With the benefit of the motorcycle's mirrors, some of the panic in this thread has been allayed by two wins in a row and an improving ruckman and midfield. I still really enjoy thinking about the wider cultural issues it raises.
As a middle aged 'don I cannot give up the joy of beating Carlton or winning on Anzac Day, or the boast of 16 flags. What was this stuff for if not to enjoy? Would you rather the Ross Lyon approach of enjoying nothing but a premiership? Because that can be a lot of misery.
We have not had the quick fix approach of Carlton or the previous savagery of Richmond eating its own. People ask what we stand for and I would have thought we are strong on developing our own, player dynasties and a calm kind of power- suaviter in modo. The risk here is only to look within, and Worsfold is an antidote to that just as Sheedy was. Xav is similarly considering an outsider for the board.
So I would not hide the cups in a spare room next to the witches' hats. I would not worry about our supporters being more cool-headed than some of the frothing panic merchants wearing other colours. But we can tweak these things. Why not have some prizes for best banner etc around the ground at home games (after the TV raffle of course)? Why not have a prominent empty plinth for the next cup beside the other 16?
17 years is a long wait, though perfectly average in an 18 team competition. I don't want to be perfectly average. Four years of the 17 were stolen from us, partly because the AFL knows how resilient we are compared to other fragile, highly strung outfits. In summary, let's keep looking without for staff and within for the playing group. We cannot be broken but we have more records to break.