Ranking the AFL theme songs

The AFL theme song is tribalism at it’s finest in Australia. Debate rages between supporter groups as to who has the best song. The solution? Trying to rank them without factoring in how I feel about the team.

1. Richmond Tigers – The clearest winner the Tigers have had since 1980. There’s something special about hearing “Yellow and Black” bellowed out by the Richmond faithful that gives it the top spot.

 

2. North Melbourne Kangaroos – A slight State Of Origin bias here, but having this double as the Big V theme song helps the cause. There’s a jaunty side to “Join in the chorus” that I just can’t help but sing along to.

 

 

3. Brisbane Lions – Taking their tune from the old Fitzroy song (and one of the best national anthems around), the pride of Brisbane town is hard to ignore.

 

 

4. Western Bulldogs – Until a few years ago I didn’t think the Doggies song had a lot going for it. Since moving to within 2 kilometres of Whitten Oval I’ve been sucked into the role the club plays in the mood of the community. First class.

 

 

5. Port Adelaide Power – This is the song that most AFL fans love even though they want to hate it. It’s. So. Damn. Catchy.

 

 

6. Melbourne Demons – The Dees have one of the lesser heard songs over the last decade, so it’s not overly offensive to hear given a lack of chronic overplaying.  Lyrically it strikes what sport is about – the way our heart beats.

 

 

7. Sydney Swans – The old bloke the Swans have in the middle of the circle after a win makes the Swans song so special. Talk about passion. Would have ranked higher if they could get a South Melbourne reference in there.

 

8. Carlton Blues – Solid old-fashioned music. Enough said.

 

 

9. St. Kilda Saints – St. Kilda – A club and a song tainted with frustration and aspirations for their day in the sun.

 

 

10. Geelong Cats – Clever lyrics but more importantly the excellent use of the trumpet gives the Cats an advantage over other clubs.

 

 

11. Essendon Bombers –  Not the best lyrically (I love a pun but there’s only so many times you can fly up) but it’s clear and concise.

 

 

12. Collingwood Magpies – “Side by side” works. Opposition fans can mock it at their peril because it really does define the club. Not sure about Premierships being a cakewalk though….

 

 

13. Adelaide Crows – Slightly outdated with “The pride of South Australia”now that the state has a second team in the competition. Nothing wrong with this song, it just doesn’t have the widespread appeal it once did.

 

 

14. Hawthorn Hawks – Get used to hearing this in September for the majority of this decade. Questionable use of being a happy team (which they are) and more points would be awarded if the club changed their name to the Hawthorn Fighting Hawks… Because that’s just epic.

 

 

15. West Coast Eagles – The shouting at the start doesn’t work. Neither does flying high with such great consistency.

 

 

16. Fremantle Dockers – Heave no. Trying to be new and hip just hasn’t worked.

 

 

17. Gold Coast Suns – You’ve got to feel for the Suns. If it wasn’t for the absurd trumpeting at the start of the song (which they also use after they kick a goal) they’d be further up the ladder.

 

 

18. Greater Western Sydney Giants – The music in the GWS song makes you feel like a 1930’s detective (which is great) but the lyrics are flat out awful.

 

 

Honourable mention – The original Brisbane Bears song. So unique, so 80’s. Cheers Bears.

 

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Deebacle 2015

I have no idea what the Melbourne Football Club are going to do this year.

What I do know is that we aren’t winning a Premiership. I also know we need to score more points and we have the weapons to do it.

Angus Brayshaw should be a shining light for the Dees this year

Angus Brayshaw should be a shining light for the Dees this year

I fell for it with Jack Watts, Tom Scully and Jack Trengove. They were all going to be the one who turned the fortunes of the Melbourne Football Club around. As much as I love you Jesse Hogan, I’m not going to put you in the same category. Not because I believe you don’t deserve to be there, purely because the pressure of Melbourne is a miserable thing to lump on anyone.

We have a great core of young players with one thing in common. I want to see more from them in 2015. Jack Viney, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Christian Salem and Dom Tyson all need to be playing at their best every week if we are going to see progression.

We should have won more than four games last year and we should win more than four games this year, but who knows? Preseason is a great indicator, even though the wins and losses don’t matter as much. We could have beaten Freo, where we put up a good fight all day. We should have finished the Bulldogs off a lot sooner than we did. Essendon was summed up by the losing turnover – some days it just isn’t going to happen.

At the end of last year I thought we could win seven or eight games. Within half an hour of Christian Petracca being ruled out for the season I adjusted that to being happy with winning five games. Being happy with being awful is enough to make me miserable before a Matt Jones kick in anger.

I just want something to smile about on a regular basis. We haven’t made the finals since Channel Nine had rights (2006), and with the exception of the first half of 2010 and roughly half of our games in a horribly inconsistent 2011, we have not looked like breaking the drought.

We also have a great group of older guys, but they aren’t getting consistent help. Dawes, Nathan Jones and Lumumba need to have career best years. I’m also looking forward to seeing what Stretch and Brayshaw can do.

Over to you Melbourne. Even if you can’t make me smile every week the Robbie Flower Wing is another stunning example of why I will never stop loving you.

A Buddy good decision

In case you have somehow missed the news this morning. Buddy Franklin is going to Sydney. That’s no surprise, the surprise comes from the fact he is going to be wearing Red and White in 2014.

Buddy is Sydney bound in 2014

Buddy is Sydney bound in 2014

People are divided into two categories on this one. The Bitter Bus, which currently has a line as long as the list of zeros of Buddy’s paycheck, and the good for him, I can’t wait to see what he is going to do for them group. I am firmly in the second group, and if you’re not a Hawks fan (of which there are plenty after last weekend), or a Giants fan (literally, Giants FAN not FANS), then you should join me in celebrating an athlete doing what they do best.

Like it or lump it, sport is business. That means that they are doing a job, not playing for fun, and as a result they are going to go to an employer who can give them the best working conditions. I was having a conversation with S the other night when she asked me if I thought athletes were overpaid, to which I responded that they weren’t because of the market value for their industry.

The AFL is worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and as a result the league need to employ people who are going to keep that money coming in. Franklin has kicked 580 goals in 182 games, including a 102 goal season in 2008, so it is fair to argue that he is one of the biggest drawcards in the league.

So why, as one of the most crucial cogs in the AFL wagon, would he go to an employer, who will not be able to provide him with the opportunity to continue to deliver the high level of product he started delivering in 2005? This is why the Red and White make sense. For this generation they have been one of the most active teams in the league in all senses, and regardless of how they have done it, they have found a way to get things done, which have seen them stay at the top of the AFL tree.

This is why we should be excited to see why Buddy is going to do with the SCG as his new playground. He has access to resources as good as he had at Hawthorn, so it is natural for us to expect that he will perform at the same level, which if he does should be enough to bring the Swans their third premiership in a decade.

You could argue this is the second time in a year we have seen the Swans pull this off after Mr. Tippett signed in less than pleasing circumstances last year, but there is one major difference. Tippett proved himself to be a liar, something Franklin hasn’t done.

Tippett claimed he wanted to go home, and last time I checked, Sydney wasn’t in Queensland, which led to an understandable level of frustration from Lions, Suns and Crows supporters.

Let’s all stop for a minute and celebrate the fact that an athlete is going out and doing what’s best for them and their family.

Lastly, at the end of the day I doubt anyone (myself included) wouldn’t take more money and better working conditions to do the exact same job.

I tip my hat to you Mr. Franklin

Hold the tears Jobe

Essendon produced a great come from behind victory last night. I admire the grit of any team that can do that in the west, Jobe Watson’s tears however aren’t so welcome.

Jobe Watson in happier times

Jobe Watson in happier times

Social Media went nuts last night after West Coast fans booed Watson every time he touched the ball. Some fans were outraged they could boo a player after the culture problems they’ve had at their own club, while some didn’t care because booing the opposition is part of the game.

Drugs in sport are horrible. Recreational drugs can often carry more health risks, while performance enhancers do just that, and for that reason I think the two are very different animals.

If a player makes the choice to take recreational drugs then they are putting their own health at risk while potentially putting those around them in danger. That can’t be applauded because it shows an obvious flaw in human nature.

If you take performance enhancing drugs, as Watson has admitted to then you are not only giving yourself an unfair advantage in your field, but you are tarnishing the name of your employers and the league to the point where the damage may be irreparable.

If you’re Jobe Watson, then you’d think being on roughly $800,000 to $1M a year, you would be able to independently check whether what you are taking is on the banned list.

In a past athletic life the first thing I did every time a doctor suggested I took something was check if it was on the banned list.

Now tell me, if I can be doing that from the age of 14 when I am earning absolutely nothing, what’s the harm in Jobe Moneybags (pun fully intended) placing a phone call or getting a second opinion?

I honestly don’t believe athletes can trust anybody who isn’t an official member of ASADA or WADA when it comes to what they are taking.

Sure, you can say that he was under the care of his employer so he should trust them, but look at the history of Dank and tell me if you’d trust him with anything.

Club captains are meant to be role models and set examples for not only the rest of the team, but everyone who in any way associates themselves with the team and I believe that while we should congratulate Watson for having the guts to come out and admit his actions, he has firmly failed as a role model as a result.

It can be argued that admitted his took a banned substance sends a great message to the community, and I agree on that point, but it doesn’t undo the wrong he has done through his own irresponsibility.

Should he lose his Brownlow? I don’t see an alternative.

 

 

 

Deebacle :: 2013 release

A few weeks ago I wrote a wonderful post how despite the fact that Melbourne were absolutely terrible, the belief that I had wouldn’t drop. What a long time a few weeks is in sport.

Remember Robbie Flower? He actually cared

Remember Robbie Flower? He actually cared

“Neeld gone, In comes Neil Craig” read the text I received just after nine this morning. My prompt response was filled with choice words that won’t be repeated here and the proclamation that we will not win again this season.

Not only do I wish that were a lie, but I wish I cared enough to care.

The sporting landscape is packed for the casual fan, so when you compulsively need a team to support, there are always five or six different leagues on the run.

I’m lucky that I live less than 15 kilometres from the MCG and can jaunt across whenever the mood strikes to view one of the longest standing passions of my life.

The mood has not and will not strike in 2013, in fact the last time the mood struck was for the simple fact I got to have a kick on the G’ after the game, before that? I have no idea.

The product is insipid, the management is questionable if it exists, the results are predictable, and even our social media channels are deluded, going as far as to call a 100 point loss a “tough afternoon”.

Let’s call it what it is – A business playing in a world where they don’t belong.

Does this mean I’m going to be taking my love elsewhere? Nope, simply put I’ll watch on the idiot box if I can and keep one eye on my phone if I can’t watch, in hope of a miracle.

I mentioned above that I live close to the home of football, yet there is a team who play their home games 16,935 kilometres who I’d much rather invest my time in.

I use the Boston Red Sox as little more than an example. Sure I can’t get to Fenway Park as often as I’d like to, but you know what I do get out of them? Respect.

Melbourne are in year 49 of a very boring premiership drought, where they are yet to flirt with winning on the last Saturday in September. Yes there have been two chances to buck the trend in my life, but when you lose those games by an average of 78 points, I don’t think that counts as giving it a good crack.

I look forward to seeing who we bring in next year, because I’m sure they’ve got some good ideas to take us forward, but given half of the current squad don’t want to be there, I see them suffering the same fate as Neeld.

As long as there is a Melbourne, I am Melbourne.

When I made the move south in 2011 I was overjoyed at the prospect of making the trip into the city every week and watching us make the move north in the standings, because let’s face it, that’s what I’ve waited my whole life to see.

Looking back I can see that hope really does spring eternal.

This may also seem very rash, but I’ve known we’ve been rubbish for a long time, and I have no regret in venting the frustrations at our current plight.

The only real regret I have is buying my Niece and Nephew Melbourne gear when they were born, because they have no choice but to follow the mediocre path I have traveled for 25 years.Maybe if the club wasn’t so accepting of the low bar they have set themselves then they might get somewhere.Cheers to another 25 years of misery if we make it that far!

 

 

 

Every heart beats true

I long for the day Mark Neeld does this

I long for the day Mark Neeld does this

For as long as I can remember a big part of my sporting obsession has been the Melbourne Football Club. Reports in the media this week comparing us to the 1996 and just prior Fitzroy sides has put enough doubt in my head as to how long this can stay the case.

Dear Melbourne FC,

First and foremost I would like to say that I can see what you’re trying to do and I like it. Where most would be writing you letters to complain and show their discontent with our current situation I’m happy to do the opposite. My sister made me support Melbourne, and while I didn’t understand the importance of this decision or lack-thereof at the time, I’d like to thank the club for shaping some aspects of my personality, mainly how things going wrong can help build character, because if there was ever an expert, you’re it.

Growing up my favourite player was none other than Jim Stynes, if only for the reason that he shares my birthday. Jimmy represented what I saw in the club through my young eyes, always having a crack and never giving up.

If I were your typical miserable fan, I’d make a sarcastic remark of “oh how that’s changed now I have perspective”, but you’ve shown me that it hasn’t.

Sure there have been some performances that have been lacking in substance this season, but that happens for every club, just ask Nathan Buckley.

My dad and I often joke we are in to year forty something of Barassi’s five-year plan, so I beg you to please stop putting time frames on things.

Yes, things are rough now, but the loyal fans will always be there, even if they aren’t at the game. My Niece and Nephew were both the recipients of Melbourne gear before they walk, and twice this season I’ve had to tell them they have no choice in who they support because somebody made that decision for them and a football team is forever. At least my Nephew can recognise this and say “I’d never support the Bombers, Nobody likes them and they’re bad guys”,  seriously that’s priceless from a four-year old.

The 2000 Grand Final should be the highlight of my life in Red and Blue, but it was anything but. A day that exposed me to the emotions of the game and saw me in tears five minutes into the second quarter.

It was false hope and nothing more, a hope which lead me to believe that at worst we’d win it all by 2004.

That didn’t really work out did it?

Is it the players that we recruit? That depends what you want to believe. My sister and I used to joke that you could put any player in a Melbourne jumper and they’d be heading down the career slope.

Then we signed Mitch Clark.

Don’t get me wrong, Mitch is one of the most exciting players I have ever seen don the Red and Blue, but his two injuries against GWS have taken the humor out of that joke, so perhaps rest him against them from now until eternity?

I know how tough the job is that the club faces, and I’m not talking on field. The guys and girls in the front office who have to turn up and slog it out every day, putting on a brave face, promoting the club, manning the social media channels, I’ve been there for a losing team and as the saying goes there are only so many ways you can skin a cat.

This weekend may have seen us lose again, but we’re not at the bottom of the ladder and the signs were impressive. They key is to find the confidence within. All of the players on our list got to the AFL level because they knew that they were good enough to succeed.

Is success all that matters? Obviously not, otherwise I and I assume thousands of others wouldn’t be hanging around to see how things turn out for the oldest club in the land.

I love it when we win, I can’t help but feel a stab of pain when we lose, but I’ll head in to next week knowing that is the only game that matters, because that is what sport, and you, have taught me.

While there is a Melbourne I will be a Melbourne fan.

I’m looking forward to whatever next week brings us.

Yours Faithfully,

X.T.G Player.