Saturday 19 August 2017 / 04:13 AM

Rothfield, BUZZ OFF!

No, no, no! Why has it happened again? Groundhog Day. Another successful year of footy – another bunch of morons reporting on “Mad Monday”.

When will we learn simply to leave these professional athletes alone – for just a day – and let them enjoy a beer at season’s end?

As if Cronulla needs more bad press. They have already endured the season from hell. Now, we open the pages of the sports section to find them being branded “ratbags” by an alleged “supporter”.

Before continuing I wish to note that in no way, shape or form, am I condoning the actions of certain Cronulla players this year. I, like many others, was very satisfied with the handling of “Todd Carney-gate”. He’s a moron and a grub. Good riddance! Cronulla CEO Steve Noyce made the correct decision. However, with that reluctance noted, what I am doing is defending the rights of the game’s players to enjoy a drink at the end of an arduous season.

In the Daily Telegraph the other day, Phil Rothfield presents a supposedly heartfelt article outlining his disgust at the behaviour of some Sharks players. Rothfield declares that he has been threatened with a life ban from the playing group. He also claims that Todd Carney has made him aware that he is not welcome in the Sharks dressing room. Is it any wonder? All year the self-proclaimed most influential NRL journalist in Australia has done nothing but bash the club he professes to love. Even harder to fathom is his labelling them “boofheads” and “ratbags”. What did he think was going to happen on a Mad Monday?

In this, the first week of the season 2014 finals series, Manly play South Sydney, the Roosters meet the Panthers, the Dogs fight it out with Melbourne, and Queensland hosts the massive local derby between Brisbane and the Cowboys. Before a ball has been kicked, this finals series is shaping as one of the greatest of all time. Yet, all I read about is the report of a topless waitress serving grown men a beer.

A quote from Rothfield’s article pretty much sums up how most of us are feeling.

“To be truthful, I don’t have a huge issue with a topless waitress,” he writes.

“Footy players will be footy players. They are young men. It’s been a long season.”

I’ll give you a wrap there Buzz – well said. Why then, did The Daily Telegraph send cameras to the Sharks’ Mad Monday celebrations in the first place?

Just two years ago, another genius thought it a good idea to send a female reporter to Belmore Oval to cover the Bulldogs’ Mad Monday celebration. What ensued was a fierce verbal onslaught from Bulldogs players. Again – and I cannot stress this enough –by no means do I endorse the behaviour of the Canterbury players. But surely, the writing is on the wall: DO NOT GO THERE! Stay out of the players’ way and let them enjoy their end-of-season high-jinx, just for one day.

If media outlets are going to continue to report on Mad Monday celebrations, they themselves, and not the players, must be held accountable for seeking to bring our great game into disrepute. The players are not the ones to blame in this set of circumstances.

 

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Peter Fegan

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