As the Western Bulldogs can attest to and are so often reminded of, one year does not make a champion, decade-defining team, no matter the magnitude of their success in that season.
This has become lost on vast expanses of the AFL media and amateur pundits alike, as the sycophantic and infatuated manner in which the Richmond Football Club are perceived and reported upon has become excessive to the point of comedy.
Look no further than the club’s coach, who himself has been elevated from an under-pressure stooge pleading for patience as he coached the most finals without a victory in AFL history, to the man who’s now universally greeted with a loving ‘Dimma’.
Hardwick has earned the all-important nickname status that coaches across the comp know is the ticket to increased job security – think Clarko and Bucks.
Hardwick so often praises the ‘Richmond way’ being implemented in wins by his foot-soldiers, who are truly ‘Richmond type’ players.
This propaganda campaign is too easily digested by the AFL media heavies.
One premiership doesn’t make your club synonymous with success.
The merits of Damien Hardwick’s coaching can’t be questioned. He meticulously transformed a laughing stock into a premiership threat for multiple seasons with star power on almost every line to match.
However, I plead for my own rapidly decreasing sanity that this completely subjective way of viewing the Tigers be abandoned.
The coach doesn’t so much hide behind this past success – he wears it like a suit of armour, with those in the press room seemingly blinded by its metallic sheen.
Of course, this article is plagued by the chip on my shoulder of being a minimised West Australian football fan, but the admiration for Dimma and his crew of merry men doesn’t feel earned when it’s compared to the level of success he has achieved.
Richmond play twice in four days this week, up against Melbourne on Anzac Day eve after disposing of the Sydney Swans on Saturday night.
And when the Tigers inevitably steamroll the team placed 17th on the ladder, you’ll be told it was done in inspirational ‘Richmondy’ fashion.