I will start by acknowledging that this may sound silly, adventurous and quite far-fetched, but anyhow…
The umpiring performances over the last few weeks have just about pushed me over the edge as a supporter, and the tipping point for me was last weekend where you would’ve thought it was the same utterly incompetent clowns on Saturday at Windy Hill as we had to endure on Thursday evening. Combined with the GWS match two weeks prior, and other mind-boggling umpiring performances in our games this year notably Gold Coast in Round 1, Port Adelaide in Round 3 and StKilda in Round 9.
If there is one thing that our supporters and members have been succeeded at recently and in years gone by, it is making a stand. Sadly, it is at times when we fear the club isn’t going to take a course of action so we must. Campaigns also started right here like Stand By Hird and Back Our Boys were noticeable. They were real, and as a supporter it felt unbelievable to be a part of. When we make protests, when we take a stance, despite how much people hate it; they notice it.
Free kicks paid and free kicks missed this year in our games are not just about quantity. As many have pointed out, it is the timing, location on the ground and the consequences of free kicks - such as resulting in an opposition goal - that are the most painful. Sadly I am not sure the whole idea of conspiring and corrupt umpiring in our games coming as a directive from above is a joke any longer.
I have intentions of compiling a report on the umpiring in Essendon matches across the 2016 season, and seeking an explanation from the afl. I am of the opinion they have to be held to account for this, they must explain themselves over this because for lots of our supporters this is becoming too much to handle. The report would not be completed until after our season concludes, but the most important part of it will be the proposed e-Petition attached to it. This concept probably means very little on face value, and will likely have little impact on it’s own. However if a few thousand signatures were attached from Essendon people, I believe the request would carry a lot more weight.
Having umpired several years of junior and senior football myself, I watch both live and replays of our matches and most weeks I am baffled. Sometimes the umpiring is beyond belief, and to me, seems to be something that is getting worse and worse as the weeks go on. And this is without even delving into past seasons gone by.
What do I want from my fellow Blitzers? Your thoughts, ideas, criticisms too. Is something like this worth running with if it can garner enough support? And if so, your support and ideas. I think this idea can work but I will need more brains on this than just my own.