Question about Aussie Rules Football fanbases - Xtratime Community
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old August 30th, 2002, 06:29 Thread Starter
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Question about Aussie Rules Football fanbases

As an American I get an Aussie Rules game of the week and highlight show on FSW. I enjoy watching the sport but know little about the teams histories and fanbases.

A couple things have stuck me. The first is that 9 of the teams are in Victoria, and of the 8 play in Melbourne (if I understand correctly). Do these teams represent different parts of the city or different suburbs. How does a Melbourne fan decide who to support? It seems as if there are plethora of teams to choose from. Is it idvided along similar partisan lines like the 12 football teams in London?

And for the other two cities that have two teams (Perth and Adelaide) are they also divided along geographical/partisan lines as to who one roots for?

Lastly in Brisbane and Sydney is AFL just a niche sport? It seems both teams attract good crowds, but those are both big Super 12 and NRL towns (Sydney especially with seemingly atleast half of the NRL clubs or more playing within its meto area).

I would like to know more about these facets of the AFL.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old August 30th, 2002, 06:56
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The reason why there are so many Victorian teams (Collingwood, Carlton, Melbourne, St. Kilda, Richmond, Essendon, Western Bulldogs, Kangaroos, Hawthorn & Geelong) is because the Australian Football League (AFL) was originally the Victorian Football League (VFL) and became the AFL in 1990.

The 'interstate' sides joined as follows:

* In 1982 South Melbourne relocated up to Sydney to become the Swans.

* In 1987 Brisbane (Queensland) and West Coast (Western Australia) joined.

* In 1991 Adelaide (South Australia) joined.

* In 1995 Fremantle (Western Australia) joined.

* At the end of 1996 Fitzroy (Victoria) merged with Brisbane to become the Brisbane Lions.

* In 1997 Port Adelaide (South Australia) joined.

Regarding the supporter bases of each team, it varies and has anecdotally been regarded as 'tribal' just like in soccer. In Victoria kids can grow up supporting the team their father did but another kid might grow supporting another team for another reason. Rarely is support for a team in suburban Victoria geographical.

The support of the interstate teams is more clear-cut. For instance, in South Australia you're a Crows fan or a Power fan depending on prior allegiences (Port Adelaide was an evolution of a successful league side in the South Australian League).

Regarding support in Brisbane and Sydney, Aussie Rules is still behind Rugby Union and Rugby League in terms of media coverage and popularity but funnily enough the Lions and Swans seem to get higher crowds than 3 or 4 Rugby League games combined.

I hope this gives you a bit of info - some of the other guys on here will be able to extend on what I've said

"They picked on the wrong man - and the wrong country. It was like pouring petrol onto a fire as far as I was concerned.

There's an old saying that the dog that barks loudest never bites. They did a lot of barking but we bit them pretty hard. Uruguay's attitude just showed how scared they were of us - it was their last resort."


- Vincenzo Grella, Parma & Australia.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old August 30th, 2002, 08:03 Thread Starter
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That was helpful thanks. BTW... is Geelong the only Victorian side that does not play in the greater Melbourne area? Also what of the AFL in Northern Australia and Tasmania. Are those provinces too small to sucessfully support AFL clubs?

Last edited by Shah; August 30th, 2002 at 16:13.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old August 30th, 2002, 08:14
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Yes Geelong (a city an hour west of Melbourne) is the only Vic side outside of Melb.

Yes, Tasmania and the Northern Territory as well as the Australian Capital Territory are too small to support AFL teams although all three states/territories have a rich tradition and history in Aussie Rules.

As you'd know the Kangaroos have been playing some 'home' games at Manuka Oval in the ACT the last few years to try to expand their supporter base and Hawthorn have been doing the same at York Park in Tasmania.

The Northern Territory have been seeking to enter a team into the South Australian League (SANFL) of late but logistics and costs are looking like ending that idea.

Just as a matter of interest, some of the leagues superstars come from Tas., NT & ACT:

TAS - Matthew Richardson (Richmond)
NT - Andrew McLeod (Adelaide), Nathan Buckley (Collingwood)
ACT - James Hird (Essendon)

Cheers

"They picked on the wrong man - and the wrong country. It was like pouring petrol onto a fire as far as I was concerned.

There's an old saying that the dog that barks loudest never bites. They did a lot of barking but we bit them pretty hard. Uruguay's attitude just showed how scared they were of us - it was their last resort."


- Vincenzo Grella, Parma & Australia.

Last edited by dyertribe; August 30th, 2002 at 08:17.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old August 30th, 2002, 14:37
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Shah ..just one thing about Aussie Rules........


Just start singing

FREO WAY TO GO
HIT EM REAL HARD
SEND EM DOWN BELOW
FREO WAY TO GO
WE ARE THE FREO DOCKERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!


& Thats Right

Were The Rollers Were the Rockers
Were the Mighty Freo Dockers
We'll Roll Them & We'll Rock them
& We'll sent them to the Botttom
& If they get up we'll do it again


FREO Way To go !!!!!

The love of the Fremantle Dockers

Forca Fremantle !!!

Forca Chucky Norrish

" We are descended from a nation of great warriors & we are capable of recovering and returning to play" - Jaime Pacheco 11-9-01.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old August 30th, 2002, 16:51
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bah dont take any notice of that redneck from out west


DT covered the Victorian scenario pretty well, but he erred on one point. some Victorian teams especially Collingwood, Carlton, Richmond, Hawthorn, Western Bulldogs, and of course Geelong, are very heavily backed by the majority of ppl living in those suburbs, Richmond which is a short step to the MCG and city comes alive friday or saturday night if the tiges win, the squillions of local pubs make their dough I can tell you ..... Although now in contemporary society where Real Estate is BOOMING ppl are buying and selling a lot more, so I daresay the geographic supporter will be nomore.

But also the success of teams builds on their overall supporter base and popularity, and teams like Essendon, Collingwood, Richmond and carlton have huge supporter bases b/c they have all had golden eras in their past and like dt mentioned once its in the family its very hard to get out!

In Melbourne, well basically the ppl who dont follow aussie rules are in an extreme minority, nearly ever1 supports one team or another, hence all teams have support although small teams like the kangaroos and Bulldogs only draw abt 20,000 per game on average so things are getting tougher and tougher for them, even the Melbourne demons are struggling with attendances.

Tasmania is abt 5 years away from having a side relocate there IMO, the state gvt has it on the cards to build an AFL standard stadium there and Hawthorn regularly packs out the ground whenever they play there.

Shah let me ask u something, who do u support?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old August 31st, 2002, 10:50
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Quote:
Originally posted by tigerTUFF

Shah let me ask u something, who do u support?
Tiges he already told me he is a Freo Boy

" We are descended from a nation of great warriors & we are capable of recovering and returning to play" - Jaime Pacheco 11-9-01.


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