The AFL Player Spectator Current AFL Threat Level

Millionaires with a Year Ten Education

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Shock! AFL Team Gets A Clue!

In a breathtaking sign of cluefulness, West Coast Eagles management takes a principled, reasoned and sensible line on its players' off-field behaviour. Recent comments from senior club figures have been backed up with meaningful action following the weekend's outbreak of scandals in WA's top team. Whether this heralds a seachange in AFL attitudes or simply an isolated case of thoughtfulness remains to be seen. I'm sceptically optimistic.

The major disgrace belongs to West Coast's Ben Cousins. This man is meant to embody "the best and fairest" that the AFL competition has to offer; his Brownlow Medal is a testament to that. He's also the captain of last year's Premiership runners-up and is one of the League's highest-paid stars, reportedly worth over half a million bucks a year.

By now, the story is familiar: on the 12th of February, Cousins was driving home from a friend's wedding reception when he spotted a booze bus. He abandoned his gold Mercedes-Benz 4WD (with passengers inside) some 50m up the road and did a runner. (Ironically, a photo of him in full flight adorns this year's AFL Record!) The pacey mid-fielder outstripped police, who caught one of his slower mates. He then appeared at one of Perth's leading eateries:

"There was a knock at the door and we were around the back having some wine and cheese," a Bluewater Grill staff member said yesterday. "One of the managers went to answer it, but we obviously can't open the door to strangers.

"There was a guy at the door with a pair of pants on and no shirt on and she asked him what he wanted through the door."


They went to the front door, and that was when the bar manager said, 'You're Ben Cousins', and he said, 'No I'm not'.

"But the bar manager insisted and eventually Ben said, 'I am Ben Cousins'.


"I've got no doubts whatsoever it was Ben, but it wasn't until we'd read the media reports that we were able to put it together. He was panting and the bar manager said he looked a bit drunk and was asking for water. He stayed at the restaurant for about 15 to 20 minutes, but he didn't come in. It seemed really odd at the time." (The Age, 20/02/06)

This fool later realised he had no choice but to turn himself over to police. He may face minor charges including obstructing traffic by leaving his $140,000 car on a highway. He denies he was drunk. (Hey Ben! When a man with your connections and rumours flees police and appears sweaty, addled and shirtless in public ... best to say you're drunk, n'est pas?) He's still not co-operating fully with police. Cousins also failed to co-operate with police on an earlier matter involving playing gangsters with underworld figures involved in a shooting and stabbing at a Perth nightclub.

Ben Cousins Kisses His Luck Goodbye
Source: ABC Online

The only ray of light in what could have been just another spoilt footballer story has been some comments by the club leadership, including chief executive Trevor Nisbett:

"If he has done that and he has run from a booze bus, well obviously it's a ridiculous thing to do," he said.

"Because he like any other citizen should have gone through the booze bus like everyone else has to."

Mr Nisbett said Cousins had to learn to be answerable for his off-field behaviour. (ABC Online, 18/02/06)

Hallelujah! I think this man actually gets it! Footballers are bound by the same laws as regular citizens; what's more, as role models they must be ever vigilant to the impact of their actions. (For example, WA's Attorney-General has expressed alarm that Cousins' behaviour may spark copy-cat incidents.) This was followed up with direct and decisive action. I detect something of Trevor Nisbett's hand in Ben Cousins' announcement that he'll surrender the West Coast captaincy. Was he pushed or did he jump? In my view, overpaid prima donnas with a history of selfishness, blame and immaturity don't accept responsibility for their mistakes. I'm betting he was told he was gone either way.

The second West Coast scandal was the relegation of troubled star Michael Gardiner to the B-leagues. This man has been warned time and again for his mysterious "off-field behaviour". This has only ever been alluded to in the media, though it's worth noting he has been linked previously to the same underworld figures with drug connections as his mate Ben Cousins.

There have been persistent rumours over the past two seasons that Gardiner's off-field excesses had led to a fallout with coach John Worsfold.

Worsfold did not mince his words when asked about the fallen star at a press conference following Friday's intraclub match. West Coast was a highly disciplined club, Worsfold said. One player had not met the club's standards. That player was Gardiner and he was being banished to the WAFL. (The Age, 21/02/06)

Seen in light of Cousins' forced stand-down, this suggests that the West Coast Eagles are sick and tired of the shame brought upon their club by a couple of renegade players and are getting serious about cleaning it up. The club's management should be roundly applauded for their efforts in this.

But, with dark mutterings in the media about further drug scandals breaking this year as the new anti-doping protocol comes into effect, it may be that the Weagles are just getting ahead of the pack for what could be a big shake-out in our footballers' more salubrious lifestyle choices.

*** Update ***

Twelve months after the above incident, Ben Cousins has been dropped by his club for his drug-related issues. He has headed to the US for rehabilitation. Everyone claimed to see it coming, except his club. If only they saw the signs ...

Citations: The Age, 20/02/06; ABC Online, 18/02/06; The Age, 21/02/06

Word Count: 1009

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  • For once you make some sense ;-).
    Have to agree with your line saying that he should have stuck with drunk. As I mentioned in the latest podcast,,
    the only explaination I can see is something more serious.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:29 pm, February 22, 2006  

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  • It's not all stick here; carrot has its place too. It's just the clubs have been so ill-deserving of any carrot at all. Let's hope they've turned a corner. Maybe the emerging drugs shake-out will help them along?

    By Blogger Greg, at 12:22 am, February 23, 2006  

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  • this is good information, but a little bit of a rant.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:27 pm, March 27, 2006  

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  • Yes, i have to agree that Ben Cousins is indeed a shocking role-model, what with his exceedingly roudy goings-ons in the off-season. I mean, really, what are seventeen, sixteen or even forteen year olds going to make of this monstrosity? Why, they might even follow in this young un's unworthy footsteps and create a whole society of drunken boozers! As hunk a spunk as you may well be, Benny boy, shame on you for you have disgraced WEst-Coast and your once clean slate sqeaky clean skipper image as well. What would your rents think?!!!!! I am disgusted! Think of the children!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:51 am, May 29, 2006  

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  • It's not like you people have never done anything like this before, give him a break!! You've all got tall poppy syndrome

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:33 pm, July 23, 2006  

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  • Nope, I've definitely never fleed from a booze-bus, abandoned my vehicle, run around the city with my shirt off or tried to get into a posh restaurant after hours.

    I will not give him a break. This is one millionaire with a year ten education who will be publicly humiliated and ridiculed at every opportunity he creates.

    By Blogger Greg, at 8:32 pm, July 23, 2006  

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  • ive got to agree with greg... dont give him a break! and regards to the tall poppy syndrome. WTF! that is the aussie way of life, wen a fellow aussie thinks and acts like they are better than everyone else and then gets caught doing something stupid thats wen other australians jump on the chance to shoot him/her straight back down to size and thats how it should be!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:39 pm, August 30, 2006  

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  • I would like to respond to your disapproval of the term 'date rape' and your opinion that it implies that there is a rape hierarchy. While it is a very good thing to condemn rape on the whole I think holding such an attitude is a moral reflex that ignores the complexity of the issue. Women want to empower and educate themselves, not hide out in the toilets with other women.
    The term 'date rape' acknowledges that rape doesn't always occur with a stranger in an unsafe or unfamiliar environment. It makes the danger of an attack occurring closer to home more explicit. It was employed in response to the growing problem of rapes among university students. Specifying this assists women to be more aware and empowers them to maximise their own safety.
    Not sure where you got the idea that this implies a hierarchy. Seems like intellectual bull shit to me. I don't think it is any great moral achievement to assert that all rape is a crime. I do think it takes maturity to be able to hold the complexity of an issue like rape. As far as advising women on how to deal with an AFL player cracking on to them, we have information posted in the toilets warning us of drink spiking and where to get assistance-thanks. I would find it more interesting and valuable to discuss the allure of celebrity and the irony of players abusing the instrument of their craft. How does sport shape their view of physicality as a whole and their supposed readiness to corrupt it? What is your agenda in targeting AFL and not the music industry anyway? What is it exactly that offends you about this particular group of males? Is it only that some aren't educated?
    I would love to see some more insghtful and well supported comments on why this culture exists among football players.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:47 am, September 01, 2006  

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  • I think the above comment was meant to be attached to an earlier article about footballers using so-called "date rape" drugs.

    Thanks for pointing out my "intellectual bullshit". To avoid that, perhaps I should restrict myself to a hermeneutic study of "the allure of celebrity and the irony of players abusing the instrument of their craft", followed up by an interpretive phenomological analysis of how "sport shapes their view of physicality as a whole and their supposed readiness to corrupt it".

    That should stop me drifting off into intellectual bullshit!

    But, seriously, I would suggest that amongst some players, terms like "date rape" can soften or even excuse illegal behaviour. There's also a danger that the response from police, courts, juries, even friends and family may not be as sympathetic if we create a distinction between "stranger rape" and "date rape". Rape is rape, end of story.

    I'd like to hear about players' views on this and other issues. Unfortunately, the sick footy culture means that even the occasional good egg has to shut up and not come out against his team mates. Hopefully, this will change over time.

    By Blogger Greg, at 1:07 pm, September 01, 2006  

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  • i really really agree with this article which i found by accident while searching for articles on"should footy players deserve privacy or public scrutiny"? I think when they stuff up in a public manner, such as on the BLOODY FREEWAY or in the middle of SCARBOROUGH then of course it should be reported on. if they want to screw around with drugs and alcohol in their houses then fine- we, the media will not report on it. but they would have to be absolutely bloody stupid australians to fuck up where we are all going to catch them

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:28 am, October 06, 2006  

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  • Benny Boy has done it again, this time getting so hammered the police had to arrest him. What is going on when this "role model" can get away with this behaviour without sanction from anyone - his colleagues, employers, sponsors, police or even the government? Are we that enthralled to the footy-worship culture that no-one can speak out?

    By Blogger Greg, at 9:24 pm, December 28, 2006  

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  • fuck you losers

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:41 pm, December 30, 2006  

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  • dude shove it up your ass, cousins is a fantastic footballer and normally displays himself very well! your a moron to think any little of cousins hes awesome so why dont you actually take a moment of your sad little life to respect ben cousins because he is one of the most fantastic footballers and man of all time!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:12 am, January 03, 2007  

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  • Is Ben's Mum posting anonymous comments now?

    I've never passed any judgement on Cousin's footballing prowess. I only criticise him as a human being, not a sportsman. He does not "normally display himself very well"; he's regularly in these pages for some drunken disgrace or other.

    Cousins is simply not a good person and is undeserving of the adulation he receives from people such as yourself.

    The fact that you are blinded to this by his footy ability endangers the rest of us and corrupts our society. Why don't you think about the harm your worship does to others?

    By Blogger Greg, at 12:44 pm, January 03, 2007  

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  • Greg, you have some good points, i am a eagles supporter but there comes a time when being a great footballer does not excuse stupid behaviour. I am relieved they got rid of Michael Gardiner and the word around town was that he and Benny boy could not resist the coke temptation. I am sure there are others in the team that party a bit too hard, eg. Kerr , Embley, Fletcher and think that as long as they play good football it doesnt matter what they do in their spare time. I wonder how good they would be without the excesses they indulge in and is that indulgence holding back other teams? The drug testing results in the coming weeks will be interesting!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:37 pm, March 20, 2007  

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  • While this is not about Mr Cousins, I myself witnessed Embley, Lynch, Glass and Braun (there may have been more but as an Essendon Fan I'm not all that familiar with WCE players) at a Mandurah pub the weekend prior to the commencement of NAB Cap. Yes they were drinking heavily however this is not my gripe. They were accompanied by a number of ladies, some girlfriends, and treated them with utter disrepect. I witnessed them being manhandled, sworn at and in one case pushed very aggressively. One girl received the swift elbow of Embley to her skull & although an accident, he did not show any concern for her. There was clearly an argument going on & it got so heated, a wiser, more responsible Braun removed them promptly from watching eyes. As a female I was disgusted and if I hadn't seen it for my self I wouldn't have believed it. What is wrong with these guys?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:56 pm, March 20, 2007  

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  • Disturbing story there. That's why we're on a Red Threat Level, ladies and gentlemen.

    Please leave a venue that is hosting footballers, especially when they are in a group and drinking heavily.

    It's just not worth the risk.

    By Blogger Greg, at 12:02 am, March 21, 2007  

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  • you all need to leave the poor guy alone .. it sad e4nough he has porblems and the media are twisting the story around for all we know. he obivisli has a drug problem so leave the guy cause use all are fukd

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:48 pm, March 22, 2007  

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  • I am so sick of this shit. The eagles think they run Perth, Ben Cousins, in particular, thinks he is the King of Subiaco. I have worked in the hospitality industry for many years, and during that time, have seen many Eagles players "off their heads" on who knows what. I have seen Eagles players at raves, I have seen Eagles players on drugs, I have seen them with drug dealers, I have seen them crack on to chicks because they just think they can. Enough with the bulls%*t - they are spoilt, over-paid brats.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:33 am, March 23, 2007  

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  • Hear, hear!

    Good point, well made.

    But let's just remember that these dicks have only as much power as we allow them. It's the club memberships, TV advertising and ticket sales paid by us that drive their massive life-destroying wealth.

    And every time some giggly girls at a bar say "ooh, look - isn't that blah blah from that club?" and then pay extra for their cocktails just for the privilege of getting leched on by a footballer, just remember: we all pay a price.

    By Blogger Greg, at 1:57 am, March 23, 2007  

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  • Benny boy is still an ambassador for Ch 7, after all the bullshit and criminal behaviour he's still there.

    It's a disgrace, players complain about being held up as role models and I can sympathise with that somewhat, but if pillocks like Ben can take the cash to be an ambassador he deserves to be crucified when he screws up monumentally time and time again.

    Suck it up Benny, surely you're used to doing that.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:40 pm, March 23, 2007  

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  • Benny is a disgrace and a drug addict he had been linked with bikie groups and crime figures in taped interviews. But because he can kick a football we are supposed to feel sorry for him. Shame on WCE Football club in not stopping this behaviour which has gone on for many years, all they care about is winning games only when it has reached this point they make out they give a damm. I do hope that Cousins can kick this habit. He should also be charged with possess and use a drug of dependance so at least a court can order a treatment order. Get tough on drug users in Australia they are a cancer that is killing the souls of many youths and families thought out Australia.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:46 pm, March 26, 2007  

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  • The Karma train has reached Cousins and the WCE. HA HA HA

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:51 pm, March 26, 2007  

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  • This whole site really pisses me off...why the hatred? Is it because you got teased at school by a bunch of football players, or is it the fact that your life has amounted to sitting at home with your computer personally attacking anyone who is more successful at what they do then you?! Yes there are football players that stuff up, this will always be the case, they too are human, but I presume by your willingness to mock people for their mistakes that the worst thing that you have done is wet your bed at the age of 3. Greg you mention you do not pass judgement on Cousins football prowess, only on him as a human being? What the hell...have a look at yourself!!! You sit there behind your computer, with your indentity completely hidden, and attack people while they are at the lowest point. How about you just back off and let people like cousins deal with the problems and addictions he has, rather then trying to rally people together to join you in kicking him in the guts while he is down!! You pissed me off but now I actually feel sorry for you as you are the one who is riddled with jealousy and will never amount to anything as you'll always be sitting back bagging out everyone who is putting themselves out there and tripping up along the way.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:17 am, March 28, 2007  

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  • Oh, the humanity!

    I'll take your anger over your pity, thanks.

    No doubt Cousins, his boss, his manager and his drug dealers would all love it if we turned a blind eye to years of ripping off the kids. But it ain't gonna happen.

    It wasn't a momentary lapse of judgement or a one off. It was a clear, sustained effort at defrauding the public of millions of dollars by taking our money under false pretences.

    However, Cousins isn't the problem, merely a symptom of something worse. We'll keep up the pressure until the AFL fixes it.

    And no, I'm not hiding my identity in anyway - I'm standing up and saying what I believe loud and proud.

    By Blogger Greg, at 10:29 am, March 28, 2007  

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  • mmmmmm Greg must be a Fremantle Docker's supporter. I am for the Eagles all the way, Ben will get his just desserts,he bought it on himself. Can't turn back the clock.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:41 pm, March 28, 2007  

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  • Gee Joel.

    Are you related to Ben Cousins ? Ben Cousins is a drug addict and as a person he is a lowlife. He has had every opportunity to exploit his obvious natural talent and has thrown it in the faces of everyone who has supported him over the years. He has lied, let his club, himself and his family down, and now you demand sympathy for him. All of these guys are willing to take commercial sponsorship money as being something special but don't want to be held accountable for his actions. Even now, when it appears he has the support of a stable family he is, if you believe the press, ' refusing to accept that he has a problem and is refusing rehab' I mean how can you defend an idiot like that. He apparently believes that his own strong will can overcome whatever issues he allegedly has. Is that the the same strong will that has got him into this situation in the first place. Give me a break.

    I find it incredible that you say this site is about hate. Clearly the behaviour of the AFL players who feed this site do not display any hate in their cynical dealings with the world around them. This site appears to be better researched and deals in more facts than the crap that is spun by the AFL and their self serving clubs.

    Also, why if somebody critisises AFL players are they immediately jealous. I for one, and I very critical of their behaviour, am certainly not jealous. Nor have I been picked on, beaten up or cuckolded by an AFL player, or any of the other machismo reasons that people like you seem to have as the reason of the jealousy. I mean what is there to be about ? I am just sick to death of these idiots destroying something I love, which is football. At least Greg has a thoughtful view of the abyss that AFL players have turned the game into over the past few years.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:08 pm, March 28, 2007  

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  • There's a lot of self righteous indignation here that mirrors the shock and horror hands in the air crap the media have been spouting ever since this story broke.

    Ben has the right, like all of us, to make choices and to fuck up if he makes a bad one.
    He's human you know, just like you.

    You're carrying on as if its the worst thing in the world. You're carrying on as if you own him, as if he owes you something.

    The fact is he owes you nothing.

    He deserves the right to privacy, just like you and I and everyone else.

    If you don't like him then don't go to the game, turn off the tv or don't serve him if he comes into the establishment you work at.

    The best thing everyone here, who has written the negative drivel about Ben Cousins I've had to wade though to get here, could do is grow up and get a fucking life.



    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:17 am, March 31, 2007  

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  • There are millions of drug users out there. Stew is the only one who makes any sense. For example I think Tom Cruise is a dick head (probably as a result of drugs) so I don't watch his movies. If you think Ben is a dick head then don't watch him play. Get on with your own lives, make sure you and your friends don't make the same mistakes and leave Ben to sort himself out.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:05 pm, March 31, 2007  

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  • How egalitarian of you Stew. ' Everybody has the right to fuck up'. That is true, but Ben Cousins is not everyman. Ben has, because of his talent, had a very privileged life and as such has additional responsibilities. You see Ben is very happy to take money for his on field performance, which has clearly been effected now, and more importantly is very happy to take vast sums of money from sponsorship deals. His sponsors choose Ben and his type because they are built up by the media and by his club as a role model. In fact, unless his sponsors are idiots, which I doubt, there are likely to be behaviour clauses in his contracts, which would include drug taking. These companies sign contracts on good faith and Ben has acted against that good faith. Equally, he has been afforded privileges that the everyman could only dream of. Therefore there is a higher level of accountability that he has to your average drug addict. If Ben just disappears and does not take these privileges he has every right to continue to take drugs, albeit illegal anti social behaviour. So do you think he will give back the money to the sponsors he has misrepresented? I doubt it.

    In terms of the public owning Ben Cousins, that is true, they do not. His sponsors on the other hand do have some equity in him. He signed that over when he took money to represent them, so as such again, he has a higher level of accountability. He has lied, plain and simple. He negated his right of privacy when he took money to become a public figure. If you don't like it then move to a country that does not have free media. The Australian press is one of the most begin and tolerant in the world. The AFL is protected by the press. How long has this been going on for? There has been rumour and innuendo about the Eagles for at least five years. Yet it is only because Andrew Rule wrote that article ( finally) that it has come to a head. If that article had not been written there is a good chance Ben would be running out against Sydney tonight. Most developed countries press would have exposed it years ago.
    Why should I deny myself the pleasure of watching AFL because of the actions of a few idiots. That is not logical. The AFL should crack down on these idiots by having a proper drug testing procedure and ban any player who tests positive for anything once. Other codes of professional sport have these guidelines, why not the AFL. In Ben's case, the cliche of ' if you can't do the time don't do the crime' rings loud. I hope he can sort himself out and come back and play again, but he has lost the trust of many good people in the AFL and broader community. People who sell their privacy for the benefits of celebrity, do and should, be held accountable for their actions. Ben Cousins is no different.

    Finally, the point about getting a life. I mean what is that about. It seems to be a basic moronic fallback sprouted if anyone writes anything negative about anyone in the AFL. I mean please, indignation regarding the behaviour of footballers does not constitute not having a life. If more people showed some indignation about their behaviour, it may very well improve the quality of life of the people who are negatively effected over time. How many people will try or have tried ice as a result of it being glamourised by Ben Cousins ? Who knows, maybe none, but if that has happened just once and they become addicted, I am sure they will not have the support group around them that Ben has.

    By Blogger Simon, at 6:20 pm, March 31, 2007  

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  • Hey Stew,

    In defense of Ben Cousins and his everyman status. Apparently he responded by to being suspended by going on a three day binge, and then the AFL said they would contribute to a private jet to the states for his rehab. I mean please, who does he think he is. He did in the end go on a commercial plane, but please.

    In Rehab, I hope he achieves two things.

    1. He does get better and gets rid of his addiction.

    2. Meet someone who is actually famous and has pressures significantly more than his. Maybe then he will learn some humility.

    By Blogger Simon, at 2:45 am, April 01, 2007  

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  • To all you do gooders out there who never make mistakes and never get recognised for what you do.. go and get a life .. truly who do you think you are above all of us that have made maistakes, shame on you I hope the bluebird of happiness sits on your shoulders and craps all over.. No guts or glory for you shamfull anonymous people who are so good you dont even have a name....Brenda...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:38 pm, April 01, 2007  

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  • Joel, Thank god there are some people out there with a heart, I totally agree with your comments, these people that sit back and write all these nasty things dont know any better they would love to be in the spotlight and this is the only way and place they will ever be heard, as for the person that wrote shes seen them all at rave parties... well what are you doing there if not far as I am concerned there are a lot more ice users in the AFL and not in Perth...I know of two that are friends with a cop in the East that are into it.. So go get yourselves a job so you dont have to bag those who get mixed up with the wrong type....Anon

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:52 pm, April 01, 2007  

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  • As a Victorian I have to say it's amazing what the WC players have got away with in W.A. Over here if Fraser Gehrig farts in a bar it's major headlines and he's punished by the club and the media alike. Over there it seems the public and the media is so obsessed with beating the Vic clubs anything goes as far as the WC boys are concerned and everyone has been turning a blind eye until Ben gets caught in a rather embarassing situation by his (ex) girlfriend who then dobs him in to the club & media alike. At least that's the story going around here. To those still supporting Ben Cousins - get a life, the guy is a real punk and doesn't deserve any sympathy. Geez, who needs him, who needs that sort of juvenile behaviour from a sportsperson reportedly earnig $800k per year? By contrast look at Nick Riewoldt, now there's a real super star worth every penny, someone who understands his position and doesn't abuse it. Fuck off Cousins and don't come back. Before you (head in the) sandgropers say "typical Victorian attitude", first try to drag yourself out of the 1970s. At least try to catch up with Adelaide who are stuck in the 1980s - mullet haircuts and all. Over here we live in 21st century...oh what's the use, you'll never catch up!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:42 pm, April 01, 2007  

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  • Simon, with regard to my grow up and get a life comment - my opinion is that its really quite childish for people to come to places like this and write a pile of vindictive drivel about someone simply because they've done something they don't like.



    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:52 am, April 02, 2007  

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  • Get a life. Get a job. Any more inane comments you would like to make ? Can't you think of anything else to say. It is not surprising that the AFL ' had near record crowds' in round one. Nothing brings in the crowds more than controversy. I don't think the issue really is Ben Cousins et al, as shameful as their behaviour is. The issue is that fans of the AFL do not seem to care about the behaviour of some of the players and their attitudes of complete disrespect for the law, the community they live and normal morality. The comment of ' sit back and write all these nasty things dont know any better they would love to be in the spotlight and this is the only way and place they will ever be heard,' really says it all. If you are to critisise then you are jealous, and are somehow wanting fame yourself. That is just ridiculous.. What is there to be jealous about ? Most of them are nobodies by the time they are 30. The average career span in 4 years and their fame is fleeting. Turns me green with envy. Craig Kelly was apparently quite shocked when he discovered how un prepared many AFL players were for life outside of football. Some of them apparently couldn't even write cheques. They actually deserve pity and help rather than admiration. AFL players do get away with unacceptable behaviour because, unfortunately many people do want to be part of their lives or to be them. It is really incredulous to think any criticism is because of jealousy and a desire for recognition. The bottom line, and I can only speak for myself, is that I am sick and tired of these players letting down the game of football and getting away with it. I am also sick of the AFL not suspending or censuring players who act as criminals in the broader community. I am sick and tired of what appears to be a biased judicial system that lets these players off with slaps on the wrists. If most people saw young men behave in the way these guys do, they would run a mile and probably frankly, be scared. But the AFL players get away with it because of their 15 minutes of fame. It is amazing how many washed up AFL players, who still get themselves in trouble, are not supported by the fans because they are no longer famous. They end up wasting away with no one giving them a second thought. There are plenty of very good and decent AFL players as well. The do deserve admiration, but the code of omerta amongst the AFL community drives them crazy.

    It is sad to think that so many people defend them, but I can't help but wonder if you or one of your friends became a victim of some off his head, egotistical player, would you still be so defensive of their rights to be abusive. Who knows, maybe your own quest for fame would still have you defending them. ( For all you budding Sigmunds out there, from the University of Woman's Weekly, I have never, nor any of my family or friends been badly treated by an AFL player.)

    Equally, I am not a do gooder, my own life is more hedonistic than most. Nor am I taking a moral stand. I couldn't care less about Ben Cousins and his friends. I do care, however about people who get sucked in and hurt by these few , about what appears to be a system that ignores criminal behaviour and public safety. Maybe if enough people get upset, the spineless AFL might do something about it.

    By Blogger Simon, at 3:21 am, April 02, 2007  

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  • Hi Stew
    Thanks for the critique. I don't think it is childish to be upset by the behaviour of some of the AFL players. We will agree to disagree. I am wondering how any one is being vindicated by critising these players. If it is not jealousy or seeking of fame, I am struggling as to how trying to communicating that these people are bad and dishonest is anyway vindictive. They are the ones who flaunt their behaviour. God knows the media or the clubs don't do it. Expecting a certain standard of behaviour amongst public figures who are idolised by children doesn't feel vindictive. If you have any suggestions on how these people can be accountable, it would be greatly appreciated.

    By Blogger Simon, at 8:09 pm, April 02, 2007  

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  • Hi Simon

    couple of things you could do.

    One would be to read all the posts again then consider these definitions

    vin·dic·tive /vɪnˈdɪktɪv/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[vin-dik-tiv] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
    1. disposed or inclined to revenge; vengeful:

    Disposed to seek revenge; revengeful.
    Marked by or resulting from a desire to hurt; spiteful.

    Synonyms 1. unforgiving. See spiteful.

    Driv·el /ˈdrɪvəl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[driv-uhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation noun, verb, -eled, -el·ing or (especially British) -elled, -el·ling.
    1. saliva flowing from the mouth, or mucus from the nose; slaver.
    2. childish, silly, or meaningless talk or thinking; nonsense; twaddle.
    –verb (used without object)
    3. to let saliva flow from the mouth or mucus from the nose; slaver.
    4. to talk childishly or idiotically.
    5. Archaic. to issue like spittle.
    –verb (used with object)
    6. to utter childishly or idiotically.
    7. to waste foolishly.

    As far as I'm aware he's not getting away with anything, so I don't see what the big deal is.

    Drugs are everywhere.

    Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, rich people, poor people - people everywhere - are doing drugs every day.
    Statistically there's a chance some of them are going to be footballers.

    A fair while ago a bloke said (or words topthe effect)
    " let him ( or her I suppose ) who is without sin cast the first stone"

    Cheers and farewell.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:59 pm, April 04, 2007  

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  • I thought this sight was about the bad behaviour of the AFL players not an English lesson. Anyway, thanks for the English lesson, and since you have arrogantly felt you need to demonstrate your understanding of the English language, I should point out the flaw in your correction. See the thing is you should learn more about your language if you are going to coreect someone.

    One of the definitions of vindicated ( which I will resist cutting and pasting from a dictionary) is:

    To show something has been worthwhile or justified.

    ie: If enough people carry on about the AFL players behaviour, then maybe the AFL will suspend players for violent and anti social antics off the field.

    However, all I am saying is that the motivation of writing drivel,as you call it, is not be vindictive, nor a need to be vindicated. It is because their behaviour and the way in which they behave, and the way they get away with it offends me.

    The two words are directly related to each other and are a balance.

    Vindictive and Vindicated are even directly related to each other their etymology.

    Etymology :Vindictive is from 17th C Latin Vindicta
    Etymology : Vindicate is from 17th Century Vindicare

    From your last post I guess you won't read this. As you say he who casts the first stone.

    Anyway, it seems this is not the purpose of the blog, but I don't agree with your logic that because drugs are everywhere, is an excuse for Ben Cousins behaviour. I guess we will agree to disagree.

    By Blogger Simon, at 11:37 pm, April 04, 2007  

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  • Well, it's been a pleasure hosting this debate - I think all parties have reached the point where there's not much more to be gleaned.

    The purpose of this site has been plastered on every single page since Day 1, some two years ago:

    To balance the undue adulation of AFL players through scrutiny of their negative off-field behaviour.

    If readers are unhappy with "wading through this drivel" they are welcome to post their complaints here, start reading our counter-blog Speccy Sux instead, or just buy us out.

    If you're still hard up for content on AFL footballers, stick to the mainstream media.


    By Blogger Greg, at 12:35 am, April 05, 2007  

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  • Unfortunately, Cousin's case is not a single example of proceeding with criminal charges without sufficient evidence and making public details of allegations unsupported by legal evidence. In Queensland, Vincent Berg's and some other cases are not less alarming. It seems that the rule of law and respect to legal evidence and individual human rights such as presumption of innocence and privacy are in danger of being replaced by "witch hunt" practices.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:28 pm, October 22, 2007  

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  • Hold On, let's get a few things straight!

    Ben Cousins lifestyle has nothing to do with the fact that he is seen as a role model for kids. I don't care what he does with his life, but, my son sees his actions and could copy them.
    However, now, he sees Ben and drugs and realises that his life has been turned upside down and his career is albeit over.
    This, while not the ideal lesson, is a stark reminder and wakeup call to everyone that you need to be diligent when it comes to drugs.
    I do not hate Ben, I do not know him. I still think he is a top athlete, but a very silly man. There are many people who have suffered this fate, look at Marion Jones. She will be remembered as a drug cheat. And now, unfortunately Ben Cousins will be remembered as a drug user who lost his career and future. The brownlow and grand finals fade into dust. Pity! But anyone who barracks for football must realise Ben and even Wayne Carey years ago, are not the first footballers to STUFFUP. They are just the high profile ones who actually got caught. Teams still sweep incidents under the carpet, and will continue to do so.
    Lets not be so naive to think its only one in a million. aka Hansie Cronje and the match fixing. Were warne and waugh really so innocent years ago? Rose colored glass syndrome perhaps? I love my cricket, football etc, but they are all human beings and I wonder where the support from the teams and the afl are for the young recruits. They can't teach you how to handle hundreds of luscious young hot bodied chicks chasing you and the money they throw at you etc. They have to deal with too much at once. Excusable? No!!! Preventable??? Yes!! Curable??? Never!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:43 pm, October 22, 2007  

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  • hey guys, Ben is a really cool guy with problems

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:27 pm, September 11, 2012  

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