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Message: Last Saturday nightís contest between St Kilda and Collingwood was a bad time for football. The game had an unusually high number of incidents piled on top of the farce that has become AFL umpiring.
It was probably the first time in my life I have thought a bias might have been deliberate. The decision in favour of OíBrien that cost St Kilda a draw had a basis in nothing to do with what happened. OíBrien was not touched and a result was ruined. It was Collingwood as beneficiary. It could have been worse by a little but not much: it could have been Essendon.
Brendan Goddard didnít calm down post-game, and neither had many St Kilda supporters of my acquaintance by Monday. If an umpire misses something, thatís one thing, to see something that wasnít there is quite another.
The game is played at life pace multiplied by, who knows, perhaps a hundred. That means intensity of the pressure cooker variety: your average impassioned player will swear more, punch more, spill emotion out of its seat more, wave, gesticulate, headshake [insert your own words] more. And players are now being punished for swearing at each other.
We have a great game. Enter the umpire with an imperious boss-attitude passed down from the mastermind Demetriou. The umpire is instructed not to understand all this bad behaviour. What he does is get involved without the bumps and body-on-the-line; he doesnít feel a thing, and thatís lucky for him, not that he knows. He is permitted to stand back and go through the gears, regulate events, oversee it all in that safe detachment which has now run to self-love, I feel sure.
He might, if he becomes possessed by his importance offer advice. A season or two ago a field umpire instructed a player on how he ought to kick for goal from a position beyond fifty. And itís enough that we have to see it: now we must listen as well. And like rugby, a man is now called to book, admonished head down, and then punished, and punished again when he reacts like he doesnít like it. Where is Phil Carmen when you need him?
There was a time when we didnít notice umpires, when the whistle was put away, when policemen were not officiatingÖ When players with the merest trace of common sense ignored them [mostly] as insignificant because they were. Umpires wore whites not colours and they melted into the background in accordance with their be-seen-and-not-heard role. Now they presume to know with emphatic and obnoxious certainty what was on a playerís mind when a ball is kicked, and fifty metres later it trickles out of bounds.
I can deal with arrogance born of charisma and robust self-esteem and skill and team play that produces passages that are the reasons we follow the game. I donít mind a Carey or even an Akermanis. But just what is it these guys bring to the game that is exclusively their own.
Certainly not on-the-job ideas. They follow a rulebook plus and/or minus any weekly adjustments made by suits behind closed doors.
Take their bright colours from them and put them back in the background, instruct them not to intervene in stuff that has always stayed on the field and letís get back to creating results that are earned only by the men on the ground.
Do I hate umpires? Yes, they take from us. And I hate whatís behind them causing all this mess.
Author: Zed Timestamp:- 18/8/2012 10:00:22 AM Subject: Re: AFL umpiring
Message: It is also deliberate out of bounds if the ball is punched over the line on the full from a ball up and it will be given as a deliberate rush behind, and free kick, if it is punched through on the full for a behind from a ball up.
Message: Couldn't agree more betto. The other night I saw a little Thai fellow absolutely robbed in the light fly gold medal match. It was nearly as bad as Fenech; but nothing will ever top Roy Jones jr.
Author: MD Timestamp:- 13/8/2012 11:49:07 AM Subject: Re: AFL umpiring
Message: Disgaree STB. On Friday night there were 32 free kicks apiece. Are you really saying that on >60 occasions the umps were justified in stopping play? What about Milne's free kick on Harry O'Brien - was that there too?
The other thing that is a bit bemusing is that the umps seem to officiate by different rules, ie let the game go more, when it is a close game.
I don't think the game is "over officiated" at all.
The free kicks that would have gone un-noticed in days gone by, are simply being paid now - because they are there.
You may have got away with holding onto a jumper for a few seconds, when your opposite number takes a mark, in years gone by, but these days you cannot. This isn't "over officiated". The free kick is there.
The players have been told, and they know this. If they choose to go against what they've been told, then expect the consequences.
Wot Game were Ewe watching,, Go watch the Replay,, The ball was Punched into the running Line of an Eagle player who just couldn't get to it Quickly Enuff before it went outta bounds,, May I add about 20 metres up the Field
Again,, watch AFL,, a lot of players hunt the Boundary line when it looks that they are unable to take Clean possession, or Hear Footsteps coming
Keep the ball in play at all costs,, The Umpiring Last Friday Night was Excellent
Message: Childish nonsense Lost Clarity. You should be embarrassed but no doubt aren't. "Hating" umpires is the stuff of tweenagers, wet behind the ears 20-somethings, and people who have never played the game or officiated themselves. Umpires aren't perfect. We can criticise reasonably, even rant and rave in the heat of battle, but "hating" umpires isn't, or shouldn't be, part of any adult's repertoire.
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