We?re not, not ... not responsible
By DAVE ARTHUR
MOST attention this week has focused on the resignation of avowed teetotaller Wayne Bennett as coach of the Australian rugby league team.
Look, there is probably very little difference between the rate of drunken incidents in sport (not just rugby league) and the community as a whole. It's merely that when a player transgresses everyone gets to hear about it.
The same simply would not happen if I, for example, were to have a few too many and dance naked on the tables of the Lennox Head Bowls and Sports Club with a red rose between my teeth!
At some point in time someone inevitably cops the blame, but there is usually a mitigating circumstance or other and London to a brick it's never the fault of the player concerned!
But in a gobsmackingly surprising turn of events, Roosters and Australian star player Craig Wing has admitted it was actually up to the players themselves to control their drinking!
Wing, who moonlights as a male model and gay icon, was quoted as saying: "The players ultimately need to be responsible for their behaviour."
Did I hear that right?
So it's not the fault of their poor/middle/upper class upbringing, nor the side of the tracks where they grew up.
Nor the fault of the undiagnosed ADHD they had as a child or the fact that they weren't allowed to sit next to the window in class!
While many would applaud Wing he has actually breached the current professional sport credo whereby anything ? indeed EVERYTHING ? is somebody or something else's fault!
It is a major breach of player protocol and as a result he is now under investigation by his union and his fellow players who think that this time he has gone way too far.
It's far worse than having a couple of bad games and even outstrips his mincing down the catwalk in a pink and purple, skintight skivvie.
A league spokesperson who did not want to be named said that although he personally supported Wing's stance it would set a 'huge president' (sic).
Whatever next? Will we expect players to dress themselves in the morning, to clean their own teeth and make the bed?
What about food? We could have some very nasty incidents involving burnt water, melted cheese and cornflakes!
If we'd asked the Australian XIII to remember their own passports for the trip to the UK, Fred the baggage man, Geoff Carr and the bloke who does the videos would have been running on in green and gold!
I'm certain he has not considered the consequences of his reckless and thoughtless words.
It's all in stark contrast to one of my favourite non responsibilitiests, Sir Alex Ferguson, who currently manages Manchester United in the English Premier League.
I say currently because things haven't been progressing too well for the Red Devils this season with the club crashing out of the Champions League last week and languishing in the Premier League.
Only a couple of days ago he stormed from a press conference blaming 'the media' for the lacklustre performance of his charges this past few months.
Yes, because he picked a bunch of fat blokes with notebooks to play centre forward, right back and sweeper!
But even this tirade could not beat his excuse for losing to Southampton a few years back ? a loss attributed to the colour of the team's guernseys, which meant his boys couldn't recognise one another!
It does seem, however, that accountability will be consigned to the reserves bench yet again as Wing has been excused pre-season training and is attending an intensive irresponsibility clinic on the Gold Coast.