Disgraced former NRL player Tim Simona has collected a huge payout after successfully betting on himself to win the 2017 edition of The Frownlow Medal.
Simona fought off the challenges of 31 fellow footballers throughout the 2017 season, through a combination driving offences, drug and alcohol abuse, exemplary fatherhood and betting on games in which he was playing, which eventually saw him kicked out of the NRL.
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. Kiwi international and Sydney Roosters player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while Corey Norman from the Parramatta Eels won in 2016.
“I’m rich,”, Simona boasted, after accepting the award from last year’s victor, Norman.
“I got a great price from my bookie, I told you guys you should have put some money on me,” he continued, referring to punters who had placed their faith in other players who had disgraced themselves this season.
After Simona was kicked out of the NRL it was discovered that he had amassed a long list of offences which made him a firm favourite for The Frownlow Medal.
Reports surfaced that the ex Wests Tigers centre had refused to raise his unborn child and had persuaded his ex girlfriend to have an abortion. He then confessed to regular use of alcohol and drugs, including cocaine, and was charged with numerous driving offences which led to him losing his licence. He was then caught driving without a licence and apparently squandered his substantial NRL salary.
Simona faced tough opposition from former NRL colleagues Bryce Cartwright, Kenny-Dowall and James Roberts.
Cartwright emulated Simona’s fathering feats when he had a club fixer bribe and threaten a woman to abort his unborn child.
Kenny-Dowall made his bid for a second Frownlow when he was caught with illicit drugs outside a nightclub, the same offence which ruined the international careers of his Kiwi counterparts Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor.
Roberts, meanwhile, was allegedly nominated for allegedly being drunk at a pub and allegedly pulling a woman’s hair before allegedly being escorted from the premises and allegedly falling asleep in a taxi, whereupon police allegedly bought him a burger before allegedly driving him home.
AFL players also joined the party, especially representatives from the Fremantle Dockers. Shane Yarran, Michael Johnson and Harley Bennell were all charged with various grades of assault, including one pantless incident in a kebab shop. Bennell posed the biggest thereat to Simona after numerous incidents involving planes, cars and a three-quarter-time huddle.
Damian Keogh became the first club chairman to be nominated for The Frownlow Medal. The Cronulla boss was caught with cocaine, many months after the Sharks won the 2016 premiership.
Jarryd Hayne capped off a lacklustre season with two Frownlow nominations, one for posing with known criminals on social media, and the other for displaying pornographic images on screen while delivering a talk to school kids.
Parramatta pest Kenny Edwards joined the ranks of Footballers for Feminism after he was charged with domestic violence, while ex Eels team mate Vai Toutai chose to lash out at a bikie in a bar.
A racist comment earned A-League player Dean Bouzanis a nomination for the award which continues to be dominated by players from the AFL and NRL.
Simona was evasive when asked of his plans after winning this highly prestigious award, but he looks unlikely to return to the NRL, after earning more than his NRL salary through this one single bet.
First published in October, 2017.