Phantom is mad

Excuse me but I am mad; seething actually. And the symptoms are worrying. I am so mad that I look forward to noting the MRP’s ruling next time a player has his head split open, is concussed and misses a game or two. Not because I enjoy that sort of stuff in our “man’s game” (my son copped another game ending ‘friendly fire’ dong to the head last Saturday. It is quite distressing to see really) but because I just can’t wait to see how the AFL’s equivalent to a game of pin the tail on the donkey deal with it. I love a good live comedy act.

The precedent is set, again. The head is no longer to be protected, as it was recently, for example, when a player ran into Cameron Mooney who only had a split second to decide whether to either get cleaned out or protect himself. (There are other obvious examples relating to non Cats as well but there is a word limit on blog stories.) Cameron did time because he is a naughty boy and contact to the head is strictly verboten. Well, for some players, on some occasions it is, but others seem to be assessed under a different formula that is about as understandable as Mr Bean’s mumble.

The rules decision making process in our contemporary game is out of control. For example I noted on Saturday night field umpires, goal umpires, and the review buffoon get two goal line decisions wrong and subsequently cost a team a game. The only decision that was correct was the last one by the boundary umpire and it wasn’t really his call. The others were running around like a pack of squealing kids at the ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’.

Once upon a time back at the cave another, more senior, Mr Walker said to me, after he had caught me misusing the truth, ‘what a wicked web we weave when first we practice to deceive’. I think he was inferring that one mistake can not be covered up by a lie and then another as it compounds and becomes unmanageable. And besides, I know what you are up to young Phanto and I am not stupid, stupid.

But that is what is happening in AFL footy at the moment. For some reason the rules are being consistently changed and selectively used to apparently meet the components of someone’s agenda and avoid the truth. I don’t totally blame the umpires. They seem as confused as everyone else and obviously are struggling to cope on a week to week basis.

But as in good old George Orwellian ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ fashion the Big Brother of Australian Rules Football does not have the luxury of broken spirited drones, sipping cheap proletariat gin while they send today’s written history down the chute as the new history is being spun in the fine font of ‘newspeak’, only to be chuted tomorrow.  Fortunately we can see what is happening, we don’t accept it and the only chute some want to see is spelt differently.

Forgive me for bringing our great game into disrepute (I should be ok as I am from interstate and this year it appears I will certainly escape sanction leading into this years finals series) but I think the management of some vital aspects of footy is being done in an incompetent manner, at the very least. My fear of being taken to room 101 stops me from articulating what I really think is going on.

And before the great league of knackers starts howling NIMBY at me I must confess to the fact that I once played footy when it was a hard tough slog, it was run by real people who were scholars and lovers of the game in it’s purest form.  Not by egotistic ‘ejits’ who need a bit of time out in ‘The Room of Love’ after being funnel fed  a gallon or so of that vile and cheap plonk that we are expected to swim in, for a reality check.

Of course it is a tough game; it always was. But it used to be an honest game and a generally fair game played by and owned by the people as well. I don’t mind that but I object to the open contempt with which I am currently being treated.

We can see, read and write Big Brother. You can’t hide the truth from us; and you need to be worried, the Australian Rules ‘Spring’ is nigh. Look at the fates of other great tormentors of people.

See that’s why I am mad.


  1. The Wrap says

    What’s going on here Cookie? Would the real Wrap please stand up. And while I most certainly agree with the heading, and would be proud to put my name to the content, I can’t remember writing this, nor submitting it. In the words of Australia’s greatest fish & chip fryer – Rex Hunt included – please explain.

  2. Sorry Wrapster, I mistook one genius for another.

  3. Andrew Fithall says

    Phantom – I knew it wouldn’t be long before you would come up with the conspiracy theory. On the matter of your son George, was the team mate responsible for the friendly fire reported? I doubt it. And so it is that Thompson wasn’t reported because the person primarily responsible for the contact was Johnson’s team mate Joel Corey, who pushed Thompson into Johnson’s path.

    Late in Colingwood’s game against Hawthorn two weeks ago, Daisy Thomas was hit head-high, but no free kick was paid – and nor should it have been. Thomas put his head down and charged into the Hawthorn player. I think the umpires have started to get this right and are not rewarding players who cause their own misfortune. Johnson’s injury wasn’t his own fault, but nor was it the fault of the Adelaide player. I reckon the MRP got this one right.

  4. AF,

    the reason for my madness (apart from the bleeding obvious) is the inconsistency of review, not the act itself.

    The AFL has run itself into a lack of credibility corner by thinking they are smart when they ere really dumb.

    They need to be consistent and they need to admit that they don’t have a clue. For Wellingham to get the same sanction as Zeibel they must have had Helen Keller looking at the Wellingham footage. (Bugger – politically incorrect – Phantom six weeks off the the delayed telecasts because he is bringing the game into disrepute)

    If the Thompson / Johnson incident is – no case to answer – then why is it not the same in all other similar contacts? Make a rule, stick to it and judge accordingly. You won’t get any arguement from me.

    The carry over points, or lack of them, is a cop out allowing incompetency wriggle room.

    I remember stating on a blog about a month ago that we are about to find out who the AFL wants to progress this season by the MRP rulings. Well there you are (not you AF), I told you so.

    And no, the player that got George did not get reported but George said later that he has a very soild arm guard that makes the sound of little birdies tweeting around your head when it gets you in the moosh.

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