John Kingsmill’s Footy Diary

The dilemma of hope

Three weeks of byes rips the supercoach teams
to shreds. The balance of personal bias against
common sense comes to the fore in the month
of June. There’s no sense in backing a winning team

in these comps if huge portions of them go surfing
in Week Eleven, or hit the piss in Week Twelve.
And we shouldn’t trade any of them out
for their missing week only because we want

full teams. Later, we’ll need those trades to cover
hamstrings, ruined knees, shocking loss of form.
These byes introduce a new statistic to the comps:
which ones are likely to get arrested on their

one week off? Which ones will go to jail? Which ones
will be stood down in the AFL’s kangaroo courts?
It’s a big ask. All season we weigh high Tackles
against Frees Against; or luxurious Kicks versus

skinny Handballs. It’s not easy being a coach
in this soulless statistical world. It’s very hard
to get it right at the exact moment a player
decides to perform. Is it them, we ask,

or us? In the first week we make him
our captain, he retreats from his 150 count
to a pathetic 44. And, now, we have to
factor in their behaviour off the field

for one week to see if we should hold
them for the second or third week –
their history of arrests, their demerit points,
whether they bought their mothers a present

last Christmas; whether they are shaving;
whether their girlfriends like them; whether
they know how to cook. It’s no easy task
coaching these dreamteams. People think

it’s an indulgence, fun for those who have
no real centre in their lives. The opposite
is true. It’s extremely hard work. Ask
Shane Crawford. Ask Malcolm Blight.

Ask me. Super-Coaching is a sustained
sensation of disappointment when,
all around us, the season is singing.


  1. JK – I suggest you join the local chapter of SA (Supercoaches Anonymous0.
    “God grant me the serenity to accept the players I cannot change; the courage to change the players I ought to change; and the wisdom to know the difference.”

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