The Finktank is more of what you've come to expect from Jesse Fink, The World Game's enfant terrible, but with a bent on the big issues in sport. No sport, no personality, no subject, is off limits.
Why is Kevin Muscat a protected species?
Something must be done to pull the 'Man-Eater of Etihad Stadium' into line, writes Jesse Fink.
One of my favourite writers, indeed one of my all-time heroes, was the Indian hunter-conservationist Jim Corbett, author of the Man Eaters of Kumaon and the Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag, classic hunting stories from the twilight years of the Raj.
Corbett was by profession a soldier and railway worker, but was the man the villagers of Garhwal and Kumaon turned to when a giant cat – usually a tiger – needed to be taken down and killed.
These so-called "man eaters" became thus when they stopped hunting their usual quarry because of old age, unhealed injuries, gum disease or a broken tooth and started knocking off humans.
One tiger, the Man-Eater of Champawat, was reputed to have devoured 436 people before Corbett shot him in 1911. By the time he left India for Africa in 1947, Corbett had killed 33 big cats.
So he was responsible for the sad fates of some fine animals, but it was necessary work. Corbett died in Kenya in 1955.
When I see Kevin Muscat take the field these days, I see a player who could be considered football's equivalent of a man-eater.
Past his prime. Getting old. Slow. And resorting to things he might at one time have never countenanced to stamp his authority on a game.
Last weekend Muscat's team, Melbourne Victory, played Newcastle Jets in Newcastle. It was second place versus fourth, a clash of two of the best attack-minded, open-styled sides in the A-League.
But within just 18 minutes, Muscat, the Man-Eater of Etihad Stadium, had flown at his opposing captain, Matt Thompson, with a flying karate kick to the guts.
Referee Matthew Breeze saw it and raced up to Muscat, giving him a stern lecture right in his face. Nose to nose. Surely this was going to be a red card.
Breeze reached for his top pocket and out the came the yellow. A reprieve. Yet another one in a catalogue of unfathomable let offs in the career of Kevin Muscat.
And the man had the hide to complain!
If Jim Corbett had been a football referee Muscat wouldn't have had enough life in him to open his mouth.
What is it about Muscat that makes him such a protected species in the A-League? It's been a conspiracy theory in football circles for years and first it was easy to laugh it off as just fanciful thinking but it appears the guy gets away with an awful lot of offences that other players would pay for dearly.
Take his punch into the ribs of Terry McFlynn in the 2005 season:
Or his clear stomping of a prostrate Daniel Mullen in the 65th minute of the second leg of the major semi-final in February last year:
Breeze was also the referee for both those games. The punch got a yellow. The stomp wasn't even considered worthy of a card.
It's preposterous. Punching and kicking are red-card offences ("violent conduct") by Law 12 of the Laws of the Game but too often in the A-League, and especially when it comes to the Man-Eater of Etihad Stadium, the sanction (even if it gets to be deemed such) rarely matches the offence.
It's time not only to come down hard on Muscat but to bring the A-League's referees to account for their bewildering decisions, like Breeze's yellow carding of Muscat in Newcastle.
Even Corbett had the jungles under better control than the FFA has the A-League.
:: For more Fink musings on the big issues in football, check out Half-time Orange on The World Game.