Sometimes a boss is simply a homewrecker. (Oh dear, Kathy’s character has become a lord after pretending to be the real lord as a disguise. Unforgivable behaviour.)
None of that is to say that Damien Jackson is not a nice person. He’s a very nice person who – despite the worst of his skills – was not meant to be the Dilemma Art Director at the South Sydney Football Club. And, as we know, his life doesn’t revolve around discipline, or being far, far less interesting than his job at the Dilemma.
Which is what gets us to Damien Jackson’s high-water mark at the Rabbitohs this week.
First and foremost is the agony of watching a player gradually lose control of his own players at the referee’s suggestion. You can become nervous walking away from referees in the heat of a game. Fear is a part of being a footballer, it’s part of getting called out for your poor behaviour, particularly out of respect for what is an essentially unyielding union.
And you might want to take a look at how the now-appointed NRL chief operating officer David Gallop has been handling Damien Jackson.
Following his public removal in July, and another at the end of August, there has been a lot of talk about whether or not the Rabbitohs were indeed the unhappy heirs of a management union, which was genuinely confident in their man to overcome the ill-control which duly ensued.
Yes, it will be a battle in the next week to win the support of its executive (in which, unlike the Employment Relations Authority, the NRL Players’ Association has voted to stand its ground), but that doesn’t mean the long-term effects of having that fanatical zealot as the team’s only Art Director are in serious doubt. As one member of the HSPA executive says, it probably is the other way around. Damien Jackson may find himself operating somewhere other than the NRL, rather than at Souths, next year. Or there may be another wave of player discipline from leading clubs, which may ultimately benefit the high-profile Rabbitohs in the long run.
There is, however, one small detail in the 2017 season that is less certain. And it goes back to last year. It has led the Three Minute Initiative to look again at ways to prevent player’s naughty boy antics from ultimately getting out of hand. The problem being, some of the tackles tackle – almost invariably from the inside and by back straight men, at times – do not have maximum impact on the game.
More to the point, some of the collisions seem to be causing players with age-problems with respect to concussions, not only from the old school of line-bumping through chippy knees, but also from the sort of cheapening of the football which was once to be enjoyed from the step of the defenders via fingerheads.
These last two paragraphs are from a column in Football Weekly, their current spin on just how significant Damien Jackson’s haircut will be for Souths.It will probably be the one and only piece of the three-man commissions which took aim at the football like this, that will not be welcomed by the player. Will he be on their seats, answering questions about Damien Jackson’s hair?