In past weeks, the mental stability of Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens has deteriorated at such a rapid rate that fans are actually quite concerned for his health, fearing that he is at the onset of dementia.
I believe it is my duty to make the NRL and its fans fully aware of this illness, the severity of it, and just how advanced it already is for the National coach, so that hopefully procedures and funding can be put in place to help combat this debilitating disease.
Below listed are the ten warning signs which are commonly found in dementia sufferers and the supporting evidence proving categorically that Sheens himself is at the onset and needs help.
1. Recent memory loss that affects day to day functions
Tasks which in the past had seemed second nature or obvious simply become forgotten. In Sheens case this is proven by his absent mindedness since 2007 to sign a halfback. Further supporting evidence is his lack to sign a functioning fullback since 2009 and forgetting to put the team list in on time every Tuesday afternoon. Even just a few weeks ago, he clean forgot Daly Cherry-Evans was sitting on the interchange bench for Australia.
2. Difficulty performing familiar tasks
In recent years that has been most noticeable since Sheens was unable to figure out how to walk down steps by himself, hence why he now sits on the sideline with the players as opposed to in the coaches box.
3. Problems with language
The last two years Sheens, usually one very precise with his use of English, has used explicit language in press conferences. This is a clear sign of the frustration he is suffering through a lack of mental clarity.
4. Disorientation to time and place
Previous years has revealed the disorientation Sheens suffers. This year he thought he was coaching Parramatta and had extended the contracts of Joel Reddy and Tom Humble. Even as far back as 2004, he thought he was still coach at Penrith, having signed up Shane Elford, Ben Reynolds, Scott Sattler, as well as Paul Whatuira in 2005 and Danny Galea in 2007.
5. Poor or decreased judgement
Sheens’ judgement has seen the most noticeable decrease. This year alone he has decided that Centre Chris Lawrence is a five-eighth, five-eighth Benji Marshall is a halfback, half Tom Humble is a hooker, half Tim Moltzen is a fullback, winger Lote Tuqiri has hands and even believes that Adam Blair does exist, so much so that he invests half a million dollars a year into this weird mythology.
6. Problems with abstract thinking
The inability to think on the run, or outside the box have been essentially null in 2012 from Sheens. Most notably, when he brings a replacement player on the field, he moves about 7 players from their current positions into new positions that they aren’t used to. Each subsequent interchange leads to more and more positional reshuffles.
7. Misplacing things
Many things have gone missing recently for Sheens. The Tuesday team lists (as mentioned earlier) is one that has happened on a consistent basis. Another has been Junior Moors, who clearly should be in the Tigers 17 every week, but Sheens just keeps forgetting to pick him.
8. Changes in mood or behaviour
Just recently Sheens has been happy with his team when they’ve lost, and irate at them when they have won. He’s contradicted himself in the space of just a few minutes in press conferences as well.
9. Changes in personality
Sheens had for long been his own man, unconcerned about the views and opinions of others. But over past years he’s been angered by comments made by the media and even by the fans, actually lashing out at them just two years ago, calling those Tigers supporters critical of Sheens "so-called fans". This year he let Ricky Stuart’s opinion also get him worked up.
10. Loss of initiative
This has been another area that has affected Sheens severely this year. He hasn’t even bothered this year to create any set plays in attack or bothered to create any structure for the defensive unit
As you can see, Sheens is suffering from all of the classic early stages of Dementia. It is recommended that Sheens be stood down from all coaching duties and admitted to an aged care facility at the earliest convenience, so as to provide carers and specialists maximum time to assist Tim with his disease.