New threat forces changes to NRL Dally M awards.

A looming threat forced the NRL to make unpopular changes to the Dally M awards night in 2021 – and it wasn’t the AFL. The NRL altered the traditional format of its awards presentation in response to the growing popularity of The Frownlow Medal celebration.

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.

Rugby League fans slammed the new format which saw the awards stretched over two separate nights a week apart. The first instalment returned poor television ratings and attracted widespread criticism across social media. Experts suspected the downfall could be blamed on the timing of the AFL Brownlow Medal ceremony, but realised that it was the Frownlow award which was stealing the thunder.

“Every player wants to go to the awards night for The Frownlow Medal,” revealed NRL boss Andrew Abdo.

“It is a huge night of massive partying with no rules or restrictions with players from across NRL, AFL, Super Rugby and the A-League. Players get unlimited drugs, booze, women, music, sports gambling and no pesky journalists. No player can resist this, and it’s no wonder that party is more popular than the Dally Ms.”

Players have been displaying less interest in the Dally M night since the Frownlow Medal was introduced in 2015. In response, the NRL decided to experiment with a new format in order to win back players and fans.

“The Dally M used to be the most prestigious award in the NRL, but now it’s the Frownlow,” conceded Abdo.

“Just look at the number of NRL players who get nominated every year, and the fact that every medallist, except for 2020, has been an NRL player.”

The awards night for The Fronwlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame will be held later this year. The potential venues include Northies, Jarryd Hayne’s Hillsong Church, Paul Vaughan’s house or the restaurant in which Adam Elliott and Millie Boyle enjoyed their toilet tryst.

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Can Jarryd Hayne return to glory?

Former NRL player and current prisoner Jarryd Hayne could claim the greatest prize in Australian sport this year. Hayne is the favourite to win The Frownlow Medal, ahead of 61 professional footballers who have earned nominations for all manner of off-field scandals.

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.

Hayne is possibly the most talented player to have never won a grand final. He came close with Parramatta one year, and almost single-handedly won a State of Origin series for NSW on one occasion. He now languishes in prison after being found guilty of sexual assault.

Can anyone beat Hayne?

Former NRL player Mananse Fainu poses a strong threat. He is still awaiting the outcome of his legal proceedings after he was accused of stabbing someone outside a Mormon church dance back in 2019. Another Dragons player, Tristan Sailor, was also accused of rape but has not been found guilty as COVID-19 slows down court proceedings in Australia.

Other challengers

Hayne saw off the challenge of another accused rapist, fellow NRL player Jack de Belin. The Dragons and NSW player was found not guilty of sexual assault after a long court case, but is still in contention after attending Paul Vaughan‘s infamous BBQ. This unsanctioned house party led to nominations for another 11 Dragons players, and created the Matt Dufty Fun Run around the streets of Shellharbour.

Corey Norman won the medal in 2016 and was also at the BBQ. He thought he could outsmart the cops by fleeing on foot, but he left behind his phone and car – with personalised number plates. It was his second nomination of 2021, after getting into a brawl outside Northies.

Gender equity

2021 marked a milestone for The Frownlow Medal. Nita Maynard became the first woman to be nominated after getting drunk and taking on a bouncer at Northies. Fellow NRLW player Millie Boyle followed her lead and earned a nomination after being caught in a toilet tryst with misguided NRL player Adam Elliott.

The Breachers

Breaching COVID-19 protocols earned nominations for many footballers this year, even though that particular scandal failed to win the Frownlow for any nominees in 2020. Footballers never learn. Many players breached some form of protocols, including perennial nominees James Roberts, and fellow NRL player Josh Dugan, who was caught by police more than 3 hours from home, twice, on the same day.

Jai Arrow and Api Koroisau were both punished for smuggling women into their restricted hotels rooms during the State of Origin series. Koroisau is married, and Arrow is sponsored by a food delivery company which guarantees fast and efficient delivery.

NRL dominance

NRL players look determined to win back what they believe is their birthright, after Taylor claimed it for the AFL in 2020. They comprise 47 of the 61 nominees. They also supplied two of the most bizarre nominations. Victor Radley was punished by the NRL for tackling someone, while Lachlan Lewis was caught trying to sell a speaker on EBay, after stealing it from a room in the Bulldogs’ hub.

AFL defence

The AFL defence looks flimsy. Jordan De Goey earned three nominations in one year, for essentially being Jordan De Goey, while Taylor Walker made a racist comment and a pathetic attempt to apologise for his racist outburst. Nine more AFL players were nominated for relatively minor offences, and so far they look unlikely to reclaim the medal.

Super Rugby

Super Rugby has offered four candidates. Suliasi Vunivalu earned his nomination before even playing a game in his new code, while three Rebels Marika Koroibete, Isi Naisarani and Pone Fa’amausili had a few quiet drinks in their team hotel and broke curfew while playing for the Wallabies. Apparently Rebels are not allowed to rebel.

A- League Absence

The A-League has never won The Fronwlow Medal and has failed to supply any candidates in 2021. Why?

Hayne might be accepting The Frownlow Medal from his prison cell later this year, but it is only September, and four months is a very long time in football.

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Why are we called Rebels?

Marika Koroibete, Isi Naisarani and Pone Fa’amausili play rugby for the Melbourne Rebels but got into trouble for being rebels. The trio were dropped from the next Wallabies game after breaking team curfew to have a few drinks together, and have earned nominations 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.

Koroibete, Fa’amausili and Naisarani will not play in the Bledisloe Cup against the All Blacks after taking leftover alcohol to their room to continue drinking after an official team function. The players apparently kept drinking for more than two hours and were reported by a team official.

The official statement from the Wallabies said there was “no illegal behaviour, no damage and no complaints made. No further investigation will take place, or any further action”. Thus, there was no rebellion, aside from breaking curfew. Even when the Rebels rebelled they did not stage a rebellion or do anything particularly rebellious. They must be wondering why they’re called Rebels.

Koroibete was nominated for Frownlow honours in 2019 for ‘liking’ the homophobic social media posts which saw Israel Folau kicked out of rugby in Australia. Naisarani and Fa’amausili earn their first nominations, and all three players will be looking forward to the Frownlow awards night, where they can drink as much as they like for as long as they like.

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Danny Cipriani and Richard Kingi order a bottle of vodka.

Rugby Union players Danny Cipriani and Richard Kingi have demanded a bottle of vodka be placed next to their plaques if they are inducted into The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame. The former Melbourne Rebels players famously stole a bottle of vodka from a bar in 2011 when they weren’t supposed to be partying at all.

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 Rebels team had agreed that they would not go out after losing a game to the NSW Waratahs. Not only did Kingi and Cipriani hit the town, they souvenired a bottle of vodka from behind the bar at a nightclub. Why an England international and Wallaby would need to steal rather than pay for a drink is a mystery…

Cipriani then strengthened his Frownlow chances by staying out late on a different night and failing to turn up to training the next day.

In response to criticism, Kingi and Cipriani said,

“You call the club Rebels, so what do you expect?”

“You think we’re gonna be tucked up in bed by 10pm on a weekend?”

Cipriani and Kingi will both attend the awards night for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame later this year, and have been advised that there will be no need to steal drinks as the bar is open all night long.

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Jarryd Hayne vs Israel Folau in Battle of the Christians.

Israel Folau could face off against Jarryd Hayne for The Frownlow Medal in 2021 if the banished cross-code star is allowed back into professional football. The showdown is being billed as Battle of the Christians but can only happen if the NRL or Super Rugby let Folau sign a professional contract.

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.

Battle of the Christians would be magnificent,” claimed event promoters, the Australian Christian Lobby.

“In one corner is Jarryd Hayne, convicted rapist and Hillsong Church member. In the other corner is Israel Folau, a member of Truth of Jesus Christ Church and Australia’s most famous homophobe. It is only fitting that these two role models fight for Australia’s most prestigious medal.”

“This showdown would be bigger than the Crusades, bigger than the Reformation, bigger even than one of Paul Gallen’s boxing matches.”

The showdown is only possible if the NRL welcome Folau back to the code after he was kicked out of Rugby Union and Rugby League for one too many homophobic tweets. So desperate are event organisers to see Folau take on Hayne for the medal that they initiated a social media campaign under the hashtag LetHimPlay.

“This is a widespread and expensive campaign, and shows how serious we are about seeing two devout Christians contest The Frownlow Medal.”

“Many punters doubt Israel could defeat Jarryd for the Frownlow this year,” continued the spokesman.

“Yes, Jarryd was found guilty of rape, but if Israel was allowed to return, that would give him a licence to make increasingly outrageous and homophobic statements an a daily basis. Again, it might be argued that they’re only words, and nothing compared to sexually assaulting a young woman, but advocates and workers in various sectors remind us that deeply homophobic comments can have a devastating effect on members of the LGBTQI community, especially young people, and especially when those comments come from an athlete who is held up as a role model.”

“There could be grave consequences to giving Israel a platform to exercise his right to free speech. Consequences that would put him in contention to win The Frownlow Medal.”

The Australian Christian Lobby also advised against mocking their media campaign to have Folau reinstated.

“Remember, Scott Morrison is a fairweather football fan and a member of the Pentecostal church which shaped Jarryd Hayne, so we are confident of our influence in the halls of power. Admittedly, Israel did claim that Scott would go to hell, but Israel says that about everyone outside the 30-strong congregation of his church, and the PM has a famously short memory when it suits him.

What’s more, Frownlow judges even nominated a woman this year, so Israel certainly deserves a nomination.”

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Jarryd Hayne knows it’s not over.

It’s tempting to think that Jarryd Hayne has The Frownlow Medal locked up for 2021. The former NRL star was just found guilty of raping a woman in 2018 and has one hand on the most prestigious prize in Australian sport – but the result is not certain.

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.

Hayne was recently found guilty of sexually assaulting a young woman in her home on Grand Final evening in 2018. He will most likely spend a substantial time in prison. Normally a rape conviction would guarantee victory in The Frownlow Medal. After all, previous medallists have won for physical assault of a woman, but not sexual assault, or for incidents involving stalking, illicit drug use, sex tapes, gambling and drug possession.

However, Hayne faces strong opposition this year from other footballers who have also been accused of sexual assault. Jack de Belin is still involved in a seemingly eternal court case after being accused of rape a long time ago, and fellow NRL player Tristan Sailor is also being investigated for sexual assault, as was Collingwood player Jordan de Goey. It is not certain when a verdict will be reached in their cases.

Following on their heels are Manase Fainu, who was charged with stabbing a man outside a church dance, and Jamil Hopoate, who has been charged with drink driving assaulting a woman. 2016 Medallist Corey Norman used a street brawl to try to win back the medal, and Zane ‘Last Chance’ Musgrove earned yet another nomination, alongside Asu Kepaoa.

AFL attempted to defend the prize they won last year when Jonathon Patton was caught sending lewd images to women who didn’t want them, and a host of fellow NRL players will keep pressure on the front runners for this year’s medal.

Knights rookie Phoenix Crossland announced the beginning of another NRL season by getting into a pub brawl, while Payne Haas and Corey Harawira-Naera earned repeat nominations. Another Corey from the Raiders, Horsburgh, was caught drink driving, while Suliasi Vunivalu earned a Frownlow nomination before he’d played his first game of professional rugby union. The Broncos have made a significant contribution already, with Kotoni Staggs being accused of homophobia, and Tesi Niu being charged with a driving offence.

In addition, Sharks big man Toby Rudolf told the most costly joke in NRL history, and Roosters forward Victor Radley got punished for tackling a man.

Who will win The Frownlow Medal in 2021?

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Is it too hot to get drunk?

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?

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Suliasi Vunivalu starts his Rugby career with a whimper.

Powerful attacking weapon Suliasi Vunivalu has started his Super Rugby career with a whimper after being forced to miss his first game due to an off-field incident.

Vunivalu has been dropped from the Queensland Reds first game of 2021 after he was accused of pushing a security guard at a licensed venue in Brisbane. The controversy also earned the star recruit a $10,000 fine and a very tame 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 AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.

Vunivalu is one of the highest profile recruits for the Super Rugby competition in 2021. He won premierships with the Melbourne Storm in the NRL and trained with the Wallabies in late 2020, after impressing Rugby coaches with his raw athleticism and try scoring potential. Now he won’t even play the first game of the season against arch rivals NSW.

The Fijian-born star will have to work hard to win the trust of his new teammates, and to win The Frownlow Medal in 2021.

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Legalade, the perfect drink for the wayward footballer.

Legalade is a sports drink with a difference. The latest addition to the highly-competitive sports drink market improves a players off-field performance and is set to take the sports world by storm.

While existing sports drinks such as Powerade, Lucozade, Gatorade and Staminade claim to improve a player’s on-field performance, none of them provide off-field support like Legalade. As such, players have begun ordering the drink by the case in the hope that it will increase their chances of winning The Frownlow Medal or entering 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.

Along with the usual electrolytes, glucose and potassium found in conventional sports drinks, Legalade contains traces of illicit drugs and a 15% alcohol content to get the party started. It is premixed with energy drinks for automatic preloading and is engineered to pass through police detection systems at music festivals and nightspots. Furthermore, every bottle carries contact details of lawyers and a list of image consultants trained to repair a footballer’s personal brand after a public scandal.

Legalade is the perfect drink for footballers who need to urinate into their own mouths or onto a police car, or who yearn to slap a taxi driver, simulate sex with a dog or send unwanted nude pics to innocent women. It inspires racist, sexist and homophobic social media rants and is the perfect preparation for players on their way to face their code’s integrity unit. One sip and all your problems will disappear.

Legalade is not to be confused with Legal Aid. Legal Aid is an organisation in NSW providing legal services to socially and economically disadvantaged people throughout the state. Legalade, meanwhile, is a revolutionary new sports drink.

Legalade marks a watershed for professional footballers striving to win the ultimate prize in Australian sport, and is available for purchase at bottle shops throughout the country.

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AFL finally defeats the NRL.

The AFL has claimed bragging rights over the NRL after Elijah Taylor won The Frownlow Medal in 2020 and broke the NRL dominance of the award. Taylor was found guilty of physically assaulting his partner, and for smuggling the same woman into the team’s hotel in breach of strict COVID-19 protocols.

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 players have dominated the medal since Shaun Kenny-Dowall won in 2015. He handed the mantle to NRL colleagues Corey Norman and Tim Simona, before Ben Barba won in 2019. Karmichael Hunt claimed the prize in 2018, but he played NRL and Super Rugby as well as AFL, so Taylor’s victory gives the AFL its first outright medallist.

The AFL is understandably proud of its maiden victory, but may have to temper celebrations for 2021. The first five nominees for the 2021 award are all NRL players, and they will be very hard to beat. Jarryd Hayne, Jack de Belin, Tristan Sailor and Jamil Hopoate all face charges of violence against women, and should have their legal proceedings completed this year. Manase Fainu is also awaiting the outcome of his court case, for allegedly stabbing a man outside a church dance.

Super Rugby has one victory, courtesy of Hunt, while the A-League has never won the award, and only recorded a handful of nominations in six years.

The NRL is heavily favoured to re-establish its dominance in 2021, but a year is a long time in football, and professional footballers are capable of getting themselves into all sorts of scandals off the field. So, can the AFL win the most prestigious award in Australian sport for a second year running?

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