Rugby League bosses have created their own breakaway award to honour the off-field performance of their players following the large number of NRL nominations for The Frownlow Medal in 2019.
NRL headquarters announced the plans after 16 Rugby League players, and an entire club, received nominations for the prestigious award before their season has even begun. This far outstripped nominations of players from AFL, Super Rugby and the A-League, who have managed a measly combined total of five.
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. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 and code-swapper Karmichael Hunt was the most recent recipient.
“The NRL is proud to announce its own medal, similar to The Frownlow Medal,” it announced in a press release.
“This award will be open exclusively to Rugby League players, because the past few months have demonstrated that League players are far more capable of involving themselves in off-field scandals.”
The nominees for the NRL award include all of those already nominated for The Frownlow Medal in 2019, and those who earn nominations in the future, including the player who is alleged to have leaked sex tapes online.
Some details of the award are yet to be finalised, including the name and logo of the award.
“The word Frownlow clearly implies a bias towards the AFL, so we envisage a name more closely aligned with the tradition of Rugby League,” stated a spokesperson.
” The Rugby League equivalent of the Brownlow is the Dally M award, so one option is the “Gally M” award, named after the divisive Paul Gallen, who is himself a nominee for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame. Someone suggested “Wally M”, but King Wally Lewis has never been nominated for the Frownlow, and if he was, we’d have to knock down his statue outside Lang Park. We also considered “Sally M”, to honour our commitment to diversity and gender equality, but no female footballer has ever been nominated for Frownlow honours.
The most popular option is ‘The Tally ’em‘ award, because this way we just have to write a list of all of the players who are nominated – it could be a long list.”
The logo is said to be taking a long time to finalise, because it may need to incorporate a beer can, a pill, a fist, a golden shower, a dog, a cell phone, a speeding ticket, a prison uniform, legal scales, assault weapons, DNA results, betting stubs, a taxi receipt, nudity and some poo in a shoe – all in the one logo.
The announcement has drawn no reaction from the other codes, but the NRL wasted no time in calling out their footballing brethren for failing to supply many nominees for the Frownlow medal this year.
“Yeah, na, mate, you guys should take a good hard look at yourselves. Just five nominations – that’s poor form. You should give yourselves an uppercut – it might get you a nomination.”
Judges of The Frownlow Medal, meanwhile, promised to continue nominating Rugby League players for the highly prestigious award, and are anticipating a busy winter football season until the Frownlow medallist is announced later this year.