Judd is Einstein, not Eisenhower

What’s wrong with the Blues is a question that’s causing a bigger stir than a Master Chef wooden spoon. And while we’re talking the spoon, I want to add another reason why the Blues are heading towards that end of the ladder rather than the heights of round four: Chris Judd as captain.

To say Judd has made a huge contribution to the Carlton Football Club is like saying Einstein was a big plus for science. But would Einstein be your go-to man if you needed someone to lead the other boffins in 23 rounds of experiments? Plus a finals series? He might have been the leading scientist in the lab, but that doesn’t mean he was a leader of mad professors.

You can see where I’m going with this: Chris Judd is Einstein without the hair, but he’s not the bloke to lead Carlton to their next flag. Whether age beats him to the honour or not.

Now, naysayers will say, ‘Nay, he captained the Eagles to a flag, you horse head.’ Well, that’s undeniable, but it doesn’t mean he’s the right fit as captain of Carlton. The best apple isn’t always the shiniest, as Snow White found out, and the Blues are asleep at the wheel if they don’t do something next season.

Unshackle the Juddster from the captaincy and you’ll find he’ll be unshackled from the taggers quicker. Less media, less of the hype he clearly hates; he’ll get down and even dirtier in the packs, and Carlton will pick a heart and soul-type bloke as captain.

What is it to be a skipper? Be the best sailor on the ship? In the last 10 years, eight players have captained an AFL team to a premiership: Ling, Maxwell, Harley, Mitchell, Judd, Hall, Tredrea and Voss. In that list – and given the line-ups they captained – only Judd might be argued as definitively the best player in his team, although Eagles ’06 did include the in-form Cousins and Kerr. But, Judd withstanding, the others would be considered the heart-and-soul warriors of their clubs.

Don’t get me wrong, Juddy’s courageous, skilled, committed in the contest, drives a Prius; he’s a great example for the other Blues. When asked about what he brings to the club, Carlton players to a man say, It’s just the way he goes about it. By dating Megan Gale, Shaun Hampson might have taken that a bit far, but what is the way he goes about it? Simple. He’s professional. But too professional to be captain of Carlton at the moment. It’s not what we need.

I can see he hurts personally when Carlton lose. But that’s his competitiveness, the same trait that sees him reading The Financial Review every day (except match day, i.e. pay day). I question whether he hurts for the club. He was flying high with Cuzz when the Blues were in the mire of the noughties with that wooden spoon spanked across our bums. He talks a lot about life after footy, too, and says footy’s not everything to him. Which is all very nice and good, but, Juddy, Carlton, we need a captain right now for whom the Blues are everything.

We need a Wayne Johnston or a ‘Sticks’ Kernahan, someone who bleeds dark navy blue. I’d put the skipper’s hat on Kade Simpson. Set Judd free, let him bust like a bull through packs and share markets, and give the hat to Simmo. He’s been through the Bear market period at Carlton and, with 155 matches straight, he wouldn’t miss a game with the Blues to go to his own funeral.

Comments

  1. I for one share those sentiments… I don’t think Judd actually sought the captaincy, it was just we had nobody – and I mean nobody – who we could’ve chosen in his place.

  2. Stephen Cooke says:

    But it was really close between Judd and Nick Stevens, according to Stevens

  3. If the Blues are to make any progress they have to keep Judd where he is – and probably Ratten. To do otherwise sets them back 18 months.

  4. Andrew Else says:

    He gives away too many silly 50m penalties for starters…..

    But he told the boys not to eat hot chips for lunch. What more do you want??

    Can’t shake the feeling that he’s just way too cool for school. Just the whole gun for hire/footy isn’t that important to me stuff.

    Litza is right though. There was no one else back then. Simpson isn’t a bad call now though. He’s one of the few non-downhill skiers.

  5. The logic of making Judd captain in the first place is pretty solid. But plenty of clubs change captains without huge fanfare. And while I also like Walls’s suggestion that we need to be patient with Rattan, citing the Bomber Thompson example at Geelong, Wallsy forgets that Bomber just happened to turn things around in the last chance season the club gave him. Injuries have cost us this year – as well as the traditional Blues’ swollen heads – but next year has to be Rattan’s last chance year.

  6. john weldon says:

    How about the idea that Judd’s simply past his best or is that sacrilege?

  7. Judd is probably past his best. But his next best won a Brownlow! The pressing issue (pun intended) is what is simply changing him as a player. Even last night, he had few ‘possessions’, but the possessions the other blokes got were often the result of him being possessed by three Eagles when he had the ball, the ball spilling free, and one of our blokes nabbing it.

    I’ve got no probs with Judd as a player…just as a captain.

  8. Phantom says:

    Will Judd get a week for elbowing in the last quarter. Unlikely, as that is much less dangerous than eye gouging.

  9. Judd’s playing so poorly at the moment it makes him a certainty for the Brownlow.

  10. Yep, Dips, he’s looking good for the medal. And his hair will grab attention.

  11. Yes – and if he hands in his badge, he may be able to spend more than 15 minutes per week actually working for his AFL-sanctioned salary cap rort with Visy…..

  12. Oh, bakes, you’re not a climate change sceptic, are you? Imagine the weather events we’d be dealing with if Juddy wasn’t out there doing his bit!

  13. Peter Z says:

    Hi Paul

    Carlton are what …. 1 and 5 in there last 6, aren’t they? Hmm, this Carlton hater thinks he’s doing great.

  14. As mentioned, the season has been injury prone, but not the only problem. Lack of depth the main one. And when it comes to hating, well, we only hate in others what we secretly wish for ourselves i.e. Judd would squeeze into most line ups, and the Blues success into trophy cabinets at most other clubs ;)

    Ahhh, the glory daze.

  15. Paul,

    You’re just being mischievous! I do however feel that there may be a storm brewing over Visy Park way if the Blues come up short on their top 4 prediction…..

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