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 –
|Red Rooster Bulldogs|
|Tucker Bag Bulldogs|
|Cheap as Chips Bulldogs|
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-
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.