Thursday 21st November, 2019

Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

29

Bulldogs is fine as the NICKNAME, Bulldogs is WRONG as the de facto real name

Posted by Caveman

There is no problem with Bulldogs as the clubs nickname- that is fine. However it is WRONG for it to be the de-facto real name as it is now.

All clubs have a nickname- bar one which is us. That is because Bulldogs has been incorporated into the official name- the two worded name Western Bulldogs. So therefore we do not really have a nickname.

Nicknames are given to people or organizations for reasons such as, fun, (good natured) derision, irony or even just to state the obvious. They are not there to take over and run the show.

Read the rest of this page »

0

Bulldogs: Overused overkill. Western underused and superfluous

Posted by admin

One excuse used by the four man ‘Bulldogs Taskforce’ back in October 1996 why we needed to change our name from Footscray to Western Bulldogs- was that Footscray was a restriction on ‘growing the brand’. Our football club is apparently a ‘brand’ similar to dish washing liquid, fly spray or dog food, rather than a deep personal and family attachment passed down from generation to generation.

This was what the Western Bulldogs President of 13 years – David Smorgon was quoted saying in 2008 from the –

What’s In a Name? Plenty:

AGE article from Tuesday 8th June 2008

Here directly below between the unbroken lines is the exact quote from the Peter Hanlon story. The entire article is here as a separate chapter in this website

Smorgon says, because of a belief that the club’s identity was limited, that as Western Bulldogs they could better tap into sponsorship, build coteries and other support from the entire western region of Melbourne, with its 600,000-plus people. “We felt that Footscray was a restriction on growing our brand.”

If so then why is the Western in Western Bulldogs, 90% of the time an invisible faceless word? Western is hardly ever used and only in conjunction with ‘Bulldogs’ following it. Is there anywhere that Western is used singularly without the Bulldogs? – North Melbourne is usually abbreviated to North and South Melbourne was just South. The Melbourne part only ever followed the North and South – which was justifiable as there is already a team named Melbourne.

The Footscray situation is different because Western is supposedly the magnet to increasing our support. Melbourne alone was not the cornerstone of North (Melbourne) and South (Melbourne) – they are and were individual identities with the emphasis on them being North Melbourne and South Melbourne. So why is the ‘Bulldogs’ word used every single time and Western never used independently from Bulldogs? ‘Western’ is to the Western Bulldogs what the North and South are and was to both North Melbourne and South Melbourne. The direction (North and South) is what defines them both, opposed to our case (Western) where our direction is a ‘third rate loser’

THE TWO STAND UP COMEDIANS.

THE COMIC & HIS/HER DEAD PAN ASSISTANT- OURS ARE AROUND THE WRONG WAY!

Footscray as a club now described in two guises

(1) Western Bulldogs
(2) Bulldogs

It is never called just ‘Western’- nowhere will anyone ever see –

(a) Geelong v Western, Collingwood v Western, Essendon v Western etc
(b) Western v Hawthorn, Western v Carlton, Western v St Kilda etc

And when abbreviated the name appears in these formats –

  • W.Bulldogs
  • The Bulldogs
  • Dogs
  • Doggies
  • W.B.
  • The Dogs

And to a much lesser degree as

  • W.Bullies

Never is the club presented in an abbreviated mode as

  • Western B.
  • Western Dogs
  • Western Bull
  • Western Bulls
  • Western Bullies
  • West B
  • West D.
  • West Bull
  • West Bulls
  • West Dogs

Let alone plain Western on its own

So the logic of changing the name from Footscray to Western Bulldogs is not about consolidating a connection with the west. What it stands for is the cause of being Anti- Footscray. It is not about being Pro- Western suburbs or Pro-Western Region or Pro -western ‘whatever’ It is at pure bigotry towards Footscray. If Footscray was a race, religion, nationality, ethnic group, gender, etc it would be considered discrimination, but as Footscray is ‘just a suburb’- there is no crime of ‘suburb phobia’ as there is with racism, and religious bigotry etc. Footscrayphobia isn’t documented like other phobias- but it could be argued that there is definitely a place for that affliction to be medically recorded.

Western is supposed to be the comedian- the bulldogs should be the dead pan side kick. However we have it the wrong way around as Western is the side kick, bulldogs takes the top billing

Brad Johnson article in ‘THE BULLDOG’ magazine

The club’s official publication – ‘the Third Quarter’ edition of ‘THE BULLDOG’ magazine has an article from page 8 about Brad Johnson, celebrating him gaining the great honour of having played the most number of games for the team. The opening paragraph of this article on page 9 begins in this way as shown below –

It’s Round 8 1994. The Bulldogs are playing Collingwood at Western Oval. With eight wins and seven losses, it’s a crucial game in the scheme of season nearing the end point for the Alan Joyce – coached side.

Why is it written that way? One team is being recorded by its nickname and their opponents described by their real name.

It’s Round 8 1994. The Bulldogs are playing Collingwood at Western Oval. With eight wins and seven losses, it’s a crucial game in the scheme of season nearing the end point for the Alan Joyce – coached side.

The correct or consistent way would be to start that paragraph as either of the following –

✓ It’s Round 8 1994. Footscray are playing Collingwood at Western Oval. With eight wins and seven losses, it’s a crucial game in the scheme of season nearing the end point for the Alan Joyce- coached side.

✓ It’s Round 8 1994. The Bulldogs are playing The Magpies at Western Oval. With eight wins and seven losses, it’s a crucial game in the scheme of season nearing the end point for the Alan Joyce- coached side.

The reasons for those two above examples being correct are

Correctness: The fact was that Footscray was our official name, back then in July 1994 not ‘The Bulldogs.’ It was Footscray v Collingwood, not The Bulldogs v Collingwood

Consistancy: It is either the real name or the nickname for both teams. If we need to be referred to by our nickname, then so should the other team. The Bulldogs v The Magpies- although trivialising both clubs when used as the introduction of both is childish- it is at least consistent. There is another chapter on FNWB about the club being trivialised by the over use of the bulldog(s)

Back to ‘The Bulldog’ magazine. Why doesn’t the club call it ‘The Western’ or ‘The Westerner’? That may be a matter of semantics- but this is the emphasis again on the bulldog part of the name rather than the western. If the target audience is the western suburbs/region- it certainly isn’t obvious because all the emphasis is given to the bulldog(s) Western is superfluous.

Western does not justify its existence; or rather it has no opportunity to present its case, because it sits in the basement while bulldogs receive the top billing and neon lights. Western may as well be discarded from the name- because what is the purpose of it? The club could be just the ‘BULLDOGS’ in the same way that North Melbourne was from seasons 1999 to the end of season 2007 just ‘KANGAROOS’. (and without the ‘THE’ in front of Kangaroos).I wouldn’t support that- we must return to being Footscray- being just BULLDOGS is equally wrong as WESTERN BULLDOGS; however the club would at least move up the list alphabetically as below with both the current alphabetical listing and then a revised one should Western be thrown to the doghouse, as these two tables below show.

Alphabetical listing as Western Bulldogs Alphabetical listing just as Bulldogs
1 Adelaide 1 Adelaide
2 Brisbane 2 Brisbane
3 Carlton 3 Bulldogs
4 Collingwood 4 Carlton
5 Essendon 5 Collingwood
6 Fremantle 6 Essendon
7 Geelong 7 Fremantle
8 Hawthorn 8 Geelong
9 Melbourne 9 Hawthorn
10 North Melbourne 10 Melbourne
11 Port Adelaide 11 North Melbourne
12 Richmond 12 Port Adelaide
13 St Kilda 13 Richmond
14 Sydney 14 St Kilda
15 West Coast 15 Sydney
16 Western Bulldogs 16 West Coast
0

Where are the fans won over to the name changed Western Bulldogs?

Posted by admin

Groucho & Einstein

Does anyone really know someone in particular from the Western Suburbs of Melbourne or anywhere for that matter that changed club allegiance FROM their own non- Footscray team, TO the Western Bulldogs AFTER and BECAUSE Footscray became the Western Bulldogs?

Well I always believed no-one at all who was a resident of the “Western Region” changed their support for Collingwood, Carlton, Essendon, Richmond, Geelong, Hawthorn etc to the Western Bulldogs until receiving this correspondence back in 2005.

Again what is the Western Region / Western Suburbs and where does the Western Region / Western Suburbs start and finish? When and where do the Western Region / Western Suburbs become the Eastern / Southern and Northern Region / Suburbs?

Anyhow just underneath in blue is one person that was evidently won over to the club by the name change according to her brother who dispatched this to FNWB in 2005. Here is the proof of the success of Western Bulldogs replacing Footscray according to this bloke. Nothing has been altered or changed in this email, it is exactly as he sent it, copied and pasted, containing his own particular and unique spelling and syntax.

I am baffled by your explanations on your FNWB websites, as to the reasons why our wonderful football club should be called it original Foostcray name and not it’s current Western Bulldogs.

You seemed to pre-ocupied with the idea that if the name change is good enough for us, why is it not so with the other nine melbourne based clubs. You seem to take no notice of the fact the each club is a individual corporate enity, and therefore must make decisions regarding it’s own business opperations. You’re jokes of the Eastern Hawks and Northern Blues are ridiculous, as is the point you’re trying to make, but you make no mention to the fact that these clubs have individual business requirements, and therefore what works for one club, may not be best for another club.

Our club traditionally has had one of the lowest supporter bases in both the VFL and the subsequent AFL, duely with that, our club has also suffered a lack of on field success, which again impacts of our ability to attract new supporters. For these reasons, amougst others, our club has not been able to have the financial cushions enjoyed by our neighbouring clubs over the years. South Melbourne and Fitzroy neither had these elements as well, but these clubs failed to look outward and be pro-active in their business’, and thererfore were forced by the competition government to relocate interstate. I argue that the name change to the Western Bulldogs, which I would support if asked to vote for, has played a part in keeping this club in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. I grew up in the Western Suburbs, not Footscray, but outer western, and now live in West Footscray, and are extremely proud of my western herritage, and thus more proud to support Western Bulldogs than Footscray.

I argue that the name change hasn’t meant that everyone from the west has changed their club alligance, yes still there are Collingwood supporters in St. Albans, but you fail understand the name change attracts to a new breed of supporter, one looking for a team to support. A supporter growing to support the Western Bulldogs, not changing simply because of the name. However, I will admit that my sister was a life long North Melbourne Supporter, but now feels it important that she supports the Bulldogs, since they have become a club of the Western Suburbs, and she is a Western Suburbs girl. She has no interest in the Kangaroos more. You may have been lost to the Western Bulldogs, but so many more have been won.

The name change by an un-elected board in October 1996 may be unliked by some, like you, but has this board been elected out of office since? Smorgan was the leading figure then, and allthough certain board members have been replaced, he was re-elected just last year into the position. Why hasn’t anyone has shares your point of view stood for the presidency or board membership at the club? Is there not enough of you out there? Apparently, according to you, there is enough to the change the name again in a vote.

And by the way, the club is still the Footscray Football Club, it trades as the Western Bulldogs. Simiarly I work for ‘Sims Markette’, which trades as ‘Sims Supermarket West Foostscray’, and I don’t hear any of the loyal customers complaining.

I would enjoy and educated argument with you, as in the end we are both loyal followers of the red, white and blue. Feel free to come to Sims on Barkly St, not far from the Footscray Football Club, trading as the Western Bulldogs. Just ask for Groucho.

Regards
“Groucho Einstein”

Well Groucho Einstein isn’t this bloke’s real name I have selected that as I wasn’t sure whether he was a comedian or a genius so I adopted Groucho Einstein rather than say Albert Marx or anything else. Similar to the cricketing scenario when the fieldsman chases the ball and when returning it for a possible run out, throws it to the centre of the wicket because said fieldsman claims that he couldn’t decide whether to throw it to the bowler’s end or the keepers end.

I was going to leave out the part Groucho wrote about his job, so as not to unnecessarily identify him and his workplace, but as it was such a crucial part of his argument and it would have meant his correspondence was edited and thus not the whole story. Therefore I decided that it could NOT be left out. So only his name was changed.

So there above is one fan from the Western Suburbs / Western Region that the name change attracted to the club.

I argue that the name change hasn’t meant that everyone from the west has changed their club alligance, yes still there are Collingwood supporters in St. Albans, but you fail understand the name change attracts to a new breed of supporter, one looking for a team to support. A supporter growing to support the Western Bulldogs, not changing simply because of the name. However, I will admit that my sister was a life long North Melbourne Supporter, but now feels it important that she supports the Bulldogs, since they have become a club of the Western Suburbs, and she is a Western Suburbs girl. She has no interest in the Kangaroos more. You may have been lost to the Western Bulldogs, but so many more have been won.

Well Western does mean something to someone and so many more although I don’t know who these ‘so many more’ are as there is no elaboration about them. As for this new breed of supporter how often does this new breed come through? Also what is this new breed of supporter and whatever they are why would a club who changed their name to a direction necessarily and automatically appeal to this ‘new breed of supporter’

Somewhat funny how Footscray having our name changed to Western Bulldogs means that we are now ‘a club of the Western Suburbs’ yet were of no or minimal appeal to the Western Suburbs prior to 1997 when we were the only team in Melbourne playing its home games in the western suburbs of Melbourne! However the new (of 1996) administration changed our name to Western and that means we really are a team of this west although the new administration decided we had to play our home games at Carlton in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. So all these people from the outer western suburbs like G.E can feel more attached to the club now on a Saturday afternoon going to the game. Yes all of them are now leaving home (or the supermarket) earlier to watch the Western Bulldogs take on West Coast or Fremantle at the Docklands than what they did when watching Footscray playing either of those two at the Whitten Oval in 1996. So when their turning from Ashley Street into Barkly Street and progressing down Barkly Street to not long before it changes its name to Dynon Road they will pass the Whitten Oval, wave to it as they go by. Then they remember how they need to fill up with petrol or they won’t have enough to get to the Docklands and back. As their filling up with fuel they all feel such happiness that they are travelling into the city rather than to West Footscray, as it reinforces to them how important it is that they now support a club that is truly ‘of the Western Suburbs’

And by the way, the club is still the Footscray Football Club, it trades as the Western Bulldogs. Simiarly I work for ‘Sims Markette’, which trades as ‘Sims Supermarket West Foostscray’, and I don’t hear any of the loyal customers complaining.

It is funny how dummies like me haven’t picked up on it yet or still need to be reminded ‘by the way’ that it is still the Footscray Football Club trading as the Western Bulldogs? Well I feel better now, knowing that.

For some strange unexplainable reason, I assumed Footscray was gone forever. Maybe I should look harder at the footy record or the newspapers because I can only read it as Essendon v Western Bulldogs in the newspapers or in the record? Or perhaps glasses are in order when at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and both the scoreboards proclaim – Melbourne v WB?
I just can’t hear or see Footscray anymore, is something wrong with my eyes or hearing because it is still part of the official name (Footscray Football Club Trading as Western Bulldogs) as GE points out? It sounds feasible that if Oscar Wilde could come back from the dead, he would support us because we are without doubt “The Club That Dare Not Speak Its Name’?

As for the Sims Supermarkets or whatever they are called now, am I expected to refuse to go there anymore (even if they dropped their prices) because they changed their name? Yes absolutely for sure, I should be consistent and walk (or drive if too far to walk) past there and go somewhere else and pay more on groceries and petrol to get to another shop because this supermarket has a new name. Maybe you would drive past it too and be also outraged at any and every grocery store that changes its name?

And by the way, the club is still the Footscray Football Club, it trades as the Western Bulldogs. Simiarly I work for ‘Sims Markette’, which trades as ‘Sims Supermarket West Foostscray’, and I don’t hear any of the loyal customers complaining.

I would enjoy and educated argument with you, as in the end we are both loyal followers of the red, white and blue. Feel free to come to Sims on Barkly St, not far from the Footscray Football Club, trading as the Western Bulldogs. Just ask for Groucho.

Well I am not smart enough in such esteemed company to ‘enjoy and educated argument??? Then I can’t feel free to go to that supermarket because it changed its name. Money making concerns like supermarkets changing their name really upset me more than 100 year old football clubs that have been in the family for generations.

Anyway now that the Kangaroos are North Melbourne again, I wonder what his sister thinks about her old club reverting back to North Melbourne?

0

City of Footscray 150 years 1859-2009

Posted by admin

It is the 150th anniversary of Footscray the municipality

City of Footscray

With the disappearance of the old Footscray Council- it now dispenses services under the name of the City of Maribyrnong, the upcoming 150th anniversary of Footscray being awarded the status of a municipality will not receive the kudos and fanfare that it deserves. If the City of Maribyrnong was still the City of Footscray there would definitely be major commemorations surrounding it. Sadly it will almost be like what happened or rather didn’t happen in 1998.That year was the 100th anniversary of the Footscray Football Clubs first senior Premiership back in 1898. Hardly anyone knew about it and it was not celebrated in any way. Last year there was no club organised 30th anniversary get together to remember the Saturday July 1st 1978 when we kicked the record score.

Footscray became a municipal city in 1859 and this continued on until 1994, the ‘Footscray Council’ as such and in that name functioned for 135 years. This concluded in 1994, when the then state government of the day (led by the current President of the Hawthorn Football Club) decided in their wisdom to amalgamate councils across Victoria. Therefore the City Of Footscray was disestablished and the City of Maribyrnong was its new name. This happened all over Victoria- it had nothing to do with Footscray or the football club, the decision was made by the Victorian state government.

Yet happily the City of Maribyrnong is making a bit of a fuss about the 150 anniversary of Footscray. There will be a gala day in the Footscray Mall on Sunday 18th July 2009.

For such a big milestone there will be recollections and reminisces from leading Footscray citizens as well as celebrity ex Footscray residents who may hopefully attend. Footscray’s most well known institution is the Footscray Football Club and surely the football club would be represented. Yet would it be correct to have the President of the Western Bulldogs there? Remember the advertisements from Victor Kiam about Remington shavers-

Victor Kiam
“I liked the shaver so much, I bought the company!”
Victor Kiam

What could the Western Bulldogs President say about the 150th anniversary of Footscray- it certainly wouldn’t and couldn’t be anything resembling the stamp of approval that Victor Kiam provided for Remington Shavers? A probable example along the lines of-

My opinion of Footscray was such that as soon as I take over, I decided that the Footscray name MUST be removed totally from all facets of the football club -because when you think of Footscray you think of 3rd rate losers lacking success.

Yes that would be the perfect paradoxical way for “The Bulldogs” to commemorative Footscray’s 150th anniversary. Probably best that he either stays at home in Toorak, or goes out somewhere else rather than appear in the Footscray Mall and be photographed and fawned over by the print and electronic media. What a farce that would be, but the bigger joke would be how it won’t register to so many the irony of it all- the hype for the bloke who changed the name of the club! A celebration of and about Footscray and the big deal is about someone who lives miles away and got rid of that name! Thanks for coming, see you in 25 years for the 175th in 2034.

0

What’s In a Name? Plenty: AGE article from Tuesday 8th June 2008

Posted by admin

Ted Whitten Statue

This article by Peter Hanlon- who is a good quality journalist / feature writer for THE AGE Newspaper appeared in the sport lift out section of ‘The Age’ on Tuesday 3rd June 2008. You can read it also in the REAL FOOTY archive.

TOMORROW morning, at a not-so-long-ago decaying ground in Melbourne’s inner-west, another step will be taken in a football club’s rejuvenation. The club sits third on the AFL ladder, has just beaten the top team, and is enjoying its best start to a season ever.
These are heady times for this club, which is as proud of its history as rivals who boast of much more than just one day of ultimate glory. Given past struggles just to survive, it is a time to celebrate its very being. To rejoice in who it is.
It’s a shame you have to scroll all the way down to the fine print to be reminded of this club’s true name: Footscray.
It is more than 11 years since the administration of then-new president David Smorgon complemented its new off-field personnel with a change of name, playing venue, logo and club song, along with a new coach in Terry Wallace. At the time, the club’s membership had dipped to just over 10,000 — lower than when it won the 1954 flag.
Then, the club was seeking a new beginning, having played its last game at Whitten Oval. As Smorgon said yesterday, few people leaving the ground after the Bulldogs had beaten West Coast that day would have believed that any heavy machinery moving in a decade later would have been charged with anything but demolition.
But that was then. The Doggies are now alive and well, with more than 27,000 members, continuing AFL largesse and the fruits of government funding materialising at their Whitten Oval home. The new Elite Learning Centre, to be opened tomorrow, is just one stage of a development that will bolster a football club and benefit a community. Arguably, the time for a new beginning was right in 1996. But, as callers to talkback radio in recent days have proposed, maybe now is a good time to go back, while moving proudly forward. For that song to again begin: “Sons of the ‘Scray”.
Smorgon says a reversion from the trading name Western Bulldogs to Footscray Football Club is not on the agenda, “nowhere on the list of 100 things we’ve got to do”. While he is president, he says, it will not happen.
He doesn’t doubt that, to many, the name is important. “But I say to those people, we’ve moved on. We are the Western Bulldogs, and we’re creating our history on the back of the Footscray Football Club history.”
The change was made, Smorgon says, because of a belief that the club’s identity was limited, that as Western Bulldogs they could better tap into sponsorship, build coteries and other support from the entire western region of Melbourne, with its 600,000-plus people. “We felt that Footscray was a restriction on growing our brand.” But football supporters do not see their club as a brand. They see it as players, people, a jumper. Something to love, that their mum and dad loved before them. Something to cheer and be cheered by. Something that gives them hope. Of no club is this truer than the Dogs.
Smorgon says the change has been a success, although not all that was hoped for has been achieved. Research shows 55% of members reside in the west, up from 50%. Given the migration to one of Melbourne’s boom regions in the past decade, this can hardly be seen as endorsement of the “brand” name. The transition certainly wasn’t seamless, with premiership full-forward Jack Collins tackling Smorgon’s administration at the time under the banner of “Footscray Forever”. A website, “Footscray Not Western Bulldogs”, maintains the rage today, carrying an AFL ladder featuring Northern Blues, Eastern Hawks, Central Demons, Country Cats, etc. “Grab a street directory and try and find West Coast Eagles or Port Power in them, let alone Western Bulldogs,” it barks, concluding that “the only west or western I want to know about is Scott West”.
Smorgon is not concerned that, in a competition hell-bent on expansion, the word “Western” may soon be shared with another team, residing in the Sydney market that so tantalises the AFL.
As for North Melbourne’s recent decision to embrace its identity and relegate Kangaroos to nickname status, he could not comprehend that club’s thinking. Yet surely the notion of catching support with an all-encompassing name sells short those 27,000-plus members, who proudly see their club just as it is styled in the last line of their song: “The team of the mighty west.” People who would be proud to again call their club Footscray, no matter where they live.
 

So let’s have a look at a few quotes from this article-

Smorgon says a reversion from the trading name Western Bulldogs to Footscray Football Club is not on the agenda, “nowhere on the list of 100 things we’ve got to do”.

So it is worth wondering what is the actual 99th and 101st list of things we have got to do by? The 99th must still be quite important- perhaps a new colour scheme for the carpet in the foyer of the staff tea room. Maybe the 101st is changing the name back to Footscray? If there are 100 more pressing things than that- the Bulldogs must be a busy organisation. We should be running the country.
The next day THE AGE also mocked the Presidents quote about the 100 things we have got to do.

He doesn’t doubt that, to many, the name is important. “But I say to those people, we’ve moved on. We are the Western Bulldogs, and we’re creating our history on the back of the Footscray Football Club history.”

(1) Well if it is recognised that the name is undoubtedly important -why not do something about it if you want the membership to increase? Refer to the Kangaroos reverting back to North Melbourne and the 12,000 extra they attained. More on that just below and further down.

(2) Who have moved on? This ‘we have moved on’ is one of those rhetorical quotes used by those who’s next line is nearly always ‘Get over it.’

I didn’t ‘move on’ and nor have many others- which includes 8 other Victorian clubs. One Victorian club followed our lead and did ‘move on’ but now they have ‘moved backwards’ which gained them 12,000 extra members. As for both ‘moving on’ and ‘creating our own history’- only Fremantle and Richmond of the other 16 clubs have not BETTERED us since 1997. They have ‘equalled us’ in that their high point is a Preliminary Final, but they have only reached it and lost once (Fremantle in 2006 Richmond in 2001) we have lost three Preliminary Finals(1997,1998, 2008) compared with their one. So we are either better than them or equal with them depending on your point of view.

The transition certainly wasn’t seamless, with premiership full-forward Jack Collins tackling Smorgon’s administration at the time under the banner of “Footscray Forever”.

Sadly Jack Collins died suddenly just a month after this article was printed. He was not initially aware of this story, learning of it soon after it appeared, but then a cruel and untimely fatal heart attack intervened before he could offer his viewpoint. Jack was working on his memoirs at the time of his unexpected death. This is an absolute tragedy both obviously personally but also professionally as an Australian Football identity. His autobiography would have been brilliant- his story wouldn’t have pulled any punches- he was no yes man or sycophant. There was a strong similarity with Jack Collins and the great Laurie Nash, though Jack was certainly more modest than the South Melbourne legend! Laurie Nash was one of the South Melbourne stalwarts who remained embittered about them becoming the Sydney Swans. He point blank refused to accept it, just as Jack couldn’t take Footscray becoming Western Bulldogs. Some journalists in the early days of the 1982 season lambasted Laurie Nash for his outspoken opposition to the move to Sydney, yet would he have cared about what others thought of him? No at all, that wasn’t the Laurie Nash way. Jack was similar, no sacred cows with either of them.

Smorgon is not concerned that, in a competition hell-bent on expansion, the word “Western” may soon be shared with another team, residing in the Sydney market that so tantalises the AFL.

Oh well I guess we had the West in the name before these Western Sydney interlopers join the AFL.I wonder what the West Coast Eagles think? They had the west in their title before we did. They have only been around for a bit over 20 years, but the West has been in their original name since they began in 1987. We at ‘The Bulldogs’ hooked on to west around 10 years after the coastal eagles did, despite having another name for over 100 years beforehand.

The change was made, Smorgon says, because of a belief that the club’s identity was limited, that as Western Bulldogs they could better tap into sponsorship, build coteries and other support from the entire western region of Melbourne, with its 600,000-plus people. “We felt that Footscray was a restriction on growing our brand.”

Well I think we can believe that when ALL train station platforms in the Western suburbs of Melbourne are full of Western Bulldogs supporters rather Collingwood, Carlton and others on a match day. These Western fans are both –
(a) Those who never followed ‘The Bulldogs’ before when we were Footscray, because they were Collingwood supporters etc etc. However now they have changed teams from Collingwood to us because they feel an affinity to the red, white and blue because we have become the Western Bulldogs. These converted supporters now recognise Western is their team- despite living for over 40 years in St Albans, Sunshine, Braybrook, Deer Park, Albion
(b) People from the same suburbs mentioned above who previously had no interest in Australian Rules Football, but now follow the great Australian game and the red, white and blue because we are Western. Footscray meant nothing to them apparently it obviously restricted them from helping to grow our brand.

As for North Melbourne’s recent decision to embrace its identity and relegate Kangaroos to nickname status, he could not comprehend that club’s thinking.

So it would appear that the 12,000 extra members they roped in since changing back to North Melbourne is hard to comprehend? There must be 12,000 intellectually ungifted people out there who bought a North Melbourne membership but weren’t clever enough to do so when they were just the marsupial as their real name? Maybe they are better off with 12k less members – quality of members is better than quantity of members. The next tried and trusted response from those who make light of North Melbourne’s strengthened position will be that the 12,000 were all sympathy memberships! Yes some probably did buy a membership for them to congratulate them for rejecting the Gold Coast offer- but really who genuinely believes they received 12,000 sympathy votes?

0

Reverting Back to Footscray

Posted by admin

Honestly, who would give the club away?

Hypothetically the club is thinking of changing the name back to Footscray. They consider the arguments for and against. The main argument against would be the members that would be lost from changing back.

Now honestly- who is going to walk away from the Western Bulldogs if they change their scoreboard name back to Footscray? What member is going to pull stumps on the club because we have dumped Western for Footscray? How many- well you could write their names down on a piece of confetti, those who don’t renew a membership because Footscray is re-introduced. Is there anyone out here on planet Earth let alone Australia who will be so upset that we are going back to Footscray?

The IDCWTNIJALATW doggies fan

The IDCWTNIJALATW (I don’t care what the name is just as long as they win) bulldogs/ doggies supporter would not go into a self imposed exile, because they don’t care what the name is. All that interests them is that the team wins. When the team is performing on the field, they will certainly stay because their apathy over the name (and most likely other issues) means that they when they go to the football and read the footy record or newspapers etc, they don’t and couldn’t give a continental if the footy record, newspapers etc have us written as –

Footscray
Western Bulldogs
Bulldogs
The Bulldogs
Red Rooster Bulldogs
Canterbury Bulldogs
Safeway Bulldogs
Tucker Bag Bulldogs
Cheap as Chips Bulldogs
IDCWTNIJALATW
Dogs
Doggies

It doesn’t concern them. They don’t care- they will still be there- especially when the players on the park are winning. You can have a red rooster meal deal image on the Guernsey instead of the yawning cat and it wouldn’t worry the IDCWTNIJALATW fan at all. You could even take away those miniscule FFC letters from the top of the jumper and replace it with IDCWTNIJALATW. We could even become the Canterbury Bulldogs like the Rugby League team from New South Wales. Should even the colours be changed- they wouldn’t care either- we could be pink with purple polka dots, you could even dump bulldogs as a nickname, we could be the Western Donkeys or just the donkeys -just as long as we win. So should we get the quadrella, the name, nickname, colours and guernsey design, they don’t care just as long as we win.

The Won Over to the Club because we changed our name from Western Bulldogs

How many of the won over to the Western Bulldogs because we changed our name from Footscray to Western Bulldogs will drop off? Well at a guess probably less than a handful of people. Of those who finally found the club in 1997, maybe we have got them for life? Perhaps the Preliminary Final reaching seasons of 1997 and 1998 in the first two seasons of Western Bulldogs have kept their affections for the bulldogs for eternity? With four out of the last five seasons being not bad ones (2007 being the poor one) does anyone really think that someone will say-

“Right- that’s it- we are third on the ladder but the club is going to dump Western to re-introduce Footscray – yes that’s it”- “I will give the club away and give football away- or join another club”

So if this did happen and you went looking elsewhere -what club could you join? The only possible option for those of that thinking in Victoria would have been the blue and white team (not Geelong or Carlton.) Yet as the Kangaroos are now back to North Melbourne, there is no other team to cater for your needs of following a team with a generic name. So you are stuck with Footscray- you have just watched them beat Port Adelaide on the television by over 90 points- but no they are going to revert to Footscray- so it is time to get off. Can’t have that can we.

Well this is the truth- these people just don’t exist- really in all sincerity who knows a ‘doggies’ fan that would refuse to support them anymore because they changed back to Footscray?

All that will happen is the that the Bulldogs will win fans back by reverting to Footscray

The fans that walked away- nearly all will come back to the club- by reverting to Footscray. Not just that, but we will reclaim more of the fans we lost rather than lose those who were attracted to the club because the 1996 board ditched Footscray for Western.

Western is a generic nothing name. It represents no one- it is one of four directions. Western is nothing more than an arrow in words, an arrow is an image in words. We are an arrow pointing in one particular direction followed by a particular brand of canine. Those older fans that were around before 1996 and don’t care or accept the name change are not going to drop off. Why would they disappear- is Western such an emotional thing for them? No it isn’t because when they first followed the club we were Footscray. No one had ever heard of Western Bulldogs until 1996. So they will still be there, their love for the club will not diminish because we are Footscray again and not this direction Western. The bulldog will still be the nickname and that is the be all and end all- the superfluous faceless Western doesn’t tear at anyone’s heart strings here- though maybe it does in Arizona or Wyoming? As Western is hardly ever used in our case, nobody can miss it when it falls off the perch –or is blown away by John Wayne or Clint Eastwood.

With the Footscray fans who did walk away when the name was changed or diminished their support from the end of 1996 like myself. Those of us aggrieved about the situation will return and those who are now lukewarm supporters and only buy a home membership and contribute nothing or barely anything else- will return to being more committed to the club. I personally would- most likely probably join one of the coterie groups, or at the very least I would definitely increase my membership status from a home one to a full home and away membership- even though the full home and away membership is hardly value for money. I would be prepared to donate that to Footscray the full home and away membership, although the away membership is a gift to the club. I am happy to donate to the club when we are Footscray, but as Western Bulldogs, I think of the hip pocket- the blind loyalty is not there for Western, hasn’t been since 1996.

Changing back to Footscray can only increase membership- not just in actual individuals becoming members, but in what degree of membership they would buy. The club cannot and would not lose any money on reverting to Footscray.

8

“People don’t shop in Footscray anymore” – do they shop in Collingwood anymore?

Posted by admin

Paisley Street, Footscray

One of the justifications used by some as to why it was a good idea to dump Footscray as our name is that the actual Melbourne suburb of Footscray no longer attracts shoppers to the area.

This assumption about reduced turnover in the Footscray Central Business District (C.B.D) would be correct, as shopping in Footscray doesn’t draw the huge numbers that it used to. The good old days of the Footscray CBD, with the Footscray Mall and Forges, don’t enjoy the same patronage today in 2009 as years gone by. One explanation for this- is the advent of the big shopping complexes, the Highpoint West facility out at Maribyrnong is possibly the main reason for this? Footscray also can be a difficult place to get a long term parking space unlike Highpoint and other major shopping centres. The car parking problems are a big issue in most Melbourne suburbs

There are other reasons too, the Footscray CBD (please note NOT the entire suburb and postcode of Footscray 3011- but the Footscray CBD alone) does have a problem with delinquents and trouble makers that frequent the area- just as delinquents and good for nothings congregate in other towns and cities in Australia. However this also happens in other Melbourne suburbs, some of the many examples which would be Richmond, Collingwood, St Kilda, and Carlton. Then there is Victoria’s second city Geelong, which also would have its CBD enduring modern crime. It isn’t an exclusive phenomena restricted to Footscray and nowhere else.

Nevertheless although the Footscray shopping situation is a problem and a major worry for Footscray traders, the quieter turnover in that CBD isn’t something that needed to result in the Footscray Football Club changing its name to escape the connotations with the Footscray Central Business District. If it was such a stigma then the whole lot should have gone from the title- so no more Footscray Trading as Western Bulldogs. If it is so horrible then get rid of the ‘Footscray trading as’ part from the fine print of the club’s official name. Just let the club be legally known as Western Bulldogs in our tax statements. Why keep the Footscray if the powers that be hate it some much?

Who shops in Collingwood anymore?

Whilst I feel sorry for those trying to maintain or establish a business in the Footscray CBD, how many people regularly make the effort to shop in Collingwood these days? If it is such a problem for Footscray, then why is it not a problem for Collingwood, or for St Kilda, Carlton and Richmond? The halcyon days of what was the famed Richmond shopping precinct have long ended. Collingwood’s shopping area’s golden days were entering their twilight when Jock McHale was alive. James F. McHale died in 1953, soon after that season’s Grand Final. Collingwood Football Club would never consider becoming the Eastern Magpies- it would never have been thought of changing the club name away from Collingwood.

It would be fantastic if Footscray was to return to being a thriving business district that attracted shoppers from many miles away as it did in the late 1960’s, early 1970’s and before. Yet even if it doesn’t, the Footscray name should not be further ridiculed or airbrushed out of the public domain. Because no other Victorian AFL club hides from their heritage- no matter how stigmatized their suburb where they were born is.