Not a good day for the AFL in Canberra

It’s been a bad day for the AFL in Canberra.

First, I don’t know if the Geelong-Collingwood was any good. One assumes that at least the first bit will be. Unfortunately it won’t be on at 10.45pm, and then (conveniently) a bit later than that on pay-TV.

Luckily the game between the 15th and 16th best teams in the country* was on pay-TV at a couple of venues around town. Shame it was decided by a blatant umpiring stuff up in the last play of the game. Didn’t exactly raise the general view of the AFL here in the only likely heartland of the soon-to-be Greater Eastern Canberra. Wasn’t helped by South Sydney scoring a fabulous try in the last second of extra time to beat West Tigers on the other big screen, at almost the same moment.

Aside from Chris Judd, can you imagine any other AFL player getting away with what was euphemistically described on the Brisbane website as Jonathan Brown “out-muscling and out-marking Mitch Brown with less than 10 seconds remaining”? Brendan Fevola? Barry Hall? Anyone at all?

No, neither could anyone at the pub I was at either. Made a bit of a laughing stock of the whole competition in the eyes of the people here.

It might have been nice to be able to see the 1 v 2 game on TV. But just because it is 15 v 16 doesn’t mean that people don’t care, and it is not acceptable for games to be decided like that. I personally do care. A lot. No-one in their right mind would say the Brown did anything but try to play the ball, but the umpires have to be able to adjudicate the play and not the player. At least Michael Voss had the good grace to look embarrassed as he walked out onto the ground afterwards. I doubt anyone asked John Worsfold what he thought of it for a while!

Probably better no to ask me for a while either.

* Presumably; not proven, and better not tested.

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