The Cult Hero

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Samthomas44

Draftee
Apr 5, 2021
8
4
AFL Club
Carlton
What is with commentators obsession of calling certain players a "cult hero"? It's usually Aboriginals too.

Why is Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti a cult hero?
Why is Changkuoth Jiath a cult hero?
Why is Caleb Daniel a cult hero? Does being short mean you qualify?
Why is that fat woman who played(plays?) For Adelaide in the AFLW a cult hero?

Is being labeled a "cult hero" by James Brayshaw meant to be a good thing? It sounds pretty condescending to me. I'm sure a guy like Tippa would rather be addressed as a good player, rather than as a "cult hero" because he's short and black.
 

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Clubs are trumps

Debutant
Mar 23, 2012
116
213
AFL Club
West Coast
Cult heroes is anyone that the fans universally love. Troy Wilson in the early 2000's was a full forward battering ram that Eagles fans loved. Had nothing to do with his physical characteristics.
 

Samthomas44

Draftee
Apr 5, 2021
8
4
AFL Club
Carlton
Cult heroes is anyone that the fans universally love. Troy Wilson in the early 2000's was a full forward battering ram that Eagles fans loved. Had nothing to do with his physical characteristics.
Ok, so why are some players labeled a cult hero immediately on debut? Or even as soon as they're crafted?
 

the harry

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 25, 2007
12,660
11,505
AFL Club
West Coast
What is with commentators obsession of calling certain players a "cult hero"? It's usually Aboriginals too.

Why is Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti a cult hero?
Why is Changkuoth Jiath a cult hero?
Why is Caleb Daniel a cult hero? Does being short mean you qualify?
Why is that fat woman who played(plays?) For Adelaide in the AFLW a cult hero?

Is being labeled a "cult hero" by James Brayshaw meant to be a good thing? It sounds pretty condescending to me. I'm sure a guy like Tippa would rather be addressed as a good player, rather than as a "cult hero" because he's short and black.

I suspect it may reference players who have a particular back story that fans of that team rally behind or something that is not considered the norm. Whether that is the correct use of the term is another issue.
You won't get a 187cm midfielder with short back and sides haircut from a private school who was a consens first round pick being a cult hero.

Of the three you mention, two have really interesting pathways to the AFL and the other is a significant outlier in terms of his height or lack thereof.

TL/DR prob not racist
 

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Belnakor

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 10, 2005
21,416
12,510
Perth
AFL Club
Fremantle
Why is Sam Draper a cult hero is the major one i have a beef with after only three games
Having a sh*t haircut doesn't make you a cult hero.


Someone like Tippa is a good one as a "cult hero" because

1) He came through a "lottery" pick outside the normal pathways
2) He has an ability to impact games with 2-3 plays for the whole day
3) He is not a consistently good player - he does have some sh*t games where he barely touches it.
4) Doesn't have the standard build for an AFL player.

Being a good player doesn't make you a cult hero.
 

Philth

Club Legend
Feb 4, 2008
1,343
1,602
Geraldton
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Leeds United
Yeah it's getting a bit overused now, but what do you expect from these muppets.

Eddie Betts at Adelaide was a classic cult hero.
 

Atomboy

Premiership Player
Jan 22, 2007
3,337
3,247
Yes
AFL Club
St Kilda
I always thought cult heroes had to be a little quirky and almost anti-hero, hence guys like the G-Train, Clive Waterhouse, Danny Southern and Wayne Weideman fitting the bill.
 

Mitchell Madness

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 17, 2006
20,911
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What is with commentators obsession of calling certain players a "cult hero"? It's usually Aboriginals too.

Why is Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti a cult hero?
Why is Changkuoth Jiath a cult hero?
Why is Caleb Daniel a cult hero? Does being short mean you qualify?
Why is that fat woman who played(plays?) For Adelaide in the AFLW a cult hero?

Is being labeled a "cult hero" by James Brayshaw meant to be a good thing? It sounds pretty condescending to me. I'm sure a guy like Tippa would rather be addressed as a good player, rather than as a "cult hero" because he's short and black.
Cult hero is generally someone who doesn't look like they should be able to do what they do. Could be they're overly short, on the bigger side, scrawny, or they have a habit of doing something other players don't do. Just because a lot of those traits are ticked off when it comes to players who are black, doesn't make it racist.

For example, you mention CJ. The bloke is constantly caught in the middle of packs, yet finds a way to escape. It's bloody fun to watch
 

ROYAL EAGLE

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 21, 2008
6,041
5,565
Perth
AFL Club
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Other Teams
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For West Coast in the very early days was
Rob Wiley and Phil Narkle
Then Troy Ugle was a huge fan favorite in his time
 

Schauermann

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 27, 2011
5,838
3,229
Hamburg
AFL Club
Fremantle
Cult heroes for me are player who are not really superstars but loved for their character. And who often have an ability to do extraordinary things while failing at some basics. But always try hard within those limits.
 

Scotland

TheBrownDog
May 5, 2006
58,364
63,184
AFL Club
West Coast
My favourite West Coast cult hero is Troy Wilson. Built like a bigger Shannon Hurn with hair. Debuted at 29 and kicked 83 goals in 37 games. Kicked 7.5 in his third game. Had no regard for his own safety or anyone else's. Would just run and jump at the ball. Had Mick Martyn looking over his shoulder Drove sprintcars at the speedway during his playing career.
 

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