It’s all a bit cloudy at the Herald Sun

See, I can think up fancy (and fairly lame) headlines, too!

According to the Herald Sun, “It seems nothing less than stripping clubs of premiership point” will prevent any form of misbehaviour at football matches in Australia (article here, but don’t click it)

I’ll attempt to keep this as simple as I can to avoid potentially confusing the Herald Sun or likeminded individuals. Note that the following scenario is entirely hypothetical/fictional and does not, in any way, represent a real event, nor does it represent any individual or supporter group.

Imagine I was a passionate Central Coast Mariners fan, and my team is in second place. The final round of the season is to be played this coming weekend, and if the current top team, Western Sydney Wanderers, draw or win against the Newcastle Jets, my team finishes in second after a strong performance throughout the season. How devastating that would be considering CCM was first for much of the season.

So instead of leaving it up to chance, I decide to do the short drive from Gosford to Newcastle to catch the WSW’s final game. Because I am aware of the consequences of fan behaviour on clubs, I decide to stand with the red and black supporters. In the back of my mind, I know that if WSW fans misbehave, the team will be punished, so I light a fire, break a chair, steal some food, mug a local, swear uncontrollably, run on the field, etc.

As I stated very clearly, this does not represent a real incident, nor does it indicate such events occur. It simply proves a point through basic logic.

Mind you, some public Australian figures seem to celebrate such behaviour, as seen in an episode of “20 to 1” (video here).

The Herald Sun article also features some other interesting assumptions. There is, apparently, an “aggressive culture” in football – a slightly amusing comment from someone not willing to identify themselves as the author of an article about the world’s most popular sport. The unnamed author cites an “Interstate rivalry between [Melbourne] Victory and Western Sydney” as responsible for injury to a police officer and the use of capsicum spray. I don’t know about the rest of you who were at that game, but I distinctly recall not only Victoria Police, but AAMI Park security applauding the WSW fans after the game, and witnessing dozens of fans thanking the same personnel for their guidance throughout the day. I also do not remember the presence of capsicum spray anywhere near me. I cannot speak for what may or may not have occurred on the other side of the field, because I was about 100 metres away.

Some other language used by this mysterious author is interesting too, such as “thugs who take over the terraces.” I’m not sure what the author is attempting to say here. Australian Police have, on many occasions, distinctly stated that a minority is to blame for the minimal incidents that do occur. Police reports outlining the small number of arrests throughout the entire season are testament to this. Where is this “take over”?

My favourite segment of this article is the last three paragraphs. That’s some serious investigation there; no further comment needed.

Yes there are incidents of anti-social behaviour in football, as there are in every other sport. Although it seems the Herald Sun is not a fan of making a big deal about the abuse of a disabled man who was supporting Geelong at a recent AFL match. Don’t worry, sokkah fans won’t begin to label all AFL fans as insensitive and discriminatory criminals for the advertiser dollar.

The Herald Sun is definitely worthy of a regular spot on ABC’s Media Watch.

  • Nick

    The comments in the 20 to 1 video from the people involved (former AFL players mind you) were hilarious.

  • Chaopescado

    This line made me crack up “A football fan who enthusiastically barracks for his team at an AFL match one day may turn into an abusive and aggressive thug at a soccer match the next.”

    It pretty much backs up their bias reporting, you can do the same thing at an AFL match and be labelled “enthusiastic” but do it at the SOKKAH and you’re “an abusive and aggressive thug” what a bunch of morons.


  • Bela Guttman

    Don’t feed the Herald-Sun troll.

  • I remember escaping (and I do not use the term lightly) from a Canterbury Bulldogs v Wests Tigers NRL match, after which several people wearing Tigers paraphanalia were bashed in separate incidents.

    Barely rated a mention in the media, but I will never take my wife to a Bulldogs match ever again, and I myself will never attend an away Bulldogs match.

    Do I consider all Bulldogs fans thugs? No, of coure not.

    Do I think ALL codes of football and other sports (such as cricket) have an inevitable anti-social element ruining it for everyone else? Yes.

    Do I consider the media prejudiced and hypocritical? Yes, I do.

  • Mark

    The funniest thing with the Herald Sun that day was that this anti football article was front page, whilst one of the biggest drug deals in Australia’s history was on page 4. And they have the gall to say that there’s no anti football bias in the Melbourne media. What a joke!