Motivations to continue winning premierships | PUNT ROAD END | Richmond Tigers Forum
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Motivations to continue winning premierships


Tiger Champion
May 1, 2016
In 2050, somewhere by a grandfather's fireplace, a story is told...

Grandchild: I don't want to go to church this week. I want to stay home and watch Richmond win another match. When did Richmond git gud?

Old man: "git gud?"

Grandchild: Sorry Grandpa... "get good" - when did they become successful?

Old man: It all started in 2010. We were less successful than Fitzroy, a team that folded over a decade earlier, and due to our lack of success, we were everyone's favourite second team. That's when our Benny Gale, who recently stepped down as Prime Minister, publicly stated a shared vision within the club to win 3 premierships by 2020. Damien Hardwick took control, Dusty walked into the club, and Cotchin - father of the Brownlow Medalists in our women's team right now - was quietly learning how to lead the club into places it had never been before.

Grandchild: It says here they won the premiership in 2017! You were alive for that?

Old man: Yes, by 2017, the outcome happened to include a premiership... but they were still viewed as "lucky underdogs" at risk of missing finals the following year. In sport, people always want to think you're lucky---

Grandchild: Did they git gud then?

Old man: Why yes, grasshopper. The mighty Tigers went on to dominate in 2018, but then disaster struck. In 2019, the greatest defender in history went down with a knee injury in Round 1... but despite the loss of talent, the boys went on to accomplish the most one-sided Grand Final win in the sport's history. This was back in the days where nobody knew about the diseases we know about today, so we'd be walking around like we're living on a farm---

Grandchild: Yeah, yeah, I know, I read it online. Everything is online. The pandemic was in 2020.

Old man: Well, yes they won their 3rd premiership inside a Queensland hub that year. Beat Geelong. I think that was Dusty's 3rd Norm Smith... yeah, that was the 3rd one. But the bloody AFL changed the rules on a yearly basis, and Gil wasn't locked up yet, so we were still the only club playing with a genuine connection in those days. We won Grand Finals interstate, at night, as the great underdogs and as the dominant favourites. Done it all. Got those 3 flags by 2020 like Benny said.

Grandchild: So why did they keep winning?

Old man: What do you mean?

Grandchild: What's the point? It's just a sport. Everyone else wants to win it too. Didn't they already prove they're the greatest team of all?

Old man: Not quite, they hadn't achieved any of the following goals:

- In all of Richmond history, they've never won a threepeat.
- In modern AFL history, they're behind Brisbane of 01-03 and Hawthorn of 13-15.
- In all of AFL/VFL history, they haven't beaten an advantaged Melbourne of the 1950's to become the undisputed best ever.

Yes, sport is meaningless, and yeah, you're just kicking animal skin down a field between sticks. But that's where Richmond was different. They were special. They discovered something meaningful behind what they're doing that influences all of us today.

Grandchild: What's that?

Old man: Look it up online.

Grandchild: Hey! What is it?

Old man: You said everything is online. Look it up online.

Grandchild: ...

Old man: See. Okay then. There's this thing called the Richmond Man. It gave meaning to the people at the club. To this day, only Richmond people understand its connecting force. Whatever it is, it's more than just a sport. The other teams were winning games of football for egotistical reasons or financial reasons. They just wanted to be the best at kicking animal skin around, while Richmond wanted to be the best people they could be. That was when the sport was filled with clubs who cheated for free kicks, complained about losing, whinged about umpires, complained about every rule, Collingwood had systemic racism, several others cheated the salary cap, Essendon cheated the ASADA rules by pumping their players full of experimental drugs, most were led under conceitedness and poor sportsmanship, and did I mention the sport was rife with cheating to win free kicks? This was back when Geelong people had power at the top. It was before Benny Gale stepped in to save the comp.

Grandchild: So Richmond people are better than everyone else?

Old man: No. Richmond people are as equally flawed as anyone else, but the difference is their pursuit to become better people, together.

Grandchild: So that's why we go to the MCG every week for the pre-match church service?

Old man: Correct. That's why we have to go to the match service every week. It's where your mother and I get our values from. If you stop going, you'll end up in Geelong".

Grandchild: "...I'll be good!"


What are some other motivations behind Richmond's efforts to continue winning premierships in the coming years? What else would this hypothetical old man be talking about in the future?
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