When anyone looks at a person that is famous for their abilities in their chosen field – heroes - those we look up to as someone to emulate, admire, respect, that becomes pivotal not only in their field but how the rest of society view that person and what they represent. This week marks the recognition of one such sporting hero who achieves a milestone that very few have attained – playing 300 games for one club and playing 300 games for one sport.
Kade Simpson, Simmo, epitomizes all that is great and should be great for all sportspeople to aspire to. He is humble, respectful, and plays with a passion every time he dons a Carlton guernsey. He is quiet and goes about his role at the club with the confident fortitude of someone who understands not only the game, but the needs of the club are greater than his. Watching him on Fox’s On the Couch, he was asked that in past three years, there has been a resurgence of his playing ability that is the mark of someone who is at the start of his career, not heading towards the end (not that I think it should end). He replied that this is due to one man, Brendon Bolton. It was Bolts who said to him that he is not going to determine how long he will stay at the club, it is his, Simmo’s decision and that it is his and his alone that determines whether he stays or not. For Simmo, that gave him a confidence in his abilities to become a leader in the team when it needed it the most, both on and off the field.
He is a player that every new player, every young player, no matter if they are at Carlton or not, should endeavor to emulate and aspire to. He started his career at footy slowly and through his sheer ability to never give up, he has become the player he is today. His innate knowledge of where the ball is and where he needs to be is reminiscent of a group of legendary players that he now becomes a part of. His longevity at one club, yes just one club, and his passion for that club and the pride he feels when putting on that guernsey, is something that is missing in this day and age of free agency.
He is a proud and dedicated player for a club he loves – the Carlton FC and he has stood the test of time when every person at the club was in a position of having their abilities tested. Win, lose or draw, Simmo knew that he would never desert a ship that was sinking but to become part of structures that would make that ship rise up. He should be the player that footy fans admire and respect. He should be the player who young kids should admire and respect, no matter who they support. More than that, he should be the player that other players follow.
I admire those people who despite adversity never let go in the belief of their ability to rise up and to keep rising up, but do so with a quiet demeanor that shows respect to where you started and where you end up. Simmo deserves every accolade and then some because he is that one player who doesn’t need the glory, the self-indulgence of accolades nor the arrogance of being Kade Simpson. He is Simmo, the quiet little bundle of dynamite that believes in the club, in every facet, of what is achievable, and he will be that quiet little bundle of dynamite that will do everything in his power to attain this.
So, congratulations Kade Simpson, it is most deserved and enjoy the week. You are a legend of the game and of the Carlton FC.
P.S. If the technology was available – clone him.