Written by AFL Online on 3rd Apr 2007
CONTROVERSY is what makes sport. It is what gives thousands of journalists around the world a job, and in a sense, creates the sport itself. For you see, if there was no controversy, the sport itself would not be popular; there would be no fans and therefore no living to be made from playing.
That’s why moments like Saturday’s round one match between Collingwood and Kangaroos are important to the game.
Roos fans are probably wishing it didn’t happen to them, but the reality is that moments like umpire Stuart Wenn’s mistake make the game what it is.
No doubt there will be knockers that think it was a stupid lapse of concentration and it was a blight on the AFL, but the fact is sport needs mistakes to survive.
True or False? If West Coast never made mistakes they would win every game of football by over 10 goals … that’s how much better their side is than others. True.
Tiger Woods is the worldâ€™s best golfer, probably the greatest ever, but he doesn’t win every tournament. True.
Why? Because he makes mistakes. He doesn’t always perform to his best. Same with West Coast. Same with umpires.
Had umpire Wenn correctly given Shannon Grant that 50-metre penalty, the odds are Kangaroos would have won the match. However, you could dissect any game of football played in the last 50 years decided by 10 points or less and find bad umpiring decisions that may have changed the result. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.
Dean Laidley can complain in press conferences that his side was hard done by, but what about the dicey decision paid in the first quarter in favour of Collingwood, or the cheap shot one of his players gave that went unseen?
Of course he doesn’t consider that because no one ever does. No one remembers the uncritical mistakes made by umpires, very few remember the ones made by players.
Mistakes are a part of the game and umpiring will always be the same.Dean Laidley, stop your whining, get on with coaching and maybe the Kangaroos will win a few games this season.
Umpires don’t cost you matches (unless you are Fremantle – siren saga ’06), so deal with it!