Seasonal adjustments damage ref credibility
Kilkenny full-forward Jonjo Farrell was on his way to the bench after 24 minutes against Dublin last Sunday, shaking his head in bewilderment after being sent off by referee Colm Lyons.
Farrell wasn't the only one who didn't know what the dismissal was for. TV re-runs, which usually clarify such matters - or at give a sense of why a referee acted so sternly - provided no insight.
Surely, when so much doubt surrounds a dismissal, it would be helpful if the referee issued a clarification afterwards.
He would not have to face the media but could issue the basis for his decision via a third party. Instead, everyone is left frustrated as they attempt to figure out the reasoning behind a decision.
On a related matter, referees always insist that they officiate exactly the same throughout the year and that a player is as likely to be sent off early in the league or championship as he is big games in Croke Park late in the season.
Really? When last have you seen a player sent off in the first half of an All-Ireland final for an incident similar to what earned Farrell a red card?
It just doesn't happen. That's one of the reasons why the credibility of referees is not what it would be if greater consistency applied. As a result, everyone lose out.