- May 1, 2011
- AFL Club
- Western Bulldogs
- Other Teams
- Mission Wrapped
There is a greater historical depth to the name Footscray than there is to Western even though Footscray is synonymous with the west. That's probably the experience of and more relevant to older supporters who were part of the Footscray experience. Younger supporters like Vital Dread have known only Western Bulldogs with FFC as a silent partner. A VFL team gives Footscray an onfield presence again and an important role in the success of the AFL team and should help anchor the team in a historical context while also allowing for progress.The disparity between a member's understanding of the Club and what they are buying into as a member for fans pre 97 and post seems to be fairly high in that scenario, Interloper. That would be a weakness in my view. The Club really would be more appealing if it leant itself to a thoroughly universal experience for those who identify as one of us. What are your thoughts?
At some point I think it's important that the club at least acknowledge that consultation regarding the name change should have happened initially. That would go some way towards relieving the resentment some will feel about being left out of the process. There may have been a view at the time that there were good commercial reasons for the change, and upon presentation of all the data, that view might have some validity. But we won't be presented with that data (the reasoning perhaps), a lot of time has passed, younger supporters have grown up with the Western Bulldogs etc. On the other hand, many people associated with Footscray through years felt disenfranchised by the lack of consultation and are entitled to feel that way. A wrong needs to be righted regardless of whether the name changes or not. I think Gordon is in a unique position to repair that bridge if the will is there.
At various points through this thread (including the title) mention has been made of core values and purpose - essentially identity. It's a worthwhile discussion and I get the feeling that it will be part of the club's narrative from this point. Perhaps not with those labels but references and language that has Footscray as its genesis. A team called Footscray, even if it's in the VFL, will re-ignite and reinforce this and the flow-ons into the AFL team might well help to achieve the universality of experience you're alluding to.