Australian PrehistoryHistory - AustralianAustralian CultureAustralian SportAustralian IdentityAustralian animals



The Demise of Australian Sport. RIP

Sorry. The page you were looking for was part of a section that had been designed to feed the insulting banter that sorrounds sport. Despite significant traffic, high rankings in google, and links from many other sites, the author's personal pride demanded he take it down. He lacked the resources to update it and felt a second rate outdated version just wasn't good enough to be shared online. Australian sport deserves quality piss taking or none at all.

For those who want some kind of sporting fix, an analysis of the code battle between AFL, rugby league, rugby union and soccer can be found here.

In some ways, the demise of the section is sad because it had been with the AFL and NRL clubs as they tried to build their identities during the genesis of the internet age. Whereas the clubs used to try to build their image with news pieces about players standing motionless in Port Phillip bay during a recovery session, the site decided that there was more to football than groups of men standing around looking cold. Consequently, it raised awarness of Richmond's culture that saw an angry fan dumping a load of chicken manure on the club’s doorstep in order to motivate the players to perform better. It had also told of St Kilda’s impressive history, which included losing its first 48 matches, recording the lowest ever score (1 point) and “winning” 26 wooden spoons; a sequence of failure which remains unparalleled to this day.

Of course, there was more to the site than empathising with Richmond's emotional turmoil and laughing out loud at St Kilda. For example, when news of West Coast’s drug problems broke, it kept the public informed of how the club geared itself up to nip the problem in the bud. It followed their story right up to their crack at the 2006 grand final, when, iced up in the breaks, the players returned to the grass, showed a commitment to the pill, used their speed, delivered the knockout blow, and proved that they had truly passed the acid test.  

In the interests of fairness, it also covered Fremantle's pursuit of magic beans during the trading period. Such magic beans included exchanging Andrew McLeod for Chris Groom, Jeff Farmer for Phil Gilbert and agreeing to a deal that saw Mathew Lolyd and Scott Lucus go to Bombers in exchange for Todd Ridely and Tony Delaney. Ten years later, Lolyd, Lucus, McLeod, and Farmer were considered some of the finest players in AFL history, while Ridely, Gilbert, Delaney, and Groom were asking kids if they wanted fries with their McDonalds happy meal.

The site also helped clubs build their image for marketing purposes. For example, when Hawthorn decided the Hawk’s Eye should be reserved for the Queer Guy, the site helped them along by communicating its metasexual image. It spoke of its players who had names out of American soap operas,  such as Chance, Jordan, Xavier, Beau, and Buddy, as well as those which were decidedly phallic, such as Roughhead and Lance.

While the aim of piss taking is sometimes to release some of the tension associated with a problem so the target can relax a little, sometimes it can also be used as a veiled recommendation to do something about fixing the problem. Although it may sound counter intutitive, an insult veiled as a joke is sometimes more effective than an insult delivered in a tone of indignation.

A veiled recommendation to fix a problem was definately the motivation for the coverage of the Canterbury Bulldogs. When media indignation of the Bulldogs' gangbanging and attacks on inanimate objects like phone booths led to a rise in Bulldogs’ memberships, the Convict Creations site felt there had to be another way. Although equally concerned about some of the behaviour, the site took a more philosophical approach to criticism. It followed the parallels between the Bulldogs moniker and the behaviour of its players as they urinated on public streets and women in nightclubs. Likewise, it pointed out the subliminal pairing of the blue and white colours to represent both the club, and the abundance of police officers that attended games to control the fans.

The site also tipped its hat to innovative human human resource management in the Sharks football club. For example, it told of how CEO Tony Zappia tried to apologise to Jenny Hall for giving her a black eye by offering to let Hall spank him or join him in watching some pornography. Well... maybe tipped its hat would be the wrong choice of words. In truth, in a roundabout way, it suggested Zappia might have been wise to keep a cold spoon in his desk to deal with issues when they came up.

Cricket also received some commentary. This was very important for a game that involves watching 11 men in white clothes stand around a field for a few hours, then break to have lunch, stand around, then break again to have a cup of tea, stand around, then go home. The same thing occurs for another 4 days, and then after all that effort, both teams call the whole thing a draw. To break up a game that moved about as fast as a Jamaican on valium, the site noted the huge ears on Adam Gilchrist that gave him a bit of a Yoda look and the triangular hairstyle of Craig McDermott that seemed to have been  inspired by female pubic hair. In addition, it showed a social conscience when it extended compassion to Shane Warne as he struggled to attain the unrealistically slim appearance promoted by the fashion magazines. While Warne's use of diuretics may have horrified other big-boned cricketers like Tubby Taylor,  Merv Hughes and David Boon, the other fatties didn't have to deal with Channel 9 cameras filming them from behind as they took their position in slips.

Big Ears - Gilchrist

Small ears they are not. Big ears they are.

The site also tackled some of the difficult issues of cricket, such as yobbism. It gave an insight into the concern that Channel 9 commentators felt as they spoke about the pride of playing for Australia only to then hear Australians chanting "members are wankers" and then running onto the field without wearing any trousers!

Soccer wasn’t forgotten either. To keep soccer fans happy, rather than discuss the game, the site discussed one of their favourite topics of all, whether soccer should be called “football.” As a history site, Convict Creations pointed that the origin of the word football was not because feet were used. If it were, it would have been called “feetball.” Originally, football referred to games that were played on foot as opposed to on horses.

As a cultural site, Convict Creations also pointed out that almost every country that has English as its only official language refers to soccer as soccer. The only exception is England.

While the site made compelling cultural and historical arguments to refer to soccer as soccer, in the interests of reconciliation, it conceded that arguing about which of the four codes truly deserves to be called football would be like arguing whether chicken, fish, beef or pork has the true right to be called meat.  

While the site is gone, they are plenty of other resources sports fans can use to get their sporting fix when the game is not on. For example, TV sports reports still havethat exciting coverage that includes footage of 22 men standing motionless in Port Phillip Bay during a recovery session, or throwing passes as the "team trains without incident."  For some people, footage of recovery sessions is even more exciting than test cricket, and is well worth sitting through 20 minutes of news just to see motionless men stand in the water. Perhaps the only thing that could to top it would be news of a training session where nothing unusual happened. Truly, coverage that makes the viewer emotionally erect!!


Quick summaries

St Kilda Saints - The AFL's answer to The Simpsons

St Kilda and the Simpsons

Despite their lack of success, St Kilda became tremendously popular. The correlation between on-field failure and off-field popularity was first noted in the 1920s when "St Kilda fluctuated between mediocrity and abject incompetence, a mix which paradoxically seemed to endear them to the public. " Aside from being reflected in its spoon collection, St Kilda's losing culture is reflected in its club song. St Kilda footballers have never really taken the issue of a victory song seriously because it never seemed likely that they would need one. Consequently, the club has had a habit of choosing ridiculous songs. One of their early songs was about living besides the sea. It started off singing about being by the sea, then predicts that St Kilda will be premiers, only to then say that there is a chance that St Kilda will be premiers. For some reason, it then finishes by singing about being beside the sea.

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside,
Oh I do like to be beside the sea.
And down at the junction there's a football ground
And there St Kilda can be found.

So let's give a cheer for old St Kilda,
For next year's premiers they will be;
Though it's not yet in the bag there's a chance of winning the flag
Beside the seaside, beside the sea (??????????????????????)

Hawthorn Hawks - Because Fashion sense isn't everything

Hawthorn Hawks

The foundations of Hawthorn's metasexual image can be traced to its entry into the VFL in 1925. Along with hideous colours of brown and yellow, administrators didn't see the need for an intimidating name for the club was initially known as the 'Mayblooms' and then the 'Mayflowers'. Admittedly, Mayblooms wasn't as effeminate as other flowers under consideration, such as daisies and tulips; however, Mayblooms still lagged a significant way behind more imposing flowers such as snap-dragons.


Carlton Blues - Making use of the brown paper bags

In the beginning of the 21st century, Carlton players showed they were mercenaries and the administration showed they were crooks. In 2002, Carlton players were collectively paid $1,400,000 more than players from any other club and then rewarded Carlton for its generosity by delivering the club its first wooden spoon in its history. The club then started to reveal that it was anything but a happy family. Board members vowed to sack the coach, and then sack each other. The coach and his assistant refused to talk to each other. Even the players were infected with the anti-social vibe. Players broke into each other's houses to steal things that could be pawned. Worse still, the club's captain, Lance Whitnal, had a very public falling out with his brother. It seems his brother's kids didn't turn up to his son's birthday party so he retaliated by not inviting them to the zoo. This escalated to vows from each brother to enlist hit men to kill each other.

Women came to the club complaining of being raped by players, and instead of advising them to go to the police, the club just made use of its ample supply of brown paper bags to once more buy them off.

south sydney rabbitohs

South Sydney - Which way to run?

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are an enigma. They represent what happens when rich millionaires try to show they are one of the people when really they aren't one at all. It is one big contradiction of Armani-wearing-working-class-progressives that can’t win a football game, and can’t have an end of season function without coach and players coming to blows with each other. Finally, it can't decide whether its rabbit should be white, black, yellow or something in between.

Collingwood fan

Collingwood Magpies -No teeth? no problem, all welcome

Known as "Colliwobbles", if Collingwood does make the grand final, they have an uncanny ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. In total, they have appeared in 40 grand finals, and have lost 26 of them. The most famous example came in the 1970 grand final against Carlton.  The Magpies completely dominated the first half and at the main break led 10.13 to 4.5. Inexplicably, they ended up losing by 10 points. More recently, the club made the 2002 grand final and after entering the home stretch with their noses in front and momentum in their favour, they once again showed that Greg Norman is their pin-up boy.

Penrith Panthers

Chocolate soldiers to Black Pathers

In a little known fact, the Penrth Pathers, or panfers as they are known locally, used to be referred to as the Chocolate Soldiers. It was a name championed by radio commentator Frank Hyde, who wrote in the Penrith Club journal "these chocolate soldiers from out west - they don't melt!" Despite being well liked, chants like "chocolate soldiers clap clap clap" seemed a little awkward. After considering more chant friendly names like Freddo Frogs or Rum and Raisons, the club adopted the Panther name.


Parramatta Eels - If only they would be bottom feeders

The Eel logo came in the 1970s after the late sports reporter Peter Frilingos pointed out that the aboriginal meaning of the word 'parramatta' is ‘the place where the eels lie down'. Indeed Parramatta players have laid down far too often!

It would be nice to be able to use fishing terminology and say that Parramatta fans, like their eel moniker, are bottom feeders. Unfortunately, the bottom feeder label belongs to Canterbury fans. Parramatta fans are usually of the generic, middle-class variety; predominantly mullet with the occasional bream.

Voss - Brisbane Lions

Brisbane Lions - DOH!

"Kings of the jungle" is the slogan of the Brisbane Lions. Obviously the club isn't aware that unlike Tigers, Lions don't live in the jungle (kings of the savannah might be more accurate.) Getting the ecosystem wrong is hardly a surprise from a Queenslander. Afterall, they have a beer called XXXX because most Queenslanders don't know how to spell. The club was established in 1987 and based on the Gold Coast. Why it choose to base itself on the Gold Coast but have Brisbane in its name can only be attributed to another case of Queensland intellect at its finest.

Geelong Cats

Geelong Cats - Where even the ugly are loved

Geelong is the type of city that a tourist brochure may associate with the words "gateway to...." This basically means there is nothing interesting in the city itself, but nearby there might be something worth visiting. Perhaps the small town mentality explains why Geelong fans are arguably the most positive of all Victorian clubs in regards to the players, they just have nothing else to be positive about. Although this results in hero worship reaching unrealistic proportions (even of ugly players like Cameron Ling), it also breeds the kind of eccentricity and creative flair that is shackled at critical clubs that demand accountability to tried and true methods. At Geelong, players have the confidence to showcase their individuality without fear that fans will turn on them. As a consequence, Geelong has produced some of the great individual players and feats alike. Furthermore, the club has drafted good players that other clubs would reject as being too ugly.