How do you really know the moment when a team’s hiccup becomes a slump, which then becomes a crisis, which quickly enough means, in terms of an AFL season, game over?
If you’re on the outside and, to coin a favourite club cliché of the modern era, not “within the four walls” of a senior AFL playing list, there are important bits of the puzzle to which you can never be privy.
In reality, like opponents, fans and media, all you really have are the results. And the ramifications even of those black-and-white numbers can be overplayed by a fourth estate ravenous to be able to say: “We tipped this!”
Dire predictions these days don’t necessarily even have to be predicated on a string of losses. By the same token, to downplay poor form is to…