IT'S hard to escape the spotlight when you're wearing a bright yellow shirt and a packed stadium of critics who are determined to disagree with your decision.
The unconditional dislike of umpires could be the only thing which unites St Kilda and Collingwood supporters at the AFL grand final today.
Enter Pomborneit export Adam Coote.
The boundary umpire will step onto the MCG's hallowed turf for his fourth season showdown with the whistle.
Despite not having to make controversial on-field calls, there is no doubt he will face his own challenges this afternoon.
While his feet will be planted on the ground, he will be within clear shouting distance - even reaching distance - of the crowd.
Blocking out the deafening noise behind him and the inevitable nerves, Coote will patrol the sideline for the 29th time this season.
"I know I will be very nervous," he said.
"This is a grand final, everyone is watching.
"It's unbelievably tough."
Much will be made of today's opening bounce.
Field umpire Brett Rosebury will do the honour for the second consecutive time after a flawless performance in wet conditions last year.
Coote's cue to take centre stage is unpredictable.
He has to wait for the ball to travel over the line.
So do boundary umpires look forward to the first throw-in in a similar way to the bounce?
"Personally I do," Coote said.
"But that's not just in a grand final.
"I always like to get the first throw-in and first decision out of the way, done and dusted."
Coote works full-time as a sales executive in Melbourne.
He runs the boundary on a weekend, sometimes more than once.
This year, low numbers have forced umpires to double up in home-and-away rounds.
"It's been a very long year," Coote said.
"It's been pretty taxing."
Last season's grand final appearance marked Coote's 28th AFL game for the year.
He finished 2009 with a faultless record.
But this year has been different.
"I've been pretty consistent but not quite as good as last year," he said.
"I've been a little bit off.
Coote's definition of being slightly out of sorts reflects the perfectionist nature of his role.
"I made one decisional error for the year," he said.
And he has no trouble recalling the mistake.
"It was round nine, Geelong versus Collingwood.
"The ball went out of bounds on the full but I was unsighted so I threw it back in.
"I should have positioned myself better."
Since the single blunder in May, Coote has a clean slate.
"I took it on the chin and I was determined to fight back," he said.
The former Camperdown junior footballer survived a brutal finals series in which the boundary umpires' squad was cut back each week.
"Everyone wants to umpire a grand final," Cote said.
"Grand finals are the pinnacle of umpiring. It's a very special event and it's great to be a part of it."
Coote's fourth grand final selection has capped a stellar year on the park.
He was named the Victorian Runners and Trainers Association Athlete of The Year after winning five events ranging from 400 metres to 800m in the 2009/10 track season.
Coote will be joined by Ian Burrows, Mark Foster and Mark Thomson on the boundary, with Chris Gordon as the emergency.
Rosebury, former Warrnambool man Shaun Ryan and grand final debutant Ray Chamberlain will cover the on-field duties.
The goals will be manned by David Dixon and Luke Walker, while Chelsea Roffey is on standby.