After asking Jonathon Brown whether he’ll celebrate Brisbane’s Nab Cup victory last weekend he gladly said “I’m pretty old school, I’ll enjoy a beer. It’s been ten years since we’ve won some silverware”.
But I think the real question here is, how many beers is the pre-season tournament worth?
Some argue its nothing more than a glorified practice match, whilst others insist on its ability to predict the regular season ahead. So I set about the task on finding how historically accurate the pre-season cup is to the season proper – exactly how clear (or cloudy) is the nab cup’s crystal ball?
Now, what to make of it…
Firstly, I only took into account the winners of the pre-season cup. I couldn’t measure the other teams that performed well in the tournament. For example, West Coast reached the semi finals in the 2011 nab cup, and then jumped from wooden spooners to preliminary finalists in the same year.
As we are all aware, many teams simply don’t try very hard in the competition, and many of the squads named to play differ vastly in a couple weeks time. This can distort other team’s performances, and ultimately who wins the cup.
In particular, one element I noticed was that in recent years, it seems way more inconsistent as to who will win the preseason cup. Does this mean nowadays there is less importance placed on the tournament? Or has the league become more competitive in recent years, making it harder to predict the ladder at the end of the year?
Is the nab cup an indicator of a team’s offseason? Coaching changes, altered structures and rusty players can all have a distorted effect on their performance, and nothing is really set – or known – until the round 1.
To be honest, this assignment threw up more questions than it answered. The only thing I would be sure to rely on, is to not rely on anything the nab cup tells us! But then again who cares about the nab cup anyway?
Oh! And Browny, I would probably say 3 beers would just about do it…