A feel-good story about the Crows: Fall down get up again

fairsuckofthesav Roar Rookie

By fairsuckofthesav, fairsuckofthesav is a Roar Rookie


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    ‘Fall down seven times get up eight times’, a Japanese proverb, was the theme of Don Pyke’s measured, calm and quietly inspiring speech at the Crows’ best and fairest awards, Friday past.

    Adelaide identified contested ball at the end of 2016 as a weakness, which they improved on with midfield leaders Matt Crouch and Rory Sloane leading the competition for disposals and tackles respectively in 2017.

    In this year’s grand final, they were ironically flattened by pressure on the ball carrier, which translates to work rate, energy and positioning.

    In short: effort.

    The vision for 2018 is clear, to rectify this issue; fall down but keep getting up. And why shouldn’t they achieve this? After all, Pyke was in the 1991 Eagles side that – while the best team all year – lost the grand final to a Melbourne-based team, then came back to win in 1992 and 1994.

    The Crows grand final loss stretches back over the 2017 season like a black cloud but shouldn’t erase the significant steps that individual players and the team took.

    Taylor ‘Tex’ Walker was voted the best captain for the second year running – some achievement in an 18-team competition – while Matt Crouch became an All Australian and took out the best and fairest.

    The team itself became better defensively, knocking an average of one goal off scores against, and maintaining its reputation for playing exhilarating, attacking football.

    Adelaide have been fair game for commentators following their loss in the decider, being accused of being variously ‘top heavy’, ‘not making changes’, and even ‘not turning up’. As a self-confessed Crows tragic, it was puzzling and disconcerting as that sinking feeling got deeper and deeper during the second and third quarter.

    Fans, coaches and players were at a loss to explain how the minor premiers could play so poorly, but then football history is littered with stories of the underdog simply playing better as a team on the day.

    The players were “never more ready” according to Josh Jenkins. The coaches made changes, but it is hard for those to take effect if you aren’t getting numbers to the ball – again, effort. Should a tall forward in Andy Otten have been dropped? Why would you change the winning team from the preliminary final when the team had smashed the Cats, previously a bogey side?

    At the end of the day, perhaps more recognition should be due just for making a grand final, given how many teams failed to do so this year. But as Pyke says, accept that and you won’t achieve anything.

    Club veteran Richard Douglas summed up Jake Lever’s departure succinctly: “It’s never easy when a player leaves.”

    The positive thing is that the Crows have lost important players before but significantly improved. Almost illogical but the proof is there with the recent departure of one of the game’s best in Patrick Dangerfield, yet the team went on to improve its midfield output.

    Adelaide will receive draft pick 10, at least, for Lever and possibly another high draft pick for homesick Charlie Cameron if they agree to trade the latter.

    They will have three picks in the first round which, if used wisely, will further improve the team. The Crows recruiting team, widely regarded as the best in the league, has a unique opportunity to take the list to another level with this draft.

    And, given their history, it is probable they will do that. So fall down, get up again and here comes Adelaide in 2018.

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    The Crowd Says (17)

    • October 11th 2017 @ 5:53am
      Slane said | October 11th 2017 @ 5:53am | ! Report

      Nice to read a story about the Crows that isn’t doom and gloom.

    • Roar Pro

      October 11th 2017 @ 6:04am
      Marty Gleason said | October 11th 2017 @ 6:04am | ! Report

      Good article.

      However, and I know I’m just parroting Caroline WIlson here: the ugly way Walker publicly bagged out Lever indicates he’s not the best captain around after all.

      • October 11th 2017 @ 11:52am
        Basil said | October 11th 2017 @ 11:52am | ! Report

        If this is your opinion then please never complain when players reply to questions with robotic-like cliches.

      • Roar Pro

        October 12th 2017 @ 1:03pm
        Zac Standish said | October 12th 2017 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

        He’s passionate about the club and doesn’t like to see players leave, not a bad trait to have…

    • Roar Guru

      October 11th 2017 @ 7:51am
      AdelaideDocker said | October 11th 2017 @ 7:51am | ! Report

      It’s a good article.

      For mine, though, any “feel good” story about the Crows over the past few years – one that I’ve been all in on – began to evaporate with their insipid grand final appereance, and is completely shattered with the chest-beating, standoffish and churlish way they’re handling Lever’s departure.

      Controversial opinion perhaps, but this club has been through so much lately that it’s odd to see them react so tepidly to something like Lever’s departure.

      • October 11th 2017 @ 9:39am
        Rex said | October 11th 2017 @ 9:39am | ! Report

        you do realise they have had 4 absolute guns already walk out – then when they invest so heavily in Lever, a player that 13 other clubs passed on 3 years ago, develop him into the player we see today, I can 100% understand the frustration from players and supporters alike regarding this one – particularly when the guy sprouted the day he was drafted about how thrilled he was to be drafted by the AFC and how he planned to repay that faith by being a 10 – 15 year player for the club.To me, Tex as captain can say what he likes to one of his players.
        And if you believe the club said he couldnt go to the Club Champs then you are easily influenced by rumour. Lever made the the decision to leave after 3 years and he also decided, on his own that he wouldnt attend the club champs!

        • Roar Guru

          October 11th 2017 @ 11:52am
          AdelaideDocker said | October 11th 2017 @ 11:52am | ! Report

          Never said I was a fan of Lever leaving, just that the Crows have reacted poorly.

          If they’re unhappy that he’s leaving, that’s definitely understandable. But they can’t make themselves look victimised – this is a business after all, no matter how we portray this sport.

      • October 11th 2017 @ 9:43am
        truetigerfan said | October 11th 2017 @ 9:43am | ! Report

        Spot on, AD. They handled the Phil Walsh tragedy with grace and class. Wouldn’t have begrudged them the premiership on that basis. Any thought of that is fast dissipating! Not a controversial opinion at all!

      • October 11th 2017 @ 3:24pm
        steve said | October 11th 2017 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

        I don’t actually think they have acted badly but there is definitely a Vic media campaign to make it look that way. You don’t complain if a Vic boy wants to come home but if it is the other way like the crap Scully coped moving to GWS that’s different.
        The Club never told Lever he couldn’t attend, it was his choice. And it has been reported talks a going well with Melbourne and will probably happen. They just want, God forbid! reasonable comensation. After all Melbourne are willing to pay him $800K+ so they think he has value.
        Tex’s reaction has been blown apart to mean something it isn’t. He doesn’t have the refined “Media filter” and he gets bagged every so often for it. He cab just see what Cats and Hawks did, you need to put team success before $$’s to make a great side, I feel plenty of the Crows boys have bought into this. He pointed out Jake didn’t, $$’s first before success. And the Vic media blew it up because we can’t have a non-vic club being successful.

        • October 11th 2017 @ 7:28pm
          Johnno said | October 11th 2017 @ 7:28pm | ! Report

          Agree totally…the reference to success I believe was that you don’t get success without sacrifice, and that includes $’s.

        • October 12th 2017 @ 8:59am
          Tristo said | October 12th 2017 @ 8:59am | ! Report

          Well said. Vic media has really enjoyed teeing off on the crows. The irony is, the media is condemning tex for being the type of personality they constantly decry as being extinct in modern footy.

          • October 12th 2017 @ 12:52pm
            fairsuckofthesav said | October 12th 2017 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

            Too true. Reminds me of the stoning scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian :

            ‘Stones sir? … should be a good one this afternoon, Local boy.’


    • October 11th 2017 @ 9:25am
      Craig Delaney said | October 11th 2017 @ 9:25am | ! Report

      We begin to see why Walsh chose Tex to be captain: he is so committed to the team, and maintaining the team of individual players, that we might even use the word ‘love’. This is a considerable emotional investment. We are talking a sense of family here, or even of ‘being in love’. Much is expected of the recipients of such feeling. The shadow side of strong attachment is the demand in it. When that demand is not met, it can bring up deep hurt and, defensively awaken anger. Most marriages need to go through this. Certainly those worth their salt do.

      We could say Tex, and so many of us fans, become too emotionally dependent on the game, and, most of all, our team and its brightest stars. Lever was to be the future, part of a bright future, even a future captain. We loved the mischief he created in defence. We loved the future he represented for us. Now we find we still have a future, but it will be without him. Gradually we are realising it will be without the idea that the things we want our stars to carry for us will necessarily be carried. That is the uncertain future to which the AFL seems to be going. The game was built on such deep feeling for our team and its players. I wonder where it is going?

      So, spare a thought for a disillusioned Tex. And Jake Lever has also been learning something, of that we can be sure.

      • October 11th 2017 @ 10:07am
        Rex said | October 11th 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

        Beautifully said Craig – these players today want all the perks of being professional athletes including nominating their club and salary almost immediately.
        If they want to be true professionals they play were they are told. If this was baseball the AFC would be doing the best deal is could possibly do for the CLUB and ship Lever off to wherever that was. Now Im sure Lever wouldnt have appreciated being told mid season that he had been sold to the Gold Coast for 3 years! And if he didnt agree to it well then get out of the industry.

        Cant believe a three year player can behave just like a free agent – what the point of free agency at all??

      • October 11th 2017 @ 10:51am
        fairsuckofthesav said | October 11th 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

        That’s a pretty good analysis Craig. Tex strikes me as a straight up sort of bloke that tells it as it is. What you are talking about here is indeed the emotional side of the game for players and fans alike. Funny how commentators complain about the banality of players views, but when one expresses how he feels there is a line-up from the same commentators to attack them for it.

        • October 11th 2017 @ 11:48am
          Craig Delaney said | October 11th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

          Good point fairsuckof the saveloy

    • October 11th 2017 @ 9:52pm
      Danny said | October 11th 2017 @ 9:52pm | ! Report

      Heavy criticism coming from Robbo is a bit rich. Robbo, the master of garbled and foot in mouth comments. We haven’t forgotten his recent outrageous comments about Fasolo’s depression. Tex is footballer and as others have pointed out, he is being judged as if he is a journalist. Perhaps when he referred to success it wasn’t the best choice of words but any one with a brain gets what he meant…loyalty v going for the $. Robbo has also said before he wishes players would express their true feelings. What a hypocrite.

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