FOR BLAKE’S SAKE!

This cat has run out of lives.

Blake Ferguson is undoubtedly talented. Somehow he climbed a roof with Josh Dugan a few months ago, at some ungodly hour, balancing a pineapple Barcadi Breezer and he didn’t spill a drop- now that takes skill.

As a footballer he has done things which makes acrobats in Cirque Du Solei jealous. He is a true circus act with the ease and grace with which he flies through the air. Being able to juggle balls at top speed, suspended in mid-air is another trick he had mastered. Now the only thing he will be juggling is his time as he works out if he should apologise to the woman in question, the fans, the NRL, his club, or the Blues, first?

While Paul Gallen and Greg Bird are the “bash brothers” of the Blues squad (and I’m not going to touch on Gall’s bash in the last game or any of Bird’s alleged incidences), Dugan and Ferguson were called the ‘booze brothers’ after their rooftop catch. Dugan appears to have downed his schooners (well maybe just three rather than 33) and got his career back on track, but unfortunately his mate hasn’t.

While Robert Redford’s Indecent Proposal to Demi Moore may have been somewhat acceptable, indecent assault is never acceptable.

Ferguson hasn’t been found guilty yet, but it doesn’t look good. CCTV footage won’t lie. There are no producers or production assistants behind this horror which is worse than any reality television show. There’ll be no man with painted finger nails or someone chewing a toothpick to make a decision on the Blake Ferguson journey. NRL CEO, Dave Smith is The Voice and has already taken the incredible and tough stance of suspending Ferguson’s NRL registration until further notice.

It appears as if Ferguson hasn’t tried to rape a woman, hit someone or glass her. It appears that he hasn’t been shot at either, yet Dave Smith has taken a very strong stance. Why? Is he trying to demonstrate his authority or set an example for what will happen in the future? If the latter is the case- fantastic. This drunken behaviour needs to stop.

Footballers need to realise they are in the spotlight- not just when they have 80,000 people dressed in matching acrylic scarves and jerseys watching them, but when they are having a social drink or bite to eat.

Education isn’t the answer. I know the NRL have numerous discussions with players on behaviour and quite clearly it isn’t working.

I believe the answer is babysitters. You can change this word around and call them, minders, or even give them fancy titles such as ‘Player Welfare Managers or OAB (Out and About ) Directors. What it simply means is that when footballers go out, they take two people with them to make sure they don’t get into trouble.

Let’s say for example I was the Out and About Director the other night.

I would have walked with Ferguson and Dugan to the bars in Cronulla. I wouldn’t have sat with them and I wouldn’t have engaged with them at all. I wouldn’t have been playing on my phone and would have simply been observing their behaviour. When they began talking to a girl or group of girls, I would have moved in closer and possibly joined the conversation. Having me there, completely sober, would most likely have changed the situation and I could have possibly averted the crisis, saved a women from feeling violated and saved Ferguson’s career.

How do I know the above may have worked? I’ve done it before. Simply having a sober carer stops events escalating.

If only Ferguson had got a haircut from a male hairdresser, worn a ‘blue tie’ or thrown a sandwich at someone, none of this would have happened.

I don’t know where or what Blake Ferguson will do next, but what I do know for sure is, that James Tamou won’t be driving him to Origin 2.

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