On Saturday afternoon I watched Port be denied three holding the ball calls within 30 seconds of play. Not even joking!
What was the umpire thinking?
They were so obvious. Blind Freddy would have seen and paid at least one of those frees. But no - once again clear evidence that umpires are biased or blind or both.
Seriously - who would want to be an umpire.
In particular, who would want to be an umpire in 2020 when most of us are on social media judging everyone all day every day.
That little section of play will be viewed by angsty Port supporters thousands and thousands of times. They will attract hundreds of nasty comments about how useless umpires are; funny quips will be made about the '3 blind mice' - OMG - so funny!
I was sitting there watching the game. I saw the holding the ball frees. I got angry and yelled. Why couldn’t the ump see this? Well, clearly they couldn’t see them because if they did they would have called them.
The game goes fast. Umpires have their focus on so many elements at one time. They are much closer to the play than the fans. Their perspective is different. They also have relationships with each other and the players. They also have personal lives which might be going well or not so well. They might have spent the night before rocking a sleepless six-month-old baby or stressing about a failed relationship. There is a myriad of unconscious things happening for the players and the umpires at any given time - which might have a direct impact on the game, on that part of the play.
The game cannot proceed without the umpires. The players cannot be in charge of refereeing a game. They have an obvious bias towards their own side because in our minds we are generally doing the 'right' thing. We are mired by our own perspective at that moment.
We need referees. We need rules. We need to know where we stand. We might not always like the decisions, we may rail against them. We might be rude and abusive to the referees and behave in a manner that we would not with any other person; but those rules, those referees who stand by the rules keep us safe. The referee's decisions will not be perfect; but so long as the rules are clear, make sense and are applied (fairly) consistently, then we will all be safer.
Thank you umpires for taking one for the team.