It’s called setting a bad example fellers

Welcome to Sport Mad, the weird and wacky thoughts of someone who takes his sport a little too seriously.

The lighter side of sport for me this week was a couple of scrums in the Storm/Eels game on Saturday night. In the middle of the scrum, Eels hooker Cameron King leaned down and quietly undid Cameron Smith’s shoelaces. Very funny Mr King, but back in the 1970’s you’d have copped a broken hand.

Now for my rant of the week. Trent Barrett and Shane Flannagan should hang their heads in shame for their post game criticism of referees.

I’ll start with Flannagan. Good old Shane turned up to the press conference with a list of 10 refereeing decisions that “cost Cronulla the game” – it was all the referees fault.

A few years ago, Shane smiled at a similar press conference after Cronulla scored a try on the 7th tackle to beat the Cowboys in an elimination final and told the waiting media that you have to live with the referee’s decisions.

What Shane failed to tell the media on Saturday night was that Cronulla completed 60 per cent of sets compared to the Cowboys 80 per cent, missed 34 tackles to 15, conceded 11 penalties to five and made 17 errors to 10.

But what’s wrong with a coach blowing off a bit of steam after a close loss you might ask. The problem is thousands of people watch how people like Flanagan treat officials at the NRL level and expect the same when they watch their kids play in the local junior comp and assume that it’s okay to vent their feelings at some poor young referee.

Just last week, a 19-year-old referee in Maitland Rugby was punched by a player. While ever NRL players and officials blame everyone but their own players for a loss, the same thing will happen at park football games all around the country.

Well, that’s my rant of the week. Remember, there is no such thing as too much sport.

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