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I've got little doubt that it would have been Coach Sheedy behind this whole fiasco. It's ok if he comes out without saying directly that the umpiring is 'disgraceful' and naming anyone outright, he is able to get away with consistently bagging the umpiring establishment, fellow clubs and the AFL all at the same time!!

He would have been the one at team meetings and the like putting this idea into his players head that they have been hard done by from the umpires who don't give them free kicks, other sides who allegedly use physical tactics against them (which somehow justifies him to do the same back, often illegally) and just the general footballing world for putting them at the bottom of the ladder, where they haven't been for a long, long time.

Hasn't he heard about taking a loss on the chin, and getting on with the business of trying to win games instead of blaming everyone else? Or is it his inflated ego, pampered by the media for the past 20 odd years, which renders him simply unable to do so.

I think its getting to the stage where this coaching caper is starting to bypass Sheedy, and the same old tricks he has used for so long just don't cut it anymore. Hird's outburst must have been some of this Sheedy-style sensationalism (quite a mouthful after a few beers I would think!) which has found him in waters that he won't be able to wade out of any time soon.


well...does that mean that i am not a real footy fan? lol

I love footy AND i watch the footy show. Plus i went out with a now ex Carlton player for many years.

Nice post though. I just dont know if i should be offended or not!

Let me consider it!

Yeah, Mclaren can't answer back. Just like the players can't answer back when the umpire makes a shit decision in a game.

The AFL's policy on player's comments is ridiculous. If there was no truth in what Hird is saying, then there wouldn't be an issue. If they can't handle criticism then go work for the fucking ABC.

I'm in shock that they were actually discussing football on that show for once and not doing some pissweak attempt at comedy.

Yobbo, Yobbo, Yobbo. There's a bigger picture.

You think players can't answer bank in a game? Well, they can't say: "Fuck you McLaren, you dickhead, what the fuck was that decision!?" But any player who asks a reasonable question of an umpire in AFL footy is going to get a response, immediately, on the ground, in kind. It's a respect thing. But so much of what passes for "fair criticim" of umpires is nothing more than flat out abuse. So you reckon umpires are shit? Fine. Try it some time. We've been talking about shit umpire for 100 years. Why do you think "the standard" hasn't got any "better", despite all the resources that can be thrown at it? Cos it's a fucking tough job.

For Hird to label McLaren biased against Essendon is a grossly unfair and insulting thing to say. McLaren is an AFL Grand Final umpire. Say he had a crap day, fine. That is defensible (though saying so on the Footy Show isn't). But to call him biased? That is a disgrace, especially from a bloke with the credibility of Hird, who, in his own heart, knows it isn't true.

If you think a media ban on criticising umpires is about protecting the egos of the 32 to blokes who run around on the AFL panel, you've got it wrong, wrong, wrong. Have you ever stood next to the umpires race at Subi after a Dockers loss when they walk off? Umpires are thick skiined, okay?

No, the media ban is about protecting what little support there is in the community for umpiring as it is, so that in 5 or 10 or 25 years time we might actually have enough umpires to service the game of football. This isn't just about the AFL. You play amateur footy yourself. You know how difficult it is to get any (let alone decent) umpires beyone about the B-reserves. Do you reckon 15 year old kids look up to Scott McLaren or James Hird? How many of these kids have the potential or the skills to become quality umpires?

Umpire bashing is lame, Yobs. The Dons have been pumped two weeks in a row, and the club's captain and champion is accusing a Grand Final umpire of bias. Does. Not. Wash.


Umpires can't come out on such an open forum as the Footy Show (term used loosely) and say "Oh, I was expecting so and so to come out and have a good came today but he played shithouse, really was weak as piss, he was DISGRACEFUL"

What gives players the right to do so in public without giving their victim a decent right of reply. What do you think McLaren could have said? "Oh I wasn't that bad James" or "Yes its true I am a disgraceful umpire and I won't let it happen again James" There was nothing he could have said apart from what he did.

I have never EVER EVER heard media types or players give praise for an umpire who did his job well. If players and the media can't give umpires a good name then they have absolutely no right to give them a bad one.

As Gareth mentioned, there is a bigger picture. Hird is entitled to his private opinion and I'm sure McLaren is entitled to have his (changed) private opinion about Hird. But how many young Essendon supporters and kids in general will use that to make up their own mind the next time a decision or a game goes against them? How many potential umpires have we lost as a result of this whinge?

Although it doesn't warrant total suspension, as that would be a double loss for the game itself, I believe he should be made to pay back a debt to the game in the form of PR or advertising using his name and stature for good instead of using it to attack people who try to make this game of ours enjoyable. A fine is not good enough in this instance.

That means you're a football(ER) fan, D.

Adam, the last straw for me was the Hank Bulger bullshit. The segment that made me finally realise the show REALLY is complete shit.

You're talking nonsense, Yob. I agree with what Gareth & Ads said. There's a channel open for upset clubs to air their grievences with the umps -- and the Footy Show ain't it.
But unlike Ads, I'd suspend him. That'd shut the players and clubs up.

And apart from anything else, Hird's going to be remembered for a stellar playing career whereas McLaren's always going to be remembered as the umpire "footy legend" Hird slagged off. No doubt it will pop up as a trivia question. Like "Which player kicked a stray dog at VFL in 1978?"

lol true Tony. And i was His biggest and best fan to. I cant remember the amount of arguements i used to get into when i heard people slag him off.

Has anyone else noticed or is it just me that old Hirdy seems to have a new hairstyle and is looking quite...erm....flashy this season?

I would suspend Him to! I hate Essendon anyway and will always gloat over the time Carlton beat them in the prelim final!

ppssstt Tony

Just dropped in to tell you that i have linked your blog to mine. I always scream with laughter after reading it!

Gareth: I think your emotional reply serves to illustrate the whole reason why media bans are stupid. Yes, the AFL coaches and captains have channels through which they can discuss the umpires. Fans don't.

When it comes down to it, the media is not there for the benefit of the Kevin Sheedys and James Hirds, it's there for the fans. When Hird goes off as he did on Thursday, it gives the fans a rare insight into the real thoughts and feelings of a footy player. It's much more informative than the standard "we're taking it one week at a time" bullshit we usually get.

I think the media ban on criticising umpires is in place for the same reason as the media ban on criticising AFL policy. The AFL is a power-struck organising obsessed with making sure every player conforms to their idea of a role model. Fuck them.

Adsy: there are plenty of things McLaren could have done instead of being a whiny little bitch. He could have reviewed the tape and explained his decisions, making Hird look like a tosser if he was wrong. He could have laughed it off on TV like all the players do when someone accuses them of such and such. Anything except what he did do would be preferable.

A forced ban on talking about umpiring does not generate respect for umpires. Respect is earned, not enforced. All the media ban does is show the AFL up for the band of football nazis they really are. Hird should be able to say whatever the fuck he likes on TV. He's a more interesting player for it.

Jason Akermanis shows week in, week out what footy would be like if players weren't running scared of the AFL's nazi policies. FUN.

D, Hirdy looks like he's taking a cue from David Beckham. Tres chic. Minus the bonus chicks. Personally, I reckon he looks stupid when he goes with the face fuzz. And that hair? He must think Dermot's do looks "snazzy". And thanks for the link, although I think you need to see an anylist ... err ... analyst ... I think ... I'm ALWAYS serious.

Yob, without getting into a lengthy philosophical debate about the merits of free speech, I believe part of accepting the umpire's decision, which is a core tenet of any sport, is shutting up about it.

Not forgetting that Hird wilfully and flagrantly broke a rule that's in place to stop players slagging the umps.

That rule's there in part because no matter the merits of either side's case, the public would nearly always agree with the player. Just listen to the mitigating bullshit since Hird's game on Saturday night.

On the other hand, I totally agree McClaren was a whiny bitch. That style of sad-sack public indignation is pathetic.

And I've never heard Aker slag an umpire, he slags off other players who have a chance to get back at him.

PS: it was interesting to hear Rex Hunt slag off Qantas.

Just heard a presser where Jim Bob told everyone what a clown he was and how he was sorry sorry sorry. Sounded suspiciously like damage control.

lol. Erm i happen to LIKE Dermott's hair and the rest of him to for that matter. Still think my ex was better looking, although he is carrying a few extra kilos A.F (after footy).

As for the analyst. He was the one who told me to dump the footy player!

What did Rex say about Qantas? I missed that.

D, I'm always suspicious of mirror men who gel-up to look natural.

By the way, what's the IW stand for?

Yob, he was shitcanning the food. He also said he prefered Virgin because you could take on something you actually like.

[IW] is for IceWolf. Its a collar online so that people know who i belong to. Tis a D/s thing.

lol i take it you dont use gel then Tony?

Not since I was about 21 and had no idea. About anything.

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