to give players their own bodyguard. But where do we stop and don’t security guys have a rather poor record in the restraint stakes?

Manly chief David Smarts Perry was not at the club the last time the Sea Eagles hired a bodyguard to protect the players in public but believes security measures should be considered. ”I think the NRL should look at all options,” he said. Well Smarts, I think in the light of the Manly fans alleged racial abuse of Bulldog’s players and one family member last week I think it is reasonable that you look at bodyguards for everyone attending Fortress Brookvale.

Bulldogs boss and future NRL head of football Todd Lettuce Greenberg was a voice of reason, as usual, when he said bodyguards were not the answer. ”No, I don’t think that really addresses the issue, to be honest,” he said. ”I think it’s personal accountability. I’ve done that with the Bulldogs over a number of years, and it’s about holding our players to a certain standard.” Sadly there appears to be no standards.

Phil Gus Gould believes that errant players are far too easily able to sign up to another club in the same year after lapses of madness. I agree with Gus. Ditch them. There are plenty of other players willing to play the game rather than playing up.

So I have a solution that allows for redemption but imposes standards. It’s called the Urine Solution and it sets clear standards of expected behaviour. When an NRL player gets on the piss and gets pissed or pisses in public, drives pissed, treats people piss poor, they themselves will be pissed off. They will be pissed off to far flung places on the planet where local rugby league teams will welcome them with open arms. They will play a season for teams like the Tumubarumba Greens, the Bidgee Bulls, the Moree Porkchoppers, the Guyra Supa Spuds or the Berry Magpies. They’ll be paid match payments only and will have to have a full-time job locally for a year. And then – only then if they can actually behave like a decent human being they will be accorded the privilege of returning to play in the NRL.

It’s a simple solution. It has to be.

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.