Idiocy reigns as AFL commentators and umpires draw focus from on-field action

first_img Read more Share on LinkedIn AFL Australian rules football In November of 2017, the Italian newspaper Il Globo, published a story on the demise of the AFL’s multicultural round, quoting Gillon McLachlan from a week earlier saying: “The celebration of cultural diversity within Australian Football doesn’t need one round to prove its existence – it lives within community and grassroots football”.Sadly, it does not live inside the Triple M commentary box.Brian Taylor has been called an idiot often enough that it amounts to a cliché, but to hear him on Saturday afternoon was to understand that in the same way a man’s ears become exaggerated as he ages, so too does the idiocy that defines him. McLachlan hails ‘pragmatic’ AFL umpiring after Rampe goalpost furore Read more Under AFL rule 17.11, a free kick is to be awarded against a player or official who intentionally shakes a goal or behind post. Technically, Myers should have had a second shot on goal from the goalsquare to give Essendon the win (albeit an unjustified one).To hear AFL CEO McLachlan tell it: “Yes, technically [it was a free kick] but it’s, like all things, it’s context … where and when.”But football is not like all things. To quote Chuck Klosterman:“Sports, unlike life, need inflexibly defined rules. Any game (whether it’s the World Cup or Clue) is a type of unreality in which we create and accept whatever the rules happen to be.”“So how do we make an unreal exhibition meaningful? By standardizing and enforcing its laws, including the ones that don’t necessarily make sense.”There are many who would love to hear McLachlan’s thoughts on the context at the MCG on Saturday afternoon – a game that according to callers on 3AW ended with more crowd violence and “a man relieving himself on a cop car leaving the ground”.Thankfully police and not AFL umpires were in attendance, otherwise things may have gone unchecked and completely out of hand.And then there was the footballing violence of Saturday twilight’s Gold Coast versus Melbourne game, where not even a thrilling final minute could save the previous 119 that sucked the football-loving soul right out of you. Share on Pinterest Support The Guardian He has now called football long enough that he has become a caricature of himself, figuring that he can just hang Orazio Fantasia’s name in the air like a rug, and try knock all the Italian out of it for the sake of his own self-entertainment.“In Italy, it’s ‘Fan-ta-sia’. Guess where we live? Australia, and we call it ‘Fan-tay-sha’,” said Taylor.“We don’t pronounce Italian names in Australia in the full Italian way. We pronounce it with the Australianism in it, and that’s how we’ll continue to do it.”Setting aside the fact that no commentator in the country thought to check the correct pronunciation of a footballer now in his sixth season of AFL, this is hubris straight out of a pigeon-littered Greek amphitheatre.Greek, Italian – it’s all the same in footy, where like this country’s other most popular public spectacle, politics, anything is true if it’s said loud enough and often enough.But the rules of our sport, much like the pronunciation of a surname, should be rigid enough to withstand the bullshit hammers of our commentators and others.The last 30 seconds of Friday night’s game between Sydney and Essendon was some other very special sort of stupid. The Bombers’ David Myers winking before he took a kick from a long way out, looking to win Essendon the game, and then laughing with his captain Dyson Heppell after his godawful kick never got close. And then there was the free kick not paid when Dane Rampe bizarrely climbed the goal post. Emma Race Share on Messenger Australia sport Share on WhatsAppcenter_img Zach Merrett’s mic-drop moment is a boon for AFL gender equality … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. 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Essendon Guardian Australia sport newsletter: subscribe by email Only the most optimistic Dees’ fan could summon something as positive as “we’re not dead, we’re in a coma, and we’re really happy with the way this season is panning out,” in a game where they had 66 entries in their forward 50 for a miserable 61 points.Thankfully, later that night Showdown 46 at the Adelaide Oval was briefly elevated to its blockbuster status after Port Adelaide kicked five goals in a row in the last quarter, reducing the margin from seven goals to just a couple of kicks.The Crows, largely on the back of an impressive defensive effort and the success story that is Alex Keath, have now won their last four games to fulfill the prophecy of many preseason pundits of sitting inside the top four. In contrast, the injury-hit Port now find the ground giving way beneath their feet.Hawthorn’s Jarryd Roughead too has seen his season slipping away, but playing in the curtain-raiser for the Hawthorn versus GWS game on Sunday (his first VFL game in seven years) did all that was asked of him and more, kicking five goals and giving encouragement and advice to his opponent – mid-season rookie draft contender Reuben William.It gave the weekend a show of character and class that was sadly missing elsewhere. Topics Share on Twitter Reuse this content comment Share on Facebook Since you’re here… Read more Share via Emaillast_img read more