You bought a car, a second-hand car, it is flashy, shiny and works wonderfully. You take it to the mechanics after a few months, because something isn’t quite right with it. He tells you that you just need an oil change and some minor servicing. So, you do that. You drive away, the car running smoothly. Then after a while, it just stops. Nothing works. You get it towed to a different mechanic who tells you that it needs major work as the previous mechanic put in dodgy and used parts and that you got ripped off. Furious, you ask how much this will set you back. He quotes a figure and you collapse from the shock. But you love this car and don’t really bother about going to do your due diligence and get a second opinion, because you just love this car, so you get the work done.
Then a few weeks later the care engine catches fire. As you manage to escape, the fire is put out, but the damage has been done. But you still love this car and you just cannot give up on it. You know that it will take patience and care with the right mechanic and body repair shop to get this car back to what it was. You know that given the age of the car, you will need to lovingly allow for time to get the parts that work together in order to get this car to where you want it to be.
Why have I written this? Well, it is a great analogy for the Carlton FC. The club back in its hey-day was flashy, shiny and worked brilliantly. Then something just wasn’t quite right and we got hit with the salary-cap scandal. The club chooses a coach with no real outside experience in coaching and does reasonably well, but not enough for sustained longevity, so you get rid of him, then because the club just wants a quick, but expensive fix, you hire a coach that is really only after one thing – his ability to be considered one of the greatest coaches.
After that doesn’t work, and a fire has been started at the club that shows how things are just not working out, the club realizes this and takes the re-building of the framework of the club from the ground up. You understand that this will take time, patience and getting the right pieces together to work together. You understand that sometimes it will work and sometimes it won’t. You understand that with anything new, it has to develop and mold into the framework of the club. You understand that for all the pieces to work together takes time and patience and that getting the right parts in, which may not always happen at once.
On the weekend (and I’m not going to delve into the absolute terribly umpiring as I believe that a team must win in spite of the umpires; shows and develops character and if for another time); the team, a bottom team played against one of the top teams and nearly went over the line to win. They fell short in the last 10 minutes, but it gave Collingwood a shock and the footy world, for no one saw this coming given the previous week’s debacle. I am not saying that this loss was something that we should be proud of, or accept, I’m saying that we are getting there. After a long, long time in getting this mechanical beast of a club to work in a way that is cohesive and dynamic, we are getting there.
The panic call for sackings, the paranoia that some players are leaving, the call to disrupt what has been a slow re-build is one that will have no other consequence then setting the club backward. It will be like taking out what does not work right now and putting in something that could, maybe or possibly work without looking into it more.
We are getting there and I know it is frustrating and annoying that we are not there yet, but we will get there. The team believes it, the coaches believe it, we should too.