I was naive.
I didn’t believe that Andrew Johns was intending to take that tablet.
When he announced on the Footy Show tonight that he was going to take that tablet, I was stunned.
When he announced that he had taken drugs over the last 10 yrs or more, I was fucking floored.
Then he revealed he’d been on anti-depressives for the last 5 years, and I started to think.
Joey, although he’s been a fairly happy-go-lucky character has always seemed that little bit sad to me and if you compare him to his wacky Bro, he is positivity morose.
I feel bad for him. He looked shattered in the interview tonight and was holding back the tears. He has been holding on to this secret for a long time. He has dodged drug tests (of which he has had 20 – 30). He admitted to an alcohol problem which he says leads to the drug use.
But, ultimately, it’s not the drug use that I see as a big problem. All sorts of people take drugs. Friends, family, workmates, bosses, mothers, fathers and many other footballers. It’s not just for the drug-addled junkies and addicts.
I think LaLa nailed it on the head when we were talking about it earlier tonight. We, as Australians, tend to put our sportstars on a pedestal. Perhaps to heights that they shouldn’t be at. We revere them, we idolise them and yes, I believe that kids see them as heroes.
And more and more it seems that these sportstars are coming crashing to earth with revelations of their personal lives that we don’t want to hear.
Joey will be ripped to shreds now and I don’t think he deserves it. He no longer plays the game but he made enormous contributions to Rugby League and Australian sport in general.
Remember him for that, not his unfortunate personal life.
If not for him, then for his 7 yr old son.
* Apologies to The Eels (the band, not the awesome team!)