When trapped aboard a sinking ship, optimism is the province of those whose swimming abilities are beyond question.
Yet, Hawthorn Hawk star Jack Gunston was not only positive in his remarks that the Hawks are not in rebuild-mode, he was somewhere beyond vehement.
The Hawks have only won three games through the first nine rounds of the 2017 Toyota AFL Premiership competition, but Gunston’s stance is one of looking on the sunny side.
“You look at the ladder and we’re just two games out of the eight,” said Gunston.
He does have on his side the reality of the 2017 season where parity is the order of the day. Traditionally weak sides have pulled upsets on the powerhouse sides, or made games so close as to make tipping the line near impossible.
The argument against Gunston is that this is the Hawks we are talking about, not some pretender side with no history to back it.
When you win three consecutive premierships and seem a bona fide side to win a fourth, as the Hawks were in 2016, to lose four straight to start the season, including 86-point disasters against not only the Geelong Cats, but the 15th rung Gold Coast Suns as well, does not lend itself to chatter about the possibility of the finals.
True, Hawthorn has mounted a comeback of sorts, winning three of their last five, but inconsistency has plagued them, as evidenced by blowout losses to the Saint Kilda Saints and an inability to secure a win over the Collingwood Magpies.
The road ahead for the Hawks appears anything but smooth, as two of their next three games are against some traditionally formidable sides, although the round 10 game with the Sydney Swans, another of the avian-themed sides, is anyone’s guess.
Looming the week following is a visit from the Port Adelaide Power, holders of the best percentage in the entire competition.