Great post TeeBee.
I remember Glenn James vividly.
One thing that stood out about him was the rapport and respect that he seemed to have from all the players of that era.
You very rarely ever saw a player arguing with him and quite often have a bit of a laugh with them out on the ground.
In the WAFL during the same era we had guys like Mike Ball and Peter Capes who were the premier umpires of the day that shared the same type of respect that both umpires James and Ian Robinson had in the VFL.
I believe that these guys knew how to manage the players through them always being cool, calm and collected during matches without trying to elevate their importance above those of the players or the game itself.
You very rarely saw them impose themselves negatively on a game much like these glory seekers that umpire the game today.
There seems to be too many guys with over inflated egos and a sense of self importance running around with whistles in their hands today.
These days almost every player in the comp has a crack at the ump and argue the point each time a free kick is paid, so much so that you often see them pointing to the big screen at the ground urging the ump to have a look and try to justify their decision of which the umpire always refuses to do so, just in case they do realise that they’ve farked up.
The lack of respect that the players show towards the umps should ring alarm bells for the AFL, but as we often see they just don’t give a stuff or don’t want to deal with any problems as it’s in the too hard basket for them to try and handle.
They then put all the responsibility onto the players and club officials to behave themselves regarding the umpires or they will cop large fines or more severe punishments if they don’t comply.
All this has done is create a culture of resentment and distrust within clubs and fans alike of the umpiring fraternity and the game’s Rules Committee, all because the adminstrators of the game are way too pissweak to make hard decisions and hide behind their protection of anything to do with the umpires.
All the while where we now have this situation of where certain clubs supporters are filled with dread whenever particular umpires are named to offiate their games.
This is what you get when you have a bunch of gutless, greedy corporate types running a multi-billion dollar sporting competition for their own personal gain and not of in the interests of the people that are the grassroots of the game itself.