AFL is on the decline - the younger generation is just not that into you

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JoondalupJ

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 9, 2006
12,982
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Perth
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Good old days.

Used to be able to go early and see U19, reserves and league for a reasonable entry price.

If every team had a reserves side in 1 league together and you had that as a curtain raiser before each game it would be actually worth $50+ entry.

You could see the future coming through.

Now its just $50 for flashing lights/loud music and nothing before the game.

Its all a bit meh.

Stay home, chill out, save money and if its s**t watch Family Guy re runs


On SM-G925I using BigFooty.com mobile app
I'm right there with Pete Griffin!!!!
 

Daddoo

Master Chef
Oct 31, 2015
1,179
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Chicago
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I guess that’s a reason why college football is so popular?

That's one reason. Most teams offer student discounts/prices so they can pack the stands. It creates a more lively atmosphere, too. This may be judgmental to say, but in my experience, people who can afford the $400-500 price tag aren't as rowdy or crazy and they have an expectation on what the stadium/beverages/food/atmosphere/game day experience should be. They expect value for their money that goes well beyond just the game. When I first started going to Packer games in the early 90's the atmosphere was electric. We were ripping off the bottoms of our paper beer cups and using them for microphones to cheer, banging on the seats, yelling and high fiving. By the early 2000's you could see things were changing. People were starting to get warnings for yelling and cheering. People started to complain when a group of people were being rowdy. Now, there is a line that can get crossed, so I'm not advocating for a free-for-all, but trust me when I say it was a clear change in atmosphere. By the 2010's I didn't really enjoy going to games as much. I wanted to stand up and cheer, but instead it became more of a production, a show. This is actually what drove me to footy back in 2011... I was looking for an alternative to what the NFL had become. I find footy refreshing (although a bit imperfect at times, but then again, what league isn't) and eventually the game will mature past the vic-centric nature of things (which is very apparent to my friends and wife over here) to be a true national comp. When the NFL merged with the AFL back in the 1960's there was a similar biased view against the AFL (American football league). Totally normal. But I digress... lol

On a totally different, but related note, I hear some footy fans say that they want to players salaries to be made public. Trust me, this is a TERRIBLE idea. Once this happens, you going to have players saying, "Player X is getting $xxxx, I want more than him." This just drives up salaries when a player can negotiate in public. As player wadges increase, so do ticket prices, beer prices, and everything else. I hope AFL never makes salaries public (not that it affects me anyway since I'll probably never be able to go to a game).
 

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76woodenspooners

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 4, 2011
21,416
32,564
Sydney
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Collingwood
That's one reason. Most teams offer student discounts/prices so they can pack the stands. It creates a more lively atmosphere, too. This may be judgmental to say, but in my experience, people who can afford the $400-500 price tag aren't as rowdy or crazy and they have an expectation on what the stadium/beverages/food/atmosphere/game day experience should be. They expect value for their money that goes well beyond just the game. When I first started going to Packer games in the early 90's the atmosphere was electric. We were ripping off the bottoms of our paper beer cups and using them for microphones to cheer, banging on the seats, yelling and high fiving. By the early 2000's you could see things were changing. People were starting to get warnings for yelling and cheering. People started to complain when a group of people were being rowdy. Now, there is a line that can get crossed, so I'm not advocating for a free-for-all, but trust me when I say it was a clear change in atmosphere. By the 2010's I didn't really enjoy going to games as much. I wanted to stand up and cheer, but instead it became more of a production, a show. This is actually what drove me to footy back in 2011... I was looking for an alternative to what the NFL had become. I find footy refreshing (although a bit imperfect at times, but then again, what league isn't) and eventually the game will mature past the vic-centric nature of things (which is very apparent to my friends and wife over here) to be a true national comp. When the NFL merged with the AFL back in the 1960's there was a similar biased view against the AFL (American football league). Totally normal. But I digress... lol

The AFL game day atmosphere can vary quite a bit depending which team you follow. Your average Collingwood supporter would be appalled with the Swans game day experience and vice versa. I think here quite a bit of the experience is in the hands of the clubs, which is a good thing because each club should have their own culture. It was traditionally like that, but became a bit vanilla for a while, and now it seems to be returning.

Perhaps it’s similar in the NFL ? I could imagine the Packers’ game day experience would be a bit different to Cowboys?

On a totally different, but related note, I hear some footy fans say that they want to players salaries to be made public. Trust me, this is a TERRIBLE idea. Once this happens, you going to have players saying, "Player X is getting $xxxx, I want more than him." This just drives up salaries when a player can negotiate in public. As player wadges increase, so do ticket prices, beer prices, and everything else. I hope AFL never makes salaries public (not that it affects me anyway since I'll probably never be able to go to a game).

The AFL has the salary cap to help prevent that From happening.
 

Eshay187

Premiership Player
Apr 26, 2012
3,081
3,256
Grill
AFL Club
Sydney
The youth just stay home and play fortnight. Why watch other people play sport when you can be the star of the show in a video game?

Ban all screens with a refresh rate higher than 2 frames per second IMO.
 

HPKS

Premiership Player
Apr 6, 2012
3,956
5,494
Perth
AFL Club
Sydney
The youth just stay home and play fortnight. Why watch other people play sport when you can be the star of the show in a video game?

Ban all screens with a refresh rate higher than 2 frames per second IMO.
They don’t just play they watch other people play. The AFL is in big trouble long term imo
 

NYRB

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 6, 2011
13,833
5,303
Auckland, New Zealand
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Haha …I remember that time

When what’s his name stripped off his shirt after kicking the set shot goal to get into the WC

And Tim Cahill was the most famous Australian sportsman for about 3 weeks


Meanwhile…my 22 year old footy fanatic son is flying to melbourne in two weeks from Perth to visit his grandfather and is slotting in 3 games at the G and marvel to watch AFL ..and none of the games are Essendon!

He just wants to watch elite footy live in the home of footy.

Also …he loves soccer ..EPL , champions league etc

But footy is his true love.

My job as a father and promoter of the greatest game is a success 👌
I dont know if its just me.

But I grew up for 29 years in WA. And I admit in WA, AFL Football was a religion.

I remember it was a big thing for me or any West Australian to come over East, in particularly Melbourne to spend a weekend to watch footy in the mecca of AFL. I like your son spent a weekend watching 3 AFL games all at the MCG as well I think it was back in 2011 or 2012. But having lived on the east coast of Australia now for nearly 8 years, and been over to Perth to watch a few games at Optus Stadium, I dont know but I'd struggle to motivate myself to do it on a regular basis or even yearly basis to come over and watch a game of AFL from WA on an "annual basis" now. Maybe except if it was a major Final I would be tempted to come over as Im now a guy in my mid 30's. (I did get tickets to the Fremantle Dockers grand final back in 2013)

Whilst the Swans are probably the biggest club in NSW, i think generally speaking over here, they are less interested in sports compared to a younger local kid growing up in WA. I dont know why that is, maybe Im thinking (and i dont use this in a disrepectful manner) but there are more activities outside of AFL - sporting wise and culturally to do.
 

NYRB

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 6, 2011
13,833
5,303
Auckland, New Zealand
AFL Club
GWS
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Seeing a decline in sport by the younger generation is not hat surprising really when you see the changes in their community and COVID era.

In lockdowns more got into gaming than ever before - why follow a game when you can be the star of your own game?

The next generation appear to be a lot less combative in nature. They are more about passiveness than competitive sports, more interested in social issues or being social (at least online, nite sure if true in person). Also far more distractions as they get seduced by Tik Tok, Instagram influences etc.

Also the accessibility of oversea's sports now provides far more attention. NBA fans can subscribe to an annual pass for a few hundred dollars & watch multiple games, per day - for several months, live & on demand.
You can actually watch NBA games (multiple games for free now) with an account with TAB or Sportsbet. A simple deposit of $5 allows you to view all NBA games for the season.

AFL have restricted it to pretty much a pay per sport with a few games live here and there.
 

PetterdHoisted

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 27, 2014
5,837
8,740
AFL Club
Richmond
You can actually watch NBA games (multiple games for free now) with an account with TAB or Sportsbet. A simple deposit of $5 allows you to view all NBA games for the season.

AFL have restricted it to pretty much a pay per sport with a few games live here and there.
anti-siphoning the only thing stopping AFL from going this way imo
 

Leeda

Talons B Sharp
Sep 26, 2012
8,913
1,504
AFL Club
Hawthorn
We’re all bored as s**t with over paid, over technically indoctrina..Ted…….sorry,
you were saying….?
 

Daddoo

Master Chef
Oct 31, 2015
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The AFL has the salary cap to help prevent that From happening.

So does the NFL, but each time they negotiate a new contract it goes up.

Obviously, there is a natural increase in players salaries just like everyone else's wages, but I am convinced that making other players salaries public fuels the increase. For example, Devante Adams has become arguably the best receiver in the NFL. When he is up for a contract he demands to be paid more than every other receiver. Because everyone knows exactly how much the top guy is getting, it forces him to get top dollar or lose face. This is why he signed a five-year, $141.25 million contract. If salaries were unpublished. If he took 140 million, 130 million, 120 million, no one would know and he could still keep the "I'm the best receiver" title. Who is the best midfielder in the game and is he paid like he's the best midfielder? We don't know and that's the way it should stay.

In my opinion publicizing contracts just fuels the criticism of teams/players/contracts and feeds the "I deserve more" entitled attitude that most Americans have.
 

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iameviljez

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 20, 2004
14,632
16,960
Brisbane
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I dont know if its just me.

But I grew up for 29 years in WA. And I admit in WA, AFL Football was a religion.

I remember it was a big thing for me or any West Australian to come over East, in particularly Melbourne to spend a weekend to watch footy in the mecca of AFL. I like your son spent a weekend watching 3 AFL games all at the MCG as well I think it was back in 2011 or 2012. But having lived on the east coast of Australia now for nearly 8 years, and been over to Perth to watch a few games at Optus Stadium, I dont know but I'd struggle to motivate myself to do it on a regular basis or even yearly basis to come over and watch a game of AFL from WA on an "annual basis" now. Maybe except if it was a major Final I would be tempted to come over as Im now a guy in my mid 30's. (I did get tickets to the Fremantle Dockers grand final back in 2013)

Whilst the Swans are probably the biggest club in NSW, i think generally speaking over here, they are less interested in sports compared to a younger local kid growing up in WA. I dont know why that is, maybe Im thinking (and i dont use this in a disrepectful manner) but there are more activities outside of AFL - sporting wise and culturally to do.
Ditto. I’d still go watch Geelong every weekend if I could… but of all my friends, I have probably one who goes five times a year, another two who maybe go twice and that is it. These are all childless people in their 30s.

There is just a lot more to do nowadays.
 

NYRB

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 6, 2011
13,833
5,303
Auckland, New Zealand
AFL Club
GWS
Other Teams
Patriots, Golden State, Wildcats
Ditto. I’d still go watch Geelong every weekend if I could… but of all my friends, I have probably one who goes five times a year, another two who maybe go twice and that is it. These are all childless people in their 30s.

There is just a lot more to do nowadays.
My parents were ones to tell me to stop watching footy as a young kid. It kind of distracted me from my study and socialising.

Reflecting back on the advice I dont know much about the real world outside AFL. There is a whole big world out there.

I think of AFL a bit like this. Its a bit like a childs Nintendo or Sega growing up as a kid but when all reality when you get to 20's you start to lose a gradual interest in it, when your in your 30's you have other things on your mind.

Just me anyway.
 

terrybull

All Australian
Feb 1, 2004
918
1,102
Sweden
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Richmond
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Everything can be fixed if they pay holding the ball.
If a player has possesion of the ball and is tackled no matter the time limit, that should be holding the ball.
That's how it was umpired in the 60's.
For some reason the AFL want the player to have 5 seconds leniency when tackled.
No-one will try to pick up the ball on the ground in packs or when near an opponent. Will result in more soccering. Might as well use a round ball then…
 

BIRDBRAIN

Club Legend
Aug 12, 2013
2,593
4,047
AFL Club
West Coast
No-one will try to pick up the ball on the ground in packs or when near an opponent. Will result in more soccering. Might as well use a round ball then…

That's basically how we played it as kids in the 90s as far as I remember, if you were going to get tackled you didn't pick it up. You knocked it forward any way you could. Somewhere along the line in AFL people started taking possession with the intention of being tackled immediately so their team could 'reset' for the stoppage. The game never used to be played that way.
 

BringouttheGimp

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 18, 2015
19,719
23,614
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PAOK of SALONIKA LIVERPOOL
Gotta be fair dinkum about it and that man.. too many distractions and that these days and that man.. everyone's on their phooones.. playing X-Booox.. watching Netfliiiiix.. etc etc and that mate.. gone are the days where kids are launching the pill out in the street and that mate.

I remember the days.. you'd come home after school and that man.. relos would come over.. or you'd get together with your neighbours.. mates would come by in their old BMX's and and that man.. with a Kiss iceypole and that man.. and you're like.. where's mine and that man.. and they're like.. whatever man.. and then you'd get out the Sherin.. use the lightpole and the tree next to it as the big sticks and you'd have turns at trying to snag sausage rolls through it and that man.. then you'd go in the middle of the road and play kick to kick and that man.. and you're like watch this man.. laces up Nick Daicos style mate.. hit your mate on the chest mate.. or you'd go.. watch this mate.. Sammy Walsh mate.. then you'd Barry Crocker the pill into your neighbours yard.. and your mate's like.. c'mon man.. enough of Sammy Walsh man.. can't be bothered getting it all the time man. Gimme more of Nick Daicos mate.

They were good times man.. they were good times. Getting all emotional just thinking about it now and that man.

Now.. it's like.. you go out in the street to launch into the pill these days with your mates or whatever.. and you're neighbours are like.. stop man.. you're making too much noise and that ya drop kicks and that mate.. And you're like aaaallright man.. booonza mate.

Tradition is not all that bad a thing and that man. Bring back street footy cricket soccer whatever man. Brings people together and that man.

It's a beautiful thing.
 
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BringouttheGimp

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 18, 2015
19,719
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PAOK of SALONIKA LIVERPOOL
Yep... all us old bastards...

Footy was religion growing up... all kids were out on the street kicking the footy

You actually got depressed when your team lost.

I'm still wondering how much of it is an age thing now, and or technology and or me being an old grumpy bastard hating the new rules.

Have a National Day for street sports man. Get your neighbours involved.. your friends.. your relos.

Bring the beat back mate.

Fall in love with the Sherin mate.
 

HPKS

Premiership Player
Apr 6, 2012
3,956
5,494
Perth
AFL Club
Sydney
Yep... all us old bastards...

Footy was religion growing up... all kids were out on the street kicking the footy

You actually got depressed when your team lost.

I'm still wondering how much of it is an age thing now, and or technology and or me being an old grumpy bastard hating the new rules.
As kids we had connection with our local club. We went to training & played on Saturday morning. You’d have players from a higher league come to the schools. You’d have game day at the footy after your game in the morning. That connection is gone. The draft took it away, the push towards the players being more important than the club, teachers played the game and were coaches at school footy. Now your not part of the game your just a mindless consumer. My main love now is my local club. Best thing I did. Love the game of Aussie rules but only have a passing interest in AFL. My advice is if you can, go to your local club & volunteer. You’ll love it. And it’ll bring back some great memories of your childhood. And Christ it’s a hell of a lot cheaper.
 

Strato

Senior List
Jul 7, 2017
237
259
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
The AFL will continue to spiral downwards. Look at the crowds at Trotting and Race meetings where crowds do not attend compared to 20 to 40 years ago. The decline has been caused by numerous factors by poor management, regulations, safety plus other issues. With AFL football it has totally changed due many similar reasons, now-days it is not a religion, it's become a fading passion where matches are ugly and frustrating. Player numbers in country leagues have declined, many clubs do not get crowds due to poor performances, low sponsorship and limited finances, etc. It is never too late to fix something BUT if the current trend continues from where it is at and there is no major changes soon, many, many clubs across the country will not exist. Our great game is well on the road to destruction. People will disagree but you must look at the big picture - it's not good.
 

Phar Ace

Premium Platinum
Feb 9, 2017
9,451
17,615
Sunshine Coast
AFL Club
Richmond
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No it wasn't.

It was introduced in 1955 as a way to deter against time wasting.

Sorry to interrupt, but as in most things in life, we are often a little bit right and a little bit wrong. You are both a little bit correct. It began back in 1939 in the VFA, and was a penalty that accompanied a report as well.

The Australian National Football Council introduced the rule into the national rules during 1954 (leagues began using it in 1955), which was applied to both time-wasting and to crude, late challenges on the player with the mark.[3][4] The length was increased to 50 metres in 1988 when it was determined that the fifteen metre penalty had become insufficient to deter time-wasting and scragging.[5]

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Can I add, as a formerly rusted on VFL/AFL supporter who played until aged 46, that I too am over this version of the rules. When you have games capable of being decided regularly by what I can best call non-football events (stepping one step sideways on the mark after over a hundred years of being able to do it / entering a so-called Protected Zone with zero impact on the player or the game) - you've lost me. Sorry, that is not footy, that becomes a competition of bloody mindedness. Steve Hocking left a pox on the game. Gil was his fanboy.

Then there is 'Insufficient Attempt". We have panel of some 50 AFL umpires (incl rookies) -very few with serious experience of playing the game. So we have around 50 different interpretations of what constitutes Insufficient Attempt. We have all seen the extreme errors of interpretation with this. Player kicks the ball down the line and the ball takes a bad bounce and goes out of bounds before a teammate or oppo can run on to it. We then have 10-15 players throw their arm out appealing for "insufficient attempt". What a great look that is for our once premier sport. Do you think it has any influence on our frail umpires who can't even cope with exasperated arms out when they make perhaps a 50/50 call?

I could go on - but I won't. It's why I won't go to a game this year. Good luck with your game AFL. I still pay my Club membership by the way, it's not my Club's fault, yet. However they better do something - and I know hundreds who feel similarly.
 

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