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» One Touch Football - Archive » Sport » Australia's footy wars (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Australia's footy wars
Posty Webber
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Lucky fuckin' Victorians getting to chat about their footy on OTF… grumbles…
Posts: 1019 | From: the family Hominidae | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jamzinho
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Don't know if we are calling this the AFL 2008 forum, but MA as the resident St Kilda man, what happened with Fraser Gehrig? I thought he'd retired, and then he pitches up in the Richmond game
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Melmoth the Wonderer
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Gosh AFL stars seem to be emulating their Gridiron peers in bad behaviour - I remember Wayne Carey is a rather Captain Perfect, too good to be true figure from the various International Rules tours. Well, obviously he was too good to be true indeed.
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Melbourne Arab
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quote:
what happened with Fraser Gehrig? I thought he'd retired
After Fraser's retirement, he went to live in Europe with his Swiss girlfriend. However, they split up and Fraser decided he was missing his St Kilda mates. He phoned Ross Lyon, rumour has it at 4 in the morning, and announced he wanted to play again. This was just a couple of days before nominations for the preseason draft closed. St Kilda submitted all the paperwork on his behalf but had to point to him that there was no guarantee some other club wouldn't pick him up. Fraser then made the mistake of saying he would only play for St Kilda which could be construed as manipulating the draft though he wasn't charged by the AFL. St Kilda then selected him with the 3rd draft pick. He's on less than half the salary he was on in 2007 because St Kilda used his departure to offer better contracts to some other players. I must admit I'm bloody delighted to have him back.
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Melbourne Arab
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Melmoth, Wayne Carey was known as The King and the adulation went to his head - whatever he wanted he got and mostly what he wanted was women. He had more groupies than any rock group and, if a woman wasn't interested, well you can see from the news stories that he didn't take it too well. He once got fined for fondling a woman's breasts in a Melbourne street and telling her she needed enhancements. His "apology" has become legendary: "I'm sorry if I offended anybody. I'm just glad this didn't happen during the season."

Carey had good friends in high places - Melbourne gangsters and the Victoria Police. They saved him many times.

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Trimster
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You seem to know your NSL players, Posty.... how come you have never posted on the A League thread?

But getting back to "other sport".... Port Power to struggle this season- rebuilding, with a very young side. Nothing much new seems to be happening at the Crows, although they seemed to adapt to Dubai conditions very well in their recent win over Collingwood.

Had to laugh at the TV footage of Nathan Buckley "holding a coaching clinic for the locals"....... all the so-called locals being Aussie expat kids.....

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Posty Webber
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NSL aint A-Leage, Trimster…

I used to play with and be trained by many former NSL players, and so had an affinity with that era.

I still do (have an affinity with that era), and am currently being trained by former Socceroo and Football Australia Hall-of-Famer Ian Grey, twice a week. I also play in a friendly kick around every Sunday morning with Kimon Taliodorous who despite carrying 10 kilos too-many, is still an incredible striker.

Enough name-dropping. The other reasons I don't contribute to the A-League discussions are that a) I don't have Foxtel, and b) I am far more passionate (as a supporter) about 'League than any football, Australian or otherwise.

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Trimster
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Ah, Ian Gray.... only Aussie ever to score an own goal for England!

I think Posty's post may indicate how Aussies can be involved in more than one code of football. Passionate about one, but with some involvement with another.

It was like that in Canberra when I lived there (probably still is)- most guys I worked with played at least two codes, and happily attended games in all four.

I guess this is what football administrators must be hoping will happen all over in the future- after all, there are only a certain number of supporters to go around in a country of 20 mil.

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Reed
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AFL was only in Victoria until fairly recently wasn't it? Hard to imagine something with so many clubs in a relatively small city becoming a lucrative professional league with full-time professional players and a big TV deal and so forth. By American standards, that would be like candle-pin bowling or broomball becoming a "major sport."
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Rory Bunk
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Reed, AFL was always top dog in Southern/Western Australia: Victoria, Sth Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. It's a positively ancient sport with several clubs around 150 years old.

It's also more fanatically followed that the other codes, and has an understandable bunker/siege mentality which its administrators have used as the incentive to act very aggressively to protect its interests. Unlike the other sports it hasn't had the same level of division as RL (the Super League war of the 90s), Union (the switch from an amateur sport only toffs were into) and football (inept and corrupt administrations, ethnic divisions and racism from without).

Aussie Riles also happens to be a pretty entertaining game - tough and honest - although it does give me that basketball-like sense of moral repulsion and hollowness which the easy scoring can do.

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Antonio Gramsci
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Yeah, but if Aussie Rules was so widely followed, how come when I lived there in the 80s, the only teams in the AFL were in Victoria (plus the Sydney Swans and possibly a team in Canberra)?
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Melbourne Arab
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The AFL is basically the VFL with 4 essentially new clubs added from the WA and SA strongholds (although Port Adelaide fans will claim a glorious history) and 2 Melbourne clubs shunted into the rugby states – South Melbourne to Sydney and Fitzroy to Brisbane. In Melbourne, the population of 3.8 million is still divided amongst 12 clubs. Sydney have a huge support in Melbourne (one third of their members live here) and Brisbane still have more than 3,000 old Fitzroy fans as members. There are thousands of disenfranchised Fitzroy supporters – the club shop is still going strong and they have a team, AFC Wimbledon style, in the local leagues. I still regularly encounter Fitzroy fans - more than 10 years on the "murder" of Fitzroy is still bitterly felt.

It has to be said that there is a lot of Victorian arrogance. All the VFL records have carried through to the AFL so clubs that were great back in the 1890s can still boast about multiple premierships whereas the SA and WA clubs have only had very little to time to win things.

My club, St Kilda, holds the distinction of being the least successful club in the history of the game – 135 years old and only one premiership. We do have 26 wooden spoons, though, which is a record.

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Rory Bunk
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Well there were no teams in the AFL (the league itself rather than the sport which is Aussie Rules) from WA and SA for example, but these states had their own local competitions which were quite well followed. Put simply, Aussie Rules is the variety of football which has always been played and watched in these states (as well as Tasmania) but it has been this move to get clubs into the VFL/AFL and turn it into a national competition which has made it look like the game has sprung out of nowhere.

Brisbane are similar to the Swans (who are the relocated old South Melbourne club) in that they are 'kind of' a continuation of the old Fitzroy club - the kind of audacious gesture which the AFL seems to get away with time and time again. Slap on the old colours and nickname and hey presto -you've got history and thousands of fans who will support the team when it plays in Melbourne, which after all is at least a good handful of times per season. At any rate, Qld has always been a bit more receptive to Aussie Rules than NSW and Brissie's 3 consecutive premierships a few years ago have helped.

The Swans had tough times in the 90s but hung in there (with assistance) and survived to see on-field success which in a city such as Sydney counts for a lot more than most cities. Due to the draft and salary cap, Sydney are on a bit of a downturn. 3 or 4 seasons outside the finals and the AFL's push into Western Sydney could be disastrous.

I hope that kind of explains why the expansioon of the game hasn't been totally out of nowhere.

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Antonio Gramsci
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Very much, thanks. I hadn't realized that SA and WA actually had their own competitions.
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Reed
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I didn't know that either. But there aren't a lot of people in WA, SA and Tasmania.

Still, all those clubs crammed into the greater Melbourne area is amazing. In North America we couldn't conceive of anything like that. At one point there were three baseball teams in New York and that couldn't last.

My cousin's husband is a Carleton supporter and they live in that area and are all into it. But I have another acquaintance from Queensland who supports NRL and has the same sort of disdain for AFL as I do for basketball. It just seems that for such a small country (population wise) there's a lot of geographic diversity in terms of sporting culture.

NRL seems pretty cool. It used to be on tv here. It's easier for gridiron fans to grasp than Union.

AFL looks like it would be fantastic in person. It's ok on tv, but the field is so huge that it's hard to really follow the tactics on tv. I also imagine the size of the field and the size of the sides is a major reason it hasn't caught on around the world. It has all the aspects Americans like - speed, scoring, violence, but we don't have any large oval pitches.


The issue of records travelling with relocated teams or staying in case that area ever gets an expansion team is an issue in the US, too. For example, the Indianapolis Colts want to claim the history of the Baltimore Colts, while the Cleveland Browns are allowed to claim the history of the original Cleveland Browns, even though that franchise is now the Baltimore Ravens, because part of the agreement between the league and Cleveland when the Browns left was that they could hold onto the Brown's legacy until the inevitable day that an expansion Browns team returns to the city.

Etc.

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