CARLTON’S next Friday night game will not be until 2020 – at the earliest.
The Blues have surely made that call for the AFL, losing 13 consecutive Friday night games by an average of 10 goals.
How could AFL fixture boss Travis Auld possibly reward that run with more primetime exposure next season?
Friday the 13th against St Kilda played out as the horror show many feared.
The washed-out grey jumper the Carlton players wore matched the mood of supporters, who are wondering where this is all going.
The Friday night freeze shapes as the easy decision. The hard decisions are the internal ones looming.
Football boss Andrew McKay will depart at the end of the season and you suspect he will not be alone. How could he be when the Blues have won just two out of their past 26 matches?
What is going wrong at the Blues? Is it the players they pick? A lack of development? Or have they gone too far with the list changes?
The Blues often preach that they have turned over 42 players in three seasons, when at the same time football director Chris Judd hails the importance of cohesion.
It makes you wonder why so many recycled players have been given lifelines at the Blues when some of their own offcuts, such as Billy Gowers (Western Bulldogs) and Nick Holman (Gold Coast), have kicked on elsewhere.
Carlton has picked up tried players Cam O’Shea, 26, Matt Shaw, 26, Aaron Mullett, 26, Andrew Phillips, 27 and Matthew Lobbe, 27 and you wonder where they can take this club.
And what to make of coach Brendon Bolton? After 60 games at the Blues his record is 14-46 – a winning percentage of 23.
Caretakers aside, Bolton’s record has dipped below Denis Pagan’s as the worst in Carlton history.
There are mitigating reasons. Bolton impressively won five consecutive games in his first season, but has sacrificed plenty of experience from that 2016 side.
The Blues lost Bryce Gibbs (Adelaide) and Sam Docherty (ACL) before this season and have run out without captain Marc Murphy in nine games.
Wayne Carey lashed Carlton’s skills against the Saints and in the third quarter the Blues tracked at 48 per cent by foot.
A depleted St Kilda outfit generated 38 shots on goal, its most in nearly two years. The Blues have now travelled 49 games without kicking 100 points.
They appear unlikely to end that streak against Hawthorn next week and if they can’t beat Gold Coast the following week the panic alarm will be raised.
Since the bye Carlton has lost winnable games against Fremantle (13th) at Etihad Stadium, Brisbane Lions (16th) and St Kilda (15th) by a combined 186 points.
Chief executive Cain Liddle has already ruled out asking for a priority pick.
“We’re really confident in the direction we’re headed,” Liddle said.
You wonder whether list manager Stephen Silvagni and his recruiting team share that outlook. It would be a surprise.
There is some sparkling young talent at the Blues. Patrick Cripps and Charlie Curnow are the rebuild pillars and in Paddy Dow, Zac Fisher, Lochie O’Brien and Harry McKay there is a decent nucleus.
But some of the support cast wouldn’t make a high school music, and that’s why it makes little sense for them to be screened on Broadway again next year.
Last night Kade Simpson and Dale Thomas, their two most seasoned players, were pinched for overstepping the goasquare with their kick-outs.
It summed up the night. There was no old, dark navy blue jumper.
But another dark night for the Blues in an era already crammed with them.