Nelson Asofa-Solomona is set to miss New Zealand’s upcoming Test matches because he reportedly went to the defence of a mate whom he thought was about to be glassed.
And it seems the big fellow got his retaliation in first, and swung his mighty fists about in the fashion of a mighty war orc laying waste to a pod of pissed hobbits.
How about him, Big Nelson? I wouldn’t fight Nelson if I was beamed in as a hologram of Clubber Lang.
And yet there they were in the relatively upmarket bars of Seminyak in Bali, The Boys, end-of-season drinking tour, pissed-up and throwing fists at the famous footballers, and being dickheads on holiday in other people’s country.
Every drinking nation seems to have these people. The Poms have tattooed foo’ball hooligans who lay waste to Spain.
The … well, no, that’s about it, it seems. Us and the Poms, who send out their emissaries to drink and carry on, and fight in other people’s countries. And it’s all a bit of a thing.
And you’d feel a bit sorry for the Balinese if they weren’t making a motza out of drunken Australians. Good chance they know what’s coming, in large numbers, in October every year, and they make a very good quid from it.
So the Indos can’t stand on any moral high ground, except when it comes to not coming to Australia and carrying on like twats.
This tale, however, will not be an excoriation of mighty Nelson Asofa-Solomona, because he did what every man would hope they would when faced with just such a situation – help out your mate.
In wars, men develop brotherhood – you have my back, I have yours. Football is nothing like war, of course. But clubs are like platoons, or squadrons – tight-knit teams, “bands of brothers,” men who love one another in their way.
And as Sam Thaiday’s tattoo says, when one brother bleeds, all brothers bleed. And if your mate’s in a stink, one in all in.
Or in the case of the stink in Seminyak, big Nelson in, with anyone who thought they were hard enough given Australia’s responsible service of alcohol laws didn’t reach as far Seminyak, and The Boys believed they were bulletproof on holiday.
And it seems Nelson showed them the error of those ways.
No – Nelson did what we’d all do – help a mate. There was no other way. And that he may miss out on the Kiwis Test matches in November, heart of hearts I’d say he’d reckon it’s a fair cop.
And all his mates would think the same, as would everyone in the game of rugby league, and even the nongs who king-hit Suliasi Vunivalu and kicked off the whole nightmare on YouTube.
So I’m good with Nelson. I understand Nelson.
What I don’t understand is how anyone at Melbourne Storm – and it was reportedly Sandor Earl, 30, who organised it – thought that Bali for the end-of-season footy trip was a wise idea.
Because Bali is where drunk Australian dickheads go on end-of-season footy trips.
And drunk Australian dickheads are best to be avoided.
And if you’re writing a top-ten list of places where the likes of what happened to Nelson, Suli and the Storm might happen, then Bali is right up there. Indeed it’s top of the pops.
Footy players one million per cent deserve to drink their heads off in sultry foreign lands. It’s a free world, in the main, and young men should be able to roll about legless and gibber shit to one another, and drunkenly attempt to squire the hottie of their recent dreams.
Just, y’know, not in Bali.
Of course in Bali!
You should be able to go to Bali. Everyone should go to Bali, in their 20s, because … Bali.
But you wouldn’t go there if you’re looking to avoid the sort of shit that found the Storm. Because that’s what happens in Bali. And in the age of video-phones and citizen journalists, if there’s any sort of ruck and stink and carry-on it’s instantly into the public realm.
And it “doesn’t look good”, as they say. And the NRL was halfway through spring when they kicked off Summer from Hell II.
Context for the Big Stoush was found quickly via the mate of a Fairfax journo who happened to see the whole thing. And that’s worked for Nelson, a fair bit, in the court of public opinion.
And good luck to him. And if you’re ever in a stink in Seminyak, you’d like to have Nelson as a wingman, because, well, he could thrash fists of justice for Australia. Or New Zealand.
But again – why Bali? Why put yourself in a party zone known for drunken Australians? Especially if you’re Melbourne Storm and a chance of being recognised by drunken Victorians as well.
I dunno. Yes! NRL players should be able to travel and get drunk in other countries like the rest of us. And they can.
But they can’t be surprised when the “fame” that sees them earn very good livings works against them, and drunken fools decide, in their wisdom, that Nelson Asofa-Solomona isn’t that big, when he is in fact among the biggest one per cent of human beings in the southern hemisphere.
That’s Bali drunk if you’re thinking that. And the Storm could’ve gone to Phuket, Hawaii, Cancun, New Orleans, Ibiza, Tahiti or even sexy old Walkin’ Street in Pattaya and lowered both their chances of drunken Australians thinking they’re not that big, and locals thinking they were anyone but another squadron of drunken Australians.
Just a thought.