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.

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Reece Walsh still in the running for a second major award.

Young NRL star Reece Walsh could add The Frownlow Medal to his rookie award this year after he was arrested for cocaine possession late one night at Surfer’s Paradise.

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.

Moments after winning the RLPA Rookie of the Year award, Walsh was arrested at the popular nightclub strip for disobeying a move-on order, and recently confessed to being in possession of cocaine at the time.

The freakishly-talented player was the hot favourite to also win the Dally M Rookie of the Year award, but was ruled out. Not because of the recent drug bust, but because he was suspended for on-field indiscretions twice in the season.

Reece took the NRL by storm this year and at just 18 was selected for Queensland in State of Origin, but missed the game through injury. He impressed so many people when he switched to the Warriors mid-season that Kiwi legend Roger Tuivasa-Sheck moved to the wing to allow Walsh to play fullback.

He has now moved himself firmly into the senior ranks by getting nominated for the most prestigious award in Australian sport, The Frownlow Medal. He also repeated the ultimate footballer’s cliche when he said in media interviews earlier this year that he will “look to personally set a positive example for the next generation” and that he wants to make his baby daughter proud of him.

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Kane Evans and his secret obsession.

NRL player Kane Evans has finally revealed how he passes the time between training sessions in the NRL bubble; by doing origami.

The front-rower confessed to his obsession as he sat on the reserves bench carrying a message on his wrist tape which read: “fold some c–t”. The obscure message has earned Evans yet another 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.

The message has landed Evans in yet more trouble with the NRL as it is considered offensive, but the Warriors player was quick to defend himself.

“I love origami, the ancient Japanese art of paper folding,” he confessed.

“I can’t tell you what the ‘c–t’ stands for, but I can tell you that I love origami. I just fold and fold and fold all day. I make animals, flowers, anything, I just can’t stop folding. With everyone talking about Tokyo and the Olympics I thought this was the best time to tell everyone how much I love it. I’ve been tryin’ a get the boys to do it in camp.”

This is his third nomination for Frownlow honours. In 2018 he was accused of a racist slur against an opponent during a game. He also appeared in a leaked video shadow boxing while fellow NRL player Dylan Napa pleasured himself.

Evans faces sanctions from the NRL, but in better news he has been asked to arrange the table decorations at the awards night for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame later this year.

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Manu Vatuvei and his second drug bust.

Former NRL player Manu Vatuvei has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame after being accused of his second drug-related scandal. Vatuvei was accused of importing illicit drugs into New Zealand just three years after he scored his first Frownlow nomination for a separate drug controversy.

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.

The New Zealand international could face life in prison after recently revealing that in 2019 he was charged with possessing methamphetamine for supply and importing the Class A drug. Vatuvei finally confessed to being the subject of the charges when he posted a message on social media.

“In 2019 I was charged with importation, possession and supply of methamphetamine. All of these charges are accusations and I will be fighting my innocence for these charges. I know there’ll be a lot of questions … but I’ve been advised from my legal team that’s all I can talk about.”

The bullocking winger is no stranger to drug controversies. In 2016 he was nominated for The Frownlow Medal after being stood down by the Warriors for his poor attitude and for mixing prescription drugs with energy drinks on a night out.

The cult hero now joins a select group of footballers who have been nominated for The Frwonwlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame. The question is, will he join an even more select group of footballers serving time behind bars?

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Taane Milne nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

NRL player Taane Milne has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame after repeated disciplinary issues saw two clubs let him go.

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 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.

Milne was sacked by the Wests Tigers in 2018 for failing a second illicit drug test, and his young career was almost over when the test earned him a 12 match suspension from the NRL.

The talented centre had previously been released by the Sydney Roosters due to minor off-field dramas and a poor attitude, and the incident at the Tigers could have ended the career of the Fijian international.

Fortunately for Milne, the New Zealand Warriors offered him a lifeline and he continues to represent the Kiwi club in the NRL.

Milne can now focus on the run to the NRL finals before preparing himself for the Frownlow awards night later in the year, where plenty of illicit drugs are sure to be available.

Image: NuNa