MELBOURNE, VICTORIA; AUSTRALIA – We have now been Down Under in Oz but for 4 full days (we lost two traveling) and already we’ve seen an alarming similarity to our football and that of the Aussies. Unfortunately, it’s off the field.

In the same week that Michael Vick gave PETA lovers everywhere the chance of a lifetime by signing with Philthydelphia, far across the globe in Melbourne, footballers of a different sort were making him look downright cherubic. Sounds impossible, you say. Well, put the following in your collective pipe and smoke it:

BEN COUSINS, a star in the AFL (Aussie Football League) or The Footy, as it’s referred to here, has had an MVP career on the pitch and on the lam. Check this out:

Cousins is mix of Brad Pitt in Snatch, Scott Weiland, the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots and Craig James, the former SMU/NFL running back. His story, though, is straight from an unfinished Hollywood script.

Basically, Cousins parties too much. He’s prone to drinking to the point where booze is no longer enough. That’s when things get dicey. His big blunder came when he was playing for AFL outpost Perth a few seasons back. He and his then girlfriend were approaching a DWI checkpoint. He pulled the car to the side of the road and took off on foot – or footy… Anyway, the cops chased after him but polluted or not, this is a special athlete. He waded in the Perth River (check name) and hung out like Arnold in Predator with his head just above water for hours, eluding the chase. Having been reduced to Keystone Kops didn’t sit well with the Perth gendarmes, so when Bad Ben stumbled again with cocaine, they nailed him. He spent two years out of the game.

Now he’s back and we got to see him play today. He is now with the Richmond Tigers. If the Tigers play like they did today, it will be doubly difficult for Cousins to stay clean – they lost 152-59. That’s like the Jets losing to the Giants 75-15 – we’re not exaggerating. And to the Magpies, no less.

Anyway, Ben is back, like The Philly Phanatic’s Michael Vick, who somehow seems a little less naughty to us. We’re just sayin’. Just wait till will tell you about Greg Inglis… What’s with football, anyway?

Rex O’Rourke tomorrow…

P.S… We’ll be at the St. Kilda vs Essendon footy match tomorrow – in our suits.

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About The Matts 375 Articles started out as a NY Mets website and organically grew into an entity covering all professional sports. Our daily contributors, as diverse as they may be, share two important traits: -They toil for the "love of the game..." -They have a sense of humor. This is, after all, sports entertainment.