Used-and-abused Carlton ruckman Laurence "Moses" Angwin (pictured below, presumably while straight) has blown the whistle on the biggest open secret in AFL: a hell of a lot of professional football players are into ecstasy.
After being sacked for showing up to training still trippin' (amongst other offences) it seems he's done a little spill-all at Kerry's The Bulletin. To what end, we may ask? I guess he misses the limelight. (Like many brats, he can't distinguish between "positive attention" and "negative attention".)
Why do people care about his revelations? Do they really think AFL players are saints? I'm not shocked that quite a few AFL players are into drugs - many young people are. Nor can we be shocked that they prefer stimulants: price is no object, they enjoy the company of drug dealers and they won't suffer from the munchies (and stuff themselves with 7-Eleven donuts at 3am). And let's not forget: in many cases their bosses are forcing stimulants down their throats at work! (Yes, all those No-Doze and caffeine tablets the coaches are shovelling in must really send a responsible message.)
The main question for me is why their employers - and fans - are not interested that a large number of players abuse drugs fortnightly.
"No one at Carlton asked us if other players were involved because, I guess, they didn't want to hear the answer," Angwin said.
"And it wasn't just Carlton where this was happening, it was just commonplace, especially amongst the younger blokes" ...
Carlton president Ian Collins said last night the club had no intention of investigating Angwin's claims about other Blues players, pointing out that the disgraced ruckman had a history of lying.
"It's 12 months old and as far as I'm concerned, we don't believe it's an issue, that's history. But if anything like that happened in the future, we'd take the same sort of action," he said.
(The Age, 18/5)
Taking ecstasy and dancing 'til dawn leaves you exhausted and dehydrated, with your sleep pattern out of whack for a few days and your mood chemicals (dopamine and seratonin) depleted for a week or more. Doing it weekly or fortnightly is physically and psychologically debilitating. It's impossible to imagine an athlete giving 100% under such circumstances.
The cheapest AFL players get at least $80,000, with the good ones on contracts of up to a million bucks a year. To play, what, 20 or 30 hours of footy a season? It beggars belief that the clubs are so uninterested in protecting their investment that they'd ensure the kids keep off the pills.
Even more disturbing - the ecstasy/rave scene is famous for its motto/cliche/philosophy of "PLUR" (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect). How the hell do footy players operate in that environment? It seems totally anathema to their values. I would have thought over-bearing, aggressive and arrogant footballers would go for the ego-inflating effects of cocaine instead.
Any experiences with footballers and their drug of choice? Please share them (please, no names!) by clicking the comment link below.
NB: Laurence Angwin is nicknamed "Moses" ... because he's the man with the tablets, of course!
Citations: The Age, 18/5
Word Count: 539