The Flack


Understanding AFL Supporters through Stereotypes

Posted July 9, 2012 by Titus in Regular Items
Collingwood supporters600

We all know stereotypes save time. It doesn’t matter if you’re working as a bouncer at a nightclub, judging your co-workers or setting immigration policy.

Are they accurate? Who cares. I prefer a quick solution to an accurate one every time.

When I decided to profile each AFL supporter group I asked The Flack writers, Mina, Montgomery and Ares, to help out.

Our extensive research included beer, wine, a weird detour through schnapps and ended on a bottle of Midori that had been on the shelf since 1995.

I think you’ll find as a result that the findings are 100 per cent accurate.

Adelaide

Adelaide fans love chardonnay almost as much as not mixing socially with people from Semaphore.

You can spot a Crows supporter by the ‘My Family’ stickers on their cars and the fact the wives wear three quarter length pants despite them going out of fashion just prior to the Y2K bug becoming a thing.

They have been big Leyton Hewitt fans but felt conflicted by his spat with their living god, Andrew Mcleod.

A heady combination of the Adelaide Establishment and new money, they all think the Adelaide Advertiser could have a lot more coverage of the Crows.

Brisbane

A curious mix of ex-Fitzroy supporters and relocated Victorians. Brisbane supporters have to live in the shadow of the Broncos but three premierships in a row helps to build a sense of confidence.

They are less fair weather supporters than Sydney fans but this is of course damning with faint praise.

Have given up on the Courier Mail giving them much coverage.

Carlton

Arrogance, multiculturalism and a love of the TV series, Underbelly make for a heady mix. Carlton supporters still have no qualms about buying premierships in the 80s. I’ve never met one who denies or defends this: the ends justify the means.

Seen drinking coffees from very small cups, the Carlton fan can be recognised in cafes around Melbourne as a Collingwood supporter in expensive and incredibly fashionable clothes.

Collingwood

No group of fans is more tainted by stereotypes than magpie fans.

Car theft, Centrelink, moccasins, poor dental care and have seen Rock of Ages.  The magpie fan has heard them all.

No wonder they have a persecution complex and wonder why everyone is against them.

Imagining dealing with this, while also having a strange attraction to your cousin. I feel for them.

My advice is to stop stealing cars, living off Centrelink, wearing moccasins and encouraging co-workers to see Rock of Ages.

Also that cousin of yours is not worth waiting for. The chances of parole are slim.

Essendon

An Essendon fan is anyone who thinks Essendon is an exclusive suburb of Melbourne.

A supporter group that is a middle class bubble frozen in amber. They enjoy the misfortune of other teams losing and think the MCG is too far away.

The Essendon supporter is like the Cicada: in a drought they seem to disappear but after a wet winter they spring forth and never shut up.

Fremantle

If you’re an AFL supporter from outside Western Australia you’ve probably never met a Freo supporter. The only exceptions are surfers, miners and miners that surf.

Suffering from an intense minority complex due to sharing a state with the Eagles.

Their working class ethos has been under serious attack since the suburbs was gentrified.

Dockers? More like boutique microbrewers.

Having never really got over their colours and song, their isolation means that apart from Eagles supporters, they have almost no contact with any other supporter group.

Geelong

A strange mix of small town mind set with the elitism of Geelong Grammar thrown in.

Most Geelong fans are quietly pleased they are actually living in Melbourne and would not travel to Kardinia Park for any amount of money.

Fans that actually live in Geelong are so insular they make North Koreans seem worldly.

Gold Coast

Hello Victorian Retirees. Why aren’t you surfing? Oh really? How sad. Which hip did they replace? Both, huh?

How many Suns fans have you met? Yeah, me neither.

As Lara Bingle says, “I don’t like things I can’t see.

GWS

Hello Fautave and Salote, hope you’re enjoying this new sport. You’re both related to Izzy? Well then, I totally think he’s going to make it.

Perhaps too early to get a real sense of the GWS fan. Consist of mainly people related to the players or who played junior footy with them.

Sometimes Mum will bring her friends up from Melbourne for a ‘girls weekend away’ which is a bit ruined by spending a chunk of it in western Sydney.

Hawthorn

Welcome to the leafy confines of Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Rich enough to live in Kew, Camberwell and Hawthorn but not rich enough to own their own chalet like a Melbourne fan.

The Crows supporters of Melbourne.

Hawthorn members met at the private schools that spread out from Kew Junction.  Every Hawthorn supporter has spent time in Bob Stewart’s of Kew.

They shower after meeting fans from Collingwood and members from their own cheer squad.

Only supporter group that will know what you mean when you refer to Ruyton.

Melbourne

The Establishment of Melbourne. Think Range Rovers and trips to the snow.

The only sixteen year olds who wear cord jackets with leather patches on the elbows.  So inbred that they have never met anyone who doesn’t have an MCC membership.

Passionate about their club up to a point but then how passionate would you be if you could fire up the private jet and shoot off to Europe when the moment takes you?

Still refer to number nine as ‘Neitzy’

North Melbourne

While having a very similar working class story to tell as the Western Bulldogs, Collingwood and Richmond, unfortunately for them, nobody is listening.

The North supporter is the guy at work you always have to ask who they barrack for despite the fact you’ve asked them every week for three years.

A North supporter is the person in life that never catches a break. They watch on as their club is spoken about as a potential relocation target despite them winning Premierships in living memory while Melbourne and the Bulldogs continue on.

Port Adelaide

The Collingwood fans of SA.

In South Australia, they say they drained a swamp to build the ‘Paris end of Port Adelaide’ but unfortunately left the people. Dentally challenged, a Port Adelaide supporter considers their Ed Hardy T-Shirt ‘Sunday Best.’

The only supporters who wear rat-tails and mullets in a non- ironic fashion. Dad has one and so does grandma.

Richmond

While they haven’t all spat on their coach, this is mainly due to most not being able to afford a good enough seat.

Richmond fans are the cousins of Collingwood fans who didn’t finish primary school.

It would be deeply unfair and accurate to say all Richmond fans have at some point in their lives worked as a fence for stolen goods.

Following the gentrification of Richmond, no Tigers fan lives within 20 kilometers of the suburb.

Their main tradition is the annual destroying of the memberships and mailing them into the club.

St Kilda

A hard-core inner of heroin chic without the chic, surrounded by a broad majority of nouveau riche Bayside suburbanites who aspire to Brighton but actually live in Aspendale Gardens.

St Kilda fans are always a bit agitated because they are going through life having to pretend they like Stephen Milne.

Sydney

People call them fair weather supporters but this to me is overly optimistic. Would you want to bet your house they would turn up in fair weather? Of course not.

Let’s be honest, there is a large contingent of ex-southerners who are desperate for AFL footy that make up the core but the average Sydneysider doesn’t even show up to an NRL game.

There are also the remnants of the South Melbourne supporters and their offspring in Melbourne. A sad reminder of what happens to a club when they relocate.

West Coast

A heady mixture of superiority and victimhood. The Eagles fans have every right to be proud of a team that sticks it to the Victorians every few years.

They also have the constant motivation of the eastern seaboard media being against them.

West Coast fans therefore live in this constant dual state, hated by Fremantle supporters and hating Victorians who are indifferent to them.

An Eagles supporter looks upon a Dockers supporter as someone who has bizarrely chosen to be unhappy all his or her life.

Western Bulldogs

True working class from the west of Melbourne. An area that even while being gentrified still has B-Doubles rolling down every street on the way to the docks.

Bulldogs supporters have had no success winning the Premiership since their sole victory in 1954. Unfortunately for them, unlike Melbourne supporters, they can’t head off to the snow but instead take the kids down to the park under high voltage power lines.

More articles from Titus O’Reily

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Top photo: Neale Cousland / Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Titus
Titus

Writer, political agitator and broadcaster, Titus O’Reily was born in May 1962. Abandoned by his parents within hours of his birth, Titus was raised by the Sisters of Collective Misery. Titus has risen to folk hero status amongst Australians due to his long running campaigns to lower the drinking age and prevent anyone entering Australia, including Australians returning from holidays. Titus is known as ‘the voice of Australia’s working class’, despite the fact he long lost touch with them and in the main, reality. He currently lives on a large farm with three sisters while writing for The Flack.


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