This was originally posted on the Sydney Roosters' Wall, but is interesting and relevant enough to post here as well. It doesn't relate to injuries, but more to the pressure that rugby league players are under, and the consequent burnout they suffer. The fact that so many players retire from the game at an early age is an injury of sorts:
The most amazing thing about the current rugby league fiasco is the hypocrisy displayed by not only the media, but most members of the general public. Before I get stuck into all of those on the moral high horse, I agree that there are a few major cultural shifts that need to occur in rugby league. Firstly, the culture of players with girlfriends cruising for other chicks (e.g. Gasnier) is unacceptable. Either you are single and you can play up as much as you want or you have a steady girlfriend and you should respect that if you are away in camp for a week that she can trust that you won't play up. Secondly, the Aussie tradition of lying to try to protect your mate (e.g. Mini, my phone was stolen) is also unacceptable. However players want to behave, they should have the fibre to admit that "this is what I have done" and live or die by it.
However, I am amazed by the righteousness of the media (and the members of the general public they are pandering to). Mark Gasnier left a rude message on a girl's message bank, but HE wasn't the one who has played the message ad infinitum to the general public. Ray Hadley has said he thought the message was disgusting, but apparently not so disgusting that he had to refrain from reading out the contents on a show that is being listened to by grandmothers. Of course, all of the general public callers have been frothing at the mouth to say how disgraceful the message was, but none of them have said that it was so bad that they didn't want to hear it on the radio. The only person who didn't want to hear it on the radio or TV was Mark Gasnier, and he is everyone's villian. Hadley's ravings remind me of Fred Nile, who apparently had to watch the film "Caligula" nine times to re-affirm to himself how disgusting the sex scenes were, and to make sure his call that it be banned in Australia was correct.
With respect to alcohol, Paul Kent wrote an editorial in the Daily Telegraph saying that the alcohol culture in rugby league was the "problem" after he was present getting full as a boot with the NSW team until 3am on the infamous night. Apparently it is a sin for players to drink but not for journalists to drink with them.
Rugby league players (unlike swimmers who they are being compared to) have always needed alcohol and they are going to need it even more now. It used to be that they only had problems getting to sleep worrying about dropping the football on national television. Now they have to worry about every single person of the general public possibly having a hidden agenda to humilitate them in the media. The seven year old whose jersey you are signing might have a parent who is going to expose you on national television if he or she can't use your signature to withdraw money from the bank. As soon as you get out of the hell that is signing 1000 autographs in a row for rabid fans who "demand" that you give them a signature that will get them a top price for their signed jersey when they put it up for auction, there is only one place to go - straight to the pub to get a few schooners into you to cope with the pressure you are under, not just on match day, but 24/7.
The idea that rugby league players shouldn't drink because Ian Thorpe doesn't drink is a complete joke, FFS. The general public want to see their swimmers as cleanskins (hence no one from the media will ever write a bad word about Thorpe, even though there is some dirt on him they all have but won't touch) and, believe it or not, they want to see their football players as regular blokes, who like drinking, partying and dancing.
The day that rugby league players stop drinking will be the day they outlaw tackles and the day that everyone gets so bored with football that they switch football over to the swimming to watch Thorpe win his 508th race in a row.
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We well know rugby is not a easy game.. The players of rugby have to work hard to play that game...
The players injured easily while playing game...
They meet both physical and mental pressure so they need a remedy so they always need alcohol...
But in my point of view their calculation is not right...