What a bloody mess

Who thought a SANFL game on a Saturday afternoon, with a crowd of almost nobody would create so much conversation?

It began when The Advertiser on Saturday night posted a story about the Adelaide Crows supposedly being upset with the West Adelaide cheer squad for banging on the fence at the game on Saturday afternoon. The particular article used the word alleged when stating that Adelaide officials approached the West cheer squad and asked them to stop banging on the fence. Using that word does not make the piece any more credible or relevant. And even if it was true, it is hardly news. It is rubbish journalism.

The Advertiser’s continual obsession with writing pieces based upon the amount of clicks and comments an article will get as opposed to actually reporting the news is officially out of control. There have now been three separate pieces on this game including one stating that Adelaide should either be all in or all out of this competition. These particular pieces are written so that supporters turn on each other. And what do you know, that is exactly what happened. This is modern journalism and it is just trash.

I was at Richmond Oval on Saturday afternoon. One of only a very select few mind you. Calling six people a cheer squad is a bit of a stretch?  There was not too many more than that, sitting behind the goals and making noise on Saturday. The noise on the fence was absolutely atrocious. I am sure the neighbours around Richmond Oval enjoy it week in, week out. It was done not only after every West Adelaide goal, but any time Adelaide had the ball in that vicinity as well.

Having said that you can support any way you like, fence or no fence, provided it does not cross the line. The Bloods fans just looked a bit like imbeciles, but at the end of the day that is not the fault of the cheer squad. The banging was only obvious as there was only 1400 odd people at the ground. Some will argue that this is because Adelaide fans do not turn up to SANFL games, but that is a ridiculous argument. Where were all the West Adelaide supporters?  A quick glance at the crowd numbers at Richmond Oval throughout 2017 paints the picture of 1700 as being a pretty average crowd number. Surely the Bloods have more than 1700 supporters. Those in glass houses…

On the issue of crowd behaviour at SANFL games, there is a particular type of SANFL fan (middle-aged men I am looking at you). Some of these so-called supporters think that they can yell anything they like at the footy, smoke wherever they like and act like absolute aggressive morons. There was a touch of this about the the way the banging on the fence was done by some on Saturday. Just a touch.

Where I also take issue is the verbal abuse projected at Adelaide’s players every week. Adelaide do not belong in the SANFL and neither do Port Adelaide for that matter. That is plain and simple. However, for the moment they are, so all supporters of SANFL footy need to just get over it. The abuse week after week to fans, to players and to administrators of both AFL reserves teams is down right pathetic and cannot be allowed to continue. You are there to watch the footy, support your team and enjoy the day. Keep the other rubbish out of it on match day. Send emails to the SANFL. Use the anger in other more positive ways to get that point across. The angry, agressive behaviour is not how you attract families to the footy or create a welcoming atmosphere.

The time is coming that both Adelaide and Port Adelaide will not be in the SANFL. It may be as early as next year or it may be five or ten years down the track. Without them though, the SANFL most likely loses a television deal, a substantial amount of money and will be fighting yet another competition for eyes and bums on seats. So be careful what you wish for.

On the park, the SANFL is producing a great season where everybody can beat anybody on any given day.  It is as close a season as we have seen in some time. Ridiculous negative press and made up stories like we have seen this week distracts from that and that is a damn shame.

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