Jack Watts has been the whipping boy for Melbourne fans and the general football public for almost 7 years now. The talented 196cm forward...mid...defender ahhh.. footballer has frustrated fans with his perceived lack of effort and laconic appearance. Is this treatment fair? Does he deserve this crown of proverbial S**T? Or should the football community and press give Jack a break?
Jack Watts dropped 2 marks on the weekend (one resulting directly in a goal) and has been beaten by the press more than Tina Turner in the days following. This prompted ex-cocaine addicts like Wayne Carey to come to his defence. It was disappointing to see Watts drop those marks. I can admit that at the time I cursed him and reached for my cat of 9 tails that has been worn in on Watts over the years.
I do feel for Jacky boy though. His dropped marks took the spotlight in a game that had many mistakes from an array of different players. Bernie Vince played an outstanding role on Dangerfield, however he kicked the ball 50 metres in the wrong direction, Jeff Garlett kicked 2.4 for the game and is 0.5 from set shots for the season, Jesse Hogan missed a goal directly in front an amputee could kick. What do all these acts have in common? They are singular skill errors that players didn’t let define their overall games. Jack didn’t have his best game, but his 2 dropped marks didn’t lose Melbourne the 4 points either. Why are we talking about them? There are definitely more pertinent things for the MFC to concentrate on. Goal kicking for example.
The beautiful thing about our game is that you get to try again a week later with a clean slate. Jack Watts, more than most would know to shut out the external noise and immerse himself in this week’s challenge. After all, last year against the Tigers Watts had a day out with 19 touches, 11 marks and 3 goals. He will be gunning for a repeat performance.
Watts is going to excite, disappoint, frustrate and exhilarate Melbourne fans in the years to come. The press will continue to outline his woes and coaches will be forever explaining there are another 21 players on the team to talk about.
For now though, it would be nice if every so often we holstered the Watts whip.