2 Andrew Stephens 16 Brendan Hosking 25 Shaun Ryan and making sense of their destruction

They’ve been named…Had to have their own personalised thread.
I woke up this morning with that sick in the guts feeling which follows you being screwed over. I’m sure everyone’s experienced it at some point in another part of life. Today for the first time it was footy. Never before have had this feeling of anger, resentment, and dismay on the back of umpiring nor footy since the saga.

I’m typically an agitator for reason (hence my continued baiting of Worsfold critics after a win), and I’m also objective when it comes to our own performance erring on the side of Sheedy optimism at times . Up until now, I haven’t questioned the role of the umpires…and Typically I would be sifting through the stats this morning with an attempt to make reason of our performance yesterday. But I couldn’t.
I watched the game when I got home and was beyond fury…
Yesterday was horrific, it was unfair… It was premeditated cheating.
I’m not sure if all three were being Bank rolled, but there was something. I can’t put my finger on it and I’m taking action. By the end of the weekend Stephen Hocking, and Gil McLachlan, will have a letter enroute requesting answers with a detailed analysis of the decisions across the game with a request that it is replayed or points split.
I’m going to struggle to watch another game this year if nothing official comes out on the back of the game and Hocking provides us with a neanderthalic PR closed ranks we’re comfortable with their performance bs.
But for now I’m angry…This footy club was shafted yesterday.


This one’s gonna be interesting. Personally I don’t think there will be any real change or accountability coming out of this. Taking a bit of solace that i’m not insane seeing literally all the top comments on /r/afl being neutrals saying we got ■■■■■■■ robbed


I don’t think it was pre meditated. I just think we got three incredibly incompetent umpires who dont know the rules and when in doubt - which was often - gave Collingwood the benefit of the doubt.


You can write a letter - it will be ignored.
You can become violent - end up in jail.
Or You can boo.
Unfortunately that’s our only options.


#2 has a weird mouth and completely incompetent.
#16 was the worst of the lot yesterday.

Full time officials doesn’t work, just look at the A League. The only reason I would push for full time is so these guys have just one job and when they ■■■■ up they get the sack and have to look for a job, might (MIGHT) make them more accountable.

Every year we seem to say that the umpiring is getting worse and all we get from the ■■■■■ in the office is “we need to change our attitude to umpires”. NO, MAKE THEM MORE ACCOUNTABLE and also



Or drink till you’re numb.


You just know the AFL will come out and say their decisions were correct!

Then next week after Ablett gets booed there will be a article about how terrible Essendon is!!!


Better make sure to boo Selwood and danger as well


As bad as the umpiring was, Bombers should have won that game. They were clearly the better side and even in the first qtr Pies were not three goals better. Luck didn’t go our way and the umpiring decisions were just bewildering.

That said, both teams were affected and it was not just a vendetta against Bombers, but a very incompetent display from all of them. In fact, I cannot ever recall the players stopping play and looking at the umpire to make the obvious decision before. It is just comical.


Up to half-time yesterday I thought the umpiring was reasonable. They’d erred on the side of letting the game flow, as they do in finals, which I generally prefer. I think there were a total of 13 free kicks till then.

The second half was a disaster that verged on the absolutely laughable. For whatever reason they’ve backed off on the hold the ball rule this year, particularly when well tackled. This is probably another instruction designed to keep the game flowing. This irks me big time as I think a basic tenet of the game is that you’re rewarded for effort. If you apply the perfect tackle and your opposition disposes illegally or not at all then that should be an automatic free kick every time. As we saw quite laughably yesterday everyone thinks that except the umpires.

Then there are the incidental free kicks paid just to rub that in - such as Pendlebury leading with his head to win that crucial too high call in the last minutes. There were other instances of that yesterday. But then Walla is caught too high much more clearly several times, including right in front of goal, and no whistle.

I’m like most. I expect a general level of incompetence and reckon over time it evens out. Rarely is a game decided by poor umpiring. There’s a strong argument that yesterday might be an exception.


I’ll put on my tin foil hat here and reaffirm my (possibly misguided) belief that there is a very real conspiracy to screw Essendon for the forseeable future. I believe there are three key corollaries to this:

  1. Essendon embarrassed the league and the sport with the saga

  2. The league will systematically punish the club in any and all ways it can until every last one of the 34 is out of football

  3. The easiest way to do this is by match-fixing and ensuring the club does not have premiership success for the forseeable future.

I also think there is an underlying grudge against Hird because of the McLaren thing, further exacerbated by everything he’s done since.

This isn’t a new theory - I’ve had this in my head as far back as 2014-2015 when the saga was in full blown mode.

Yeah, I know this sounds really flat-Earthish, but convincing myself that there is any credibility to this theory is how I cope with it. I can’t think of any other reason why we seem to cop a game like yesterday multiple times a season.


The AFL can’t honestly expect their supporters and fans to take the game seriously, until they themselves do. The game is worth billions and billions of dollars. BILLIONS of dollars. Anzac day is the biggest day on the calendar outside of the Grand Final. You get two of the biggest sporting clubs in Australia supporters crammed into one ground for a day, it’s the most parochial and fierce atmosphere I’ve ever experienced.

So to see the spectacle of what WAS a great game completely botched is unforgivable. We all know the AFL want to deflect the talk of the umpiring, just look at the way the media has launched into overdrive about booing. The agenda would have been sent to them all within seconds of the game finishing ‘Don’t talk about umpiring, talk about anything else (take out the bits we don’t need)’ and the AFL media towed the company line as usual. It means there really isn’t that much talk about the horrendous, under 12’s indoor mixed netball level of officiating that took place.

We know they will have an explanation why Tipungwuti isn’t allowed high contact free kicks, we know they will have an explanation why Stringer isn’t allowed in the back free kicks, we know they’ll have an explanation as to why pies players can have eternity to get rid of the ball and we know they will have an explanation as to why pies players don’t have to dispose of the ball legally. We’re all just expected to swallow it, and say ‘please sir, can I have some more’.

Players don’t know the rules, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game where the opposition players stop, KNOWING it was free kick against them and looking for the opposition player to give the ball to while the umpire is encouraging them to play on. Utterly unprofessional and a complete joke.


Also, one day in the future, this is going to happen to us in a final. Possibly a grand final.

And there’s a good possibility it will be the next one we play in.


If you could get ahold of the data for what umpires gave what free in what part of the ground for the last 15 years games of every club you could prove if there is a bias or cheating.

I have no doubt there has been match fixed games in the past, there is too much money and too many dodgy people involved in the management of it.


If yesterdays game was the Grand Final - there would/should have been a pitch invasion it was that bad.

Yeah I’m annoyed we didn’t win - we had some chances in the last but were let down by our kicking.

If the food at a restaurant is so bad that people complain, do you blame the customers or do you blame the chef?


I’d love for a high profile supporter to go on TV and passionately highlight the glaring misses and downright bias against Essendon. It’s great the shocking umpiring is being discussed this morning but there needs to be more.

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It’s so easy for them to not pay 50/50 decisions and call play on.

It’s always about the frees NOT paid that are the cause of the most frustration.

The issue yesterday is that the ones not paid weren’t just 50/50 but clearly obvious.

So obvious the players completely stopped on two occasions.

So obvious we had a situation where fans were that incensed about our clear head high tackles not being paid, and their ducked head high being paid that Pendles got booed.

Booing champion players is not good for the game.

But cheating/incompetent umpires is far worse.


When the opposition players stop and are about to hand the ball back because even they thought it was a free kick then you know the game is rigged.

Far too many umpires in this game who are simply not up to it. Go back to 2 umpires

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If you make a montage of all the terrible decisions and precedents from other similar incidents in the game, I would like to see that.

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I don’t buy the rigged scenario. The farkin incompetent argument - yep that one is very believable.