Joel Monaghan really screwed the pooch with his Mad Monday behaviour. This isn’t a metaphorical statement. It isn’t symbolic of yet another league player’s disgraceful behaviour under the influence of alcohol. It isn’t a figurative description of his fall from grace. He really did screw the pooch.
For those of you living under a rock for the past couple weeks, the Canberra Raiders star quit the club (jumped before he was pushed) after photos of him simulating a sex act with a dog were circulated online.
Now I haven’t seen the offending photo (thank God). But its presence in cyberspace does bring up six very interesting questions, including:
1. Does Mad Monday have any relevance anymore, in light of the fact that league continues to be blighted by alcohol fuelled embarrassments?
2. Were any other Raiders involved?
3. Who was the genius who took the photo and then posted it online?
4. Did the canine consent? Is this a case of mere bestiality, or is it aggravated sexual assault
5. Was the canine male or female? A very important question as it raises the possibility that Joel might have been receiving rather than giving
6. Was Willie Mason anywhere near the nation’s capital when this happened?
Seriously though, what is with league players and alcohol? Is there a gene missing in top line players that ensures after a few beers they lose all sense of moral conduct and personal dignity? I know every sport has a few bad apples. Problem with league is the barrel is well and truly full and the bad apples are rotting on the sidewalk. I’m not asking professional sportsmen to be beacon of purity. Just zip it up when Lassie walks into the room. Is that too much to ask?
Other irregular beats, palpitations, minor and major infarctions:
• FOUR NATIONS: Congrats to the sheep shaggers on winning another international league title. Huge thumbs down to the Australian selectors for not including Todd Carney in the team for the final. How can the most valuable player of the season, and international player of the year no less, not be part of the best 17 players you can roll out? I’m not even going to bother with questioning the Lote Tuqiri inclusion. Disaster. All in all a horrible tournament that proves that league is not an international game. It can fall in the pecking order somewhere between lawn bowls and synchronised swimming as an international sport.
• THE ASHES: Really looking forward to the Ashes this summer (if that’s what you call this gawd awful weather). Looks like the Pom’s will be able to acclimatise well with all of this rain. Both teams have enough quality and frailty, that it should be an intriguing series. Australia’s middle order can crumble like a cookie, Mitchell Johnson might argue with his mum again, Michael Clarke wants to be promoted from Pup to Top Dog and the search is still on for a spinner who can bowl wicket taking, economical overs while smoking, guzzling beer, eating pizza and sending lewd text messages. On the other side England’s top order is shaky, Paul Collingwood is still their answer to Steve Waugh, Kevin Pieterson is coming off career worst form, the quicks have never bowled well Down Under, and lets face it...they are England. Anything can happen!
• F1: I can’t believe neither Mark Webber nor Fernando Alonso took out the drivers’ championship. Guttered for both of them. For Mark because he’s an Aussie (although his connection with the Canberra Raiders now brings up serious questions about his integrity). For Alonso because his performance in coming within a whisker of the title was simply breathtakingly, brilliant driving. The Red Bull’s had the over advantage over all other manufacturers on almost every circuit. The McLaren’s had the best straight line speed. Alonso tanked the first half of the season. Yet he produced some of the best racing since the great Ayrton Senna in the second half of the season. Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel. No F1 championship in undeserved (unless you’re Damon Hill). Enjoy the spoils. With Alonso now settled in at Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button keen to make up lost ground, and Vettel and Webber still in the Red Bulls, next year promises to be another cracker.
• INGLIS: A few points on the Greg Inglis saga. First, the Brisbane Broncos are to blame for accepting a handshake commitment. In professional sports nowadays a signed contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on...just ask Sonny Bill Williams. To argue that the club had a commitment from Inglis based on a handshake is a joke. On the flip side, it does prove that Inglis is a first class pr#ck. Never trust a New South Welshman who calls himself a Queenslander. Furthermore, it brings more questions about the salary cap into light. How the hell can Souths fit this guy under the cap, when only a few months ago they said they were maxed out? Also, it’s going to be a real treat to see if Greg is as good as everyone says he is. Playing in the centres when you’ve got Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk calling the shots, while Billy Slater is lurking around the fringe of the ruck is a completely different ball game to leading an inexperienced and highly overrated South Sydney backline. Finally, it’s probably brought Darren Lockyer one season closer to retirement. With Inglis playing on his outside he could look to continue to pull the strings at the Broncos for a few more years. Well that horse has now well and truly bolted (another intended pun).
• ROONEY: Just a few weeks ago Wayne Rooney declared his intent to leave Manchester United, citing a lack of ambition by the club. In a rage I began writing a blog along the lines of: “F#ck off back to Merseyside you fat, bald, big eared, chav, granny shagging, Shrek look-a-like, mother f#cker!” Before I could finish my column, Rooney changed his mind and decided to recommit to the greatest club in the world in perhaps the most bizarre turnaround in the history of football. There is no question that Rooney is a phenomenal talent. He single handedly brought United within a pubic hair of a fourth consecutive Premier League title last season. Yet his disastrous showing at the World Cup, followed by his flip flop over his future at the club, really bring his frame of mind, motivation and commitment into question.