West Coast Eagles
Need for Speed
When taking the piss, for years the West Coast Eagles didn’t offer much material to work with. Unlike the Fremantle Dockers, the Eagles never had hideous colours or a senseless anchor. Unlike St Kilda, they never had a tragic history of failure. Unlike Collingwood, whose fans have always been obnoxious whinges, West Coast fans have traditionally been ok. Without stupid colours, a history of failure or unsavoury fans, the West Coast was a difficult club to write stories about. As a result, it was quite boring.
Sometime in the new millennium, the players likewise felt that the club was a little boring and so they decided to remedy the situation with a few pick-me-ups. The drugs of choice were cocaine, ice and ketamine. The drugs had an interesting effect on the culture of the club. Players found themselves on police tapes, linked to underworld figures, passing out in all manner of unusual locations, crashing their cars, running from the police, fighting taxi drivers, fighting each other, yet still playing exceptionally well. The aggression, self-confidence, and heightened awareness that the drugs gave them off the field appeared to be transferred onto the field as well.
In order to understand why the Eagles felt like they needed drugs one needs to explore their history. The club was established in 1987. The name 'West Coast' was chosen to signify the whole of Western Australia, not just Perth. Although choosing a name like West Coast aimed to please everyone, trying hard not to offend also laid the foundations of a very generic club. With no geographic locality to take the piss out of, 20 years later players perhaps decided that West Coke could be a clever twist on the name that would give them more character.
For its moniker, the club choose the wedge-tailed eagle. As the AFL already had plenty of birds as monikers, it was a little disappointing that West Coast couldn't provide some variety. To compound matters, the club choose an extremely boring theme song. It contained simplistic and generic lyrics such as:
We're the Eagles - West Coast Eagles
Again, two decades later the players stepped up to fill the void in character. Via the use of drugs, they felt like were they sang “we’re flying high”, the meaning would be felt in their mind, not just their heart.
It wasn’t until 2005, when the club again made the Grand Final, that the Eagles really started to stir the pot with drug use. Unlike their previous campaigns, which were built on an incredibly boring style of play, the Eagles had flair on the back of a highly creative midfield, and of course, speed. Although the Eagles showed white line fever in the final, their opponent, the Sydney Swans, were able to foil their plans. Although the loss was a blow, the following year, they had another crack at it, and some more transactions later, the Eagles again made the Grand Final. Mid-way through the contest, it appeared as though the Eagles would come up short as they suffered joint injuries to key players. Iced up in the breaks, the players returned to the grass, showed a commitment to the pill, and turned a sniff into a victory. For many, the Eagles' ability to fight back against such adversity was a sign that they had truly passed the acid test.
In the post-match ecstasy, it was slowly revealed that the players had more than hard work to thank for their success. Players started making admissions that when they thought of coke and ice, they weren’t mulling over Hungry Jacks, their proud sponsor. Eventually, Ben Cousins, arguably their best player of the last five years, was suspended for favouring drug use as his preferred form of training.
Cousins had been needling the club for a while so to nip his drug use in the bud, the club asked Cousins to take a trip. Unfortunately, it continued paying Cousins the $800,000-a-year salary that he was using to finance his $3,000-a-week habit. Because asking Cousins to leave his gear at home amounted to little more than smack on the wrist, it raised questions about why the club was reluctant to inflict a blow on the revenue streams that maintained Cousins' addiction. Drug use is strictly forbidden in the AFL, and Cousins' admission could have easily been cause for the Eagles to cut him. Perhaps then, the Eagles had known about Cousins' training gear for some time, but for one reason or another, never drew the line in the sand.
Rather than go bush and boil a billy away from distractions, Cousins's took a trip to the US to get himself cleaned up, only to then overdose again. When he returned, the club rehashed an old message about how he should carry himself. Instead of acting like a rock star, the Eagles wanted him to carry on like a Jamaican on valium. Unfortunately, Cousins was a bit of a dope and took the club a bit too literally. On a short trip in his car, Cousins was pulled up by the police drug squad and found with a valium tablet in his possession. For the Eagles, this was the final straw; and Cousins would never again participate in circle work or dance around cones at the Eagles.
To make matters worse for the Eagles, club legend Chris Mainwairing had recently died from heart failure brought on from a misused drug cocktail. While its local rival Fremantle carried the slogan of the purple haze, it had become very obvious that it was the Eagles was a cut above the rest when it came living the high life. While there have been some attempts to weed out the worst offenders, it is only a matter of time before problems mushroom again.
Roy Morgan research
West Coast Eagles supporters are:
2001 when compared to other Australians
2004 when compared to other AFL supporters
2006 when compared to other AFL supporters
Club song west coast eagles theme song
We're the Eagles - West Coast Eagles
Perhaps a Lou Reed song would more appropriate these days.
Essendon Bombers - In 1993, Essendon beat the West Coast and coach Kevin Sheedy waved his jacket in celebration. The following year Essendon lost to the Eagles and West Coast fans waved their jackets in celebration. Upon their next meeting, Essendon won and their fans waved jackets. Some Essendon fan then wrote a song about waving jackets and sticking it to the Eagles. In 2004, Kevin Sheedy collapsed in the heat while coaching Essendon in the west. When he came to, he saw thousands of Eagle's fans waving their jackets. (The jacket is now on display in the medallion club at Melbournes Dockland Stadium.)
Fremantle Dockers - West Coast started in the AFL 8 years earlier, have two premierships and have dominated the Western Derbies.
The Dockers like to portray the Eagles as a silvertail club and themselves as the battlers. The Eagles like to portray the Dockers as perpetual losers with hideous colours and a stupid anchor.
The rivalry was given some real grunt in 2000. In their first clash of the season, West Coast continued its tradition of humilating Fremantle in the western derbies. This time, the margin was a mere 117 points.
In the year's return clash, Fremantle decided that if they couldn't win on the scoreboard, they would win on the casulty count. In all a total of 18 players were reported. Most severely punished was Fremantle best-and-fairest winner Dale Kickett ho was subsequently rubbed out for nine weeks. As for the game itself, Fremantle won by a point.
West Coast Jokes
Whats a similarity between Tasmania and coke?
What did Cousins do after West Coast warned him to stay away from drugs?
Why did West Coast players snort artificial sweetner?
What are the first five words a West Coast player in a three piece tailored suit hears?
Why did West Coast put its players on meth?
Ben Cousins is out walking one fine evening. He finds a poor person on the street and helps him up. The poor person says, "Son, I'm a genie. And since you helped me I'll give you three wishes." Cousins says, "I want a big bag of meth!", the genie says."Okay." POOF, the bag appears! They prepare some thick long white lines and share it between the two of them. The next morning the genie asks "What's the second wish?", "I want two big bags of meth", says Cousins. "Okay," says the genie. POOF! And they prepare it and snort it between the two of them. The next morning the genie asks "And the third wish?" "I want four big bags of meth!" POOOF!! So, they prepare lots of big lines and share it between the two of them. Much later the genie gets up and says, "Okay, it's time for me to go." The genie takes a couple of steps, pauses, turns around and says, "Okay, just one more wish."
What did one West Coast player say to the other when he ran out of weed?
Cousins and Mainwaring are sitting on the porch of their house, tripping on LSD. Suddenly, a firetruck races down the street, flashing its lights and howling its sirens. After it passes, Cousins turns to Mainwairing and says, "Phew! Man, I thought he'd never go away!"
John Worsfold - Tough, no frills backman. Very reliable.
Karl Langdon - Bleached blond hair who evoked mixed feelings. Was called "nearly" because he nearly took marks and nearly kicked goals.
Glen Jackovich - Centre half back who consistently had the better of the Kangaroo's Wayne Carey - who was considered to be the best centre half farward of all time.
Chris Mainwaring - Stoic wingman who always looked like he would prefer to be off surfing rather than playing footy, yet played footy so well. Died from heart failure brought on by misuse of drugs.
Peter Matera - Flashy show poney.
Guy McKenna - Aka the professor. Looked like someone you would find in a chemistry class.
Ben Cousins - A player most fond of the chemistry class.
|Was this more interesting than a news update of players in a recovery session standing around in the ocean looking cold or of a team 'training without incident'?|