White Line Fever

George Burgess was just given 9 weeks suspension in the NRL for a pretty ugly eye gouge.

I’m going to say that’s not enough.

His really nasty eye poke – which could so easily have cost Robbie Farah his sight in one eye – copped a measly 9 weeks, which seems suspiciously neat when you think he will be eligible to play in the finals, which Souths are all but certain to make.

And this is a guy with form in the eye-gouging arena! Why isn’t the NRL making an example of this idiot? Some might suggest my use of the word idiot is a tad harsh but the reality is – he was busted for eye-gouging only a few months ago in a test against New Zealand, and clearly he hasn’t learned from the sanction.

That, in my opinion, is the definition of an idiot.

Mind you, if there are bigger idiots, it is the NRL judiciary.

Do they not realise that they are setting the sanction bar for the entire league? The vast majority of players never get to strut their stuff on national television. The vast majority of players from under 6s through to All Age play their footballing lives in obscurity without the television cameras on hand to track their actions in minute detail.

That means they can get away with murder, and on the off-chance they get busted – they’re looking at maybe 9 weeks out after jeopardising some poor bastard’s eyesight. A life sentence against a 9 week holiday.

I’m saying Burgess, after two such incidents, should be rubbed out of the game – never to play again. Why should players with the rest of their lives to live – be subjected to George Burgess and his evil ocular tactics?

Why should children be risking permanent injury due to George Burgess’s example?

Why should obscure players in Group 7 or Group 15 be exposed to life-shattering injury so that George Burgess can be rewarded with the (likely) prospect of finals football in 2019?

The even bigger question is this…

What exactly happens to footballers when they cross the white line?

I include myself in this question. I’m a pacifist and lawyer in my 50s – still playing O45s football. I’m totally opposed to violence and I’ve thrown only one punch in my adult life (which missed), and that was on the football field, the week my first wife announced she was leaving.

Mind you, throwing a punch at someone (who totally deserved it) is a lot different from gouging the eyes of some helpless bastard with his arms pinned. Just putting my own evil in context…

Still, when people cross the white line, they change. Violent acts they would never dream of in polite society become acceptable, even normative, in a sporting contest. This has happened even to me so, while I am disgusted with George Burgess’s actions, I am not entirely unsympathetic to the fact that brains change in accordance with context.

A mate of mine is in the army commandos and I have occasionally asked him about what it’s like going into action. This is a fellow who leads a comparatively normal life in Australian civil society, but on several occasions has been asked to go into unbelievable peril on behalf of our politicians and their geo-commercial masters.

This takes one hell of a brain change – dealing with life/death problems every second of every day for several months. And how do they re-adjust when they’re back home?

Is it any wonder that so many veterans are dealing with PTSD and other complications when they are so constantly transitioning between observing the speeding laws, and some cunt trying to kill them?

But I digress…

To get back to the NRL judiciary, you got it wrong guys. Robbie Farah could’ve lost an eye because George Burgess was trying to win a sleazy advantage for his team in a game that would otherwise have been forgotten.

The fact that George Burgess will likely play finals football this year is just wrong.

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