Jamal Idris and Le Te Maari take on a legend.

Former NRL players Jamal Idris and Lee Te Maari believe you have to beat a legend to be a legend, so they took on Frownlow medallist Ben Barba in a fist fight to earn a nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

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.

Idris, Te Maari and Barba were all playing for the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2009 and had been socialising at a teammate’s house all afternoon. They were driving home together and decided to stop off at the Wentworthville Hotel in Sydney’s west to buy some drinks. They then realised that drinking drinks is better than just buying drinks, and stepped inside for a few coldies. When they stepped outside, Barba slammed Te Maari up against a wall and Idris stepped in.

This is where it gets interesting.

Barba is short, and fast, like most top fullbacks. Te Maari was a backrower and Idris was one of the biggest players in the game at the time. But still Barba took them on, because that’s the definition of Dutch Courage and that’s the kind of decision making that wins a player The Frownlow Medal.

The scuffle escalated and Idris ended up punching Barba in the face, leaving the young star with a bloody nose. As with any true footballing bromance, the players soon kissed and made up, and it was later revealed that Barba had been niggling and annoying Idris and Te Maari all afternoon.

Young guns Idris and Barba were dropped for one game. In a bizarre addition to his post-NRL story, Idris was the victim of an attempted kidnap while on holiday in Vietnam. Perhaps the kidnappers had been drinking what Barba was drinking.

Meanwhile, the more experienced Te Maari was suspended for two games as a result of the Wentworthville incident, which was not his first. He got into a fight outside a nightclub in Wollongong in 2008, and in 2010 was charged with numerous driving offences, including driving without a license. The backrower didn’t tell the club about his offence until it appeared in court, and the Bulldogs eventually tore up his contract.

Ironically, Barba and Idris were scheduled to attend an Arrive Alive promotion just days after the fight, where they would function as role models for junior rugby league players in western Sydney.

Referring to the incident and to the respective punishments, a Bulldogs official said at the time:

“Ben and Jamal are young players with big careers ahead of them and I hope this punishment will serve as a warning to them on what they stand to lose if they continue down the wrong path.
Lee is acutely aware of his responsibilities and I don’t expect to see him in front of the disciplinary committee again.”

Barba did continue down the wrong path, and despite winning the Dally M medal and a premiership, what lay head for him was a Frownlow medal and a nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

Te Maari also faced the disciplinary committee again.

Barba is expected to take on Idris and Te Maari again in a lopsided tag-team fight at the awards night for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame later this year.

Image: NuNa

Marcelo Montoya challenges Israel Folau.

NRL player Marcelo Montoya has challenged Israel Folau for the title of Australia’s most homophobic footballer after an offensive slur earned him a nomination for 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 NRL star Jarryd Hayne 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.

Montoya called opposing winger Kyle Feldt a ‘fa//ot’ during a game against the North Queensland Cowboys, and the New Zealand Warriors winger received a four-match ban from the NRL.

Folau is the country’s most famous homophobe after posting notoriously offensive comments on social media which saw him sacked by Rugby Australia and cast out of professional football in Australia.

Montoya, meanwhile, claims the comment was made in the heat of the moment during a game and that he was simply trying to get under Feldt’s skin. Feldt is married with kids and has played years of NRL football, including State of Origin. Did it get under his skin?

The Warriors club pleaded for a reduced sentence from the NRL judiciary, arguing that Montoya is of good character with an unblemished record. They’re obviously forgetting his earlier Fronwlow nomination in 2018 when he was fined $10,000 for his involvement in the Canterbury Bulldogs Mad Monday celebrations.

Has Montoya done enough to steal the title from Folau, and has he done enough to win The Frownlow Medal in 2022?

Image: Ian Hitchcock

Joel Romelo nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

Former NRL player Joel Romelo has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame following a series of offences which saw him in and out of jail since 2016. Romelo pleaded guilty to horrific domestic violence charges and was found guilty of drug and traffic offences.

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 Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while Jarryd Hayne 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.

Romelo courted controversy as early as 2007. He was sacked by the Cronulla Sharks for disciplinary reasons and signed with the Penrith Panthers. He was then sacked by the Panthers in 2010 for a drink driving offence, and later complained to the press that he had to catch public transport to training.

The former Bulldogs and Storm player went to prison for offences such as drug possession and trafficking, driving dangerously while unregistered, unlicensed and uninsured, and with meth in his system.

In 2016, he was charged for his role in a meth dealing ring in Darwin. Following an anonymous tip off, Romelo was found with 14g of methamphetamine in his vehicle, and another 2g in his home, alongside $10,000 in cash. He was found to be in breach of bail and was remanded in custody. 

A year later, the former hooker was jailed form two years and disqualified from driving as a result of the driving and drug offences. He clearly did not rehabilitate while behind bars, and in 2019 he was jailed for three years for two high speed car chases and domestic violence.

Romelo eventually pleaded guilty to attacking his ex-girlfriend. The court heard that he broke her eye socket during a violent attack, and ripped chunks from her hair, as well as punching and choking her until she almost lost consciousness, because she refused to give him the passcode to her phone.

Romelo joins a long list of Frownlow nominees who have spent time in prison and he may have to watch the awards ceremony for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame on a caged TV in a crowded common room.

Image: NuNa

Ben Barba is a great ambassador.

Ben Barba is so committed to his role as ambassador for The Frownlow Medal that he had himself thrown in jail for alleged assault. The 2019 medallist is accused of assaulting his brother-in-law recently and was nominated for The Fronwlow Medal Hall of Fame.

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.

Barba was remanded in custody and will spend time in jail for the alleged assault after being refused bail in Mackay, Queensland. The 2012 Dally M medallist was earlier arrested for allegedly assaulting his partner, and the mother of his four children, with whom he separated six months ago. Barba was also accused of assaulting Currie in 2019, and this is one of the charges which cost him his contract with the North Queensland Cowboys, and his NRL career.

Barba talked about the prestige of winning The Frownlow Medal in 2019 and promised to do everything he could to honour the award and protect its reputation. He has done exactly that in the intervening years, including this latest incident.

The current charges against the former premiership winner include assault occasioning bodily harm, and he was refused bail because the judge decided he is at risk of reoffending.

The former NRL star has a long history of off-field incidents.

In 2009, he got into a drunken fight with Canterbury teammates Jamal Idris and Lee Te Maari in Wentowrthville and was dropped to reserve grade. Then in 2013 he was stood down by the Bulldogs for behavioural reasons and checked into rehab for gambling and alcohol problems. The same year, he was accused, and later cleared, of assaulting Currie.

After starring in the grand final win for the Sharks in 2016, he tested positive to cocaine and lost his contract, before heading to Thailand for rehab. He then signed with the Cowboys in 2019, only to lose the contract after being charged with assault yet again.

Barba will be a guest of honour at the Frownlow awards night later this year, and everyone has been told to keep their female partners well away from him.

Image: NuNa

Crowdfunding page established for Lachlan Lewis.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up for NRL player Lachlan Lewis after is was discovered that he can’t afford a pair of speakers. Organisers of The Frownlow Medal have established the page to celebrate his nomination and support him during this time of financial hardship.

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.

Lewis was allegedly caught by CCTV footage entering a room in the team hub in Queensland while wearing a hoodie, and stealing a soundbar speaker before placing it on eBay for sale. He has been stood down from the Canterbury Bulldogs while the NRL investigates the incident, which could end his NRL career. No one knows exactly why he did it and whether it was a practical joke, but sources can confirm that the speakers are so valuable they are out of reach for someone earning $A450,000 a year. For this reason, the Frownlow family is asking for Aussies to dig deep and help out one of our heroes.

Many people have lost work or income during COVID-19, so members of the public are being asked to reach into their hearts to help another innocent victim of the pandemic. The target is $3,000,000, and includes the likely future earnings of a talented young playmaker, who could have thrown his career away with this one bizarre act, as well as any associated legal costs.

Sources close to Lewis suspect he needed new speakers to launch a side hustle as a singer, podcaster, ASMR creator or Youtube star under the name of Lachie LooLoo. The ambitious sum will also help to pay for counselling when he inevitably blames mental health issues for the scandal.

Image: NuNa

The Frownlow Medal Power Couple.

NRL players Adam Elliott and Millie Boyle have become The Frownlow Medal’s Power Couple after being caught kissing in the toilets at a restaurant recently, and they will be the first couple in history to attend the Frownlow awards night together.

They will also have a toilet cubicle named after them in The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame, beside the Sonny Bill Williams cubicle.

Elliott and Boyle earned the status of Power Couple after being asked to leave a Gold Coast venue when it was discovered they had shared a kiss in the men’s bathroom. Media reports allege Elliott was shirtless, but Boyle stated publicly that the incident was nothing more than an innocent kiss after they’d had a few too many drinks.

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 Bulldogs and Broncos players are not the first pairing to be nominated for Frownlow honours, but are the first duo who both play a football code in Australia. Former AFL player and Wife Beater Nick Stevens, and his girlfriend Amelia Miller, were both nominated in 2016, but Amelia never played professional football.

Elliott has consequently been stood down for the remaining two games of the season and the NRL is investigating the incident, while Boyle has apparently not been sanctioned.

Boyle now becomes the second woman nominated for Frownlow honours, after fellow NRLW player Nita Maynard made history earlier this year with her nomination. Elliott, meanwhile, is very familiar to fans of The Frownlow Medal.

He claimed he would take “professional help in regards to issues with alcohol” after a series of off-field incidents. Just this year, he was accused of getting too close to the wife or his former teammate, Michael Lichaa during a party at Lichaa’s house. In 2018, he appeared dancing naked on the front page of the newspaper when the Bulldogs’ Mad Monday celebration got wild.

Media outlets are reporting that since the incident with Boyle, one of the people Elliott called to apologise for yet another mistake was the Canterbury-Bankstown club sponsor. He apparently told the sponsor that he will never cause an off-field controversy again, and will control his alcohol intake. He better not if he wants to win The Frownow Medal.

Image: NuNa

Australian children to be vaccinated against footy players.

The Australian government has added a category to the COVID-19 vaccination program after Frank Winterstein, Ben Roberts and Roy Asotasi attended an illegal anti-lockdown march in Sydney recently.

The former NRL players earned nominations for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame after putting the safety of all Australian children at risk and potentially extending the very lockdown they were protesting against.

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.

“Footballers have always been a danger to children,” a statement from the federal government began.

“Australians have known this for a long time. Frownlow judges have known this for a long time. The actions of Misters Winterstein, Roberts and Asotasi have confirmed this fact.”

“As a result, a special vaccine is being developed which is proven to protect anyone under the age of 18 from the influence of footballers and former footballers. It is vital that we protect the next generation of Australians in this time of crisis and into the future.”

“Already this year there have been at least 50 nominations for The Frownlow Medal and many for the hall of fame. Jarryd Hayne is currently in prison for sexual assault and many other players have harmed society on their way to a nomination. Clearly, children needed stronger protection against footy players.”

It is believed the vaccine roll out will begin at some point this decade, and that children at exclusive private schools will receive the first vaccinations.

Winterstein is a famous anti-vaxer, as is his wife Taylor. She revealed via social media that police visited her house shortly after the protest and issued her and Frank with $1000 fines “for breaching public health orders after they left home without a reasonable excuse and attended the Sydney CBD protest”.

Even after police showed their badges, Taylor accused the police of trespassing on private property, and demanded they show more ‘evidence’.

Fortunately for Roberts, Asotasi and the Winterstein’s, players are not required to be vaccinated in order to attend the Frownlow awards night later this year, because attendees are likely to catch much more than COVID-19.

Image: NuNa

Canterbury Bulldogs nominated for The Frownlow Medal.

The Canterbury Bulldogs are the fifth football club to be nominated for The Frownlow Medal after they copped a massive fine for failing to advise their players of COVID protocols. Five players broke bio-security protocols when drinking at pubs in Sydney and some feared they could shut down the NRL competition completely.

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 Bulldogs club paid a $50,000 fine after Dylan Napa, Brandon Wakeham, Sione Katoa, Corey Waddell and Aaron Schoupp went out for a few drinks in Bondi and Coogee, in the heart of Sydney’s latest COVID-19 outbreak. The players were fined around $1000 each, but the club copped the biggest fine because the NRL found it had not done enough to advise players of the latest rules regarding player movement.

Canterbury is now the fifth club to be nominated for an award that is normally reserved for individual players. Fellow NRL clubs Cronulla Sharks and South Sydney Rabbitohs were nominated, alongside AFL clubs West Coast Eagles and Collingwood Magpies. The clubs earned their place among Frownlow hopefuls for offences such as covering up a player drug test and domestic violence accusations, to institutional racism, a racist social media post, and a Frownlow classic – having an entire team kicked out of a restaurant for drunken, anti-social behaviour.

Frownlow judges are hoping that the Bulldogs don’t forget to tell their players exactly where and when the Frownlow awards night will be held later this year.

Image: NuNa

COVID breaches are so last year…

Breaching COVID-19 protocols was a competition in itself for professional footballers in 2020, and Corey Waddell and Sione Katoa have not moved on. The Canterbury players and some Bulldogs teammates recently breached NRL protocols with a few drinks at a bar in Bondi and have been nominated for 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.

Waddell and Katoa joined Dylan Napa, Aaron Schoupp and Brandon Wakeham at some watering holes in Bondi and Coogee despite NRL players being instructed to avoid places like this during the latest COVID scare in Sydney, which is centred upon the Eastern Suburbs.

The five players were all issued with fines. Waddell must pay $1500 and Katoa $1250. The Bulldogs club was hit with a massive fine, because the NRL found that it did not do enough to inform the players of the new rules regarding player movement outside of training and games. This diminishes the responsibility of the players and makes it very difficult for them to win The Frownlow Medal in 2021.

The football public and the Australian people had though that COVID breaches were a thing of the past, and that no foootballer would ever again earn a Frownlow nomination for breaking protocol. Then again, without a national vaccine rollout, COVID breaches are still a problem in 2021. Maybe the Bulldogs players can point that out to Scott Morrison the next time they play the Sharks.

Image: NuNa

Dylan, what have you done this time?

NRL player Dylan Napa has earned yet another nomination for The Frownlow Medal, this time for something as simple as a COVID breach. Napa and Bulldogs teammates Brandon Wakeham and Aaron Schoupp breached NRL protocols when they visited a pub in Bondi, and fans feared they could send the entire NRL and State of Origin into lockdown.

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.

Fortunately, the second game of Origin is still scheduled for Sunday night, but the Canterbury trio have been forced to self isolate and undertake a COVID-19 test.

The Bulldogs players visited Royal Hotel in Bondi in contravention of a directive from the NRL that staff and players must stay away from the Waverley Local Government area, where the latest COVID outbreak originated. One of the people who has tested positive to coronavirus visited the Royal Hotel.

Wakeham and Schuopp earn their first Frownlow nominations, but Napa is well known to judges. He was nominated in 2016, 2017 and 2019. His highlight reel includes being banned from Queensland Origin camp for 12 months after breaking curfew, and being kicked off a flight for intoxication. He also got knocked out by a drug-addicted cleaner at a party in Palm Beach, Sydney, and a video of him having sex with a woman was posted all over the internet. Compared to these incidents, a simple COVID breach is quite mild. Napa will have to lift his game.

Napa, Wakeham and Schoupp are hoping all COVID restrictions are lifted by the end of the year, so they can attend the awards night for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

Image: NuNa