Let’s sign up to the new motto – Women: Just Say No
Let me make this clear right from the outset: I am no killjoy. I don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun. I particularly don’t want to spoil the fun of professional athletes who have proven beyond all doubt that they are better people than me.
But one can’t help be a little concerned at a certain…tendency that I’ve noticed among the noble footballers of this great land. A tendency that is most pronounced when in the company of members of the opposite, if you’ll pardon my language, sex.
To put it bluntly, there are those among the footballing community who, when placed in close proximity to women, behave in a way that is less than chivalrous. There are those who allow their feminist principles to lapse at crucial moments, causing heartache and concern for all involved.
The allegations against Geelong youngster Jesse Stringer are the latest chapter in a long tale of stars of various footballing codes engaging in activities that strain the definition of the term “youthful hi-jinks” to well-nigh breaking point.
And given this, it might be time to bite the bullet and tell our footballers plain and simple: you can’t have any women any more.
I mean, I enjoy women as much as the next man – in moderation.
But the thing with women is, a man’s got to know where to draw the line. The line between “making sexy talk in a relaxed bar/lounge setting” and “punching her in the face”.
I realise it’s a fine line, and not always easy to discern in the heat of the moment, when you’re out with friends and having fun and feel the need to punch someone, but there are proprieties to observe.
And I don’t want to be judgmental. We’ve all been there: you go out, you have a few to drink, and then a few more, and then a few more, and then you keep on drinking more and more until 7am, and you feel the evening just won’t be complete without a bit of boy-on-girl violence. But these are modern times, and as unfair as it is to treat footballers like normal human men, that seems to be what “society” demands.
So what I propose is that the AFL, and the NRL, and the ARU, and those soccer guys, and the relevant players’ associations, get together around a large wooden table and nut out an agreement, which should run something like this:
“Hey guys, stay away from women all the time“
It seems harsh, but the price of being a professional sportsperson is the necessity of making certain sacrifices. Already these young men have sacrificed their leisure time, their privacy, their ability to speak in coherent sentences, for their sporting dream: is it really too much to ask that they also give up any chance of interacting with a female person?
After all, young men don’t spend that much time associating with women, do they? Particularly footballers. Really, this rule would just a couple more hours per week spent on the Xbox, and that seems like an easy change to make. If anything it’d improve their lives. And it’d definitely improve the lives of the women they’re not meeting.
Because we just have to face the facts: women and footballers don’t mix. They’re like oil and water, if oil had fists, and water had breasts and if oil found it confusing every time it met some water that didn’t want to have sex with it.
It’s probably best to keep them apart, is what I’m saying.
Sure, some players can probably handle the odd female-exposure, but can we really take that risk?
It’s not like this is the first idea tried. We’ve been working for years to find a way that footballers and ladies can co-exist in peace and harmony. Perhaps we tried too hard. Perhaps we over-complicated it, with all our Respect and Responsibility Policies and seminars on positive attitudes to women, when what we really should have done is just tied every footballer to a chair and smacked him over the head with a newspaper for eight hours, shouting “DON’T PUNCH! DON’T RAPE!”
Sometimes the simple ways are the best.
But that boat has sailed, I fear. We’ve reached the end of our tether. Drastic measures need to be taken, unless we want good, decent men to be continue to be made pariahs on the basis of nothing more than their acts of criminal violence.
The evidence is in: this whole “football players mingling in dual-sex environments like ordinary adult human beings” thing isn’t working out. It was a bold experiment, but it’s time to junk it, so we can get back to focusing on the beautiful things about our favourite games, like tries and goals and tackles and marks and things that soccer players do.
My footballing brothers, it’s time to take a deep breath and sign up to the new motto: Women – Just Say No.
Ben Pobjie is a writer & comedian writing weekly on The Age, New Matilda and The Roar, whose promising rugby career was tragically cut short. The most he has ever cried was the day Balmain lost the 1989 grand final. Today he enjoys the frolics of Wallabies, Swans, baggy greens, and Storms. Ben is raising funds for his 2014 comedy festival spectacular Trigger Warning, a show to upset everyone. Help it happen by supporting him directly.
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