The Emptiest Bandwagon(s) in History

Disclaimer: I am a big Cats fan. For this post, I am donning my Analyst cap.

I am quite stunned at how rapid the sift in sentiment for the Flag has been. Throughout the year the Pies have been wild favorites, as the Cats rolled relatively umimpeeded on, finishing second by one game.

I was miffed that the Cats got little to no support from sections of the media as legitmate flag contenders for most of the season. Gerard Whateley sardonically described the run as “The emptiest bandwagon in history”  after the Cats knocked off the Pies and sat atop the perch for a time mid-season.

The Cats were too old and without Bomber and Gaz, would be knocked off by the up-and-comers, or indeed the Pies. It was certainly a fair hypothesis, but I felt that as the rounds came and went, there was an increasing tendency to ignore the plot and hold onto the pre-season narrative the pundits had penned. Mike Sheahan’s article before the first Cats-Hawks encounter sticks out as a good example of this. He stubbonly proclaimed the Cats were past it, and although they were yet to be defeated, the forthcoming loss to Hawthorn would prove his predictions (the one’s he first made at the start of ’09) sound. That loss never came, and even after a 96 point trouncing of the Pies, 8 out of 10 Herald Sun experts predicted the Black & White would salute against the Pussies.

I shouldn’t be surprised this week. A sudden shift has occured. All of a sudden just about everyone is behind the Cats. The punters, the pundits and even the Prime Minsiter.

Honestly, you would think the Cats were playing GWS. I sat listening to the Collingwood team being read-out on air last night on SEN, and I could barely pick out a weak link, and I believe that that’s all that needs to be said about the reigning premiers. I don’t think that two groins and a good performance by the Hawks is enough evidence to convict the Pies of being a second rate side, which is what anyone who just got back from Mars could be forgiven for thinking they were.
Fewer and fewer experts in the media demonstrate an ability to form a considered, insightful and unique opinion (Dermott Brereton and Mark McClure are two that spring to mind). I’d like to see a little more accountability, because anyone can be an expert on Monday morning.

My comment is not on who will win, but on the wild, fickle fluctuations in favour, led by a superscilious media. The footy public, mobilised and willing with a newfound love of twitter and (probably) facebook, are complicit too.

I find it difficult to articulate my own thoughts on the game, and being so close to one of the two sides, perhaps I shall keep my thoughts on the possible outcomes private. One thing that has struck me is how easily the footy media and public leap from one bandwagon to another.

About Edward Harcourt

I’m 31 and I love the Cats!

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