The image that belongs here has been relocated to avoid triggering feelings of anger, sadness and deja vu in Richmond people. You can see it here but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The pessimist said to the optimist “I don’t reckon this can possibly get any worse” and the optimist goes “nah, I reckon it can”.
These blokes have been on our shoulders for decades now. We know how they work, but we never know who to believe. We’ve managed them with booze and laughter and dysfunction and dreams of Nathan Brown …. or Harley Bennell. It’s been a kind of delusional, addictive, glorious, Tiger bipolar. That’s shaped us all.
It would be lazy to use a butterfly analogy as a metaphor for the Tigers emergence. And it wouldn’t sit with blokes like Nick Vlastuin, Kamdyn McIntosh, Jake Batchelor or Dylan Grimes; let alone with Dimma or Dusty. A butterfly changes from a grub pretty quick. Plus life in a cocoon is pretty stable.
Nah, I reckon an eel. Yeah, a shortfin eel. Swimming in Boomerang Creek. Then she slithers though cow shit, over busted stubbies and through inorganic, industrial waste. She navigates her way, on instinct, past greasy gravelly truck stops and through inner city, resort style lives. She’s drawn downstream, overland, and upcurrent. She gets dry and dusty and salty. Bitten, lost and scared. She’s seen it all, without ever understanding why.
Then she finds herself a thousand nautical miles away, in shallow tropical waters. Kind of a fish out of water in an osmotic reverse. She looks back, gives birth, and dies.
The little fingerling, smaller than a grain of rice and an orphan, takes a blind look around and goes “what am I meant to do now?”. It starts wiggling, without knowing, towards Boomerang Creek. Which is a pretty nice place.
You see it? 33 years of pain and misery. The lost footy tipping competitions, the stuffed up drafts, the busted leg, Spud, the countless slabs and bottles paid to smug mates; like charity, the ephemeral threats to call the Department of Child Protection when you buy your newborn a yellow and black jump suit. The pity, the scorn, the self-loathing, the Carlton loathing, the failed attempts to kick the habit; to get off this cruel, beautiful luge. We’ve seen and done and felt and heard it all.
Yeah, its been a long (dare I use the overused?) journey.
Who among us really knew where we were going? And why? How were we gonna get there? What was gonna happen? Were we ever gonna get home?
But deep, deep, deep in our footy DNA. The tiny bits that make us all Tigers, we knew. We knew we’d be OK. and that we’d get home.
And we’re almost there.