The NRL can now lay claim to two famous Tinklers following former Wests Tigers prop Todd Payten’s guilty plea to charges stemming from being caught urinating on Hyde Park War Memorial. The incident took place shortly after the Wests Tigers (by the way, no one pronounces the ‘S’ on the end of Wests so why don’t they just admit that the Tigers have eaten the Magpies and be done with it?) knock out loss to the New Zealand Warriors in the 2011 finals series.
Props are often portrayed as the archetypal big, dumb footballer and it’s quite sad that after the hard work of props like Shane Webcke and Petero Civoniceva – two of the game’s most intelligent, well-spoken and respectful players the game has ever produced – that this type of clown act would send the image of the prop back to the dark ages. Todd is said to be extremely embarrassed over the incident and as well he should be, you don’t relieve yourself on anyone’s grave, war dead or not. It’s just not right. And this is coming from someone who generally sees morals and ethics as the socially constructed white elephants that they really are.
For the Rugby League uninitiated, the other Tinkler is Nathan Tinkler. A big fat mining magnate that looks like a spoiled toddler, and acted as such whilst doing the deal to purchase the struggling Newcastle Knights franchise earlier this year. Although the deal was always going to be for the better of the club, Tinkler certainly found a way to make it look like a bad thing, frequently reneging on the deal when things weren’t going his way. But on to the news!
Tinkler, doing his finest to be the first person to purchase an NRL premiership. After luring supercoach Wayne Bennett, and a host of players including perennial cockroach* Darius Boyd (just imagine Bennett is a fridge and you’ll get the image), he’s now dug deeper into his pockets and found a juicy pay packet for Graham Murray former coach of the Sydney Roosters and the North Queensland Cowboys to fill the role of “coaching director” whatever that is. So good luck to the Nathan and the Novocastrians, if they don’t win a premiership under Wayne’s tenure I’m pretty sure the coalminers will be coming for his head.
*No relation to the colloquial nickname for the NSW Blues. I don’t mean to suggest that Boyd is actually supposed to be a Blue. Not like Greg Inglis the dirtbag turncoat.