Stupid is as stupid does

February 28, 2018

Former Geelong player Josh Caddy (left) along with teammate Billie Smedts (middle) once pranked the wrong house. Picture: AP/APP

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea once got stung for stealing doughnuts despite earning a mammoth pay check. Picture: AP:AAP

Let me take you back to last week — and potentially the dumbest thing I have ever heard sportsmen do off the field.

A quartet of West Bromwich Albion players — Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill — stole a taxi.

The poor cabbie drove the boys to McDonald’s after they had had a big night out in Barcelona, where the team was enjoying a mid-season break.

He went inside the restaurant, and when he came back — the players had driven off in his cab.

They drove back to their hotel, parked and went inside like nothing had happened.

This stupidity is layered, and about as amusing as it gets.

West Brom was, and still is, bottom of the English Premier League table, six points back from second last.

As we know, a bottom-three finish in the EPL does not just bring embarrassment like an AFL wooden spoon, but earns you a ticket out of the top-tier.

Bringing with it massive financial, not to mention reputational, repercussions.

This team is on the brink of disaster, and this is the way its players are behaving.

So during a mid-season training camp, is it too much to ask that players don’t drive off in a cab when the operator is not in it?

To put it in an Australian football context, imagine players doing this perhaps in the week off between the final round of the season and finals.

The stakes could not be higher, and this is how players choose to behave.

This may well be the most stupid, and avoidable, off-field sporting incident I can think of.

Springing to mind as a rival candidate would be the famous St Kilda burnt dwarf scandal, when during Mad Monday celebrations players set a pint-sized entertainer on fire.

What about Brendan Fevola sinking that many cans at the Brownlow Medal he repeatedly tried Steven Seagal-themed ‘‘pressure point’’ moves on his captain, while being recorded for national television.

Manchester United’s star goalkeeper David de Gea was once caught stealing doughnuts — despite a salary at the time of £35000 a week.

An entire encyclopedia could be written about Ben Cousins’ drug-fuelled escapades, but swimming across the Swan River to avoid a booze bus might be his crown jewel of mischief.

And heading straight into the off-field incident hall of fame are Billie Smedts and Josh Caddy; the duo tried to prank a teammate by dressing up as burglars and breaking into his house — only to find they had got the wrong house.

‘‘In hindsight, we shouldn’t have done it,’’ Caddy so perfectly said after their stupidity was revealed.

The wild world of sport throws up some unpredictable, stupid, but more importantly hilarious situations, and let’s continue to enjoy them, and laugh.

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