The man cave bar - does it exist anymore? Is it a drinks cabinet? Wherever you store your liquor, we've created our Neon Bar Sign range. We've taken the passion 'word' from each footy club and put it up in lights. For Swans its 'BLOODS', for Freo its 'FOREVER'. Perfect for the Sporty yet Stylish Dad in your life. Starting at $47 Check out our website for more info. (Please note, these are prints only, Real Neon lights can be made, just connect with us here to order).
That's the only way to explain the task of trying to find out the defining moments, names and places that makes an Aussie Rules club what it is. What I though would be simple and clear-cut has been, in fact, surprisingly complex when talking to die hard* fans.
For starters there were no ‘standard rules’. Let’s take ‘team spirit’ for instance; ‘Don’t include his name – he was good, but he’s a loner, not a team player’: A Hawthorn fan is vehement yet anguished about NOT including Don Scott. (It must be said many other Hawks fans loved the idiosyncratic Scott). Yet, the ultimate selfish act ‘cutting a mate’s lunch’ is forgiven when it comes to Wayne Carey - ‘You have to include him – he is probably one of the best players of the modern game – regardless of what went on off the field’.
Interstate transitions and club fusions were another sticky point – for the younger ‘die hards’ – Sydney Swans are Sydney, but for anyone north of 45 the Swannies are, in their DNA, ‘South Melbourne!’ – words like Albert Park and South Melbourne were fist-on-table demanded to be included alongside Goodes and Plugger!
Oh the agony, and ecstasy, in the faces of the fan as they were forced to limit their praise and passion to a punishing 12 simple words. And once the final words decided upon and agreed, the boards designed and a journey created, there was always a few extra words that the die hard fans reconsidered, then pleaded: ‘you just have to add’…
Did we create a definitive 'die-hard trip'? You be the judge.
Check out the full gallery.
Source: 45 qualitative interviews with ‘Die Hard’ Aussie Rules fans, 2012/13
*Die Hard: strongly or fanatically determined or devoted <die–hard fans>; especially : strongly resisting change <a die–hard footy fan>
It's been a fabulous experience getting under the skin of die hard footy fans - young and old. Talking to them, watching them when they are watching a game...
So many stories, so much passion.
I particularly admire Wayne - a die hard Footscray fan who is now in his 60s and has only seen one grand final win, but he is there rain or shine, cheering on his mighty dogs.
This whole process is highly subjective - we could have created four boards for every team. But at the end of the day we had to go for a mix that we feel really represents the flavour of each club.
Thanks again to all the fans who spent the time to give us their views, and share the passion