Android app on Google Play

recent posts

Like Sharksworld?

We'd love a contribution towards the running costs...
How much do you like Sharksworld?
Message to the webmaster

recent comments

Currie Cup Log

Team Points
Premier Division
Xerox Golden Lions 10 10 48
Vodacom Blue Bulls 10 8 39
DHL Western Province 10 7 35
Toyota Free State Cheetahs 10 3 24
Cell C Sharks 10 4 22
Steval Pumas 10 3 17
Eastern Province Kings 10 2 12
ORC Griquas 10 1 8
Full log




© 2008-2012 Sharksworld.

Originally based on a design by Upstart Blogger.

Sport Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory My Zimbio

Error: Unable to create directory wp-content/uploads/2020/09. Is its parent directory writable by the server?

Smit to keep on fighting ’til the end

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 8 May 2015 at 12:40
Tagged with : , , , ,

Forgive me for waxing somewhat lyrical this afternoon, but Queen really did write some very good songs and one of their seminal works, “We are the champions”, probably deserves better than to be nothing more than a cliched anthem played by sports teams minutes after winning a trophy.

The context here, of course, is the state of the Sharks and the John Smit open letter from earlier this week, one that has been met with a rather mixed response from the public. The Sharks, needless to say, are not champions right now and no letter in the world is going to move them from their current log position to challenging for any trophy whatsoever. Smit’s letter, I feel, was intended to let the fans know that while he’s not going to be able to wave a magic wand and make the last 12 weeks of misery somehow disappear, he at least “gets it” and has a plan ensure success in time.

“And bad mistakes ? I’ve made a few. I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face but I’ve come through,” croons Freddie Mercury in the song, his way of pointing out that success and winning aren’t things that happen overnight and that there pretty much universally have to be bad times and doubts along the way. It’s a cliche indeed, but making a mistake and learning from it can often be an absolutely crucial; what’s important is the humility to recognise and admit your own mistakes and to make sure you learn those lessons.

“Have there been mistakes made? Absolutely, but with every lesson, the firm resolution that the lessons learnt or being learnt will make us stronger going forward,” is Smit’s way of saying essentially the same thing. In another part of the letter, he provides some additional colour to this, saying “at no stage will we be the leadership that hangs individuals out to dry.” This point is interesting, because it tells us that while Smit is fully aware of the current issues and criticisms leveled at the team, he is not prepared to air them all in public and start slating individuals. As their employer, he has a legal obligation not to do so; as a human being, it’s a stance that I admire hugely because it shows his integrity.

2015 was always going to be a tricky year for the Sharks, with an ageing squad comprising a high number of players whose minds may just already be at the World Cup. Add to that a rather woeful financial situation that left very little wiggle room for Smit and his management team and a few “false starts” in terms of coaching appointments and you can really understand how, in a competition where the margins are small, a little bit of uncertainty can lead to a lot of bad results. Is Smit personally to blame for some of this? Sure – I think he admits that he got a couple of calls wrong and perhaps backed the wrong person in a few cases. Is he to blame for all of it? I’d say certainly not.

The important question for me is “is he going to fix it”? I believe that he will and that he’s working to do so in as short a time frame as he can, given all the constraints he has, many of which he is not at liberty to share openly. This is a complex problem and it is going to take plenty of time and hard work to figure out. As fans, we have a right to be frustrated and a right to question the things with which we don’t agree. At some point, though, we need to lose the “angry-mob-with-pitchfork” mentality and rather just be supporters of the team, trusting and hoping in a better future.

Mercury reckons that even once you’ve become the champion, you need to “keep on fighting”. Maybe it’s the very fact that you keep fighting that makes you a champion? John Smit’s letter shows that, at the very least, he’s not done fighting – and that, I think, bodes very well for the Sharks.


Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.