What led you to follow your Footy team?

Remove this Banner Ad

tenderwarrior

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 26, 2003
5,470
4,624
Launceston
AFL Club
Geelong
When I was in kindergarten, I do not recall much alpha male stuff happening. Sure, kids got picked on, not invited to birthday parties, spun on the wizzy dizzy against their will until they puked or pissed themselves, or got ambushed while crawling through the hoopy tunnel thing, having both ends tied up with skipping ropes until saved by Miss Duff, but that was just kids being kids! If you pissed your pants while painting, because you just really really thought you could finish before... ohhhh.. no... but I didn't want that bit to be yellow... if you pissed yourself, the teacher just got you some spare, presumably clean undies out of the tub - boys or girls, blue or purple, pink or green, it didn't matter - you put them on and suffered. You suffered because everybody poked their head under the desk for the rest of the day and laughed at me.. er I mean whoever, but that was because you were just wearing undies for the rest of the day - not because of the cut or because of the colour!

But move forward a year or so to Grade 1 and there was an awakening happening. It started on the very first day of class... like some testosterone suddenly magically manifested in our gonads in unison, all the boys stood up and one by one, in an unspoken initiation ceremony.. actually this bit isn't true. It was still magical, but the truth was more profound. You see it started with one boy, with big balls who, after unpacking his new stationary supplies, stood up, went to the bin and snapped his pink pencil and texta, before discarding them in disgust. It was after seeing this, all the other small-balled boys followed. They went to the rubbish bin with their pink pencils and pink textas and snapped them in half, throwing them in the bin. I still have vivid memories of staring down into that rubbish bin and seeing those brand new pencils and textas lying in the bottom of the bin, broken, before making my sacrifice, not really knowing why I was doing it, only that I should. This seemed to do something weird to a few of the girls as well (and remember this is a true story) as a few of them also took out their pink pencils and started to hitch their school dresses up a little and.. er.. pull their panties to the side to insert them into themselves.. like some kind of new age eastern European feminist movement.. again all eyes were under the table.. This was a lot to take in for a shy 6 year old..

This activation meant that long socks and sandals when you lost or broke your school shoes was no longer an option - which meant for many, gumboots were the only option. It also meant that the boys formed factions easily, at least at first. I remember these at one point being based on what we thought the 'real' names of a doodle and fanny were. Some said 'dick' others said 'cock'. I don't recall anybody having an answer to challenge fanny, that was simply a mystery to us mortal 6 year old boys. Again, it was the big-balled one who led the way, declaring that the real names were 'penis and vagina', and he knew because his mum told him. At first, all were in disbelief, as if! I remember thinking they are not even real words! And who talks to their parents about such things anyway, and worse, his mum was my Sunday School teacher (where sandals and long-socks were still okay)!

Some bravely mocked the big-balled one, and others, maybe even more bravely sought the counsel of a parent or older sibling.. and after a time the consensus was in, and it was indeed true.. but even we knew as 6 year olds that these were grown-up words, so for now we would still use doodle and we would still use fanny.. but though our vocabulary didn't change, something had shifted. These were the two great signs that the big-balled one was our leader - until this point, we did not even know that we needed leading, but our gonads had spoken, and they had chosen for us a KING..

Well not quite. The truth was, we hadn't chosen a king at all. He had been chosen by some force, but we had no say in it. Even if somebody wanted to walk their own path, they couldn't - or if they thought they could they risked being beaten and bashed by the King's minions. Never by the big-balled one himself, not that I ever remembered anyway. And the funny thing is, I never remember feeling injustice or wishing any harm on him, as I had seen the miracles myself, and there was an air of resignation that this was the way things just… were. I remember a lot of bullies throughout my school years, but this felt natural, not forced. From strength, not from weakness. The King was my best friend, but we were in no way equals.

I remember when I befell his judgement. The decree was to rid the school ground of any boy who was NOT a Geelong supporter. Now I don't really remember following a VFL team before this moment. I remember I used to like barracking for any team that Collingwood was playing to try and spite my father as a young boy, but the truth was, Dad played football every Saturday afternoon (and from all accounts was very very good at it) and in the early to mid 80's the VFL games were played mostly at 2pm on Saturday, and so I was always where ever he was - playing in the dirt with my match-box cars at Bethune Park, finding ancient artefacts in the pine trees at Lilydale, getting covered in red mud at Scottsdale or looking for dinosaur bones at Bluegum Park in George Town.. My footballing heroes were those I watched play with my dad - all hairy and oiled with footy shorts two sizes too small - they were like gods who I inspired to be like when I grew up, and they were who I pretended to be when we played in the back-yard or had a kick at half-time, not a player on some team on the TV screen - the TV was for 'The Smurfs', for 'He-Man', for 'Battle of the Planets' and for 'Astro-Boy'

But I do remember at some point having to pledge my allegiance to Geelong. Not to the King, that was a given, but to Geelong. So I did, as did all the boys.. eventually. And that is how as a kid in grade one, I became a Geelong Supporter..

What led you to follow your Footy team?
 

Log in to remove this ad.

JackFlash

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 28, 2012
9,428
8,202
Docklands
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
QPR, Buffalo Bills, McLaren F1
My mother was from the bush and she had several brothers who were "champion" country footballers, she became a football fanatic and Geelong became her first love, it was more important to her than any sort of girlie things women liked back before i was even thought of. She lived a dropkick from Kardinia Park, but the family had to move to Melbourne and then i came along, i was brainwashed at a very early age living right smack in the middle of Essendon territory. She never failed to regale the stories of Geelong's glory years of the early 50s when she was young.
Growing up near Moonee Ponds as the only Geelong supporter wasn't easy as 95% of school kids at both primary and secondary levels were all Bombers fans.
The look on her face when i received a letter of invitation to Essendon training one year still sticks with me, she was horrified! I was pretty happy, but I never grew tall enough to mix it with those monsters and so, it was back to the Under 17s in the EDFL for me.
But i held firm even though i must have gone to Windy Hill 40 or 50 times as a kid just to watch any game. If Geelong won up there it was like winning the Flag! I went to the footy every week with a friend and didn't miss a game for about 10 years and the Cats were rarely any good.
My mother was the most optimistic person i have ever met, "there's always next week" she would say after another drubbing, I would then inform her we play Carlton at Princes Park and the chances of winning are remote. I grew up in an era when Geelong was not really respected and were considered a "win" for most good teams. Then came Gary Ablett ...fans just didn't come from Geelong anymore and i was not alone in the madness. I've always been a tragic and wear my heart on my sleeve, wouldn't swap the footy journey for anything.
I've tried to dump them several times, but it cannot be done and as we all know footy fans have little attention spans and any defeat is forgotten once the next win comes around. Never experienced a premiership until 2007 and did i cry at the end of it? I was a blithering mess at 3QTR time!
 

BuffDog

All Australian
Nov 10, 2009
910
1,245
Melbourne
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Fulham
What’s more enticing than a team with a successful and somewhat chequered history?

Plus red and black is pretty easy to incorporate into a flexible football outfit and we occasionally get to wave our scarves around weeeeew
 

Cager Macleod

R.I.P Shane Warne
Jul 19, 2010
3,117
4,603
Toorak
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Anahiem Ducks, Raptors
The year was 1994. I was a young child and the footy was on the TV. I was hooked

I asked mum if there were any cat teams and she said Geelong so I picked them.

Anyway the next day my mum's best friend and the women who has become like a second mother to me, and who's whole family was mad richmond; came over with a Richmond scarf and a filled out membership form.

So basically in less than 24 hours I'd gone from discovering footy, choosing the cats and then becoming a Richmond member. Which I have been ever since.
 

Harry Bosch

Club Legend
Jun 12, 2002
1,777
2,178
Ouray
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Richmond
Originally was a south melbourne supporter(mum was one) but switched over to richmond when i was 8 or 9..
Can't remember why but have been told it was because Tigers were my favourite animal...
 

tenderwarrior

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 26, 2003
5,470
4,624
Launceston
AFL Club
Geelong
Supporting one of the best-run clubs in the country under Sheedy, awesome indigenous players with Long, Wanganeen also players like Hird, Lloyd, Lucas, Bewick, Mercuri, Fletcher ect and now has become as bad as any in the world. Drugs / Cheats and how long without a final win?
a lament worthy of King David
 

Philth

Club Legend
Feb 4, 2008
1,701
2,396
Geraldton
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Leeds United
I got my first pair of footy socks when I was 5. They were yellow and black. This was late 70's.
"Mum, what team is yellow and black?"
"Richmond and Glenelg"
That was it, I was a Tiger.
It's been a rough ride.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Lsta062

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 15, 2014
18,292
35,291
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Chelsea, LA Lakers, Western United
Simple. I liked tigers (the animal) and my two close friends in primary school barracked for Richmond. That was enough to convince me. Given that I started following them in 2002 or 2003, it was quite a long journey to 2017, which was our first finals win since I started following them.
 

Mr Cheese

All Australian
Mar 25, 2020
675
1,473
AFL Club
Fremantle
The love of a good women. It was in the offseason prior to 2014. I was pleased, she'd done right by me. 2015 I visited this fair land for the first time, Freo were undefeated and I proposed.

Started to feel like I'd been sold a pup around mid 2016. Around 2019 I was questioning my worth as a human being, I mean if she was this wrong about a footy club (I'd availed myself of our 'glorious' history by then) then perhaps her other life-long commitment choices were suspect too?

Thankfully a miracle pixie with feathers in his cap arrived, with his awkward, lanky sidekick and I can once again see that she is, in fact, a genius on both fronts.
 

citizen-erased

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 11, 2007
25,171
19,975
Victoria
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Tottenham, Bayern, Milan, Celtic
prior to 1990 GF.
Had my mum and my cousin both trying to convert me to a team
My cousin won...who has since jumped to the blues.

In 93 I really got into the Dons and players. Wanga, Hird, Bewick, Symons, Salmon, Mercuri.
Wanga leaving still hurts. Nice to have Tex down at bomberland

Opted to see Something for Kate & Powderfinger over the Prelim in 99. told my mate before the game to get my GF ticket after the game......
Was at 00 GF. That was excellent.
Was at 01 too...less so. learnt the lesson of arrogance that day
Great seasons those.

long suffering now.
though I've learnt my lesson. Now I look for when the bookies have stupid odds
Carlton $8 for a win on a wet Saturday at the G.....lol. stupid bookies
Dees $11 after Q1 as it started raining at the G....I think that was 2011. Stupid bookies.
 

Falcon3518

All Australian
Suspended
Mar 13, 2022
762
437
AFL Club
Richmond
Probably like most tigers supporters we were just born into it because we were crap. It’s just a bonus that we have the best colours, song, mascot, most members, best finals player ever and are closest to the MCG.
 

Looney

Club Legend
Apr 28, 2010
2,224
3,564
Melbourne
AFL Club
Collingwood
Probably like most tigers supporters we were just born into it because we were crap. It’s just a bonus that we have the best colours, song, mascot, most members, best finals player ever and are closest to the MCG.
Yeah... well... you know that’s just like ahh... your opinion man...
 

deck

Premiership Player
Aug 7, 2004
4,248
2,243
Melburn
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Liverpool, SF 49ers, FSU
Born into it. Both my Dad and Pop grew up in Perry St Collingwood. Although it was never forced on me it was only natural when you grow up idolising your Dad and everything he does.
 

Adelaide Hawk

TheBrownDog
Sep 21, 2002
50,051
42,715
Adelaide
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Norwood
Began watching Peter Hudson back in 1968, and because he played for the Hawks, I wanted to see Hawthorn play. After he was injured, Peter Knights became my favourite. 12 flags later, I consider myself rather fortunate Huddo decided to join the Hawks.
 

Remove this Banner Ad

Remove this Banner Ad