Its almost become an accepted theory that the AFL is 'fixing' the season through biased umpiring to get a 'fairytale' Grand Final.
Accepted to the point that people think they're fixing a Collingwood win tonight, and a Melbourne win next week against West Coast.
Yes, GWS, the club the AFL created six years ago with the specific intention of engineering early success to attract new members and junior participation up North.
There are West Coast fans everywhere saying the umpires are going to **** them so Melbourne get through. Yes, West Coast. The club with the second most free kicks for this season, with fans who relentlessly boo the umpires every week whenever a call goes against them, and who aren't happy if the free kick differential at Optus is even, let alone not in their favour. I wish this was hyperbole: its not. Their home games are toxic.
I've even seen Richmond fans, the same ones who quite rightly insist that they were simply the best team in the league last season rather than the beneficiary of some fairytale finish, being worried about their treatment next week if the Pies win.
What do Richmond, Collingwood and Melbourne have in common? A game plan that relies heavily on ground level pressure, relentless tackling and heavy scoring.
I've yet to really see an argument for why they'd fix a game, or how they'd silence the dozens of people required to make it happen. Can anyone enlighten me?
I can't enlighten you fully.
Except to say what I observe... that missed free kicks do as much damage to a game as bad mistakes by umpires.
I mean the frees that you see then you look at whoever your with at home or at a game and the look on his /her face is "where is the free"?
I see it every week, admittedly I watch a fair bit of footy. And not every thing I see is cut and dried but by crikey I have seen blatant misses of free kicks and quite a lot of mistakes by umpires. Recently.
A missed free that could have put GWS in the GF in 2016 allowed the ball to be carried by the Dogs down their end in the dying crucial stage of that prelim. I have no idea if it was accidental or not seen , or "just left out"?
Last year different, I think Richmond were a shoe in! It was a good game.
That is a bit of a stretch, I know. Its just the thought is there. That's the problem.
What I see is not my imagination , but the number of times you see this, is getting to a point where you start to have this niggly feeling that something may be amiss. I hope to God not though .
I hope it is grey rules, too complicated to read finely in split seconds that once umps call a free they have to go ahead with it,
THAT IS THE AFL 's FAULT,
By having unneeded confusing rules in a fierce and fast game. It is regularly looking bad, I've been warning about this for several years on here, and said that one day a GF will be destroyed by pedantic decision of an umpire with no feel for the spirit of the game.
OUR GAME IS OVER UMPIRED.
All I've ever said is that momentum and flow and scores are too often murdered by umpire calls and tiny little unimportant things that slow a forward move up.
LIKE THE CONFUSION WHEN AN UMPIRE EITHER CALLS AN ADVANTAGE OR SCREAMS TO A MOVING INTO ATTACK PLAYER TO BRING THE BALL BACK BEHIND THE MARL IT IS FARCICAL.
The most important thing the fans can tell the AFL is that we need black and white rules in a game so spread out and fast, because umpires almost can't help making blues!
What else would you say to the AFL? Well what about if you keep this massive amount of guess work unknowns in your complicated book of rules that have been fiddled/changed over the last few years, eventually you will get a "fix" happening. Watch. It will.
Then game is killed.
WHEN YOU HAVE A SPORT WHERE SEVERAL INFRINGEMENT RULES CAN BE READ TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM ONE MINUTE TO THE NEXT.
BY THREE DIFFERENT PEOPLE UMPIRING.
THEN ADD SEVERAL THOUSAND ON THE FENCE.
AND THEN SEVERAL MAYBE MILLION , ON TV THEN YOU ARE WIDE OPEN TO GAMBLING AND CHEATING .
So tell me am I really seeing things, I think not.
Last one when Puopolo was eye gouged by Rance last Thursday week , I asked about it on here and FB, and mentioned the MRP.
Not one single comment about it , but the camera man / director went in close on it and replayed it. NOTHING.
What is that? Menangola kicked an Essendon bloke with his shin in the head several months ago I mentioned that NOTHING.
Whats going on there. And we're worrying about WCE and Melbourne, well the umpires are mesmerised over in this state, the crowd ruiles, yes they do. Plug your ears umpires and shut your mouths would be a good new start.
As long as Razor Ray is running around out there u soon know which team or player is the FLAVOUR of the month. He should not have got a final this year. May the best team win, i think we have two prelims both worthy of being grand finals.