“Be careful the wind doesn’t change whilst you are making that face!” my mother used to say when I was being silly. Sometimes, when you are not doing what is right and best, and against your nature, it can suddenly stick.
Most of the time, we try and change for the better as people. We try to change our behaviours and habits, but it takes a while for it to become a permanent change. You have to keep thinking about it, and practicing, until it becomes an innate skill.
When you do something that is not in your long term best interests, it can sometimes inadvertently become a new behaviour.
Melbourne Football Club is a case in point… Never before has a team consistently and continuously appeared to play consistently contrary to the natural objectives of a footy team – to win. To sacrifice all in the name of winning is the game. The disgraceful way they, best case, did not do everything possible to win games in 2009 is continuing to haunt the club still, three years later.
Brock McLean claimed to leave the club because of it. Tom Scully, #1 draft pick has already deserted the club for GWS. The Coach lost his job.
Be careful when you do not care about losing games – it becomes a habit. Winning behaviours become forgotten. With their list, they should be winning more games, but are just not able to remember how. A losing culture seems, from the outside, to have taken hold. I believe that Melbourne are still trying to find a way to win footy games again – but it is tough when the whole club seems to have created an atmosphere where losing was a good thing.
A couple of priority draft picks are simply not worth it. Even when the Saints were at their most recent worst, under Tim Watson (what were we thinking with that appointment?) the player were still desperately trying to win every game. How do I know? I recall a game back in 2000 where the Saints lost yet another game after being in front for most of the day. Max Hudhgton actually started crying he was so frustrated. Whilst he sprayed water on his face, you could still see the poor guy was gutted. That is how you are supposed to feel about losing…
That culture of doing everything to win lead to the Saints having a crack in 2004 / 2005. Even though we only won 4 out of 32 games at one stage in the early 2000s, the Saints never simply planned to lose.
I believe Melbourne has embedded a culture of losing simply by not trying to win at all costs for a period of time. It is a long way back from here.