IF the Melbourne Football Club was a racehorse you’d be loading the double barrel Winchester and calling for the green tarpaulin.
It has been a decade of mediocrity and the messiah in Paul Roos has done as much for the Demons as Vegemite did for Cadbury Dairy Milk.
Remarkably it was only just 2006 where the Dees finished seventh at the end of the season and better still defeated St Kilda in an Elimination Final before Fremantle culled their campaign a week later.
Since 2007 their best seasons have been 2010 and 2011 where they managed a blistering eight wins both years. Assuming they don’t win another game this year, and unless they’re playing the Washington Generals their chances are indeed grim, that will be nine years where they will average less than five wins a year with and average percentage under 75.
Melbourne is getting away with community service for a double murder/treason charge whereas it seems like poor, bloody Fitzroy in comparison got sentenced to the guillotine for being double parked at Coles.
The club song clearly states we must keep our eye on the red and the blue but one doubts it was intended in lieu with the train crash theory, “you don’t want to stare but you just can’t look away”.
What does this club stand for? Is there any sign of getting out from the self-inflicted abyss they find themselves in? Who actually really cares?
The Melbourne Football Club, and this actually true, is not just the oldest club in the AFL but the oldest professional football club anywhere in the world in any code. Yet on recent history they have been as relevant and as interesting as a Krispy Kreme sales rep at a Diabetics convention.
And despite this deep-seeded tradition and long-standing history they can barely muster a membership base in the mid-30,000s. Meanwhile, North Melbourne, the battling shinboners from up King St, a club so on its knees it took a former Sheffield Shield middle order batsmen to save them from relocating to the Gold Coast, has more members than Melbourne.
If North, a club who won two flags with the best player of the modern era leading them, a club who then capitalised on their success by becoming a nomadic group of gypsies playing home games all over the country, now have more paid up members than them then the Dees must be as friendless right now as Bill Cosby.
But this is all supposed to have been solved. Wretched torment and million point losses to Geelong down and all would be fixed because the saviour, the inventor of both the wheel and sliced bread Paul Roos would lift this great and noble club out of the cellar and back into, well, relevancy for a start.
Garry Lyon, esteemed former captain and powerful Melbourne identity, many years ago described his former club as “insipid”. Despite all the change and heartache and soul-searching and change and reform and change guess what word he is still using to describe his beloved Dees in August of 2015?
Exciting? Encouraging? Finals-beckoning?
No, you’re quite wrong, he is still going with “insipid”.
What’s even more head-scratching is that this is a club who should be building off the fruits, the supple and morish fruits the tree of sustained failure has to give.
They were so successful of tanking that even City Hall had to sanction them, even though no-one publicly said as much. They have been afforded prime draft pick selections for such a lengthy period of time now.
Yet the talent of their list still resembles the talent of a Red Faces segment.
The most glorious example of this ineptness is Jack Watts. Private school boy, private school boy good looks, he was the centre half forward de jour in his draft year and oh my were the ski fields shaking in their boots with the threat of subsequent Melbourne success as a result?
Its arguable the revenue for chair lifts and snowboard hire has probably improved with the career of Watts, such has been the disappointment.
And no visual more fitting than Jack, with all his Brighton Grammar swagger, kicking out after North Melbourne kicked a behind in their match earlier this month.
Not only did he not get within five miles of a teammate he kicked it straight to North’s Robin Nahas, who was manning the mark, who then saluted with a little hand candy and then six big ones.
Well played Jack, well played.
Roos coached Sydney to back-to-back Grand Finals in 2005 and 2006, a most wonderful and meritorious achievement. The man has his own distinct style, granted, but one must also concede he definitely can coach.
Yet even question marks are being thrown the way of the former Lions and Swans champ, can he actually do the job anymore, is his style outdated, is he indeed worth the league-high salary?
But can even a great coach do anything with the rabble that is Melbourne? Could Ricky Martin or the Madden Brothers do any better if they were to have been coaching Meatloaf back in 2011? Probably not. Shit talent is just shit talent.
The place is just bereft of anything that could help make them any good, or at least get off the canvas. They appear as confident in their abilities as a white man in a 100m sprint, they show the promise and potential as the Australian motor industry whilst maintaining no greater popularity than Rolf Harris at a kids party.
So what do we do with them? If they folded overnight would anyone notice? Probably, there’d be a bye in the fixture all of a sudden and one would probably notice, most likely the team that gets the week off, they would definitely notice.
But if they folded would we really care? And maybe folding is too harsh but what’s the alternative? Melbourne have been so bad for a decade it’s become culturally imbedded and without some sort of fluke or office fire, you seriously cannot see it changing.
Lift your game Melbourne, it’s very, very embarrassing.