Long-time readers will know the name of Brendan Fevola from my reports of certain stupid behaviours various footballers have done. He is an Australian rules footballer with a penchant for being a moron.
He got so drunk at the Brownlow Medal presentation in 2009 that he could barely talk, and that while he was reporting on the event for a TV show. He had nude pictures of his so-called girlfriend (extra-marital affair), model Lara Bingle, which were taken without her permission and which found themselves broadcast around Australia. He left Carlton and went to Brisbane under a cloud. And even there he only lasted a year.
Anyway, this past week, he appeared on the year’s first episode of The Footy Show and spilled his guts. This after media reports of him being asked to leave a casino, of him being given his marching orders from Brisbane, and of him being unable to find a football club willing to take him on, of his career being over. It was a brave move by the man, and the interview was very revealing. It should be pointed out that the Crown Casino asked him to leave their premises after the interview was taped, only hours before the interview went to air.
It should also be pointed out that he was paid for this interview, with amounts reported ranging from $20,000 AUS all the way through to $80,000 (including $40,000 in cash) plus two $16,000 air tickets to the USA. Not sure if that makes a difference or not, but I thought I should point it out. I should also point out that it was the highest rated thing on TV that night.
He revealed that he had lost over a million dollars gambling. He claimed it was on the horses. He then said that he was in the casino as a problem gambler because some one had told him that that would be a good way to get over his addiction, because he was addicted to gambling on horses, see, not poker, which is what he was playing at the casino.
And here I should say good on Sam Newman of The Footy Show who said it was obvious Fevola was not committed to his rehabilitation, and lacking any remorse for what he had done.
Fevola claims to have suffered from depression and ADD. That is something that we should not make light of. But then he said he was over it and that he was also on medication for it. It does sound like he is in denial, as though he’s paying lip service to the diagnosis, but not really believing it.
He went on to say that he was on the run from gambling “heavies” in Brisbane.
He detailed how after his medically induced inattention almost hurt one of his daughters he ran away from home and tried to kill himself (or do self-harm).
He spent a year living on his wife’s earnings from the TV show Dancing With The Stars (apparently being married to an idiot footballer makes you a star in Australia; go figure), and has now apparently put his $1.2 million payout from Brisbane into the care of his wife and children. This is the same wife he dumped on by having the affair with Bingle 14 months into his marriage, by the way.
Now he’s looking at resuming his football career at VFL club the Casey Scorpions. Even then, it was touch and go, as the club’s hierarchy had to debate whether he was a good fit, especially after these latest revelations. However, their affiliated AFL club – Melbourne – are not happy with this signing. It has also emerged that the AFL big bosses knew something about his troubles. What did they do? No one seems to know.
And then, after the interview aired, he went missing. Again. Didn’t turn up the next morning for a radio interview. His manager did not even know where he was. Rumours spoke of him being seen in a casino, flying out to America or just going fishing. It turns out he and his brother have gone to Los Angeles because Las Vegas was too tempting. This despite the fact that he claimed he did not have a problem with any gambling except the horses.
Now, the reason I am waffling on about this is because it has been the only sports news of the past week in Australia. Not the World Cup campaign in which Australia are doing surprisingly well. Not the grand finals of the A-League soccer or WNBL. Not the Brumbies and their woes in the rugby union comp. Not even Collingwood winning the pre-season AFL competition. Just Fevola.
We’ve seen it before, of course, with Ben Cousins… although his issue was drugs. Giving these people so much publicity (even as I do so right here and now…) is not good. And paying them to talk about it? Dear God. What about true heroes in Australia – those who have helped above and beyond the call of duty in the recent floods and bushfires, those who have gone to Christchurch and helped out after the earthquake – who cannot even get a brass farthing to help them help others. What about sports people who don’t do anything wrong, just play the game well. No; the media just wants these human headlines. In the USA it’s currently Charlie Sheen; in Australia we’ve got the Fev.
So, Brendan. Listen up:
Just go away. Now. Leave us alone and ruin your own life without demanding the public feel sorry for you. You made the choice; live with it. Your wife made the choice to stay with you, after Bingle, after all of this – her choice. It’s your kids I feel sorry for. Fancy having you as a father. On second thoughts, no – don’t keep ruining your life. Do the right thing. Get out of the limelight and pull yourself together. Not in front of the spotlights and tape recorders and cameras. Get help. Professional help, not some reporter whose boss paid you a ridiculous sum of money to (ah-hem) unburden your soul. Do it with and for your kids. Because – heaven help them – you’re the only father they’ve got. Do the right thing for them and by them. Be there for them. Watch them grow up. And doing all of this soul-baring and gambling and drinking and having sex with women who aren’t your wife in public does not come close to being there for your kids.
Tags: AFL, Australia, Australian Rules Football, Football, sport, View From Down Here