Essendon fans who continue to support James Hird (seen on Social Media through the #StandbyHird) are doing their club a disservice. Worse than that they’re so far in that they can’t get out.
We know Essendon have done some immoral things. We’re fairly sure they’ve done some illegal things. Once WADA have finished with them the club will be a shadow of the powerhouse it was at the start of the last decade.
So why do fans continue to #StandbyHird ? I don’t know. I don’t know an Essendon fan who still wants him involved with the club. I don’t know why the board think he is the right man for the job and most importantly I don’t know why it’s so obvious that he is not a talented coach.
Hird was a wonderful player and that is probably why he still has a job . As far as the eye can see it appears to be the reason he has the support of a select group of Essendon fans. He was god on the field, he’s god off it (apparently) and they’re following him like sheep – killing their club in the process.
The refusal of fans to move on from the Hird era gives the club validation over the way the treat him. When fans tell clubs they are doing something right there is no reason for them to change. An executive at a big four franchise recently told me “if four out of five people like something, it stays”. The odds of four out of five fans wanting Hird in a job are astronomically low, but those with the weirdest thoughts often make the loudest noise.
Brisbane fans got sick of Michael Voss (a man who without argument had as big an impact at his club as Hird did at Essendon), so why are some fans clinging to Hird like he is the last sign of life on a deserted island? They want to be proven right.
The opportunity to stand up when this ends and say “I never lost faith in James, he’s guided us through the storm and everything is perfect” is too good to pass up. Newsflash – Even if he does survive to the end of the tunnel Essendon are not okay. They’re not going to be okay for a long time. Why support someone who decided long ago that his personal interests were more important than the history of a once proud club? Are those fans scared they’re going to be judged for changing their tune at a time when their club needs them more than ever? The longer you #StandbyHird , the worse you are making things for the club. You can’t move forward when you’re stuck in the past.
Still not convinced? Hird said the players stopped playing against St. Kilda (something which was obvious to everyone), on a day when they should have been celebrating a milestone achievement for a bloke who has put up with more than his share of rubbish this decade. If the players aren’t playing for him then what are you telling yourself as you go to sleep at night that makes you think he’s still the messiah?