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July 1, 2008 | by  | in Online Only | [ssba]

I’ve had a gutsful too.

It seems that not only are the All Black’s management sick and tired of the ‘boys will be boys’ drinking culture of the top players in our most exposed and regarded sporting team, but senior players are too.

Allowing Jimmy Cowan to remain in the squad was the last straw for me. This is supposed to be our highest level of sporting service to the country. We should expect damn better standards from our players then what we are currently getting. Cowan, has been charged with two drunk and disorderly offences, and a third is pending. What kind of message does this send to our youth? With a team that focuses heavily on its ‘inspirational’ branding, this is a disgrace. And its not just Cowan Jerome Kaino has also been charged with a drink driving offence. Not to mention the off field antics of Tana Umanga, Ma’a Nonu,  and an unnamed All Black who may be responsible for this assualt.

I’ve had enough in all honesty. Kick these people out straight away, to complicity condone this behavior by allowing players to continue in the team sends a very dangerous message to the All Black’s target audience. An audience, which in part, is no stranger to poverty, domestic abuse and assault.  Now im not claiming that all rugby watchers are vicious louts, but behavior like Cowan’s certainly doesn’t help the good image of the game.  There is a fundamental problem here, when you have respected players like Murray Mexted, going on camera and laughing off Cowan’s three alcohol fueled binges as just part of ‘growing up’ for a young man, and tells us that we should just laugh it off, we know there is a differing perception of what acceptable standards of conduct are. New Zealand society should not be celebrating moronic barabarism, and loutish thuggery, all in the name of ‘sport’. The correlations between sport and violence is already too high. We don’t need more Cowan’s to reinforce the problem.


About the Author ()

Conrad is a very grumpy boy. When he was little he had a curl in the middle of his forehead. When he was good, he was moderately good, but when he was mean he was HORRID. He likes guns, bombs and shooting doves. He can often be found reading books about Mussolini and tank warfare. His greatest dream is to invent an eighteen foot high mechanical spider, which has an antimatter lazer attached to its back.

Comments (14)

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  1. rugbyheaddrinker says:

    These young kids nowadays lack class, now Keith Murdoch, there was someone with a bit of style…

    Would Jimmy give it all up also and go walk about? Man he could go and hang out with Andrew Walker in the bush…

  2. The problem is an interesting one, as it ties in three of New Zealand’s biggest problems: Alcoholism, Domestic violence, and rugby.

    In my opinion the three of them are interlinked, with rugby being the keystone that the others latch on.

    Do we play rugby, and become obsessed with rugby because it is an inherently violent sport, or are we violent off the field because we’re bought up watching large men pound each other in a violently homoerotic fashion?

    Cowans actions are no surprise. We’ve had rugby players doing all sorts of crazy shit: Andrew Hore blasted a seal with a shotgun in 2005 for christs sake.

    Hopefully the NZRFU in partnership with schools and the ministry of education can attempt to change the culture around rugby at the school(boy) level as this is where the munterish behaviour begins. If you’ve been to a boys school you’ll know swagger with which the 1st XV will saunter around the school yard. The ones who got the most attention, the most funding, and the ones who got away with bullying.

  3. James Malthus says:

    Murray Mexted isn’t exactly squeeky clean either…

  4. Felatio Pete says:

    Murray Mexted should be forcibly muted. When I do watch rugby I generally watch it on mute with the radio on. Listening to him actually drives me to violence. the NZRFU should ban idiots from the rugby field.

  5. Michael Oliver says:

    I find the decision to keep him in the squad puzzling, but perhaps not for the reasons mentioned above. I find it difficult to believe that someone can be expected to maintain the level of skill and professionalism expected of an All Black squad member (regardless of where that squad member really lies on the pecking order) when he has something like this hanging over his head.

    Remember Michael Utting, the former booze-hound-cum-All Whites-goalie? Similar situation to Cowan there, except he was told under no uncertain circumstances that he needed to sift through his drinking problems – which obviously hindered more than his on field performance – before he would ever be allowed to represent his country again. And he did, and his life, by all accounts, is much better for it.

    I question the logic of keeping Jimmy in the squad for “his” benefit. I mean, who are we kidding? If Brendan Leonard was fit, Cowan wouldn’t be there.

  6. Naly D says:

    Cowan is nothing compared to wife-beater Sivivatu or womaniser Lomu. All he did was drink a wee bit.

  7. Gibbon says:

    Or Tony Vietch.

  8. yeah, beating your wife until her spine breaks is generally a not-on thing to do. I draw my mind back to his ‘venus williams is an ape’ comments and throw my hands up in despair.

  9. Vietchys peachy says:

    He snapped! It’s not his fault!!

    [And he snapped when he made the Serena comments too]

  10. Johnny Vegas says:

    All the sports pieces on rugby in the dompost read like a warlike them vrs us rhetoric for men to jack off to, or they transmute to beating the nearest women they know intimately as a replacement for the honour of being called up to make the ultimate sacrifice in defending the country in harsh times.

    Thats recycled by the way. It’s not an original thought at all.

    Nationalism sucks.

  11. Michael Oliver says:

    Saw that in the letters section too, Johnny. Not that I think my columns are anything to write home about, but I do often cringe a little when I read some of the stuff produced by our national rugby scribes. I do think, however, that the author of that letter was drawing a long bow aligning tired clichéd rugby-journo speak with the rise in domestic abuse. I agreed with virtually everything else she said though.

    As for Vietch, well, I never much cared for his motor-mouthed sub-par radio journalism, and now I feel entirely justified for thinking he was a complete fuckwit for all these years. Radio Sport needs Martin Devlin back on board.

  12. Naly D says:

    Everyone please note: its V-E-I-T-C-H. Thanks.

    Agree with you Michael. Some of the rugby writers in this country (Duncan Johnston, I’m looking at you) really are pathetic. Just whine and whinge and contradict themselves. What was it Johnstone wrote? ‘Henry needs to go’. 2 months later ‘Leave Henry alone, the team are awesome!’ 2 weeks later after the Ireland game ‘That was a pathetic performance, we should have gotten Deans!’

  13. Gibbon says:

    ==Everyone please note: its V-E-I-T-C-H. Thanks.==
    Don’t really care.

  14. Michael Oliver says:

    Too late to pass off my mis-spelling of “Veitch” as a subtle piss take? Yeeah, thought so.

    The worst of the lot is the Herald’s Chris Rattue – the man who refused to support the All Blacks while Henry was coaching them. I was under the impression that any true fan would support the national side come rain hail or shine simply because they were the national team, but fuck me, aren’t I a simpleton?

    He’s also responsible for this:

    Kinda cute in a way.

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