Once apon a time, in a far off land, young men played rugby on cold winter days, had a few beers after-match with the opposition and went home. It was pretty much the same for club, provincial or home International.
Occasionally they had a bit much to drink but slow cars, a need for most to work next day or the day after meant they survived and their a boss confronted by such a worker would tell the recalcitrant, do it again and you are outer here. That was the way it was with bugger all employment law.
Nowadays the players are professionals not in the educated sense, just paid enormous amounts of money to perform.
That leads to young men full of their own importance with money to burn, full of testosterone and quickly bored as one can only spend so much time being a star, therefor trouble is too often just next door.
Norm Hewitt, Isaia Toeava, Adam Thompson, Sione Luaki, Jimmy Cowan, Xavier Rush Just a few who come to mind, caught on Camera and/or appearing in court and invariably alcohol abuse is involved or alleged.
Very recently a young man with a golden future as a world class wing went to Raratonga for a "holiday" after the stress of the RWC, not for him back to work on the Monday as many of the 1987 winning team had to do, they wern't Professional you see.
Poor little rich boy Zac Guildford 22 years old, was charged with entering a Bar, buck naked and it was alleged he assaulted two people, it was also alleged he was drunk, who wudda thunk that.
Now this little scroat has a bit of a "rep" as a bad boy in his home town in Hawkes Bay but just as some other troubled young men have done, he wisely decided to get amongst the Canterbury Crusaders environment and perhaps make something of his above average Talent.
Following his "troubles" up in the Islands, "He has been given another chance", his employers have extracted a pledge that he will moderate his alcohol use for the next year and stand down for four weeks that will only include the first Round Robin game of the super rugby draw. Big deal, he can still train, will still be a part of the squad and it will be when not if that he will fall off the wagon again.
Now I have a little sympathy for the young man, His Father suffered a fatal cardiac arrest around the finals of the world under 19 Championships when Zac was a key player in the team, a pretty poignant occurrence associated with what would be a big moment in anyones life.
That was three years ago FFS.
A similar unfolding of events occurred when Athol Earl, a member of the Gold medal winning rowing eight lost his dad to a cardiac arrest just prior to the final in Munich and I believe the news was withheld from Athol until the medal was won.
I don't recall him going nuts in a tourist bar but maybe in the 1970s he had a farm to run following the untimely death of his Dad, bit different eh.
Back to the guts of this fairy tale, Get a grip Zac some day the NZRU is going to actually go through with their endless empty threats and wrist slaps and after a protracted legal battle some sad young man will find himself unemployed but it will most likely be some poor up and coming talent with little to back him not someone such as you Zac Guildford who has had a small fortune invested in you and you have the wherewithall to actually employ the legal muscle to make it difficult if not impossible for your employer to make it stick.
July 31 in history
5 hours ago