Well we haven’t done well in the past (poor record in finals)In the aftermath of the weekend's game I've been wondering what scars it might leave moving forward. The title of this thread is of course a dual one. We were beaten on the scoreboard and took a physical beating as well.
The Demons capitulation to West Coast last year appears to have had a profound impact on that group. Their fall from grace has been astounding, although I'm sure there were other factors such as injuries etc. Still, it made me wonder how badly our young team's confidence has been damaged moving forward.
While Melbourne were put to the sword on the scoreboard in the most devastating way, the Dogs were physically bullied and the score was almost secondary, a result that flowed on from GWS rubbing our faces into the dirt, literally and figuratively. While I feel that we have a right to be very angry about the lack of protection that our ball winners received from the umpires (rubber-stamped by the tribunal), what's done is done.
Where to then from here? Does the current group simply 'move on' or are there going to be some longer lasting scars? We are essentially a team of ball-players and have been so since after the days of Terry Wallace as coach and the 'them or us' pack mentality that came about under his tuition.
We are a young team (the youngest side fielded in round 23) who failed to make a stand on the big stage. Not just a stand on the scoreboard. We failed to stand up for each other. I'm not saying that we should have engaged in similar tactics, but at some stage you need to look a bully in the eye and say enough is enough.
We didn't do that. We stuck to our game plan, stuck to the script of the disciplined ball-winners while our opposition rained elbow after elbow down on our necks and heads after each tackle. We were bullied and didn't fight back.
I wonder how you move on from here. Is there going to be a sense of shame or doubt that we carry with us for the next few years? Does a victim always remain one?