Is the Aussie summer the wrong time to have a beer? Is it just too hot for a coldie or too hot to kick back with a beverage or two – and get up to mischief?
It must be, because players from the A-League football competition rarely get involved in scandals that could earn them a nomination for The Frownlow Medal, and their competition is the only code which takes place in the summer months Down Under. In contrast, players from the winter codes commit endless off-field atrocities and dominate the award. At the same time, alcohol causes most of the scandals which sustain The Frownlow Medal.
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, while AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.
Why don’t A-League players earn many Frownlow nominations?
Are football/soccer players already too dehydrated? Are they completely sapped of fluids after 90 minutes of elite football in the Aussie summer sun? Are their tanks so empty that they simply can’t fathom the notion of getting drunk after a game and further dehydrating themselves?
They must be.
Otherwise, how else does one explain the fact that so few football/soccer players from Australia’s national league recieve nominations for The Frownlow Medal, or even The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame?
The A-League has supplied only 5 nominees for the medal, and only 2 for the hall of fame. Ahmad Elrich is the only hall of fame inductee. This from a total of about 400 combined nominees since the award’s inception in 2015. No A-League player has ever won the medal, while every other code has claimed the prestigious award. Five medallists have played NRL, including 2018 winner Karmichael Hunt. One has played Super Rugby (Hunt) and two have played AFL (Taylor and Hunt). A-League players have not even come close to winning.
If the A-League switched to winter, would more players receive nominations?
It must be the heat.
Or is it?
Scandals occur in summer. Countless players have been busted for bar brawls, public urination, bestiality, public defecation, drink-driving, public nudity, sexual harassment, assault, drug use, social media faux pas and countless other incidents after consuming too much alcohol – during summer. In fact, Christmas, New Year’s and Australia Day are popular times for nominations – almost as popular as Mad Monday.
What about the women?
Female footballers also disprove the aforementioned theory. The women’s AFL, Super Rugby and NRL competitions all take place in winter, and all female first-grade players from the four codes are eligible for Australia’s most prestigious award.. But not one has ever been nominated.
Thus, the question remains,
Why do so few A-League players earn nominations for The Frownlow Medal?