Sun June 17, 2012 4:15pm
“Who’s going to pay?’’ I asked Dean. He told me not to worry and then explained that the AFL and the Players’ Association made money available to deal with such circumstances. After a couple of calls back and forth, it was agreed that I would be admitted to the New Farm Clinic on January 3.
I flew back to Brisbane later that day. It was New Year’s Eve. I caught a cab back to my place, dumped my stuff then called a few of my Lions’ teammates to see what was going on. My head was still a mess, and the last thing I should’ve been doing was going anywhere near alcohol, but I didn’t want to sit at home by myself. It was New Year’s Eve, for God’s sake!
It never occurred to me that going out and drinking that night might damage my million-bucks-per-year AFL career. I had a few drinks at my teammate’s house and then we headed to a bar in Fortitude Valley. The boys had a fair idea that I was in a bad state, they knew I was struggling to cope with the disintegration of my marriage, but I think they believed that taking me with them was a safer option than leaving me alone. Anyway, midnight came and went, and I just kept drinking until I was rolling drunk. By then, most of my teammates had gone home. A couple of them had even seen me get into a cab at one stage, and they had assumed I’d gone home as well.