Accused criminals, social media, police, refused entry, suspicious capsules and, of course, The Star casino, all featured in an audacious combined Eels and Panthers bid for The Frownlow Medal.
About all that was missing was a dog.
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. The first medal was awarded to Sydney Roosters and New Zealand representative Shaun Kenny-Dowall in 2015.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players who receive media attention for similarly scandalous behaviour and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Todd Carney.
Panther James Segeyaro, as well as Eels Corey Norman and Junior Paulo, were photographed dining with a former nomad bikie and an accused criminal. How do we know? Because Paulo himself took a photo and posted it on his own Instagram account – before someone reminded him that maybe that’s not such a great idea and it was removed.
Are footballers in the pay of the tabloid media or do they just enjoy embroiling themselves in controversy with their use of social media?
We don’t know.
What we do know is that Parramatta play maker Norman attended the dinner in question and was later refused entry to The Star after a member of his group was allegedly carrying suspicious pills.
Pills – tick
Refused entry – tick
The Star – tick
Police involvement – tick
Corey’s ticking all the boxes and putting his hand up for The Frownlow Medal.
Paulo did the hard hards by attending the dinner, taking the photo and posting it, and apparently also appeared at a lower grade rugby union match recently.
The first three actions will certainly help his cause of winning the inter-code award, but the latter might just be his way of helping Rugby Union earn a nomination for the 2016 Frownlow, which they haven’t managed to do yet.
Segeyaro was doing what all good hookers do; getting involved, making a nuisance of himself and trying to upset the opposition, which, in the case of The Frownlow Medal, includes Mitchell Pearce and his friend’s dog, plus Richmond Tigers AFL star Dustin Martin and a pair of chopsticks.
As the Aussie weather cools, the competition for The Frownlow Medal just gets hotter and hotter.
First published in May 2016.