Commiserate or celebrate: is there a difference?

Commiserating and celebrating seem to be the same thing for many NRL players, after three of the game’s biggest names were recently caught with cocaine. Reece Walsh, Brandon Smith and Cameron Munster have all been nominated for The Frownlow Medal after being caught with the white powder and charged by police.

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.

Walsh used the white powder to celebrate, Munster to commiserate, and Smith to do both. Walsh was partying at Surfer’s Paradise just moments after being named RLPA Rookie of the Year when he was caught in possession of cocaine.

Munster, meanwhile, was commiserating the Melbourne Storm semi-final loss at a party and was filmed in possession of the illicit drug. The same leaked video incriminated his teammate Brandon Smith, who was managing the mixed emotions of missing out on the grand final and being named Dally M Hooker of the year.

They say a professional football career can be an emotional rollercoaster, but the best way to manage the highs and lows seems to be with cocaine.

If nothing else, at least it guarantees Walsh, Munster and Smith a chance to win The Fronwlow Medal in 2021. If they succeed or fail in their quest to take home the greatest prize in Australian sport, they clearly know how to process the result.

Image: NuNa

Cameron Munster enters Role Model Rehab.

NRL player Cameron Munster has entered Role Model Rehab after earning a nomination for The Fronwlow Medal for appearing in a leaked video in the presence of cocaine.

Munster follows a well-trodden path of footballing role models who have undertaken formal rehabilitation for abuse of drugs or alcohol, and he has promised to avoid consuming alcohol for 12 months. He has also promised to be a better role model.

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.

Munster appeared shirtless and dancing on a table beside a quantity of cocaine in the leaked video, alongside Storm teammates Brandon Smith and Chris Lewis, plus other men. Following negative press from the video, Munster was given a suspended $100,000 fine, suspended for one match and forced to attend rehab. He has also been told to avoid alcohol for a year.

The Queensland Origin star was also dropped from the Storm leadership group, which comprises fellow Frownlow nominees Jesse Bromwich (aka Captain Cocaine) and Christian Welch.

Munster told the media:

“I want the kids out there to know that my behaviour was not OK. I owe it to you to be a better role model, and I’ll strive to do that in future.”

Included in Munster’s punishment is a requirement to provide coaching and education for young men and women entering the elite sporting system, because he is such as great role model.

Image: NuNa

Cameron Munster blamed for Qld Origin humiliation.

Cameron Munster faces the axe from State of Origin II after it was revealed he was wearing light blue underwear during the 50 – 6 loss to NSW in game 1.

Coach Paul Green has two weeks to decide whether to drop the star playmaker, who chose to wear undies that were exactly the same colour as the NSW jerseys during the game in Townsville. TV cameras exposed the treacherous act when Munster was caught in a scuffle with opposition player Liam Martin and his maroon shorts slid down. During the scuffle, Munster is also alleged to have kicked out at Martin while he was on the ground. A striking charge could see Munster forced out of game 2 in Brisbane, but it is the wardrobe choice which has Queenslanders more concerned.

“No wonder we lost. Munster wore blue undies,” commented an enraged Qld fan on social media.

“Sack him!”

“Is he colour blind?”

“Traitor!”…wrote others.

Green was also incensed at the actions of the player who guided the understrength Qld team to victory in the 2020 series.

“Cameron should know better,” Green stated.

“He should never have worn light blue undies in an Origin game, it’s unforgivable.”

Green would not be drawn on whether he would leave Munster out of game 2.

“Look, it’s hard to say. He made a massive error which probably cursed the team and cost us the game, but we have to be realistic. We’ve got a lot of injuries. Ponga is still injured. Grant is missing match fitness. Fifita didn’t perform and every player performed pretty poorly, so it’s hard to drop a player with so much talent. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Instead of dropping Munster, Qld staff proposed another solution.

“We need to dress the players before the game.”

“We’ve got a million assistant coaches and ex-players just hanging around the dressing room every game, so we might as well put them to work. We’ll match one ex-player with every current player and help them get dressed before the game. They can even pack their bags for the boys at the hotel, make sure they bring their mouthguard and boots and stuff like that – and tie the players’ shoelaces.”

Munster was asked for comment, but instead he kicked out at the reporter and stormed off to the changeroom.

Image: NuNa