I know because I’m still going to the games. My kids still glare at me and say it’s my fault for all their heartache. They lay the guilt on me and I feel I have to go. Mind you I still drive so maybe that’s just a ruse and I’m technically their personal Uber driver.
Thinking back, my Bluebagger resolve was most strongly tested back in the 1980s. I grew up mainly in Perth, and when West Coast were established people right, left, and centre switched their allegiances overnight from their old VFL club to the newly minted “local” club. As it turned out, it was no test at all for me - I just knew in my bones that I was never, ever going to jump ship, and I was incredulous that other people could do so. In fact, I didn’t even see it as a choice - I was a Bluebagger for life, end of. It simply wasn’t feasible or at all desirable to “move on” from the wonderful memories of the 1979, 1981, and 1982 flags, or from family holiday pics with me in my woollen Blues jumper etc etc. By that point, the Blues were part of my DNA and my identity, and that would - and will - never change.
Before I pat myself too hard on the back for my loyalty, I suppose it didn’t hurt that we won the flag in West Coast’s inaugural year (1987), and that they missed out on the finals by some distance
These days, I still know I’m a Carlton supporter because our game time is literally the first thing that is entered on my weekly schedule, and my 9 and 3 year old kids nervously ask when we’re playing in the lead-up to the weekend, and don’t dare suggest that they’re considering supporting anyone else (unbeknownst to him, I’m aware that my 9 year old has an “unhealthy” interest in the Tigers, but I just hope that we hit our straps before he gives serious consideration to moving over to the dark side).
The fact that every Father’s Day I receive club merchandise (t-shirts, jackets, mugs, blankets etc etc) is another reminder that I still support the Blues, and I’m very much looking forward to receiving my next stash just in time for our 2020 finals campaign