In his solemn post-match press conference on Thursday night, John Longmire paid a glowing tribute to the late, great John Kennedy senior. He described him as ‘the ultimate person’, and a man of ‘family, faith and footy.’
After a loss like Thursday night you quickly realise just how important family and faith are in the footy world.
Sam Naismith will need his footy family around him to help get through another hurdle in what has already been an awful two year stretch marred by injury and personal tragedy.
When asked what he would say to Naismith…the coach said there was nothing you could say in such circumstances. He continued that sometimes you just need to be there, sitting with them. He added that Naismith would need time to digest it all. It was a sentiment that spoke more to family than it did footy.
During the night, players wore dual black armbands in tribute to Kennedy senior, and to Naismith’s sister. There was a tribute prior to the bounce for the former. It was beautiful, family stuff, all given a footy touch.
At its best, footy is a family.
And every now and then, you need to show to some faith.
With Naismith out of action, we need faith in Callum Sinclair and Hayden McLean to carry the ruck load for the remainder of the season. They can and will.
We need to believe that our rising young group can find the consistency desired by us all. Were we a stock, the smart guys would be buying us, but the fluctuations are like Poseidon.
We have faith that the group will respond to their poor showing against the Bulldogs in a milestone game for Josh Kennedy and dig in for his co-captain Luke Parker’s 200th on Saturday.
We will need faith that we are resilient enough to cope in the face of all the challenges this bizarre 2020 season keeps producing; like a fluid fixture that at one moment suggests you are home on a Sunday, to instead be sending you on a Saturday arvo mission to the Gold Coast – to play a team from Perth.
This Sunday, of course, was meant to be the day that the Swans family were welcomed back to the SCG. Around 10,000 people gathering at an appropriate social distance and reminding Victorians of what they can only dream off. While those plans are shelved for now, our time will come. If 2020 is teaching us anything, it’s that you just need to have a little faith.