Australian PrehistoryHistory - AustralianAustralian CultureAustralian SportAustralian IdentityAustralian animalsCultural Comparisons Between Australia and other Countries



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 Adelaide Crows

Brisbane Lions

Carlton Blues

Collingwood Magpies

Essendon Bombers

Freemantle Dockers

Geelong Cats

Gold Coast Suns

GWS Giants

Hawthorn Hawks

Melbourne Demons

Nth Melbourne Kangaroos

Port Adelaide Power

Richmond Tigers

St Kilda Saints

Sydney Swans

West Coast Eagles

Western Bulldogs/



Brisbane Broncos
Brisbane Broncos

Not the messiah, a very naughty boy


Australia is relatively unique on the world stage in that professional sporting clubs are not privately owned. This has allowed a governing bodies to implement socialist management policies so that the interests of the game can be put above the financial interests of individual clubs. The privately owned Brisbane Broncos are an exception to Australia’s general trend, an exception that has allowed the club to post profits and revenue that dwarf its rivals.

Ironically, the establishment of the Broncos came about because league administrators in Brisbane cared more for the game than profit. For over 100 years, Brisbane had a well supported suburban league known as the BRL. While not quite as powerful as Sydney's league (the NSWRL), it meant just as much to many of its supporters. In the 1980s, Sydney rugby league officials decided it was time for a national competition, or more accurately, time for Brisbane to enter a team in Sydney's suburban league and pay a licence fee. Brisbane was not amused and declined. NSWRL had to instead to settle on a team from Canberra, which joined in 1982.

While Brisbane's organising body and clubs declined out of concern for their traditions, some entrepreneurs in Brisbane felt there was money to be made in the plan and so in 1988, they put forward a proposal to field a private team. The NSWRL accepted and so the Broncos were born. To be synonymous with Queensland, the new franchise chose maroon, gold and white for its colours.

Although Brumbies was considered for its moniker, the franchise settled on Broncos, perhaps because it was more inspired by the corporate spirit of American gridiron team, the Denver Broncos, than by poems of horses in the Australian bush. The choice was an ominous sign of the future. Just as Broncos refer to an untrained horse, Brisbane soon showed that they were not particularly fond of being told what to do.

Much to the concern of BRL, the Broncos proved themselves to be extremely popular. Crowds at BRL games fell away and profits made from rugby league were going straight into the hands of the only football club in Australia that was also a publicly listed company. What was the NSWRL's messiah, was the BRL’s very naughty boy.

As the Broncos went from strength to strength, the NSWRL discovered that it wasn't only the BRL that could be burnt by an entrepreneurial spirit. The Broncos had grown too big for their NSW pond and decided that not only did some of the smaller fish need to be killed off, but the pond itself needed to be expanded. They believed this could be achieved via a vision known as Super League. This vision would cut teams in Sydney but include new teams all over Australia before expanding world wide.

The Broncos approached NSW officials with the plan, but it was rejected about of concerns for the traditions of the competition and its clubs. (Basically, the same concerns of the BRL some years earlier.) The Broncos then approached News ltd, the largest media company in the world, to fund the vision. A billion dollars and a couple of court cases later, Super League was born with the Broncos as its star cheerleader.

Super League proved to be a flop, and it may well have been the end of the corporate dream had a love of the game outweighed thoughts of retribution. As part of a peace deal, a new national competition was created that culled the two South East Queensland teams that were in competition with the Broncos.

Whether the Broncos have been good for rugby league is open to debate. As a publicly listed company, its primary concern is making a profit. Sentiment, traditions, junior development and ethics only matter to the Bronco shareholders if they are conducive to making a profit. On the positive side, there is an appreciation that if rugby league goes well, then profits will flow. Considering that the Broncos average the largest crowds and have the most supporters of any rugby league club, it would be fair to say that they are doing something right.

Ironically, rugby league culture is synonymous with making money. The code was invented so players could be compensated with money. Rules were changed to make it popular with spectators so that more money could be made. Anyone who wanted sentiment, tradition and heritage was expected to play rugby union where they wouldn’t get paid but administrators would.


Roy Morgan Research

2004 - Brisbane Broncos supporters are:

  • 62% more likely than the average person to have a maximum of primary school education;
  • 50% more likely than average to have bought an instant lottery scratch ticket;
  • 98% more likely than the average person to have drunk rum in the last four weeks;
  • 39% more likely than the average person to have drunk low-alcohol or mid-strength beer in the last four weeks.

2006 - When compared to other NRL supporters

  • Made up of 80% Queenslanders
  • 79% more likely to have Primary School as their highest level of schooling
  • 28% more likely to live in an Older Household 
  • 31% more likely to have been involved in some form of dressmaking in the last three months
  • 29% more likely to have been to a theme park in the last three months


  • Alan Langer - Diminuitive half-back who fought well above his weight, and won.
  • Gordon Tallis - Raging Bull.

Brisbane Broncos jokes


Q:Why do Broncos fans drink a beer called XXXX?
A: Because they can't spell beer.

Q:Why wasn't Jesus born amongst Queensland Rugby League fans?
A:God couldn't find three wise men or a virgin.






Brisbane Broncos

Canberra Raiders

Canterbury Bulldogs

Cronulla Sharks

Gold Coast Titans

Manly Sea Eagles

Melbourne Storm

Newcastle Knights

Nth Queensland Cowboys

New Zealand Warriors

Parramatta Eels

Penrith Panthers

South Sydney Rabbitohs

St George Dragons

Sydney City Roosters

Wests Tigers


  Offended by the description of your footy club? Maybe you would be better off watching a TV news report of your team's players in a recovery session standing around in the ocean looking cold. Alternatively, you could listen to news on the radio of your team 'training without incident'. If you are still concerned, then maybe have a read of stereotype formation and suggest a reason for a different steretype.