How have the Swans continually escaped critique and criticism for their lack of success in the VFL/AFL?

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rapidfire7

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Jul 28, 2008
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St Kilda seems to be forever copping it for only winning 1 flag in their history.

The Bulldogs for their overall lack of success and premierships.

Freo for never winning anything.

Geelong (prior to 2007) for their long premiership drought and continued failures.

Melbourne (prior to 2021) for their long premiership drought

Collingwood for all their Grand Final losses.


Yet, it seems like no one has ever really cared much about the Swan’s far from impressive footballing history (in terms of Premierships).

No one ever really mentioned their 72-year premiership drought until it was broken.

No one talks about the fact that they have only won 5 out of 18 Grand Finals (a strike rate far worse than Collingwood, who are perennially laughed at).



What is the explanation for this phenomenon?



The only thing I can think of, is that many of us, unconsciously and incorrectly, think of them as being one of the new interstate clubs, whilst disregarding their entire South Melbourne history.

Does this explain it? Or is there more to it?
 
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A series of complex factors, but probably the biggest one was they didn't really have a corridor to expand into when the other clubs grew from their suburbs out to surrounding ones. North Melbourne and Fitzroy had similar issues. North are sort of boxed in by Essendon and were only able to pick up a kind of niche boutique support by being successful in some key growth times. Fitzroy were completely sandwiched between Carlton and Collingwood's fertile breeding grounds of support, and coupled with their lack of success beyond the 40s, couldn't grow enough to keep up. For South though, they couldn't really expand at all. In their direction is only ocean, they didn't have any suburbs to grow a supporter base in.

Sydney might as well be a different club that took on some of South's supporter base. They've been doing a decent job expanding into a market that ranges from indiffferent to hostile when it comes to Aussie Rules.
 
A series of complex factors, but probably the biggest one was they didn't really have a corridor to expand into when the other clubs grew from their suburbs out to surrounding ones. North Melbourne and Fitzroy had similar issues. North are sort of boxed in by Essendon and were only able to pick up a kind of niche boutique support by being successful in some key growth times. Fitzroy were completely sandwiched between Carlton and Collingwood's fertile breeding grounds of support, and coupled with their lack of success beyond the 40s, couldn't grow enough to keep up. For South though, they couldn't really expand at all. In their direction is only ocean, they didn't have any suburbs to grow a supporter base in.

Sydney might as well be a different club that took on some of South's supporter base. They've been doing a decent job expanding into a market that ranges from indiffferent to hostile when it comes to Aussie Rules.
Could have just renamed from South Melbourne to South-East Melbourne and gain an area of about 2 million people
 
St Kilda seems to be forever copping it for only winning 1 flag in their history.

The Bulldogs for their overall lack of success and premierships.

Freo for never winning anything.

Geelong (prior to 2007) for their long premiership drought and continued failures.

Melbourne (prior to 2021) for their long premiership drought

Collingwood for all their Grand Final losses.


Yet, it seems like no one has ever really cared much about the Swan’s far from impressive footballing history.

No one ever really mentioned their 72-year premiership drought until it was broken.

No one talks about the fact that they have only won 5 out of 18 Grand Finals (a strike rate far worse than Collingwood, who are perennially laughed at).



What is the explanation for this phenomenon?



The only thing I can think of, is that many of us, unconsciously and incorrectly, think of them as being one of the new interstate clubs, whilst disregarding their entire South Melbourne history.

Does this explain it? Or is there more to it?

The club had to relocate to survive. Doesn't that say enough about a South supporter's pain and the club's struggle from the end of WW2 until it's move to Sydney? :rolleyes:
 
A series of complex factors, but probably the biggest one was they didn't really have a corridor to expand into when the other clubs grew from their suburbs out to surrounding ones. North Melbourne and Fitzroy had similar issues. North are sort of boxed in by Essendon and were only able to pick up a kind of niche boutique support by being successful in some key growth times. Fitzroy were completely sandwiched between Carlton and Collingwood's fertile breeding grounds of support, and coupled with their lack of success beyond the 40s, couldn't grow enough to keep up. For South though, they couldn't really expand at all. In their direction is only ocean, they didn't have any suburbs to grow a supporter base in.

Sydney might as well be a different club that took on some of South's supporter base. They've been doing a decent job expanding into a market that ranges from indiffferent to hostile when it comes to Aussie Rules.

The only reason North didn't end up like South or Fitzroy is because they had premiership success in the 70s. It bought them time. Then they had more in the 90s, but even that didn't avoid an unsuccessful flirt with Sydney either. South and Fitzroy never had that success after WW2. The Roys had a few finals in the 80s, but geez, they were even more unstable than the South with all their moving around once they left Brunswick St.
 
Can't say I agree. South Melb were crtitcised for being a basket case back in those days but since the move to Sydney they have been impressive. Don't think anyone would be critical of their last 30+ years
 
Since about 95 we've been pretty competitive with 2 flags, 6 GFs and making finals most years. Prior to that we copped plenty.

Would seem kinda weird for everyone to start shitting on us just because we were s**t for so long before that.
Not suggesting that anyone should start shitting on your club. The Swan's last 20 years has been magnificent.

Just that from my impression at least, their lack of success/GF wins (over their history) is rarely ever brought up for some reason, compared to say St Kilda/Collingwood etc., which we never hear the end of.
 
Can't say I agree. South Melb were crtitcised for being a basket case back in those days but since the move to Sydney they have been impressive. Don't think anyone would be critical of their last 30+ years
My point is why do people/the media forever bring up other team's unfavourable records, yet rarely that of the Swans?

Eg. Why is Collingwood's poor GF record (over their history) continually talked about, and not that of the Swans? (When Collingwood's winning % is actually better)
 

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Not suggesting that anyone should start shitting on your club. The Swan's last 20 years has been magnificent.

Just that from my impression at least, their lack of success/GF wins (over their history) is rarely ever brought up for some reason, compared to say St Kilda/Collingwood etc., which we never hear the end of.
I guess in St Kildas case they haven't really atoned for their poor history yet.
 
I Remeber growing up a swans fan late 80s/early 90s, threatened out of the comp and constantly. critcised for being a joke and rightly so. Not sure what planet the OP is from.

Should have won more of our grand final appearances since 96 but not the worst problem in the league

Also get mentioned to me constantly by mates we only have 5 flags while say a Dons fans celebrates their 16 , most from the long long long ago.


Maybe also the fact that so much success in the past was due to zones and rich clubs buying players , it is accepted success was largely impossible
 
I mean, I fully expect as a North fan to get comments about our current performance - but our 50 year span from 1925 to 1975 I genuinely wouldn’t give a shit about.

I’m sure it’s the same for Sydney fans. Up until about 30 years ago they were perennial no-hopers, but really you have to be 40+ to appreciate that and even if you are 40+ you’ve seen them barely miss finals for the best part of 2 decades, and win 2 flags in that time.

St Kilda have never had a run of 2 decades like the Swans have and have never made up for a “bad” part of their history - their whole history is bad, they just have one little blip (1966) on their bad history.

Pies had an extreme run of losing grand finals - I’m sure if the Swans 2014-2016-2022 run continues people will bring up the Swanny-wobbles (or a variation there of). Collingwood between 1958 and 1990 went 0-8-1 in grand finals - really 2 generations of football fans knew nothing but Pies losing in grand finals. After finally breaking through, they would then go 0-2-1 before winning their next, and then lost another after being 5 goals up.
Since 1960 they’ve gone 3-11-2 in grand finals (and again, they have won 2 of those since gaining the Wobbles moniker). 3 out of 16 is pretty up there with Swans 5 of 18, except more people in living memory remember all the Pies 16, no one alive really knows 1899, 1907, 1912 or 1914 grand final losses.
 
Also you do have a set of smaller cluba (North, Dogs, Saints, Port) whose clubs had either won more flags than Sydney, won more recently, or weren’t far off their historical record. Swans have outperformed all since and are way out in front of 3 and you’d back them in to get a 6th before North get a 5th.
Freo, Suns & Giants jump in.
Adelaide haven’t won in 25 years, Swans would nearly have played in as many grand finals as seasons they’ve missed finals in that span I reckon?
 
Since 1995 only 3 clubs have more success than them. Who would describe the 4th best team as unsuccessful?
Hawthorn, Geelong, Brisbane, Richmond if you are going by flags alone? I count more than three.

Not sure why you arbitrarily chose 1995 rather than 1990 when the AFL era starts, perhaps to cut out West Coast and Collingwood?
 
The GF strike rate is terrible (presumably only St Kilda has a worse one). I guess since most of our losses on GF day were outside of living memory (e.g. we lost three in a row in the 30s) there's less focus on that. Having said that, our inability to convert GF appearances into premierships in the AFL-era hasn't completely gone unnoticed.
 
Not suggesting that anyone should start shitting on your club. The Swan's last 20 years has been magnificent.

Just that from my impression at least, their lack of success/GF wins (over their history) is rarely ever brought up for some reason, compared to say St Kilda/Collingwood etc., which we never hear the end of.
Then you're either very young or you simply haven't seen done enough research to find the articles that called us a basketcase. Because what you're talking about has been very very well documented. Strange post OP.
 
St Kilda seems to be forever copping it for only winning 1 flag in their history.

The Bulldogs for their overall lack of success and premierships.

Freo for never winning anything.

Geelong (prior to 2007) for their long premiership drought and continued failures.

Melbourne (prior to 2021) for their long premiership drought

Collingwood for all their Grand Final losses.


Yet, it seems like no one has ever really cared much about the Swan’s far from impressive footballing history.

No one ever really mentioned their 72-year premiership drought until it was broken.

No one talks about the fact that they have only won 5 out of 18 Grand Finals (a strike rate far worse than Collingwood, who are perennially laughed at).



What is the explanation for this phenomenon?



The only thing I can think of, is that many of us, unconsciously and incorrectly, think of them as being one of the new interstate clubs, whilst disregarding their entire South Melbourne history.

Does this explain it? Or is there more to it?
How old are you? 20? Got no memory prior to 2005? Before our flag in 2005 we were always seen as losers and underdogs. I remember being teased at school for it. We used to get pumped every week between 1990-1994. We were everyone's 'second team' and a joke.

Since then I guess we've had more success and to a degree underachievers since we keep losing Grand Finals (excluding the grand final we were robbed of).

But yes we've been a largely unsuccessful team for a 70 year period. Mainly due to unfair VFL zoning in the 1960s-1980s and being isolated in such a small pocket of Melbourne.

Interesting opinion though.
 
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