October 4, 2018 in Dag

A proud history of glorious failure

Today I’m going to post about a topic I don’t usually write a lot about – Australian Rules Football, or to put it into the Aussie vernacular, footy.

I’m not a massive fan of the footy these days, though there was a time when I would go pretty much every week. Too much life got in the way since then, though I do still follow the ups and downs, particularly for my team – Collingwood – the mighty Magpies.

As the football season drew to a close last week, the ‘pies managed to defy all expectations and make the Grand Final (the footy equivalent of the Superbowl or FA Cup) again. And they managed to lose it again, this time to the West Coast Eagles from Perth. The margin – a measly 5 points. And that after leading pretty much all game and then seeing the Eagles kick the winning goal with barely a minute to play.

For those who don’t know much about footy (which I assume is most people reading this blog), you have to understand that Collingwood have a proud history of making the Grand Final and then losing it, often in highly unusual ways. In the 24 hours after the game finished, I was pretty cut up. But now I’m starting to feel better about it – and to find a way to see it as something other than a wholly negative outcome.

To me, the Collingwood Football Club is a proud example of a value I hold dear – the value of glorious failure. Glorious failure is something important to me. It’s about attempting the impossible and never giving up, even if the odds seem stacked against you.

Nobody thought Collingwood would get near the Grand Final this year, but not only did they fight their way in but they damn near won the thing. Player for player, the Eagles were bigger and stronger but that didn’t stop the Collingwood boys giving their all. That’s a value I want to take on for everything I do. For every story I write, I want to have a go at biting off more than I can chew, and then seeing where I get to. It might not be where I planned to end up, but hopefully it will land me somewhere interesting.

And interesting is definitely something you can say about all of Collingwood’s Grand Final defeats. The final goal kicked by the Eagles was after a highly dubious umpiring decision that should have gone Collingwood’s way. So now we can add Rioli’s shepherd to the long list of factors that have robbed us of Premierships, from Harmes’s boundary line slap to Barassi’s handball edict, and not forgetting Rocca’s point that was really a goal.

So three cheers for glorious failure. Because with every failure, you bring yourself closer to achieving success – and yes for anyone interested, there have been times when Collingwood have managed to break their hoodoo and actually win a Grand Final. Hopefully the next one won’t be too far away.

I’ll finish up by saying that, even though there’s zero chance they’ll read this, I want to wish a hearty congratulations to Bucks and Pendles and all the other ‘pie boys. You did great.


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