The Swans achieved the rare feat of being both popular and successful in 2012, but does the recruitment of Kurt Tippett put their status as everybody's second favourite team at risk?

The 'Bloods' culture built under Paul Roos and carried on by John Longmire has always given prime consideration on team over individual and that has yielded not only a league-wide appreciation of their culture but more importantly two premierships in 2005 and 2012.

Sure, the Swans have had their individual personalities over that period, including Nick Davis and Barry Hall, who were legends of that drought-breaking 2005 flag, but their longevity at the club was compromised by their approach to the game.

Both Davis and Hall left the club less than happy with their lot after Roos made it clear in no uncertain terms that it was 'his way or the highway'.

Longmire is a slightly different personality than Roos but in his discussions with Tippett, who left Adelaide in a terrible mess, he would have made in clear that the power forward needs to fit into the team-first ethos.

He is 'persona non grata' in the City of Churches after the debacle surrounding his contract which left the Crows light of pocket, draft picks and a couple of key staff, while Tippett got what he wanted, a free transfer, albeit for the price of an 11-week suspension.

Doubtless there were faults on both sides, but Tippett's comments after the AFL's verdict was handed down certainly wouldn't have cooled the tempers of Adelaide fans.

Round 13, 2013 will mark Tippett's return, coincidentally at AAMI Stadium, his home for his 104-game AFL career to date. But it won't be against Adelaide but rather Port Adelaide.

Normally you'd expect less than 20,000 at a Port home game on a Saturday afternoon, but there might be a few Crows fans who justifiably feel it is worth the price of admission to yell and scream at Tippett.

The question is whether the AFL community at large feels the same way about a man who so blatantly put his own interests above the team.

The question of whether the acquisition of Tippett tarnishes the Swans' brand will only be resolved in time.

It's a very strong brand at the moment having secured a surprise premiership success by pitting itself as a champion team against a team of champions.

Longmire will back the reformative power of the group to mould Tippett into the Bloods' culture.

While the Davis and Hall situations are examples of where ultimately that approach didn't work, the relative success of Peter Everitt's two years at the Swans in 2007 and 2008 are a case for the success of the inclusive team model.

Tippett has nowhere near the form that Everitt had for disrupting team harmony. While his reputation is sullied, he has so far made one mistake.

Longmire must have every confidence that this is the last time someone accuses the 25-year-old of putting his own interests ahead of the group.


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