Roosters lash their star idiot with a feather – again
So Todd Carney will still be a Sydney Rooster, despite about 183 indiscretions this year. In other unsurprising news, Bondi Beach has waves and airheads.
Carney is the troubled playmaker who last year won the NRL’s highest honour, the Dally M Medal. He won that award, and steered the Roosters from the wooden spoon to the grand final in his first year at the club, after a year out of the NRL due to numerous alcohol-related indiscretions.
Carney spent 2009 playing park footy at the Atherton Roosters in north Queensland. He lived and worked in a pub, which might sound crazy, but in truth it had the effect of rubbing a puppy’s nose in its own poo. For the first time, he saw drunks through sober eyes, and he said it was a genuine shock.
I’m not sure who’s more stupid – those of us who believed him, or Carney himself for getting back on the drink when he moved to Sydney.
For most of that triumphant 2010 season, Carney was either dry, or clever enough to conceal his drinking. This year, it’s like the pretence of pretending he doesn’t drink is all too much. When he goes out, he is easy to spot. If the cabbies and phone cameras don’t get him, the booze bus does.
In April, he copped a suspended sentence from a magistrate for a low-range drink driving offence. A week later, he and a team-mate went on a bender, and Carney was suspended indefinitely by the Roosters. By this stage, the Roosters season was in tatters. Surprise surprise, he was soon reinstated.
I went to the Roosters vs Raiders match at the Sydney Football Stadium on July 5 when Carney was back in action. The Raiders absolutely belted the chooks 38-12, yet there were two phases of the game, when Carney was running amok, when the Roosters looked a distinct winning chance.
Carney was brilliant. Then missing in action. Then brilliant. Then nowhere again. Just like art, sport can imitate life. And what we saw that night was a man struggling between light and shade, between brilliance and irrelevance, between being a presence that lifted his team-mates to great things and a force that dragged them down.
Regrettably, on balance, Carney has dragged his team down this season, just as he lifted them last year. Just as the stupidity of a few key St Kilda players dragged the first half of that team’s AFL season down the gurgler, Carney can and must be held accountable for the Roosters’ slide. They are now striving to avoid being the first team to go spoon/grand final/spoon. Lucky the Eels are equally adept at self-destruction.
At today’s press conference, club CEO Steve Noyce was suitably grim in tone, but much, much too lenient in the news he delivered. He used words Like “disappointed” and “suspended” when he should have used words like “furious” and “sacked”.
There was a brief outbreak of support last night on Twitter with some saying “what’s wrong with being out at 2am?”, while others questioned the enforced role-model status which modern sports stars are burdened with.
We’re way beyond those arguments with this loser. This is no longer about Todd Carney ruining his own life, or deflating a few kids’ dreams, but those he drags down around him.
It’s also about those players who are big strong tough guys on the field, but puny weaklings off it who actually encourage little Toddy’s idiotic behaviour.
Some say keeping Carney in the game is the best way to rehabilitate him. Not with mates like Nate Myles, it’s not.
Imagine if one of Cadel Evans’ domestiques went out on the cheese fondue and red wine in the middle of the Tour de France. Bye bye yellow jersey.
“This is a team trust situation,” Steve Noyce said today. Well, if he really meant it, he would have sacked Carney.
They say a man is not a camel, which is a poetic way of saying a bloke needs to have a drink occasionally.
Carney doesn’t. He needs to stay off it. And this week’s little episode should have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. The only people who couldn’t see that are the Roosters board.
Ah, but what would you expect from the mob who regularly entertain John Ibrahim at their club functions, and who employ Salary Cap cheat Peter O’Sullivan as head of recruitment?
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…