It's not about slitting wrists - it's about setting expectations.
I don't believe that the top tier clubs would be pleased with missing the 8 after making a Grand Final - and yet our fanbase is happy to discuss mitigating factors, and look to next year.
Our club, itself, has addressed this season in a rather meek manner - blaming suspensions, and injuries, for our poor season, and claiming that a last-round win against Penrith is a glimpse into the future for this club.
Injuries, and suspensions, were not a factor in our abysmal 1-and-5 start.
Our inability to find consistency was mentioned in the email, but what is being done to address it?
For as long as I can remember, this team has had a soft underbelly - so much so, that even other people have commented on it (I'm looking at Phillip Gould).
Arthur has tried to address this by bringing in Beau Scott, Anthony Watmough, Kieran Foran, etc. to mixed results.
I'd wager we would be better finding an internal solution to these shortcomings, but do we have the next Clint Gutherson in our junior ranks? If we do, will be able to retain him? Time will tell.
I don't believe that this club has a killer instinct.
I believe we are run by people with some business savvy, but they are happy to simply tick certain KPI's (attendances, membership numbers, etc.), and do not have a genuine desire to see this club be the powerhouse it should be.
As I said earlier, I do believe we don't have the same advantages as El Pollo Loco, Penrith, etc., and that's fine - but the questions being asked should be:
(1) why not?; and
(2) what are we going to do, within our means, to be as competitive as possible?
We do seem to be slowly, slowly moving in the right direction, so credit to the club, and BA.
But dismissing season 2023 as, "Oh, well! Onto 2024!" to me just doesn't show any passion towards their results.
I don't want cartoonish levels of insanity, a la Textas Poster Boy - but I want someone to show some hunger to be the best.
I recall a story from 2003, where a Panthers player was asked what turned their season around.
They responded by telling a story of how in one game, they were down big at half time, and Joel Clinton delivered a speech to his peers, saying he was sick of losing all the time.
They knuckled down, and won the whole damn thing.
I want that. I want more people to follow in Gutho's footsteps.
I don't want a million-dollar halfback who runs the ball once every 5 games, and misses easy conversions - but has the odd 9 out of 10 game, and we happily accept it.
I don't want a prop forward, co-captaining the club, who thinks his job is to pass the ball every time he touches it.
I don't want a coach who thinks that the only gameplan there is is to bash it up the guts, and control possession (especially when we have shown we struggle big time controlling the ruck defensively).
I'm sorry for my ramblings.
I'll throw a better response together to this great post when I get on the PC.
But how embarrassing is it that not one of our players were up for any awards at the Dally Ms last night. They need to use that as motivation and want to be better individual then anyone else on that position in the league.
This is not just for men but women as well.