The twenty year old canoeist

Finally it’s been explained to me. By a twenty year old canoeist.

Friday night’s game against West Coast was an insipid display from the Navy Blues. We didn’t do much wrong, we simply did nothing. The only saving grace was having the sound up and listening to Channel Seven’s expert panel of idiots completely miss the mark bullshitting on about who got the better trade between Visy and West Coast…. It took a stat handed to Duck before they caught on, just how dominant West Coast’s second quarter was. One inside fifty from Carlton. Their insufferable babble was a momentary buffer betwixt me and the left over easter eggs my children had unwittingly left on the table. Come three quarter time the sound was down and every egg was gone.

Carlton are not as poor as Friday night’s result would lead us to believe. I’m not saying we’re premiership material, but we simply cannot be as diminished as six of eight quarters in 2015 would suggest. What can the players do about it? What can Mick do? How quickly can it be done? Just what incriminating photos of ABC management does Mark ‘Robbo’ Maclure hold to be given a voice in football? Must I remind all Carlton people we face Essendon next week? Whatever is to be done must be achieved prior to playing James Hird’s men, I’ve got some great lines and I will not be silenced. Screw process, I want results. 

Indulge me momentarily, even suspend belief if you must, Carlton are a fair to middling side capable of beating anyone except, Hawthorn and Sydney on our day. Go with me; training this week should be suspended at Princes Park. Team meetings must be cancelled. Footballs should be collected and thrown back into bin liners. Each player on Carlton’s list must instead be directed to The Saturday Paper where Richard Cooke conducts a Q&A with kayaking world champion Jessica Fox whom humbly imparts her knowledge on the importance of the ‘mental aspect of sport’.

It’s not poetry, we’ve heard it before, in fact I’ve previously queried the logic here on these pages – a champion’s ability to simply overcome….But here upon the back page of a burgeoning left-wing start-up (very un-Carlton-like to have even purchased the publication) I’m struck like an oar to the head by the lack of hyperbole. The distinct stench of testosterone fuelled rhetoric isn’t present and the everyday ordinariness of her statement is allowed to permeate. I know right away I can go back to my shitty week at work, hopeful once more my beloved Blues can overcome a poor start to the season and take this proud club back to where it really should be – the middle of the ladder.

Fox states, from lived experience out on the rapids of the Bourg-Saint-Maurice  ‘I could feel really sad (JR – I do), wake up feeling terrible (JR – I did), really sluggish and slow and slack (JR – all the time!), and Ive go to race at the Olympics (JR – preach it si…actually you’ve lost me there)… Ive got to know that I can switch it around even though I don’t feel great physically’ 

This next sentence from Fox needs to be set apart. ‘My mind can make me feel better and I can just do what I have to do and deliver’ 

Lord almighty! Im in the zone. Go back and read it once more Murph!

I know for a fact Carlton teams practice the antithesis of Fox’s words. At Carlton, if it feels good do it. If it feels good – kick eight goals in the last quarter at Alberton and pinch an old foe’s finals spot – do it! If it feels good – knock off Richmond in an elimination final when you haven’t quite earned your spot – do it!! We are a team that waits for the stars to align, rather than align them.

For God’s sake Marc – lay down your football and pick up The Saturday Paper or you may just need one of Jessica Fox’s paddles and I guarantee it will not be for use upon the grand rapids of the Bourg-Saint-Maurice.


  1. Totally agree we are mentally weak.

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