Sometimes, you’ve just got to stick it to the bloody ref
We are taught early in life that we should not question authority. We must listen to our parents, our teachers and our uniformed sporting officials or face the awful consequences.
A little later on, we learn about a thing called the legal system. We learn that it has courts and that if you’re not happy with a court’s ruling, you can go to a higher court, and maybe even a higher one after that.
Not long afterwards, most of us end up owning a T-shirt emblazoned with the anarchy symbol, or the suave silhouette of Che Guevara. We then spend the rest of our lives jaywalking, texting while driving, putting tax returns in late and downloading whatever we can get our grubby little hands on.
Our daily insurgences don’t end there. We are also a special and wondrous thing called Australian, which gives even the most conservative among us a headstart in the anti-authoritarian stakes.
Tell us what’s what, and we’ll be inclined to tell you what’s not. This is our way. So then, let’s apply some of this to football.
Last night a rugby league match occurred. The winner, Queensland, was not the best team on the night, yet somehow found a way to win. All credit to them. The knack of sticking your neck out on the winning post is just as much a hallmark of a great team as its brilliant plays.
That said, Queensland was last night awarded the most dodgy try in the history of dodgy tries. Honestly, the evidence was about as convincing as the campaign to make Brisbane seem like a city worth visiting.
What to do, then, in the face of such an adjudication abomination? Meekly sit back and mutter “gosh, how terribly unlucky?” Of course not. You argue with the ref. You take him aside, as NSW captain Paul Gallen did and you say:
“He f-king dropped the ball. They’ve had the rub of the green all night. This is getting ridiculous where this is getting.”
Gallen’s rant was neither eloquent nor effective. The try had already been awarded, and tries are never un-awarded once the green light is on. There is no higher court of appeal.
Yet this afternoon at 2.30 pm, referees co-ordinator Bill Harrigan will front the media to explain his thoughts on the try. The Daily Telegraph today reported that Harrigan admitted the try should never have been awarded.
This is the age we live in. Everything is on tape and everything is up for review, rehashing and possible rejigging. Cricket has gone the same way. The umpire is always right, except when the video says otherwise and except when India is playing.
Nobody wants brats across the sporting fields of Australia arguing every time the umpire pings them for a free kick or a penalty. But we have to face facts. The old adage that “the umpire is always right” just doesn’t wash anymore.
We need an updated version, and I’m interested in what you think it might be, or if indeed you don’t think it needs changing at all.
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…