The bigger they are, the harder they fall
The picture that proved the beginning of the end.
''I will monitor it this week and do everything I've been doing, all the little professional things.''
Josh Dugan said this to me moments after damaging rib cartilage in Canberra's heavy loss at Penrith last Sunday. It proved to be his final interview in lime green.
What unfolded in the following 24 hours renders that statement completely farcical.
The next day he self-destructed in grand fashion, leaving his Raiders career in tatters.
If Dugan views ''the professional things'' as drinking on a roof with teammate Blake Ferguson, and taunting police after they receive noise complaints, then he's true to his word.
If he feels posting Instagram pics to deliberately elicit an outraged response from the club and its fans is ''the professional thing'', spot on.
On Monday night, I received emails and tweets from fans who'd viewed the pictures, including the one of Dugan giving the finger which appeared on the front page of The Canberra Times the next day.
I texted coach David Furner the picture, and gave him the courtesy of telling him it would be published. He was already aware of the photos, because angry teammates had called him that night.
However, this was the first time Furner had seen one of the pictures first-hand.
Dugan's Raiders contract was already in dire straits after he engaged in a heated verbal exchange with Furner earlier that day after he received a phone call from police. The pictures simply made Furner's decision to axe him a no-brainer. A necessity.
Dugan may as well have posted: ''Stuff you, I am above authority. I'm the highest-paid player here, I can do whatever I want, I call the shots.'' A picture tells a thousand words.
Like virtually everyone else, Furner was bewildered that two of his highest-profile players were prepared to show the world they were drinking after their insipid performance against the Panthers.
Most believe Dugan's finger was not only raised squarely at Furner and his brother, chief executive Don Furner, but also his teammates.
Clearly they did, too, because the next morning, at a hastily convened meeting, the leadership group voted unanimously to advise the board Dugan be sacked immediately.
Many believe Dugan deliberately self-destructed on Monday because he knew his relationship with David Furner was beyond repair. It's hard to argue.
No high-profile person is stupid enough to post incriminating pictures on the internet and not expect massive and swift consequences.
With that in mind, did Dugan get exactly what he wanted when his papers were stamped? Undoubtedly. But as Don Furner said on Thursday when he made Dugan's sacking official, the Raiders' only option was to cut him loose.
Clinton Schifcofske told me this week when a coach loses his dressing room he ''may as well pack his bags and leave''. It's exactly the same with players.
Now the NRL must decide if they should do the same.
The Raiders are lobbying to have Dugan deregistered. Understandably, they don't want him to use his supreme talent to come back and bite them on the arse,
a la Todd Carney.
Unlike Carney, he hasn't broken any laws, which legally could make it difficult for the NRL to substantiate stopping him from signing with another club.
But they should take into account the negative publicity that has been splashed across the front and back pages this week. The only people doing cartwheels were alcopop manufacturers, who enjoyed a torrent of free publicity.
What will Dugan learn if he simply jumps ship and signs with another club? That like a spoiled child, he can crack a giant dummy spit, and get exactly what he wants.
It has to be emphasised Dugan chose to end his Raiders career in disgrace. It didn't have to be this way.
He could have walked into Furner's office, told him he wanted out, and there's no doubt the Raiders would have negotiated a release. There's no point keeping a player who doesn't want to be there.
Instead, he opted to create a wave of unwarranted bad publicity for the Raiders.
That's what the NRL needs to bear in mind when it decides whether to deregister him. That remains unlikely.
On Tuesday morning, David Furner called me again. He sounded broken. ''I've seen a lot of greats walk through this club, and I won't let one player tear it down,'' he said.
Unlike Dugan, who said he would do ''all the professional things'', he was true to his word.