Former NRL player Blake Ferguson has positioned himself perfectly for a role on an Australian reality TV show after losing his rugby contract due to drug and assault charges.
Almost every former footballer who has appeared on an Aussie reality TV shows in recent years has committed some form of scandal and been nominated for The Frownlow Medal and/or 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 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.
Ferguson was recently arrested for alleged possession of cocaine and alleged assault at a red light district in Tokyo. The incidents cost him his contract with Japanese rugby union club NEC Green Rockets Tokatsu, and he may struggle to play professional football ever again.
The former NSW and Australia winger would join a long list of disgraced and scandal-prone footballers to have appeared on Aussie TV screens in recent years after being nominated for Frownlow honours.
Former AFL player Dayne Beams appeared on Celebrity Big Brother. Earlier in 2021, fellow AFL player Heath Shaw, and disgraced NRL star Sam Burgess, appeared on SAS Australia.
Footballers are of particular interest to competitive shows which reward backstabbing, cheating, stealing, lying, conniving, manipulation, betrayal…and an inflated ego. Other footballers who have appeared on reality TV shows and been nominated for Frownlow honours in recent years include:
Brian Lake (AFL) – Survivor
Sam Thaiday (NRL) – Parental Guidance, Celebrity Come Dine With Me
Robert ‘Dipper’ Dipierdomenico – Excess Baggage, Celebrity Dog School
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here
- Anthony Mundine (NRL)
- Barry Hall (AFL) (runner-up)
- Brendan Fevola (AFL) – Winner Season Two
- Dane Swan (AFL) (runner-up)
- Billy Brownless (AFL)
Hall is set to appear on another show in 2022, in the latest series of SAS Australia, alongside fellow AFL legend Wayne Carey. Meanwhile, former NRL player Beau Ryan, and Collingwood hero Nathan Buckley, participated in I’m A Celebrity Get me Out of Here.
Who knows, if Ferguson’s partner finally tires of his off-field antics, he could even star in The Bachelor or Ex on the Beach.
Image: Getty Images