Whats in a name? Australian Football v Australian football

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SBD Gonzalez

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Kidding, right?
Its embedded in the code name for soccer too. Or did you miss the football part of Association Football.
Well clearly the FFA did when they renamed the sport. LOL.

Its not a "common courtesy" at all. Its a preference you and others of your mind have, and one that no one has ever been obliged to follow. Football means different things to different people, they arent required to notify you of their preferred choice.
And your authority on this is....?

(See, two can play at this game.)

The only people who flipped out about this were people on AFL based forums. No one else - not rugby leauge, not rugby union, nor any other code had an issue. Neither for that matter did AFL House, or the SANFL, the WAFL. This fight was almost solely fought by angry AFL fans.
Not in my observation but (a) perhaps because our game is called Australian Football and (b) heaven forbid we should ever let the lifeblood of the sport actually have a voice. Sheesh. You'll go a long way in the business.

No. Its too generic a term to succeed - predates any codification by any football code in the world.
Not convinced. Might is right. If an organisation gets big enough there's nothing it won't try, if it perceives it might knock a hole in its rivals. Have you read Hunter Fujak's book yet? (Which is where this all started.) Kinda sheds a different light on how a lot of this works.

They did announce they were calling themselves football. They didnt say no one else was. Your inferring something that literally was never said or implied and havent shown anything that says otherwise in your numerous posts.
If you can't see that there is an exclusivity embedded in claiming the name "football" in a country with three other major football codes, I don't know what else I can say. I don't know if you're being obdurate, or obtuse, or I'm failing to convey something that seems as plain as day to me.

"The mods" was me as I didnt want the Non AFL thread derailed by this discussion.
Well I would have thought there were few things more germane to that thread than discussion of branding, but I respect you may have admin-specific reasons for that.

Anyway, I'm done here. Stay safe.
 

SBD Gonzalez

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Kidding, right?
Just to pick up the mood of the time, here is Simon Hill's "smell the fear" article from 16 years ago, very much focussed on Rugby League for whom the move into asia had somehow "really browned the trousers of the egg-ball scribblers"

Let's not pretend everything was sanguine between other codes back then

Australian soccer's obsession with Australian football as the primary persecutor is a recent phenomenon. Obvioulsy the world cup bid - expecting the AFL to hand over stadia in the middle of their season - is factor but I do wonder whether the single white female, collective paranoia has anything to do with the name change to football? Its focussed a rather fevered hive mind on to the sport that has what it can't have

..................................................................

Can you smell the fear?
Simon Hill (SBS - The World Game Presenter)

Can you? If you live in Sydney, you'll hardly be able to breathe for the pungent stench. The egg-ballers are starting to sweat - and the putrid odour of fear is enveloping the Harbour City in the only way it knows how...via the pages of the city's newspapers. In all my years in football, I've never witnessed such an intense,
vitriolic campaign against the game I - and millions of others - love with a passion.

It all started two weeks ago with an odious article written by a guy called Paul Kent in the Daily Telegraph. Entitled 'Dress for distress, hooligans with flare', Kent wrote a piece so drenched in fear and hatred - not just
of football but of the 'ethnics' - he almost drowned in his own invective. Now I don't know Paul Kent - I've never met him - but I have it on good authority that he is a Rugby League journalist. As he works for the Telegraph (owned by News Limited, which in turn owns the rights to the NRL), then it's a fair guess he's no great fan of our game.

Fair enough.

I'm no great fan of AFL - which is why I rarely touch upon it in opinion pieces, because I don't understand it and it's of no interest to me. The question then, is why are Kent and his like sticking the boot in? Well, the answer is clear. Rugby League in particular is feeling very uneasy about football's big year.

The A-League is just around the corner, Harry Kewell is about to play in a Champions League final, and the national team have another chance to qualify for the World Cup. But it's the move to Asia that has really browned the trousers of the egg-ball scribblers. They know full well the impact this could have on the other football codes...and League in particular.

Rugby League holds a unique position in Australian sport - it's neither a national code, nor a minor code. Due to it's stranglehold in Sydney and Brisbane it gains much more attention than it probably deserves. Ask people in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Darwin about League, and they'll more than likely shrug their shoulders.

Australian Rules Football has long since outwitted it in terms of being the biggest spectator sport - and Rugby Union with it's Commonwealth...sorry, World Cup, is starting to make inroads in to its traditional territories
too.

It can ill afford another rival in its heartlands - and so, football, with local glamour club Sydney FC starting to grab some attention, gets its ritual kicking. Dwight Yorke, Pierre Littbarski, Anthony La Paglia - these are names known and respected worldwide, and the League scribes don't like it...not one little bit.

Kent's article was actually just the latest in a long line of
carefully-worded digs at the world game by the Telegraph. For months it has been running a campaign aimed at discrediting the sport.

Just to cite a few examples, we've had stories on how 'Soccer over 35'sgetting injured in Sunday league games are a drain on the health service' as well as 'How soccer gives you brain injuries by repeated heading of the
ball' through to the usual guff about 'ethnic' hooligans threatening totear the very fabric of Australian society apart...oh, and the quitefrankly bizarre resurrection of the Frank Farina-Andrew Orsatti story that allowed football lovers such as Mike Gibson to get involved.

These articles are very 'Rugby League' - a game where the only skills required are to be able to catch the ball, run with it and hit very hard.

And that's exactly what others have done. The Sydney Morning Herald - led by football hater in-chief Peter Fitzsimmons, (wonderfully irked by having to call the sport by its proper name under the Herald's new policy) - has grabbed the ball, run with it, and waded in with some gems of its own. Check out last weekend's offering by someone called Stephen Gibbs, who slammed the game using the usual stereotypes. I'll pick out a few quotes
for you from Gibbs's article, and you'll get the gist.

* 'I always thought it was a game for sissies' (sheilas - tick!)
* 'Anyone calling soccer football with an accent is probably certifiable'(wogs - tick!),
* 'Other football codes use athletic men and gorgeous women to promote their game' (poofters - tick, and that's a full house!).

Johnny Warren will be turning in his grave - after years of fighting this prejudicial garbage, the title of his autobiography has been vindicated in one, painfully ill-informed piece. Anthony La Paglia comes in for a bit of stick during the piece too - which is strange, considering he is considered a bit of an Aussie hero. But it seems if he likes 'soccer' - then he reverts to being 'just another wog'.

Sad, very sad indeed.

Even The Australian wades in with some uninformed comments. A throwaway line it may have been in a column called 'Strewth' but it underlines the fact that the concept of a 'fair go' in this country still doesn't apply to our game. The paper sneers at the concept of the A-League striving for excellence when 'the Central Coast Mariners had to order a coach to take them by road to Adelaide for the Club World Championship Qualifying Final'. (This was before the switch to Gosford incidentally.)

Now, the article contains a half-truth. The Mariners most certainly DID order a coach...for the short trip to Sydney airport. Which I would have thought is perfectly normal for a team from the coast? It looks slightly different when you know the truth eh?

> The problem for football with this type of journalism is that it DOES
> impact on the general public - at a time when the sport is trying to make a
> transition from old to new. The League crowd know this - and they are
> trying everything in their power to keep the game small, ignoring the
> strident efforts made by FFA to rid the game of it's problems (yes, we know
> there are some), and the fact that many of their readers love the game.
>
> You want small? I'll give you small. This week's Braith Anasta situation
> highlighted League's problems perfectly. Coveted by the New South Wales
> Waratahs who can offer him Super 12 rugby (okay, trips to New Zealand and
> South Africa may not seem much, but it's a start) and a potentially
> meaningful international career, Anasta's club side responded with a mighty
> comeback.
>
> What could the Bulldogs give young Braith to tempt him to stay the
> reporters asked? The answer - continuity. Yup, that's all folks! More of
> the same. Another trip to Penrith...a once a year sojourn over the Tasman
> to play the Warriors, maybe an annual trip to Wigan. Tough choice Braith.
>
> League's failure to penetrate nationally is exacerbated by its complete
> lack of international profile. Last year it seemed they were going some way
> to redeem that with the launch of the Tri-Nations series, which initially
> proved a huge success.
>
> Problem is, when really put to the test, Australia simply crushed Great
> Britain like they've done for the last forty years, and on their return,
> NRL coaches retreated in to their provincialism, claiming the tournament
> was 'too long' and 'could impact on the domestic season'. I'll tell you
> what guys - YOU stay small, you know it makes sense.
>
> How the League boys must long for the days when the only access to
> Australia was by boat, and the only television coverage was local and
> parochial. No overseas football to contend with, no glamour from elsewhere
> giving Australians a flavour of something different.
>
> Well, the world has changed, and League knows Asia, with its tough
> international qualifying zone and cash-rich Champions League is something
> that it can never, ever compete with.
>
> The irony of the League crowd is that on the one hand, they preach about
> how disgraceful the crowd incidents are at football - yet in the same
> breath, revel in photos of 'big, tough' players on the pitch trying to rip
> each others heads off. How does that work exactly? (Oh, and while we're
> about it, isn't giving someone a 'wedgie' just a teensy bit poofy boys?)
>
> But there's another, much bigger, irony that hasn't been touched on at all
> by the media in Sydney. On the same day as the 'soccer riots' took place
> between Sydney United and Bonnyrigg in Parramatta (arrest count single
> figures), rather more trouble was afoot across town at the Rugby League
> game between St. George and the Sydney Roosters - twenty eight arrests to
> be exact. Anyone read that in their Sydney paper in the days that followed?
> No? Me either.
>
> Fights at the League game? Just the lads having too much beer, that's all.
> Fights at the 'soccer'? Ethnic warfare - that's the message from Sydney's
> media.
>
> All of which wouldn't be so bad if there was some balance somewhere - but
> so far, only ABC televisions The Glasshouse programme has managed to take a
> stab at the difference in coverage, labelling some of the reporting at
> worst, 'racist'. Couldn't have put it better myself.
>
> So, what can we do about it? Well, making your feelings known is one way -
> but I'd prefer a different approach. Vote with your feet. If you truly love
> the game, support the A-League and make it a rip-roaring success by going
> to matches. That's the only way we can put this type of crass journalism to
> bed for good.
Yep, very partisan, just like what he is criticising. There is absolutely no love lost between the codes. That's why I found Fujak's book so refreshing - it is genuinely agnostic and sanguine.

Had to laugh at the closer:

Vote with your feet. If you truly love the game, support the A-League and make it a rip-roaring success by going to matches. That's the only way we can put this type of crass journalism to bed for good.

I agree, the articles Simon Hill was critiquing were the epitome of crass. But it's ironic that with the benefit of hindsight, we can see that soccer fans did indeed vote with their feet, and have stayed away from the A-League in increasing droves with every passing year. "Smell the fear" indeed.
 

BobbyMorri

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I agree, the articles Simon Hill was critiquing were the epitome of crass. But it's ironic that with the benefit of hindsight, we can see that soccer fans did indeed vote with their feet, and have stayed away from the A-League in increasing droves with every passing year. "Smell the fear" indeed.
the article is from 2005 or 6.

every passing year would indicate that attendance levels would have fallen in a linear degression. or at least a general backwards trend.

The fact is attendants have risen from 1 mil to 1.5 mil* since the time the article was written. yes, there are more games now but your sentence is still wrong. We don't see these type of articles as often now, so perhaps, with the benefit of hindsight, Simon Hill was right.

*(2019 season). 2020 has certain issues.
 

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The_Wookie

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If you can't see that there is an exclusivity embedded in claiming the name "football" in a country with three other major football codes, I don't know what else I can say. I don't know if you're being obdurate, or obtuse, or I'm failing to convey something that seems as plain as day to me.
No your conveying it fine, its just I have an objection to your comments - I have a fundamental issue with your claim that soccer tried in some way to claim the term exclusively in any way. You've produced no citations or other evidence that this happened.
 

RedV3x

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I have a fundamental issue with your claim that soccer tried in some way to claim the term exclusively in any way.
There goes your credibility.
I actually use the term "Australian Rules Football" now otherwise I get inundated with soccer links.
 

The_Wookie

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There goes your credibility.
Lol sure it does. We arent a hive mind. I dont have to follow something that never happened.

I actually use the term "Australian Rules Football" now otherwise I get inundated with soccer links.
Really? I run through 26 different websites a day for sportsindustry feeds and theres no confusion as to what sport is what.

google search for Australian football takes you to

1. Australianfootball.com
2. Australian Rules Football wiki
3. AFL.com.au
4. AFL Europe
5. USAFL

In fact 18 of the first 20 google links are Australian Football (AFL) related - the other two are the FFA website and twitter.

Google image search is all Australian football until a long way down you hit a W-league image.

Top hits for youtube were all Australian football related
 

Gigantor

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Yes, quickly did a search of Australian football, and I was pleasantly surprised to find the first 12 being AFL related.
Then there was one soccer one.
Then an international rules one.
Then strangely, one on NZ's haka (as in rugby union).
And then netball!
 

SBD Gonzalez

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Kidding, right?
No your conveying it fine, its just I have an objection to your comments - I have a fundamental issue with your claim that soccer tried in some way to claim the term exclusively in any way. You've produced no citations or other evidence that this happened.
Sheesh I said that in a country with a long-established history for multiple meanings of the word "football", and most relevant to this case - a usage as an umbrella term to describe its four major codes (a situation which is unique in the world), of which none exclusively called themselves football, one decided it's going to call itself simply "football".

If that's not trying to exclusively claim the term (I'm looking, but I don't see any other words there, just "football"; how much more exclusive does a single word with no other words attached have to be, before you agree it's, y'know, um... a single word?) then we're speaking different languages.
 
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SBD Gonzalez

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Kidding, right?
the article is from 2005 or 6.

every passing year would indicate that attendance levels would have fallen in a linear degression. or at least a general backwards trend.

The fact is attendants have risen from 1 mil to 1.5 mil* since the time the article was written. yes, there are more games now but your sentence is still wrong. We don't see these type of articles as often now, so perhaps, with the benefit of hindsight, Simon Hill was right.

*(2019 season). 2020 has certain issues.
Yes, sorry, I might have phrased that more accurately; I was speaking off the top of my head, but the point is still that numbers haven't moved much at all.

The A-League has gone from just short of a million through the turnstiles in its first season, to a peak of 1.7 mil for two years running, then had started to decline before COVID hit, in fact clocking in at 1.4 mil for the two seasons before COVID. Not exactly taking the nation by storm.

And not the "rip-roaring" success that Simon Hill was hoping for (and a lot of people were certain was going to happen). And we're not talking about a brand-new sport. This was a comp building on the three decades' history of the NSL immediately before it.

Fujak's chapter on Australian soccer in his book makes a pretty strong case that soccer might have peaked in this country, and ends with the verdict that it's time we dropped the "sleeping giant" descriptor.
 

SBD Gonzalez

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Kidding, right?
Lol sure it does. We arent a hive mind. I dont have to follow something that never happened.



Really? I run through 26 different websites a day for sportsindustry feeds and theres no confusion as to what sport is what.

google search for Australian football takes you to

1. Australianfootball.com
2. Australian Rules Football wiki
3. AFL.com.au
4. AFL Europe
5. USAFL

In fact 18 of the first 20 google links are Australian Football (AFL) related - the other two are the FFA website and twitter.

Google image search is all Australian football until a long way down you hit a W-league image.

Top hits for youtube were all Australian football related
You do know we all get different results from Google?
 

The_Wookie

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Sheesh I said that in a country with a long-established history for multiple meanings of the word "football", and most relevant to this case - a usage as an umbrella term to describe its four major codes (a situation which is unique in the world), of which none exclusively called themselves football, one decided it's going to call itself simply "football".
Im well aware of what you said.

It was also known as football long before the governing body rebrand in 2005. All that happened in 2005 was the governing body started to market itself as football in line with how the game is known world wide.

If that's not trying to exclusively claim the term (I'm looking, but I don't see any other words there, just "football"; how much more exclusive does a single word with no other words attached have to be, before you agree it's, y'know, um... a single word?) then we're speaking different languages.
Its not. You are putting way more meaning into this than is actually there. Them calling themselves football didnt and hasnt prevented anyone else from using the term, nothing the FFA has said since 2005 has sugggested otherwise, and no Australian Football body has had any issue with it - in fact several state body rebrands have directly taken the names of former Australian Football bodies (ie. Football Tasmania, Football Victoria) without comment or care from the AFL.
 

HanYolo

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in fact several state body rebrands have directly taken the names of former Australian Football bodies (ie. Football Tasmania, Football Victoria) without comment or care from the AFL.
They won't comment because there is no legal action they can take to stop it, and even if there was they would get pilloried to no end by the ABC, NewsCorp etc if they tried.
Its not. You are putting way more meaning into this than is actually there. Them calling themselves football didnt and hasnt prevented anyone else from using the term, nothing the FFA has said since 2005 has sugggested otherwise,
By the same token the only thing stopping the FFA from claiming exclusive domain over 'football' as a noun is the lack of a legal avenue to do so imo. They haven't encouraged media outlets to use football exclusively in reference to soccer, or run ad campaigns like "WE are Football", out of some kumbaya belief that several sports can share the name.
 

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RedV3x

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I run through 26 different websites a day for sportsindustry feeds and theres no confusion as to what sport is what.
Well any intelligent person would have 26 links ingrained.

google search for Australian football takes you to
When you search "Australian Football development" it's all soccer.
When you search "Australian Football participation" it's mostly soccer.
When you search for something specific that's when it happens
but that's getting away from your statement that soccer hasn't attempted to monopolised the word "football".
Basically because FIFA and the IOC use the word "football" exclusively for soccer and most of Europe does the same
then soccer feels it can force the rest of the world to follow suit.
 

RedV3x

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theres no confusion as to what sport is what.
What I find total b.s. is the media organisations headlining "football player .....", "football news...."
when it's a soccer player or non-AFL subject, knowing that they'll get more attention that way.
There's a simple ay to avoid that and they just don't do it - just use the league - AFL, NRL, EPL, FIFA etc
 

HTT

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The biggest reason for the mess is the AFL giving themselves ownership of the game of Australian football, and rebranding every single thing they can as 'AFL ...'
It is the most powerful sport in the country - it's not a case of soccer forcing itself in and taking over the name, its footy moving aside and just letting them do it because of branding for what should be a separate entity.
 

BobbyMorri

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They won't comment because there is no legal action they can take to stop it, and even if there was they would get pilloried to no end by the ABC, NewsCorp etc if they tried.

By the same token the only thing stopping the FFA from claiming exclusive domain over 'football' as a noun is the lack of a legal avenue to do so imo. They haven't encouraged media outlets to use football exclusively in reference to soccer, or run ad campaigns like "WE are Football", out of some kumbaya belief that several sports can share the name.
it was an ad campaign, which copied the Queensland Reds "We are Queensland, We are Red".

can anyone find any evidence that the FFA has discouraged the use of Australian Football for any other code. And not from Simon Hill or Foz but from the FFA.
 

RedV3x

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can anyone find any evidence that the FFA has discouraged the use of Australian Football.
Yes, just LOOK around you. It pinched Australian Football titles (the existing Australian Football).
You cannot get any more discouraging than that to the indigenous code.
 

RedV3x

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The biggest reason for the mess is the AFL giving themselves ownership of the game of Australian football, and rebranding every single thing they can as 'AFL ...'
The AFL is an organisation and uses it's branding as a tool mainly where r.l. was dominant.
It actually makes sense, especially overseas, as these leagues are in fact "Australian Football Leagues"
 

HTT

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The AFL is an organisation and uses it's branding as a tool mainly where r.l. was dominant.
It actually makes sense, especially overseas, as these leagues are in fact "Australian Football Leagues"
Different story in NSW/QLD I’ll concede, but the branding is not limited to there. ‘AFL Victoria’ is the peak body in Victoria for example.
 

NoobPie

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They won't comment because there is no legal action they can take to stop it, and even if there was they would get pilloried to no end by the ABC, NewsCorp etc if they tried.

By the same token the only thing stopping the FFA from claiming exclusive domain over 'football' as a noun is the lack of a legal avenue to do so imo. They haven't encouraged media outlets to use football exclusively in reference to soccer, or run ad campaigns like "WE are Football", out of some kumbaya belief that several sports can share the name.

Well said on both counts

An interesting side note, the AFL have previously defended the use of the term "AFL" to describe the sport as motivated by not wanting to use "football" so as to avoid antagonising potential new adherents north of the Barassi line.

To the extent that had any influence rather than just a shallow exercise in branding probably comes down to individual levels of cynicism

But as you've identified, the very act of insisting on the word "football" be used in mainstream media outlets to describe your particularly code is to make a claim of exclusivity.

If Australian soccer thinks that's in its best interests than it can knock itself out. But spare us the incessant cries of persecution and paranoid jumping at every imagined slight
 

The_Wookie

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Well any intelligent person would have 26 links ingrained.
Any intelligent person would know that its not that simple.

Basically because FIFA and the IOC use the word "football" exclusively for soccer and most of Europe does the same
then soccer feels it can force the rest of the world to follow suit.
Has that REALLY hapened though..or did you and others like you just feel that way because soccer in Australia chose to follow the rest of the planet in its nomenclature.

Yes, just LOOK around you. It pinched Australian Football titles (the existing Australian Football).
You cannot get any more discouraging than that to the indigenous code.
It used titles abandoned by AFL Victoria and AFL Tasmania years ago that I know of.
 

The_Wookie

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They won't comment because there is no legal action they can take to stop it, and even if there was they would get pilloried to no end by the ABC, NewsCorp etc if they tried.
While this is true, this doesnt change the fact that they havent commented.

By the same token the only thing stopping the FFA from claiming exclusive domain over 'football' as a noun is the lack of a legal avenue to do so imo. They haven't encouraged media outlets to use football exclusively in reference to soccer, or run ad campaigns like "WE are Football", out of some kumbaya belief that several sports can share the name.
so a no to the exclsuivity request as well.

I mean its for sure the ONLY thing.
 
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