Ah well, it could be worse right? Imagine if poor Tommy didn’t pull through and we had to say goodbye to him, and they made a big fuss and the boys had to go out and beat some duds like the Dees “for Tommy” and they didn’t, and our one shining light for the year did a knee and finished his season? Heh, imagine that, all happening at once. Yep.
Now I am spitting chips, I am very very angry, but it’s hard because I don’t know who I’m angry at. And one mantra I have acquired with age is ‘beware simple answers’.
My good friend and a staunch Tiger, Joseph saw the Dees at $5 and said to himself “That’s money for jam.” Tiges just don’t turn up in “big games”, Dees seem to be finding the handle on the footy lately, worth a twenty buck investment. So there’s the silver lining, Joseph won himself a hundred bucks.
But why $5? Because form notwithstanding, we had a better 22 than they, So if our 22 was better and we lost to a recovering basket case with hardly a yelp, I don’t understand Tiges fans who start talking about the draft. That’s a conversation for another day (getting surgically dissected by the Suns for instance).
I didn’t see Saturday’s game, I was at Glenorchy v Clarence, sporadically consulting a tranny on ABC. So I really can’t talk about it. But I don’t think we lost to Melbourne two days before we buried Tommy because of the draft.
I am not an early-adopter when it comes to phone technology or football. The draft? I still don’t get it. I am going to worry about who is in the side in 2016 in about 2 years time. But once someone is in a Tiger jumper I expect them to do a job, and I will do ANYTHING in my power as a fan to help them do that.
And criticism can be part of that. The most damning thing I have realised about our 30 years of under-achieving has been that every good or even mildly good year has been followed by a significant drop. We can’t even just hold our place.
You have to conclude the club has accepted mediocrity, has prized the foothills for their own sake and not as a place from which to set out for the peak. And despite our ‘turn on their own’ reputation I think fans have been complicit in this, bandwagon jumping rah-rah. In my case it has taken the form of feeling deep foreboding but not wanting to rain on anyone’s parade. Yet if Hanrahan had been going around RFC 8 days ago saying “We’ll all be rooned” he’d have been spot on.
I know the greybeards on Twitter are saying there IS a simple reason why substantially the same list are serving up this tripe when last year they nearly made top four. It’s because we had a “cheating game plan” and it’s been found out.
Whereas I just look at history and see that this RFC is not Tommy and Graeme Richmond and Royce and St Francis and dear departed Fred Swift’s RFC. This is a club who will ALWAYS dud you next up, after a good year. And why I didn’t get a tenner on us to finish in the bottom six I don’t know.
I have a suggestion, a way forward. Stop thinking that the team out there on the weekend covered in Jeep and Bingle has anything to do with Bourke, Barrot, Clay, Hafey or Checker Hughes. They wear the same jumper but so do Sprent and I don’t know if you’ve seen them go round lately but it’s not pretty.
So you and I are stuck supporting this team with no glorious history or storied heroes – we’ve essentially got Richo, Matty Knights and Matty Campbell, Freezer and Jeffrey Hogg. Ok, I’ll give you Rioli, Roach and The Ghost and The Flea and that lot. Stuff it, have the 1980 flag. We are a modest suburban club. Our point of difference? Let’s look for one without resorting to Tommy’s era. Get back to me on that.
If we could go into every game, starting this week, respecting our opponent as a fellow member of the AFL. None of this ‘big game’ stuff. Old rivalries, what a load of crap. How have we done in most of those old rivalry games? The Centenary? The game when Jack Dyer passed away? We have embarrassed ourselves again and again. The Carlton round 1 “tradition” is the worst thing that has happened to us on-field in the last 10 years. Added to Dreamtime and Collingwood games it’s given us more hoopla, more deluded sense that we are a central player in the AFL and very rarely four points.
We are peripheral. We are marginal and we are a laughing stock. Let us please spend a little time in the room of mirrors and see ourselves for the shoddy self-deluding chancers that we are. Acknowledge that we do NOT have a birthright to success. This is a different RFC that has to earn respect and earn fear.
Look at our 22. It’s better than GWS’s 22. Don’t talk to me about Matty White or Jay Schulz. They aren’t in Tiger jumpers. We have substantially the same list who pulled whatever mad heist it was that got us up there in 2013. Big Ivan is on his way back. Our coach is a good man who played it hard with no finessin’ in the mould of Tommy. We can bloody do this. And I do not mean fall into the 2014 finals, I mean take the longer view and rebuild this bloody club into something resembling Tommy’s Richmond. And win a flag. And another one until other clubs are seething and a game against us IS a big game.