According to Urban Dictionary, 'weak dog' is used to describe a person who is of unfavourable disposition and whose actions are of the 'weak' nature. It can also be someone who exhibits various forms of failure. It's somebody who commits low acts on regular occasions, and who shows no signs of ever stopping.
On the back of Ricky Stuart's latest bizarre outburst, (calling Jaeman Salmon a 'weak gutted dog' as a kid and who 'still is now', based on a run-in when Stuart's son and Salmon were 11 years old), it's important to examine Sticky's own history of behaviour.
Despite taking the Sydney Roosters to three grand finals in a row from 2002-2004, his coaching performances have been decidedly sub-par and exhibiting 'various forms of failure'.
Memorably, the Roosters side in his roster that challenged for three grand finals included diamond-level names like Brett Mullins, Justin Hodges, Anthony Minichiello, Brad Fittler, Craig Wing, Adrian Morley, Craig Fitzgibbon, Luke Ricketson and Bryan Fletcher.
Since then, in stints at the Sharks, Eels and Raiders, his side has finished in the top eight only four times from 15 seasons. Missing the top eight nearly 75% of the time and duly taking aim at the NRL and its referees is showing a clear-cut unfavourable disposition and someone who has always looked for anyone other than himself to blame.
Ultimately for Ricky, his successes as a player, valuable work as an Autism advocate and dominance as a Roosters coach will be largely overshadowed by his lowly record of bringing the game into disrepute and rubbishing those who hold the whistle.
If Ricky Stuart isn't having a major meltdown at his own roster, another player or a refereeing decision or performance, he's using the loophole of complaining while not complaining, ie "it's best I don't talk about that or I will get fined".
He once miserably quipped, "If all the fine money was going to the Ricky Stuart Foundation I would tell you the truth today..."
It's little wonder the NRL is so regularly having to defend the efforts of its referees from pockets who like to suggest that they are 'cheats' as opposed to humans who make errors.
In 2005, Stuart wrote a newspaper column undermining referees and NRL CEO David Gallop. Hardly an off-the-cuff slip of the tongue, rather a pre-meditated bash of those doing their best to run and officiate the game.
In 2008, he abused the ARL Chairman Colin Love after a Kangaroos match. On the same tour, he physically and aggressively intimidated referee Ashley Klein at a hotel, calling him and another English official 'f**king cheats'.
In 2009, he intimated that his Sharks team's performance was due in part to the Cronulla board, saying 'if you've got monkeys running the zoo, it's always going to be a mess'.
In 2013, after being belted by the Sydney Roosters 50-0, he openly blamed his club's roster, missing the irony that perhaps his own success at the Roosters in 2002-2004 was due to having one of the best rosters in the modern era.
In 2014, he called referee officiating www'shit', 'laughable', 'poor' and 'not at the standard of first grade'.
In 2015, after one of his many blink-and-you'd-miss-it short press conference storm-outs, he doubled down on ABC Radio by saying 'he'd do it again', which he often has.
In 2016, after being questioned about the mocking of his Raiders' 'Viking Clap', he harangued the interviewer and muttered 'f**k me dead'.
In 2018, he openly demanded a complete overhaul of the NRL bunker after the Raiders were beaten by the Sharks. He also lamented that his side was always getting 'treated differently by referees'.
In 2020, he continued his ongoing tirade against the officials, suggesting that their performances were 'turning fans away from the game'. That was the same year that he had a public coaching box blow-up and lobbed a water bottle out into the stands.
In 2021, he was fined for criticising the referees, bringing his total fines close to the $140,000 mark after losing to the Warriors in the dying minutes.
Only a matter of weeks ago, he whinged that the NRL owed him an apology after the Raiders were denied a last minute penalty against the Dragons, and then of course he went on to demonstrate that he had not yet moved on from a young Jaeman Salmon having an altercation with his son (a good 12 years ago), labelling the Penrith Panthers' stand-in as always having been a 'weak-gutted dog'.
For a coach who has, since 2005, missed the finals in 11 of 15 seasons, Stuart is remarkably rarely reported on being 'under pressure' in the same way that other coaches are. See Michael Macguire, Paul McGregor, Adam O'Brien, Trent Barrett, Nathan Brown and so on.
Perhaps there is a hesitation to criticise someone who doesn't seem to mind wearing his heart on his sleeve, if only to deflect his poor performances to lay blame on others.
Is there any concern that someone with such a sharp tongue is in any way not good for the game? Is his unbridled passion something that should be commended?
Or is there a fear that criticising Ricky Stuart will bring media outlets and columnists into his cross-hairs?