Learning through Football

ZAA111

MELBOURNE – We love you!

For those who have not been playing along at home, the weekend just gone we packed up the family and jumped on a steel bird for a weekend in the big smoke.
It’s the great Tasmanian holiday. “We’re going away for a weekend”. “Oh yeah, where are youHawkins going? East Coast, West Coast, North West Coast or Melbourne?” “Couple of games of footy in Melbourne, mate.”

We caught two games, one at Etihad Stadium where Toby Greene booted Luke Dahlhaus in the face and one at the Cattery where Geelong recorded its best win of the year in front of a sell-out crowd against Richmond. 50/50 on the results we were looking for as a family.

We also took in the Queen Victoria Markets, Southern Cross DFO, caught up with Heather Braid who met the kids for the first time, shared breakfast with former Cricket Tasmania alumni Scott McNaughton and James Galloway and had a great feed at the Mail Exchange Hotel which I will touch on later.

From a Uni perspective, my classmates went and watched the Poos and Wees against Ninth Melbourne at York Park. Obviously, I couldn’t make it but took the opportunity to scout out Kardinia Park to see what similarities I could find and fulfil the homework I was given that my mates were completing in Launceston.

My classmates were looking at the role of the hierarchy at the home club over the course of the game and what the President, Secretary and Treasurer are likely to be doing. I’ll work that into another blog when the Big Bash League starts and will grill some CT staff members on their role in putting an event together.
I checked out a couple of things that make the game go well and contribute to the experience of the fans at AFL matches and found a couple of stark differences between Etihad Stadium and Kardinia Park.
The most glaringly obvious was the vibe of the ground. Etihad Stadium is an engineering and practical masterpiece with its retractable roof, the way the seats are laid out and the easy access to toilets, canteen and bar facilities. It’s big, bloody big and can hold a huge crowd. We were part of 30,000 odd people who watch the Doggies get rolled. What Etihad Stadium lacked is what Kardinia Park had in spades.

Atmosphere and a soul.

Of the 30,000 people, 75 percent or more were barracking for the Bulldogs and it was easy to identify this, particularly when Greene went anywhere near the ball or the umpire disagreed with the great unwashed when he blew his whistle. (note, there is a PhD thesis in this observation).

Geelong had a similar vibe but being a smaller stadium it was amplified. The atmosphere was electric for the whole match. Well, at least until there was a spit of rain and the Cats were up by three goals with five minutes to go and the Richmond supports showed that they were made of sugar and were worried about dissolving before they reach the train at South Geelong Station.

In terms of having a soul, I could look no further than the food and beverage option that were available. Just behind the Gary Ablett Terrance, where we were sitting, were any number of options to quench your thirst and feed your worms. One particular outlet took my fancy. It was the small, fully enclosed trailer occupied by the Geelong Rotary Club who were selling pies. This seemed like such a throwback to the glory days of footy orKardinia even a country game. Cash only and operated by a handful of volunteers making money to fund worthwhile causes around the second biggest city in the state. There would no doubt be some sort of fee paid to either the club or AFL for being able to sell pies there but, unlike Etihad Stadium, you were served your food by somebody who was there to make sure you had a great experience.
This sort of experience helped to create a family friendly atmosphere where we felt comfortable, able to enjoy the footy and overall have a great day.

That atmosphere flowed on to my family. Snuffo (nine) felt comfortable enough to want to go to the toilet by himself. Something he didn’t feel at Etihad Stadium and something that Sarah and I felt comfortable with at Geelong but not at Docklands. The kids went down to the fence to high five the players after the match and it was just like going to the Sheffield Rec to watch the Robins take on Wesley Vale in terms of what we were comfortable letting the kids do.

Congratulations to the Geelong Footy Club for not bowing to pressure to move this game to the Melbourne Cricket Ground.  A home game is a home game and, despite what the Richmond fans were saying during the day, this game being played at Geelong gave it so much more being a full house as opposed to 60,000 at the MCG.

Now, I mentioned the Mail Exchange Hotel. This is not a paid plug but I needed to put it out there that we had a great experience there. We had decided on getting Indian or Chinese for tea but walking past this pub we saw a couple of empty tables and felt that a decent feed with a heap of vegies was just the tonic.
We were served a ripping feed, the kids had a decent dish too which topped off a great day at the footy and almost book ended our trip.

Using observation techniques discussed at Uni, the kids and I kept our eyes and ears peeled for any observation we could make. The kids have highlighted some of their observations in this video they created. https://youtu.be/BUZvwYNCoo0

My observations using the idea of what each sense pick up were.

Sight: The banner at Geelong which had a swipe at the AFL and Richmond wanting to play the game at the MCG.

Smell: The food and flowers at the Queen Victoria Markets. I’m not sure if it was a deliberate ploy to have them as the first thing you walk past off the tram but it made the markets seem very real and a great experience.

Taste: The beef ragout at the Mail Exchange Hotel. As some guy in an Akubra said about some song one day, “do yourself a favour”.Mail Exchange

Hearing: So much to hear. The fire evacuation alarm at the apartment we were staying at right through to the persistent booing of Greene at the Doggies game but my favourite line came as the Richmond fans, beaten, were scrambling for cover. A Geelong supporter started singing a goodbye song which one Richmond fan took exception to saying “you’ve got a gap in your teeth and it’s not good.” Yep, that was all this bloke had.

Touch: This was hard but after being a Geelong fan since before Grandma and Grandad moved off the farm in 1996, I finally brought a guernsey. It fitted like a glove and heightened my experience as is served as a conversation starter for any Geelong fan who we walked past or bumped into at the pub.

So, that’s it.

There are many more tales to tell but this is an idea of what went on, what we learned and the experiences we shared.

Is Education the Answer?

As with most questions, there is not necessarily a simple answer. It’s not a simple question like “what is the capital of Tasmania?” We all know the answer to that is T.

I recently went through a job interview process for a higher role and missed out. While initially extremely disappointed, the opportunity presented itself to learn from the experience.
Feedback I received was about my interview technique and my expectations of the role. I presented well but when asked certain questions I did not demonstrate an ability to explain well enough how I would turn my positive attitude into actions, both in terms of operational and strategic actions.

My idea of the role may have also have been different to what the company was looking for. I will say I saw what the person in the role had achieved and believed that I could do the job well with a couple of changes to make the role my own. The company was looking for something different.

So, what does this have to do with education? Well, by staying in my current role and with the blessing of my employer I can continue my university studies and help develop into a candidate that may be considered for another job is and when the opportunity arises.

Term three has started and I’m excited for the subjects. One is Business Finance and the other is Sport and Recreation Admin.

The workload looks pretty big for this term but as with the last couple it’s a case of getting in and getting it done. The chance to learn from all aspect so life.

Education is key, and education can be found in so many different areas. It could be through formal education like school, Uni or courses run by registered training organisation like a fork lift truck licence. It could be upskilling courses through work or it could be in your day to day dOtto Mannealings with the public.
What can you learn from your bus driver? A child may learn about giving money and receiving change. A teenager could learn how much it costs to get from Lauderdale to the City. A middle-aged person could learn a new route for getting from Glenorchy to Kingston. An older person might learn that the regular driver is a Geelong supporter who has two grand kids attending Bowen Road Primary.

Without education, how can we hope to progress in life?

What is education and how do we know we have been educated or educated something else?

This is a very open ended question. There are dictionary definitions but, having rarely thought about it before, I believe that education is the sharing of knowledge.

Just last night we had a tutorial for the Sport and Rec Admin course. This was as a very small group of two of us and the lecturer. It was a great opportunity to learn about different point of view. We discussed the public sphere which is the information shared between an authority (state, governing body etc.) and the public (members, general public etc.). We also shared war stories of great sporting scandals including the Rebel cricket tour of South Africa and the South East Melbourne Magic throwing a play-off game so the players to be paid. I learned about corporate mismanagement in this case and our lecturer learned about the poisoning scandal at the 1995 Rugby World Cup where the All Blacks were poisoned before the final which South Africa won which lead to one of the great sporting moments of Nelson Mandela handing the William Webb Ellis Cup to Springbok Captain Francois Pienaar.

This song by American country artist Eric Church perfectly illustrates my point of learning from any avenue.

https://open.spotify.com/track/5DGU6zCvgHeKzHgU6QkMZk

To answer the initial question, the sharing of information is key to education and as I progress into term three of Uni and a bumper cricket season, the challenge is to continue to be educated from all avenues and not miss an opportunity to learn.

 

School Holiday Fun at RHH

How did you spend your school holidays?

Fishing, camping, bushwalking, videos, eating ice cream, playing with your mates or just sleeping in til lunch time?

Some of my fondest and most treasured memories of school holidays were the weeks I would spend with Grandma and Grandad on the family farm at Myalla, west of Wynyard.
Grandma would buy me an ice cream to eat each day, rent some videos and cook a sponge cake while Grandad would take me wood cutting, up to the diary and, and these were the best days, take me fishing.Camping

There was also a great chance to hang out with cousins you only see every few months when holidays were on or at Christmas.

So, when we are in between terms for Uni, how do I spend these “holidays”?

It’s school holiday time and Sarah brought the kids in to have lunch with me which was great. Just because it’s holidays from Uni, work doesn’t have the same breaks <insert snipe remark about school teachers here>.

I have been using the time to really get ahead at work so that when Uni starts again I am ready to rock and roll and nail both down.

The only issue I have is that any thoughts I have about getting into the garden or going to Horseshoe Falls at Mt Field National Park have been shot in the leg…the knee to be precise.

A few weeks ago, a good mate of mine suggested that I get a little bit fitter and have fun playing a team sport. Yep, sounds about right.

“You can lose a bit of weight,” he said.
“You can meet new people,” he added.
“You will be fitter,” he concluded.

So, I did, as you do.

I went along to the back blocks of Brighton to play a trial game with the DOSA Football Club. My only stipulation was that I would only play round ball if I was allowed to use my hands. I thought my time as a hockey keeper would come in handy (see the pun I did there).

Started off like a Ferrari with a flat tyre as the first couple of goals fizzed past be at the back post and suddenly I realised something I’ve rarely felt. I might not be so good at this.

We got about half an hour in and I found my two left feet a bit but then came the moment that would ruin my school holidays. No fishing, no footy, no bloody anything.

I ran out to collect a through ball which had as striker running onto it. We crashed like Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez in Melbourne in 2016. https://youtu.be/x45fLUTHCuk I was Alonso.

After six weeks of hobbling around like a half shut pocket knife I finally went to the doctor who shipped me off for an MRI scan. I went back in and he told me I hard partially torn my anterior cruciate ligament, have an insufficiency fBob 2racture on my tibial plateau and torn meniscus. Yep, well played Billy Bustalot.
I didn’t quite go the full Bob Murphy but it seems I went close. Mum always said “you’re allowed to go close.”

Referred to a butcher, I was expecting to be on the public list for the next 12 months. Here’s a trap for new players. If you have private health and comeagutsa, report to the doc ASAP or they won’t cover you. I waited and was told that I should have been in to see the doc within 72 hours.
I was told that there was no waiting so my little Thursday morning was thrown into a spin when he said I would be under the knife on Monday!

My frequent flyer miles with the Tasmanian Health system will get a good boost. I mean, this will be knee op number three to add to a hip (same injury as Lleyton Hewitt except I dDr Nickidn’t bust it winning Wimbledon), tear duct (as a baby) and an appendix which was, in the doctor’s words, “agitated”.

My school holidays are in tatters. All those jobs that I wasn’t looking forward to doing and procrastinating over will now just have to wait. Bu as Toby Keith sang, “wouldn’t change the course of fate, if mowing the grass just had to wait.”

It looks like I’ll be working from home, waited on hand and foot by my eight, six and two year olds minions and driving Sarah up the wall. Perfect chance to brush up on the new Laws of Cricket, finalise some recruitment material and save myself $4 a day on coffee.

Maybe my holidays won’t be so bad after all.

Work Integrated Learning and Teamwork

Quarter time and a chance to get a few words from the coach.

Unfortunately, I am the coach so the word will come from me.

There are a couple of key learnings from this term which I plan to touch on here.

I’m now officially a quarter of the way through the UTAS Associate degree in Applied Business, specialising in Sport, Recreation and Leisure.

It’s been full on. Some people think I’m mad for trying to juggle a family, full time job and full time University studies and, to a degree (like the pun?), I guess I am.

There are so many topics within the course that I could cover here, some have already been blogged about, but on aspect I think is a great selling point to this course is the work integrated learning.

Through both term one and term two I have been lucky enough to be able to use real world experience and on the job tasks as assessment pieces and case studies for the course. For example, I devised an umpire recruitment plan for work, it just happened that an assessment task for term two was to create a campaign. This assessment task brought a really good mark, just a pity it was only worth 30% of the overall mark and not the 50% overall mark!

I think it is a strength of the course that work experience can be used. It makes the course a lot more accessible and lightens the workload.

It’s not just work, some students in the course have been using there experience as volunteers at several clubs around the state displaying an understanding of the topics and benefitting their respective clubs by taking part in the course.

Then there is the team work aspect.

WGruffshen I played hockey, cricket, footy and even rugby the team was key. Anything for my team mates but since my last game as part of a hockey club when I blew my hip up I’ve been on individual pursuits.

Umpiring cricket is very individualistic and, in a lot of cases, a very selfish pursuit. We talk about on field team work and how we work as part of a collective but 90% of what is learned and taken into a game is done individually. There are situations where umpires come together but I wonder how much of the team ethos is really being displayed. In my experience, hockey team mates would take you to the hospital if you needed it, drive your car home, help you move house or just drop by for a stubby after work. Cricket team mates will lend you a bat, come to your wedding and, again, have a stubby with you after a game.

I haven’t seen much of this in seven years in the umpiring world.

I wouldn’t know the wives of more than half of the umpires, if they have kids, where they work or what sort of music they like. Umpiring is such an individual pursuit but we are told to bring our families along for the ride on the pathway, wherever that may lead us. But we seem so reluctant to this. We keep business and pleasure separate. We work out alone, we run alone, we study the Laws of Cricket alone and we often suffer in silence when things don’t go well. We certainly don’t celebrateUnpacked Bag our success as a group. If nothing else we sit back and wonder why it isn’t us going to carnivals, umpiring at the MCG or even progressing from third grade into the twos.

If we as umpires really are a team, why don’t we act like one? The few social gatherings I have been to that haven’t been sanctioned events by a governing body have been great. Cards Against Humanity, BBQ, bring the kids, couple of stubbies and away we go.

Back to what I learned about teamwork. It’s been a while (as Staind once sang https://youtu.be/araU0fZj6oQ). I have always thought I worked well as a team player but learned in a big hurry that, like most things in life, teamwork is a case of use it or lose it. I struggled initially working with my cohorts due to not wanting to be the one not contributing and then feeling like I was taking the whole thing over. I relearned to listen to my partners and bounce ideas off each other. It was a great test of my skills, which I think I passed.

So, it’s a couple of weeks off and then into the units “Business Finance” and “Sports Administration”.

Looking forward to starting the second quarter and, with any luck, learning as much about myself as I am the units.

Rock Star Treatment

Taken from case study for the UTAS Associate Degree in Applied Business (Intro to Sport Recreation, and Leisure ZAA108)

Sit down, think back. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Was is a policeman, fireman, soldier, rock star, actor or sportsman?

I wanted to be a batsman for Australia, bashing the Poms all around Lords on my way to a chanceless ton.

I wanted to be just like David Boon. A proud Tasmanian representing my country on the biggest stage. I’d possess a flawless cut shot, rock solid defence and would be a close in fielder taking one handed catches to give blonde spin bowlers a hat-trick.

So, who did you want to emulate? Was is your father who was a policeman, your mum who was a lawyer, your uncle the plumber or a celebrity like Kurt Cobain or Mick Jagger or a famous actor, maybe one from the golden age of cinema, like Vivien Leigh or Errol Flynn.Vivien Leigh

With that in mind, who are the “rock star” umpires in any sport people would like to emulate and be just like, even pursue a pathway follow?

Here’s a challenge, can you name five of the members of the International Cricket Council Elite Umpire Panel? How about test rugby referees, five AFL umpires or one test hockey umpire?

Keep guessing…

This is exactly the problem.

As a cricket administrator, I have a role to play in terms of recruiting umpires. I’d wager that 10 years ago, using elite umpires as role models would have been a lot easier because this group were well known, respected and you could easily say to a new umpire, “who is your favourite umpire?”

I recently surveyed a random group of sports fans who came back with the finding that legendary 74 test English umpire Harold “Dickie” Bird was the most recognisable umpires, past or present, living or dead.
Others in the top five were Darrell Hair (Aus, 78 tests), Steve Bucknor (WI, 128 tests), Brent “Billy” Bowden (NZ, 84 tests) and Simon Taufel (Aus, 74 tests).

We can easily identify what these guys have in common in terms of umpiring but what they all had that isn’t measurable was appeal.

The average punter and mug umpire in the country could relate to Bird and Bucknor and their laid-back approach, Hair and Taufel for their decision making and knowledge of the game and Bowden for his, well…Bowdenness.

The point I’m trying to make is, at the moment, the most recognisable current Elite Panel umpire is former Australian fast bowler Paul Reiffel.

As celebrities get bigger and bigger and more people try to keep up with the Kardashians (that name is actually in my MSWord dictionary, says it all), is it time for a “rock star” umpire?

Not someone who will completely break the mould but if you look at the five umpires mentioned, they all had their own personality and people, whether it’s liked or not, will gravitate to the charismatic, funny or eccentric and pay attention to them.

Much like sport in general where players toe the line of the club they play for and not let too much of their personality shine. Is this why there are more tattoos on AFL players now as they feel like they have no other outlet for their personality. Has this contributed to Western Bulldogs power forward Travis Cloke and Collingwood forward Alex Fasolo having mental health issues?

Is the homogenising of sport and pop culture causing less people to want to emulate their heroes because nobody knows about their heroes or do we see more people wanting to be like Jagger, Willie Nelson, Miley Cyrus and Rhianna because of the stories surrounding them?

I think it’s time to lift the veil on our heroes, tell their story and get people once again gravitating to the big, positive personalities, maybe we will find the 84-test umpire with a crooked finger.

Have your say on this. Comment, like and share this post if you think it was worth the read, I’d love to hear from you.

 

MAN THAT WAS COLD!

WOW!

I don’t know where to start. Ummm, I’ll break it down and go from the beginning with some logistics and factual events before diving in, pardon the pun, to the emotional side of the Dark Mofo Winter Solstice Nude Swim.

So, logistics. More than 1,000 people gathered at Long Beach in Hobart’s Sandy Bay and were presented with towels and red cap for the event before huddling around the seven or eight fire pots, chatting to random people and getting to know some of the like-minded who have decided to bare all in the name of whatever reason they had. I’ll come back to this interaction later (1 below).

About 15 minutes out, the Royal Surf Lifesaving snoozer got up and shouted all the instructions for the swim, these included telling us how many (25) lifeguards were on duty, and that is was time to “get changed”.

This process was interesting as people went to changing rooms to maintain their modesty which I thought was well Irish. Some, like me, got changed on the footpath and wrapped up in a towel before heading back to the fire pot for one last dose of heat that would hopefully carry me through… it didn’t. Others were happy to just wander around, bits akimbo, getting ready for the dip. It was about this point where I felt like I was the only person I knew in the postcode. Sure, I had spoken to some strangers and then, suddenly, I got a hug from a big naked man. It was nice to see Jimmy, brother to my best mate Jono, after a fair while and, surprisingly, it made me feel even more comfortable about what I was going to do. Not so much that I’d cast my towel off and had a sausage sizzle on the fire pot before I went in, but more at ease that this place wasn’t just filled with freaks and weirdos.

Have you ever read The Great Dog Bottom Swap by Peter Bently and Mei Matsouka? I imagine the scenes at Long Beach were very similar was the dogs in the book checked their dates into the cloak room, much like the people at the beach check their modestly at the registration table.bottom

The call came to go to the beach. Full of trepidation I headed toward the sand, following Jimmy who, despite being a first timer like me, looked like he knew what he was on about. Nervously I chatted to a group of ladies behind me, five midwives from Launceston, who were doing this for the first time. Then we heard the thumping of a big bass drum being belted by a Buddhist monk. Slowly at first then faster and faster, making my heart race as is reached a crescendo which was like a drumroll and a flare was lit and, as F1 Commentator David Croft says, “lights out and away we go!”

The initial fears of being nude were swept away instantly as everyone charged toward the bloody cold water. I didn’t stop running until the water was up past my belly button and the I realised it was colder that I could imagine. But I figured I’d come this far so in for a penny, in for a pound and I waded out to my shoulders before shivering like buggery and deciding that was enough.

Back on land it was strange again. People standing around in the altogether around fire pots drying off while other sought the sanctuary of the change facilities.

1 (from above) I promised to talk about the emotional side and human element of the swim. I spoke to about 20 people over the course of the morning and learned that there were people from all walks of life, big, small, large dong, old, young and a pretty even split of males and females. Everyone was in it for their own reason. I was there to take part in some deviant leisure, break the shackles a bit and do something completely new. Other were saying things like “If you don’t do something crazy in your life you haven’t had much of a life” and “I was going to do it last year but I had a new girlfriend (this guy must have been 55!) and thought it was inappropriate. This year she said I was crazy and should go for it”.

The midwives were a great bunch of friends who thought it would be a laugh and others have been coming back each year since it started.

Emotionally, it was not what I expected. I was anticipating a “giddy little thrill” but what I got was a slap in the face with a big wave of empowerment, freedom, excitement and coldness (physical cold, not emotional).Thrill

As the drum beat got faster and faster I felt my heart rate go through the roof and this was only exacerbated by the frigid water but the increased heart rate released endorphins that carried me deeper and deeper into the bay and closer to reaching a point where I had sustained all I could physically. Emotionally though, I wanted to stay in the water longer. I waded back to being about waist deep in the water and stood for a minute soaking in the surrounds of naked bodies, cold water and a beautiful sunrise over Hobart’s Eastern Shore. For a moment in time I was as close to nature as I’ve physically been able to be in my right mind. It was such an adrenaline rush that sits high on my list of most exciting things ever, behind the big things like babies being born, getting married etc. and in the realms of pushing your motorcycles to the limit and nailing every corner on my favourite bit of road or scoring 100 (yes, I have done that…once) or tucking into the best oysters I’ve ever had.

I guess you have worked out by now that, yes, I would and plan to do it all again next year. This time with a little experience under my belt which will help me manage my towel. When the flare goes off everyone drops their towel and I had no idea which plain white towel was mine so ended up grabbing the closest one I could find. Maybe I’ll be like Jimmy and parade in the buff leaving my towel with my jacket, thus not getting sand on it either. On the subject of modesty, I couldn’t help but think in the sea slug from Beached Az so here he is https://youtu.be/0-8h3gk5VDw

Wrapping up, a dip in 12-degree water in the middle of winter in Hobart might not seem like everyone’s cup of tea, but knowing you can have a cuppa to warm up after, I would encourage anybody I know to give it a crack (pun intended).

Leading by example

Taken from course material of the UTAS Associate Degree in Applied Business (Supervising Diverse Teams ZAA102)

Leadership

Some display great leadership, US President Abraham Lincoln, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Buddhist cleric the Dalai Lama come instantly to mind.

These are example of great leaders. Others include dictators like German Adolf Hitler, North Korean Eternal leader Kim Il-Sun and Cuba’s Fidel Castro.

Now before you jump down my neck about calling Hitler a great leader, have a look at his ability to take a notion and put it into play. Yes, his notions and thoughts were that of a complete lunatic but he was able to lead a country to war based on his thoughts.

What I would like to do, as I like to do, is head into the sporting world and give you two examples of leadership that were discussed as a recent uni workshop.

The first is the embodied leader. This is the type of leader I would aspire to be

The embodied leader sets a bench mark for all to aspire to. He leads by example and is in it for the greater good.

The best example I can think of is Joel Selwood, captain of the Geelong Football Club.

Selwood epitomises the ethos of the Geelong Football Club but what I like most about this embodied leader is how he demonstrates what he expects of his troops.Selwood

Selwood holds the all-time AFL record for most free kicks for high contact. To use a line from Nick “The Honey Badger” Cummins, “he sticks his head into problems” more than any player in the AFL.
Recently there has been talk that he is the most courageous in the AFL since former North Melbourne hard nut Glenn Archer, if not the most courageous ever.
Being a dyed in the wool Geelong fan, I believe he is the most courageous I’ve seen and could be the first player to win a Victoria Cross for playing football, obviously after Teddy Sheean is awarded one for his valour during WWII.

The other type of leader is a little harder to personify but when I do I think you will get what I mean.

The Spiritual Leader is the one who might not be the captain, the coach, the soldier with the most kills or even the best at his craft but leads his troops the only way he knows how.

Think of the Western Bulldogs in the AFL last year. Easton Wood captained the side in the absence of regular captain Robert Murphy (or Bob as I will refer to him from now on) who missed the lion’s share of the season with a knee injury.

Come grand final day, Wood led the Bulldogs onto the field to take on the Sydney Swans as captain, no doubt a proud moment for him, but the spiritual leader of the Bulldogs was not kitted out in his playing gear.

Bob could be seen boundary side and in the coach’s box talking strategy and being an integral part of the day despite not being able to participate himself.

The true measure of Bob as a spiritual leader came when Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge presented him with a premiership medallion and allowed him to raise the cup with Wood (see picture).

Is there something about the makeup of the Western Bulldogs that lends itself to spiritual leaders? Looking back over their history the likes of EJ Whitten, Doug Hawkins and Tony Liberatore were all spiritual leaders, some would argue that Whitten is the spiritual leader of Victorian Football if not AFL football some 22 years after his death from prostate cancer in 1995.

Of course, there is always an exception to every rule. As much as Bob was the great spiritual leader, the Kim family in North Korea are a great example of what is wrong with following a doctrine after a leader has passed away.Kim

Kim Il-sung was the supreme communist leader of North Korea from 1972-1994 and is still regarded as the “Eternal Leader” of the country and his teachings were closely followed by his son Kim Jong-il (the Dear Leader) and grandson, the current president of North Korea, Kim Jong-un.
The dictatorial country is led by communists who are as delusional as they are powerful.

And then there is Trump….

 

If you enjoyed this blog or have any comments you would like to make, hit me up. I’d love to read them and get your feedback.