Making an Art of The Winning Streak

May 13, 2021 by
Filed under: NSW Demons, Our history, Our stories 

Nigel Dawe

The great Norm Smith, and ever-reigning coach of the Century, once snarled: “Winning isn’t everything, but it’s a bloody sight better than what comes next!” And, having stuck by our boys in the red and blue for the best part of the last four decades, I can vouch for Smithy’s comment, in a way that he couldn’t have remotely imagined when he said it at the time.

And so, without getting swept away by the first two absolutely fantastic ‘loss-less’ months of season ’21, and not to downplay or feign indifference to such a non-mean feat (because 8-in-a-row is sterling stuff) we have a long way to go; but what a trip we’ve been afforded thus far. One that’s starting to push our current crop of players into the realm of club record territory.

You’d have to have just come back from a trip to Mars to have not heard our best start to a season was back in 1956 – an ‘Olympic’ and truly halcyon year in which the Norm Smith-led, Barassi, Beckwith and Co gladiators notched wins in all of their first 13 matches, eventually going down to the Bulldogs in Round 14 by 13 points.

But one incredible ‘accompaniment’ to this statistical morsel, is the fact Melbourne also won the last six matches of season 1955, to create the most successful winning streak in the club’s history (19-games straight). The attached visual of ‘The Demon Comet’ and Beckwith with the ball-on-a-string appeared in The Age, 11 ‘supersonic’ games into that majestic season of 1956.

Having said that, the Cats of 1952-53 are the game’s true ‘astronauts’, albeit golden boys when it comes to stringing the W’s together in the win-loss column of ladder histrionics. This incredible dark blue-hooped bunch from Corio Bay fronted up for 23-games straight, without a loss. Next on the all-time list are those Bomber boys of 2000 (and how could we forget), but they amassed a mammoth 20-games straight from Round 1 through to Round 20 (dropping just that solitary outing for the entire year) – the most successful season of any side in the history of the game.

To paraphrase our more than canny current coach, Simon Goodwin, and his chief playmakers – Petracca and T-Mac from after the match last week: ‘To a person at the club, it’s about taking a 0-0 games won approach into each and every game – there is no next week or last week, winning streak or even Shit Creek, there is just an all-important right here and NOW, to be met, overcome and WON!’

Which is an approach and a convictional resolve that surely stirs not just the spirit, but the supreme example of Norm Smith to life, having once echoed: “Clubs must try to build a winning tradition, and develop to the highest degree a fierce pride in their team. If a club’s not a proud one, it has little chance of success.”

So, here’s to the pride required to rise, and prove to one’s self and the entire football world – that the team of the red and the blue have what it takes, to keep winning – one week at a time, for a long time to come.

winning streak


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