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A Hole Comments

A Protected Species

A Protected Species

Friday 20 March, 2015
A Hole, Australia’s most distinguished social commentator, laments the fact that free speech can’t be applied to the performance of rugby league referees.
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A Hole Comments on FridayMash
Imagine you’re an NRL coach whose team has just lost the Grand Final through an horrendous refereeing decision and you’ve lost the glory, the hero-worship, the place in history not to mention a huge bonus.

You’re absolutely consumed with anger and apoplexy, ready to throttle the referee with your own bare hands in front of an army of outraged fans. But wait, if you utter one expletive or harsh word about the culpable cretin you’ll be fined, pilloried, and suspended by the game’s ultimate refereeing cabal at Moore Park HQ.

They have decreed that you should rather front the media to express your admiration for the opposing team, the fans, especially the impeccable refereeing and of course the game which was unquestionably the ultimate winner. Then you’re free to go home and let go by kicking the cat.

These sort of dick-head decrees from officialdom defy the laws of human nature. If a brain-dead decision by some pathetic plonker has just robbed you of a place in the sun how the hell are you supposed to summon the self-control to react with effortless equanimity? If you lacked the urge to excoriate him in post-match interviews you’d obviously be devoid of the innate savagery so essential in a rugby league coach.

I can’t help feeling that the NRL is missing a trick or two here. Post-match discussions between coaches and referees could even more brutal and make even more riveting television than the games themselves and the NRL could charge the television companies zillions more for covering them.

In cases where a referee’s decision has had a direct impact on the result of a game it is ridiculous to expect a losing coach to give a post-match analysis of the game without throwing a massive wobbler. That’s like expecting Kevin to comment on his demise as prime minister without lambasting Julia for her role in it.

Furthermore it is unwise to ignore the views of the fans. Most of them are convinced that referees are either responsible for ruining the game or are the sole reason why their team are not premiers. It is unbearably frustrating for them that referees do not face the public sanctions they deserve like a stoning at the SCG.

The interests of rugby league referees however should not be forgotten in all this. It could well be argued they should be accorded more opportunity to publicly state their case. This might well lead to the conclusion that they make less mistakes than either the NRL, the players or the coaches.


About this Series
As one of Australia’s leading social commentators A Hole is always conscious of the need to avoid making an arse of himself. His commentaries are frequently compared to the material on the walls of public toilets although they don’t remain in the public consciousness anything like as long.

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