Don’t think, do!!
The immortal words of John Kennedy Snr remain to this day great advice for players on the footy field – too bad they can’t be unlearned once ex-players enter the realm of media punditry.
In an age where even footy fans are cherry-picking the news and opinions that align with their views, it has become (sadly) all too easy for universally accepted and agreed upon truisms to get caught up in the filth of the daily news cycle.
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Fact #1: No sport is played at all without umpires, referees etc officiating the games.
Fact #2: Calls made in real time should not be second-guessed in the com box minutes (or days in the case of the Herald Sun and Fox Footy) after they occur.
Fact #3 Everyone recognises these officials have a tough, thankless job
Fact #4: One of the most important collective messages we all teach our kids about sport is to respect the call of the referee.
No matter what.
Sadly it seems sports journos, commentators and past ‘greats’ aren’t getting (or have forgotten) this message.
Past greats, commentators and sports journos need to pull their collective heads in when the whistle blows in game.
Imagine if this rubbish happened outside of footy – in real life.
Last week, a friend of mine got fined $120 at Currumbin after leaving a well-lit car park (she hadn’t gone 100m before the sirens sounded) without her headlights on. I think it was a ridiculous call by the cop, but someone else may see it (and quite rightly) as a great call – it is all subjective and in this case ,the call rests with the umpires of life Mr Plod himself.
But hang on, you know what though, I drive on the roads a lot, and I have exited a well-lit car park or two in my time – maybe I should call the papers and ask if they could print my scathing opinion piece entitled ‘worst week ever for Gold Coast Cops’.
Fair dinkum footy media.
Even the consummate professionals like McAvaney and Warren (and before he retired Cometti) had begun to weigh in and give their opinion on this aspect of the game that was hitherto deemed off limits as beneath respected industry voices.
You are changing the fabric of how footy is digested guys.
You are doing real damage.
You are manufacturing a generation of kids who will view officials not through the prisms of respect, sympathy and empathy that we do, but through more selfish, more immediate filters like the first stupid, ill-considered thought that pops into their heads.
So next time you disagree with a call made in real time by an official, instead of second guessing them for minutes on end, take some (albeit paraphrased) advice from the one of the greats:
‘Think! Don’t talk, Don’t do, Think!’