Cometti: Comfortably my worst yet ...

What do they say? Be careful what you wish for.

For you might remember at the beginning of the season many footy critics were lauding AFL umpires for putting away their whistles.

Unfortunately for them, what might have seemed like a good idea at the time continues to morph into one of those "left-your-fly-open" moments.

Friday night's thriller between Geelong and Carlton was another step down that slippery slope.

Umpires cannot refuse to umpire and somehow expect that it translate into good umpiring. By not wanting to affect the outcome they affect the outcome.

Carlton's Troy Menzel should have got a free-kick in the dying moments, end of story.

Having said that, and as I said at the time, given the number of players around the footy maybe the umpires didn't see the incident.

But if and when that happens, don't try and tell me it's a good thing anyway. Pease, file that under stupid.

As I said after round one, the reason the rules became so pedantic in recent seasons was because our game was getting too open to interpretation.

Why bother keeping score, let's just judge a game on artistic merit.

Wheel in the Russian judge!

I have seen this cycle before, but the smarties who think this is the way to go should take heed of what Kevin Bartlett so often says: "If you don't want to pay it, take it out of the rule book." Simple.

Free-kicks are an endangered species right now.

On Friday night Geelong got 11 and Carlton got eight. The previous Sunday Fremantle got four.

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe there is no directive, but just to be on the safe side what say we all wish for umpires to have easy-to-lift whistles that are decidedly lighter.

The West Australian

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