Australian Rules Football

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

  • Main
  • Wikipedia
  • All Subpages
  • Create New
    /wiki/Australian Rules Footballwork
    Essendon's Gary Moorcroft takes a "screamer"

    "1859: The Aussies invent Australian Rules Football, a combination of soccer, rugby, and murdering people in cold blood."
    The Onion, Our Dumb World

    The dominant football code in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. Rugby League is more popular in New South Wales (north of Wagga Wagga, which has been described as the "border" between Aussie Rules and Rugby territory) and Queensland, although there are AFL teams based there. In Victoria, especially Melbourne, Aussie Rules is not a religion, it's more important than that. Go ahead, try getting a taxi on Grand Final night.

    Aussie Rules is ... umm ... what's the word? ... violent. Very, very violent. It's like Rugby turned Up to Eleven. In recent years, the AFL has been trying to clean up the game's image and counteract this - certainly, the actions of players such as Robbie Muir, David Rhys-Jones and Jack "Captain Blood" Dyer would be unacceptable today. Still, even when they play by the rules, it's hard to watch without wincing. Those sissies in Mixed Martial Arts should give this sport a try.

    The game is played on an oval field you could land an Airbus on, with 18 players per side (plus a four-player bench - three of whom can freely enter and exit the game, while the fourth is a designated soccer-style substitute whose entry ends the replaced player's day). It is divided into four quarters of twenty (formerly 25) minutes each, not including stoppage time. A match begins in the centre of the field with an umpire bouncing the ball high into the air, at which point a player from each team (the "ruck", who is usually very tall) will jump up and try to punch the ball towards their own players. Players can run with the ball, but must bounce it on the ground every fifteen metres; they can pass the ball by kicking or handballing (i.e. tapping away with the side of the fist) but not by throwing. Catching a ball that has been kicked over a distance of fifteen metres or more without bouncing is called a mark, and automatically earns a free kick. A goal is scored when the ball is kicked between the two central posts by the attacking team, without being touched by another player or hitting the post -- this is worth six points. A "behind" is scored if the ball goes between the central and outer post, or hits a player or goal post on the way through, and is worth one point. Hitting the outer posts is worth no points.

    The biggest Australian Rules league by a massive margin is the Australian Football League, with the result that the game itself is commonly unofficially called "AFL". The AFL grew from the interstate expansion of the Victorian Football League, and currently has ten Victorian and eight interstate teams (two each from South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland, and New South Wales). Of the interstate teams, one (the Sydney Swans) was a Victorian club that was forced to relocate, and another (the Brisbane Lions) was the result of another Victorian team merging with the Brisbane Bears. This setup has sparked significant conflict between the Victorian and interstate teams, with some Victorian teams (especially the smaller, poorer ones) feeling that the league is attempting to force them out to make way for more interstate teams), while those interstate accuse Victorians of thinking they own the league.

    Below the AFL, there are a number of state leagues, the most important being the VFL (formerly the VFA, who took the acronym after the original VFL became the AFL), the SANFL, and the WAFL (pronounced "waffle". Mmm, waffles). Below that, there are a number of local leagues.

    The eighteen teams of the AFL are:

    • Adelaide Crows (SA)
      • Joined League: 1991
      • Colours: Navy blue, red and gold
      • Premierships: 1997, 1998
      • Supporter stereotype: Rich, chardonnay-drinking snobs, which doesn't prevent them from being yobbos. Never give the opposition credit for doing well. The Rival of Port Power, not that anyone else cares.
        • They've built a fanbase among Aussie Rules fans in the USA thanks to their use (with club-themed lyrics) of the Marine Corps Hymn as their theme song.
    • Brisbane Lions (Qld) - Formed by the merger of the Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy Lions.
      • Joined League: 1897 (Fitzroy), 1987 (Brisbane Bears), 1997 (clubs merged)
      • Colours: Maroon, blue and gold
      • Premierships: (As Fitzroy) 1898, 1899, 1904, 1905, 1913, 1916, 1922, 1944 (As Brisbane Lions) 2001, 2002, 2003
      • Supporter stereotype: Fair-weather fans who don't know much about the game, and only pay attention in years when Brisbane are doing well.
        • Unless they're actually Victorian. The club has a loyal fan base in Melbourne, mostly people who followed Fitzroy before the merger. Most fans attend the few games Brisbane have in Victoria (usually five or six), and an amateur team picked up the Fitzroy name. Fitzroy supporters were legendarily (read: insanely) loyal (before the merger, that is - a lot of them gave up in disgust at that point), and the team was generally well-liked by supporters of other teams in a perpetual underdog kind of way. As the bard of Aussie Rules, Greg Champion put it: "deep in our hearts, we all barrack for Fitzroy".
    • Carlton Blues (Vic)
      • Joined League: 1897
      • Colours: Navy blue (with white monogram)
      • Premierships: 1906, 1907, 1908, 1914, 1915, 1938, 1945, 1947, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1995
      • Supporter stereotype: Rich snobs, usually of Italian background. Possibly have mafia connections.
        • Also seen, these days, as fair weather fans - as the Grand Final tally demonstrates, Carlton enjoyed a long season of fair weather prior to 1996. Since then, the team has frequently failed to even make the finals, and many of the less stalwart fans have deserted it.
    • Collingwood Magpies (Vic) - The most hated team in the league.
      • Joined League: 1897
      • Colours: Black and white
      • Premierships: 1902, 1903, 1910, 1917, 1919, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1935, 1936, 1953, 1958, 1990, 2010
      • Supporter stereotype: Loud, obnoxious yobbos with an IQ in single digits, who don't know the rules of the game and leave early whenever their team looks set to lose the match. Being in the presence of said supporters is likely to result in severe IQ loss. Yanks, think Oakland Raiders supporters. Brits, think Liverpool supporters.
        • The 2010 Grand Final between St. Kilda and Collingwood has been described by some as "Australia vs. Collingwood".
        • Nearly any game played by Collingwood, but especially Grand Finals, will see supporters of pretty much every other team barracking for whoever is playing Collingwood to win, on the basis that whoever they are, at least they're not Collingwood.
    • Essendon Bombers (Vic)
      • Joined League: 1897
      • Colours: Black and red
      • Premierships: 1897, 1901, 1911, 1912, 1923, 1924, 1942, 1946, 1949, 1950, 1962, 1965, 1984, 1985, 1993, 2000
      • Supporter stereotype: Arrogant, even when they're near the bottom of the ladder. Also very rebellious, occasionally claiming that the league is in a conspiracy against them.
        • To be fair, there were actually at least a couple of years around 2000 where Essendon were nailed, bolted and hard welded to the TOP of the ladder... In effect, the Bombers had a golden age and now it has passed. This helps to explain the arrogance...
    • Fremantle Dockers (WA) - The only side to have finished a season without winning the premiership.
      • Joined League: 1994
      • Colours: Purple and white, formerly purple, red, white and green. One of their club presidents is quoted as saying, "Our colours don't clash with any other team's. They just clash with each other."
      • Supporter stereotype: Lefties, whether they be trades unionists or the chardonnay socialist crowd.
    • Geelong Cats (Vic)
      • Joined League: 1897
      • Colours: Navy blue and white
      • Premierships: 1925, 1931, 1937, 1951, 1952, 1963, 2007, 2009, 2011
      • Supporter stereotype: Farmers and other people who live in the countryside or bogans from Geelong's seedy ghetto-like suburbs, almost every single person you will ever meet from the city of Greater Geelong, unless they support Collingwood
        • Extremely touchy about being the only non-capital city team (until the Gold Coast got going). This has led to their supporters becoming almost as fanatical as the Collingwood supporters, only orders of magnitude more popular with Australian society.
        • Extremely violent when the team is not doing well. Marginally less so when they are. Cats posters in G-town shop windows are disturbingly reminiscent of "no Jews or dogs allowed". Hilarity Ensues when an obnoxious loud-mouthed Collingwood fan... does anything or says anything about football during the season, when the signs are up all over the place, it's probably one of the few cases where being Too Dumb to Live results in the police intervening because from a legal standpoint the Collingwood fan is committing An act that no person, sober and sound of mind, would partake in.
        • Extremely everything football; the social scene of the whole city revolves around the sport and their club, just about everyone supports the Cats and the few exceptions to this rule are almost always Collingwood supporters. The club itself is an exception to the binge drinking, substance abuse, brutal nightclub assaults, brutal leaving-the-party-with-someone-else's-barely-conscious-partner assaults, brutal hotel-room assaults and brutal on-field assaults. Seriously though, the Geelong Football club has a complete absence of these incidents that are dogging other clubs in the league, probably because these acts are considered an average night on the town for their supporter base. In truth, part of the reason for the sobriety of the players is the bizarre (and prevailing) view amongst the (tragically) large bogan population of Geelong that bashing a Geelong football player in a nightclub or any other nightlife venue somehow entitles them to take their place in the team.
    • Gold Coast Suns (Qld)
      • Joined League: 2011
      • Colours: Red, gold, sky blue
      • Supporter stereotype: TBA. They only started playing in the big league in 2011.
    • Greater Western Sydney Giants (NSW)
      • Joined League: 2012
      • Colours: Orange, charcoal and white
      • Supporter stereotype: TBA. They make their big league debut in 2012.
    • Hawthorn Hawks (Vic)
      • Joined League: 1925
      • Colours: Brown and gold
      • Premierships: 1961, 1971, 1976, 1978, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 2008
      • Supporter stereotype: Upper-middle class Liberal-Party-voting types. Run by a former Liberal state premier.
        • As well as Tasmanians. Well, they do play a few home games there...
        • Not a powerhouse like some of the other teams such as Collingwood or Geelong, but they're quietly capable of holding their own against them.
        • Jeff Kennett, the former State Premier who is President of the club, was a divisive figure as Premier and remains one today. Oddly, this has had the effect of making non-Liberal-voting Hawks fans more philosophical about defeat: sure, Hawthorn lost, but at least that means Kennett's unhappy.
    • North Melbourne Kangaroos (Vic)
      • Joined League: 1925
      • Colours: Royal blue and white
      • Premierships: 1975, 1977, 1996, 1999
      • Supporter stereotype: What supporters?
        • More accurately: Tough-as-nails, but not necessarily bright, football tragics.
        • Possibly The Woobie to non-Australians. Finding an Australian that is sympathetic to the club's plight is difficult because they'll either support another team, fanatically, or dislike the sport as a whole.
    • Melbourne Demons (Vic) - Oldest Professional Sporting Club in the world.
      • Joined League: 1897
      • Colours: Red and navy blue
      • Premierships: 1900, 1926, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1948, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1964
      • Supporter stereotype: Old money types who own Range Rovers despite never going out of the city, except to go skiing, which is what they do instead of attending games.
    • Port Adelaide Power (SA)
      • Joined League: 1997
      • Colours: Black, white, teal (presumably to make Freo feel better about their ugly shirts)
      • Premierships: 2004
      • Supporter stereotype: Much the same as Collingwood, except living in Adelaide. The club's state-league branch, which predates the national league by a century or so, is even called the Magpies. And its guernsey design there is usually described as "prison bars". The Rival of the Crows.
        • Considered a Joke Character or One Trick Pony after their humiliating hundred-point loss to Geelong in the 2007 Grand Final,and being the first team to lose to new side Gold Coast Suns, who up till that game had been losing by margins between 80 and 120 points. The club's, average at best, performance in recent seasons as done nothing other than help the club avoid being branded the league's Butt Monkey.
    • Richmond Tigers (Vic)
      • Joined League: 1908
      • Colours: Black and yellow
      • Premierships: 1920, 1921, 1932, 1934, 1943, 1967, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1980
      • Supporter stereotype: Working class "bogans" (for those in the US, think "white trash", for those in the UK think "Chav" or more precisely "Diet Chav-lite").
    • St Kilda Saints (Vic)
      • Joined League: 1897
      • Colours: Black, white and red
      • Premierships: 1966
      • Supporter stereotype: Long-suffering. Kind of like Chicago Cubs supporters in the USA...
        • Once again, potentially explainable by the fact that the Saints are often nailed, bolted and hard welded to the bottom of the ladder. This was particularly true during Essendon's heyday around the year 2000...
        • It goes back further than that. The Saints have only ever won one flag, and hold the records for the longest losing streak and most wooden spoons (last-place finishes) in the league.
          • It gets worse. They have been playing since 1873. 1873. Their first premiership flag was won in 1966, by one point. These poor buggers average worse than one premiership a century.
          • Their chance at a second flag in 2010, has resulted in two games; the first was a draw. The second was a loss.
            • The rest of Australia (barring, of course, Collingwood supporters) offered their condolences on such a tragic occasion.
    • Sydney Swans (NSW - Formerly South Melbourne)
      • Joined League: 1897 as South Melbourne - Relocated to Sydney in 1982
      • Premierships: (As South Melbourne) 1909, 1918, 1933 (As Sydney) 2005
      • Colours: Red and white
      • Supporter stereotype: See Brisbane. Alternate type: Someone who's been following them for at least three decades and still thinks they're South Melbourne.
        • Possibly one of the least interesting and most ignored teams in the sport. Not that they suck much anymore, but because NSW has Rugby League which supplies arguably more interesting scandals involving sex, drugs and (too) masculine professional athletes.
    • West Coast Eagles (WA)
      • Joined League: 1987
      • Colours: Blue and gold
      • Premierships: 1992, 1994, 2006
      • Supporter stereotype: Similar to Hawthorn, but living in Perth.
        • Rarely receives much media attention unless it was Ben Cousins getting busted for drugs (before getting sacked), someone else getting busted for drugs or a sexual assault charge, which has led to an unfair perception in the Eastern States Victoria of the club as a mob of testosterone-powered fratboys who 'roid rage when they're not high on recreational drugs. Well, moreso than the rest of the league.
    • Western Bulldogs (Vic - Formerly Footscray)
      • Joined League: 1925
      • Colours: Red, white and royal blue
      • Premierships: 1954 (as Footscray)
      • Supporter stereotype: Similar to Richmond, with St Kilda's "long suffering" element added. Also has a similar cliché of supporters in the Asian migrant community, although unlike the Richmond group, these ones seem to understand the game, or at least get worked up enough about losing to torch the odd car when things go worse then what is normal by the club's standards.
        • By "The Saints' long-suffering element", read "won exactly one premiership, longer ago than St Kilda did, and haven't played in a grand final in fifty years".
          • They did get to the preliminary final in 2009, but were knocked out by St Kilda. We take solace in the fact that Collingwood were knocked out in the same week. By Geelong. The fact that St Kilda then lost the grand final doesn't make it any better.
        • The prime minister, Julia Gillard, is a fervent supporter. Make of that what you will.
    • One other club, University, was part of the VFL from 1908 to 1915. Several clubs went into temporary remission during World War I, but University was the only one that never returned to the league. Sides representing Melbourne University now participate in the Victorian Amateur Football Association.

    The introduction of the GWS Giants and the Gold Coast Suns is part of an effort on the part of the AFL to increase their profile in the states of New South Wales and Queensland, which primarily follow rugby league as their football code. For a while, the Gold Coast team was going to be a relocated North Melbourne, but this fell through when they decided they didn't fancy moving after all (this came after years where the club had renamed itself simply the "Kangaroos Football Club" and were living in a limbo between representing North Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Canberra and Mars). After that particular debacle, the two new clubs were founded from scratch.

    Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory don't have full-time representation in professional football, despite the game being extremely popular in the former two. Tasmania has recently launched a campaign to get a team of their own in the AFL too, after decades of seeing all their best players have to move interstate to play at the top level. Even though Tasmania has produced some genuine AFL talent, the AFL doesn't take 'calls' for a Tasmanian team seriously. While no teams call Tasmania or the territories home, the AFL plays regular-season games in each area. Hawthorn plays about a third of its home schedule in Launceston (Tasmania) while North Melbourne hosts a couple of games in Hobart. Darwin (Northern Territory) gets about two games a year, and GWS has a second home in Canberra (Australian Capital Territory).

    In the media:

    • The Club - Play and movie
    • The Great Macarthy - movie
    • Australian Rules - movie
    • Specky Magee - book series
    • And The Big Men Fly - TV series
    • A commercial for Commonwealth Bank mixed this with making fun of Americans by showing an American marketing company confusing this with American football.

    American Marketing Guy: We have sponsored a football game between the Americans and the Australians.
    Aussie Bank Guy: Wait. Aussie Rules Football?
    American (offended): Oh. Well, maybe we think we rule football.

    • Tigers and Devils, an incredibly well-written Queer Romance by Sean Kennedy centring around a Rules footy player and his boyfriend-cum-long term partner as they struggle with publicity and coming out.
    • The Illuminati: New World Order card game has a card called "Australian Rules". The illustration shows a confused melee, with a player in (American) Football gear swinging a spiked baseball-bat.

    Australian Rules Football provides examples of the following tropes:

    • Acceptable Targets: A staggeringly large number of people consider Collingwood and all it stains to be this, doesn't help that Collingwood fans will often justify that view and generally have the same view towards everyone else, ever.
      • After advising any closeted gays in the League to stay right where they were, former Western Bulldogs player Jason Akermanis became an acceptable target to many.
    • Alliterative Name: St Kilda Saints, South Melbourne/Sydney Swans, Hawthorn Hawks, Brisbane Bears, Port Adelaide Power, and Greater Western Sydney Giants.
    • Ascended Meme:
      • Richmond's nickname of the Tigers was adopted after their colours of yellow and black inspired fan cries of "Eat 'em alive, Tigers!". The "Yellow and black!" interjection in their theme song also originally came from the fans.
      • Geelong's nickname of "the Cats" comes from a story about a black cat crossing the ground and Geelong winning the match.
      • Collingwood's nickname of "the Magpies" comes from the reputation of the Collingwood area at the time of the team's founding (and indeed, for decades thereafter): it was widely seen as the home of thieves and other criminals, hence the Magpie symbolism.
    • Awesome McCoolname: The Ocean Grove Dinosaurs in the Geelong Football League.
    • Bar Sinister: Essendon and Richmond's jumpers.
    • Bias Steamroller: Arguably, Eddie McGuire commentating on AFL games involving Collingwood, given that he's the current President of the club. In his current commentating duties, he is prohibited from such games.
    • Big Entrance: Each team runs onto the field accompanied by their Football Fight Song (see below), and run through a giant banner made out of crepe paper reading some sort of short, confidence-boosting and/or rhyming piece on both sides.
    • Bonus Points / Pandering to the Base: In the pre-season tournament, nine points are given to "Super" goals kicked from outside the 50 metre arc, instead of the regular six.
    • Bragging Theme Tune: Almost every club song qualifies. The only one that might qualify as an exception is Hawthorn's.
    • Brand Name Takeover: Played with - the ball is often called a "Sherrin", after the manufacturer, because Sherrin has the exclusive contract to supply balls for AFL games. Outside of AFL play and commentary, it's rare to hear it called that.
    • Broken Base: Amongst Essendon fans - Is Kevin Sheedy the greatest coach in the history of the game, or an overrated, self-hyped man who should have won more premierships for the club than he did?
      • Fremantle following the 2010 review in which the club changed the jumper, logo, name and colours without a members vote. See the club's Facebook page for the ongoing battle.
      • The sub rule introduced in 2011 seems to have caused this.
    • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Apart from the obvious being Grand Final matches, real Crowning Moments Of Awesome crop up when clubs with several decades of failing to get a sniff of a premiership, win the Grand Final.
    • Cuckoolander Commentator: Rex Hunt.
    • Down to the Last Play: Reasonably common. When a player has taken a mark or received a free kick, the clock continues to count down while they prepare to take their kick but, if the time runs out in the meantime, they can still take the kick. This has led to many games being decided by a kick for goal after the final siren, literally the last play of the day.
    • Every Year They Fizzle Out
      • Collingwood's "colliwobbles" from 1958 to 1990. After they beat Essendon in 1990, the Carlton cheer squad decided to rub salt into Essendon's wounds by having their banner next season riff on Essendon sponsor TAC's slogan: "If you lose to Collingwood in a grand final, you're a bloody idiot."
      • Geelong from 1989 to 2007
      • Currently, it's the Western Bulldogs, who have lost their last seven preliminary finals.
    • Determinator: every team has one or two in their history, but the most infamous are Jack 'Captain Blood' Dyer, 'Lethal' Leigh Matthews (both of whom played more than 300 games each for their respective teams, which is even more impressive when you consider how often they were each suspended after violent incidents) and Ron Barassi. Barassi is one of the game's most iconic figures - see under Genre Turning Point below for just one example of his influence.
    • Dork Age: Several clubs have them:
      • The Brisbane Bears' early period, where the team was based on the Gold Coast, had the awful "angry koala" jumers, and was consistently on or near the bottom of the ladder.
      • Carlton in the 2000s, after the discovery of major salary cap violations forced the club into a rebuilding period. As of 2012, the club seems to be emerging from this period.
      • Collingwood's "Colliwobbles" between 1958 and 1990, including Grand Final losses in 1964, 1966, 1970, 1977, 1979, 1980 and 1981.
      • Essendon in the seventies - some fans use "seventies Essendon" as a derogatory term to refer to a poor performance by the team. This dork age ended when Kevin Sheedy took over as coach.
      • Melbourne from 1965 to 1988. When Norm Smith was controversially sacked as coach in 1965, he predicted the club would never win another premiership, which they have yet to do. They did manage to make the Grand Final again in 1988, though (as well as 2000).
      • For Richmond, pretty much everything after the club last made a grand final in 1982 - since then, they have been seemingly permanently mired in the bottom half of the ladder, through an endless succession of coaches.
    • Fail O'Suckyname: Some of the old nicknames for the teams: The Melbourne Fuchsias and Hawthorn Mayblooms. Essendon's colours of red and black led to some people calling them the "blood-stained niggers", but it was never an official nickname. South Melbourne/Sydney is still the Swans, though they also had an unofficial name -- the "blood-stained angels", or just Bloods for short -- before the move to Sydney.
      • For individual players, Steele Sidebottom, Tyson Goldsack and Brad Dick. Also, manager Ricky Nixon (who became embroiled in a scandal more befitting another U.S. president).
    • Fandom Heresy: Do you barrack for Collingwood? No? Then it is compulsory to loathe them and deride their fans as obnoxious cretins.
      • Do you barrack for Collingwood? Yes? Then it is compulsory to loathe everyone and deride their fans as obnoxious cretins.
      • Do you barrack for Geelong? Yes? Then it is compulsory to rage at Collingwood and deride their fans as degenerate scum.
    • Fandom Rivalry: As well as several rivalries between fans of the various clubs, there is a four-way rivalry between fans of Aussie Rules, Rugby League, Rugby Union and Soccer.
      • Notable rivalries are the fans of the two Adelaide based clubs, Collingwood fans vs. Geelong fans (including: over who is the most batshit insane group of sports fans, over who copied whose colour scheme...) and Collingwood fans vs. Insert Club name here fans, really having a rivalry with the Collingwood fandom is like death or taxes, the Geelong rivalry stands out because Collingwood is a Berserk Button for turning the Geelong fandom into being just as fanatically batshit insane.
      • A classic instance was created by Port Melbourne and Williamstown in the old VFA. The two suburbs were located on opposite sides of the mouth of the Yarra River. On the Williamstown foreshore there was a massive old cannon battery pointing out to the bay, which Williamstown fans managed to turn around so that it pointed directly at Port Melbourne's home ground.
      • The rivalry between the AFL and NRL escalated when the AFL managed to sign Brisbane Broncos players Karmichael Hunt and Israel Folau to the Gold Coast Suns and Greater Western Sydney respectively. Needless to say, most rugby league and Brisbane Broncos supporters were unimpressed.
      • The press have been trying to drum up a rivalry between Geelong and Hawthorn, but it's fairly one-sided, felt more by Geelong than Hawthorn. Hawthorn last defeated Geelong in 2008, and the Cats swore never to lose to them again, which they haven't. It probably has something to do with the 2008 Grand Final, for which Geelong was the odds-on favourite, and which Hawthorn won, and the 1989 Grand Final, which is regarded as one of the all-time classic GFs, and Hawthorn also won.
    • Football Fight Song: Every club, from the AFL to the local under-8s, has one of these.
    • Genre Turning Point: The 1970 VFL Grand Final, where Carlton, under Ron Barassi, managed a come-from-behind win by using a play style that focused on handpassing as opposed to kicking. Ever since, handpassing has been much more prominent.
    • Golden Snitch: In the 1916 VFL season, due to World War I, there were only four teams competing. Consequently, every team made the Final Four, including Fitzroy, who had won only two games in the regular season. Fitzroy then managed to win all of its games in the finals and take the premiership.
    • In Name Only: As the AFL expanded from a Victorian to a national competition, many Victorian clubs lost their connections to the suburbs they were named after. Collingwood, Hawthorn and St Kilda no longer have any ties to their namesake suburbs, and (except for Melbourne) the rest of the suburban grounds are used only for training and social purposes. Also, the Brisbane Bears were a team whose original home ground was 70km from Brisbane, and whose mascot was a koala.
    • Insult Backfire: North Melbourne's Fan Nickname of the "Shinboners" came about due to the team having a reputation for kicking opponents in the shins. Also, Geelong's and Collingwood's nicknames of the Cats and the Magpies respectively. (see Ascended Meme, above)
    • Ironic Nickname: "Delicate" Des Dickson, Hawthorn player in the 60s. Did you see how, in the intro, we mentioned that the actions of players such as Robbie Muir and David Rhys-Jones would be unacceptable today? Add him to that list.
    • Large Ham: Radio commentator Rex Hunt.
      • TV commentator Dennis Commetti occasionally goes into this territory as well.
      • Several now-retired players also fit the bill in their playing days, notably 'Big' Carl Ditterich and Peter 'Percy' Jones. Conversely, Robert 'Dipper' Dipierdimenico and Lou Richards mostly entered Large Ham territory as they became media figures after retiring.
    • Memetic Mutation: Keven Sheedy's jacket wave has become an institution in Essendon-West Coast games.
      • Barry Hall's hit on Brent Staker.
        • Barry Hall, period. He's the Zinedine Zidane of AFL memes.
      • Collingwood fans: "Deaf, dumb, blind and stupid/Spineless, gutless, brainless, heartless/And their heads and bums are interchangeble"
        • Magpie fans being escaped prisoners/convicted criminals/potential criminals/thugs/involved in the Melbourne gang war/the list goes on...
          • Apart from the gang war bit, that entire sentence can also be applied to Port, though only if you're talking to a Crows supporter.
            • And the Crows are this if you ask most Port supporters.
    • The Nicknamer: Radio commentator Rex Hunt.
    • Nice Hat / Iconic Item: Until about 1990, the goal umpires wore long-sleeved white coats, black trousers, and a white wide-brimmed hat. Today the uniforms are similar to those worn by association football referees, with a bright short-sleeved shirt and cap.
    • Prophetic Names: Derek and Dale Kickett
    • Retraux: The AFL's "heritage round" has teams wear old-style versions of their guernseys. Hawthorn fans seemed to particularly like their heritage strip, and there is a push for the team to change back to it permanently.
    • Riding the Bomb: The WEG poster for Essendon's 1984 premiership shows Kevin Sheedy doing this.
    • Sleeves Are for Wimps: The majority of players wear sleeeveless guernseys, although sleeved versions do exist, and some players regarded as being among the greatest ever (such as Essendon's James Hird and Hawthorn's Michael Tuck) almost always wore sleeved jumpers.
    • Swans-a-Swimming: The Sydney Swans.
    • Slobs Versus Snobs: Port Power vs Adelaide Crows, Collingwood vs Carlton
      • In fact, the league can be pretty much divided between Slobs and Snobs:
      • Slobs: Collingwood, Geelong, Fremantle, North Melbourne, Port Adelaide, Richmond, Western Bulldogs, Western Sydney if the AFL's Evil Plan comes together
      • Snobs: Adelaide, Carlton, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Sydney (slobs when they were South Melbourne),Essendon, St. Kilda, West Coast Eagles, probably the Gold Coast
      • In Between: Brisbane,
    • Tempting Fate: Speaking at the 2010 Grand Final Breakfast, following the hung parliament in the 2010 election, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said, "Please, we cannot have a draw!". Guess what happened?
    • That One Rule: The advantage rule.
    • To the Tune Of: Most club theme songs are based off other songs, the only exceptions being Fremantle (which borrows a motif from "Song of the Volga Boatmen"), Port Adelaide and the West Coast Eagles.
      • Perhaps the worst offender is St Kilda. Their club song is literally "When the Saints Go Marching In", but with a few references to the club sprinkled in.
      • The Brisbane Lions club song, "The Pride of Brisbane Town", is sung to the tune of "La Marseillaise" - the national anthem of France.
    • The Weird Al Effect: Do you know the songs "Goodbye Dolly Gray", "Keep Your Sunny Side Up", or "Row, Row, Row"? No? How about "Good Old Collingwood Forever", "See The Bombers Fly Up", and "Tigerland"?
    • The Woobie: St Kilda. Also Fitzroy, before they merged with Brisbane. Financial troubles aside, North Melbourne seems to be heading this way fast.
    • WTH Costuming Department: Fremantle's old purple, white, red and green jumper is the most famous example, but other teams have had their fashion disasters - the Brisbane Bears' "angry koala", Hawthorn's camo pattern and "horse racing" diamonds from pre-season competitions (thankfully, not on the same jumper), North Melbourne's one-off orange stripes (done as a promo for mobile phone carrier Orange), and Essendon's red shorts from the seventies.
      • Speaking of the seventies, Graham Teasdale's infamous brown velvet suit on Brownlow Medal night.