Why ‘good Mitch’ far outweighs ‘bad Mitch’
MITCH Robinson is an uncut diamond.
But not for a minute do I wish Brisbane would polish his rough edges.
The 30-year-old was on the scrapheap when his time came to an end at Carlton. The only options he had were a rookie list contract at Richmond or to head to Brisbane.
He is now indispensable and a real heartbeat of the club. It must be frustrating at times for Chris Fagan, especially when he gives away his routine 50m penalty or two on game day.
However, what may seem on the surface to be a slightly contradictory personality adds to his value to the club - both on and off the field.
I was thrilled to receive a text message after the game on Sunday from a friend and business associate in Sydney who is also a huge Lions fan.
When I saw his name ping on to my screen, I expected a message about the excitement of the game and what a great result it was.
However, it was a photo of a girl holding footy boots.
He went on to explain that Robinson had heard the little pocket of Lions fans at Giants Stadium cheering loudly for them during the game and had made his way over to them after the siren.
All the players acknowledged the supporters, but he and Harris Andrews lingered far longer, signing autographs and posing for photos.
Robinson went one step further and signed his boots and gave them away.
No one reading this about Andrews would be surprised. It is another reason he has been earmarked as the club's next captain.
But some may not realise just how passionate Robinson is about the club and the great effort he makes to give every fan a bit of his time.
That is "good Mitch", and I reckon it far outweighs what some might call "bad Mitch".
He had a few troubles as a young man that may have created a perception that is inaccurate.
He was expelled from school for fighting but since then has shown an aptitude for educating himself.
He has a real estate licence, small business certificate and will soon do a list management course.
Carlton sacked him for lying about an eye injury. When the truth came out, it turned out he had been punched while trying to protect teammate Jeff Garlett.
From afar, when you see the tattoos and the on-the-edge way he plays, he would have been the last player I thought would be either interested in doing anything in the media or be any good at it.
But he's both. He has studied sports journalism, does a podcast that is entertaining, and journalists I've spoken to says he is always a delight to talk to.
On the field, his rough edges are exactly what Brisbane need.
Sure the penalties aren't ideal but it is a fine line all aggressive players tread.
The way he plays keeps opposition players on their toes.
It is far better to have a player who brings that intimidation naturally than to try to manufacture it on a needs basis.
You could give him any job or ask him to shut down any player in the competition and know he would die trying.