Had I written this article a few years ago, I would have clarified that by saying that it was really the fans I hated and not the club itself, but not anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, that fans are still 90% of my hatred towards the club but the club has not done anything to endear itself to me.
Let’s go back in time. Back to when I was a little 5 or 6 year old and I sat down to watch my first game of footy with my Dad on tv. This was prior to the Eagles joining the competition and one of the teams playing wore black and red and so I thought I would go for them during the match. And so my support for Essendon started.
A few years later the Eagles joined the league, and being from WA myself, I was happy to support them in every game except when they played Essendon as I could not bring myself to change my loyalty. In those first few years I would have loved to have seen an
I celebrated in 1992 with the Eagles, celebrated even more in 1993 with Essendon, and celebrated again in 1994 with the Eagles. It was a good period after the disappointment of 1990 and 1991.
But things started taking a turn for the worst as the Eagles form slumped in the ensuing years. People over here had always been amongst the biggest whingers in football always crying and bitching about free kicks, umpires turning a blind eye, unfair treatment at the tribunal etc, but my god, jet engines don’t whine as much as Eagle’s fans did from 95 to... well...to the current day.
Whine. Bitch. Moan. Non-stop. I started to get sick of hearing it – especially when they started turning on Essendon (being the only team that had a better win-loss record against the Eagles during their period of dominance).
"Umpires! Free Kicks! Tribunal!" On and on.
In the mid-late 90’s some stats guy did some work about free kicks over the preceding several seasons. Collingwood came out as having gotten the most free kicks by a substantial margin, surprising exactly nobody who watches football (but the gross bias in Collingwood’s favour is a topic for another day). The team that had gotten the second most free kicks was the West Coast Eagles (for the record the team with the least free kicks was
But then what really turned me off the fans was the statement uttered by a great number of them whenever you pointed out their poor form and uncompetitiveness in the finals: “But we made the finals 10 years in a row!”
Just let that sink in. It is important to remember that 8 teams – fully half the league – make the finals. And the West Coast Eagles fans were taking pride in that they were mediocre enough to literally fall into 7th and 8th place those last few years because some other teams had lost their last games.
They played in ten finals series and only won twice. That strikes me as a pretty pisspoor record, but not to these West Coast Wanker fans.
As a comparative case, the Buffalo Bills in the NFL made the Superbowl four years in a row (Superbowls 25-28 if I recall correctly) and lost each time and they were rightfully ridiculed for not being able to win one of them. But not these WCE fans – oh no. A 20% success rate is a champion effort and makes them the best team in history.
And unfortunately is has only gotten worse.
Back in 2003, West Coast destroyed
“Eagles are the best side in the competition!”
”Eagles are now premiership favourites!”
”Eagles are the best side in sport!”
“Best win in the history of the club!”
“Best win in the history of the AFL!”
“Best win in the history of sport!”
“Best win in the history of the universe!”
As I said to some morons at work:
“Yeah. It was a good win but you got to remember that they beat the bottom side who is playing terrible football. This week you are playing Port Adelaide, the top side, in
And what happened that weekend?
But in recent years, the club itself has also turned me right off. First was the way the club shafted Glen Jackovich for the captaincy. Jackovich was a dead set champion and served the club well for many years. He was nearing the end of his career when the captaincy came up. Would it have been so bad to reward him with the captaincy for the last couple of years of his career? Apparently the Eagles thought so and gave it to a group of young punks to share around. What a disgrace. Jackovich should have spat on them and walked out.
Then there is the way Ken Judge spent his time rebuilding the club after the Malthouse decay (and Ken Judge’s rebuilding is the reason the club is playing in a grand final this year) but rather than recognise his work and understand that you can’t go from an old, depleted side to champions in a couple of seasons, the club drops him as coach without even letting him finish his contract. This is nothing against the current coach John Worsfold, who was another champion player, even if he is far too soft on the players when they play badly.
And perhaps worst of all is the hypocrisy (maybe – tough call between the hypocrisy and the treatment of Jackovich). A couple of years back there was a big uproar about drinking. All this crap going about grown adults having drinks after the game. During this, the club comes out and says “We are so good. We have a zero tolerance policy towards alcohol. Let’s all go and masturbate about how good we are.”
The club is there beating its chest about how good it is not allowing its players to have a drink, while high profile players (whom the club has pushed hard as role models) are out there snorting cocaine, shooting heroin, smoking dope, popping pills, and hanging around with organised crime figures (which these players claim are their “friends” when they are really just their suppliers).
Look, if players are so stupid as to want to do that shit, that’s their business. I am sure the Eagles are not the only club with players doing this, but they are the only club publicly claiming how good they are while pretending, no, blatantly lying to us, that this sort of thing isn’t happening.
So I hate the club for all the hypocrisy and bullshit they spew out. But I still hate the fans more. The latest event which makes me hate them even more is the Barry Hall incident. Take a look at this email going around here:
forward Barry Hall is free to play in the AFL Grand Final this weekend despite having killed three people before last week's preliminary final against St Kilda. Sydney
It has been discovered that Hall stopped off at a 7-11 last Friday night and ruthlessly gunned down three people who were holding him up in the queue by taking too long to pay for a packet of Mentos.
But the AFL Tribunal ruled last night that because Hall had been on his way to the game at the time of the incident, contact could be deemed to be 'in play'.
They further ruled that his conduct could not be considered 'deliberate', only merely 'reckless', insofar as it was reckless how he had pulled the gun from his pocket and fired off about 30 rounds.
Finally, they also ruled that because the bullets struck the victims mainly in the chest, contact was not head-high and should therefore be considered at the lower end of the scale of offences.
This still left Hall with a total of 1,674,265 points, or a total suspension of 12-15 years, with time off for good behaviour. But there was a 25% reduction for Hall's guilty plea, and a further 74.9% reduction because of the AFL's naked determination to give
the best possible chance of winning the Premiership. Sydney
The end result is that Hall will not only lead the Swans onto the field this weekend, but has also been promised several unwarranted free kicks to be taken at a time of his choosing - to compensate him for pain and suffering.
An AFL spokesman said they were happy that justice had prevailed.
"Nobody wants to see a
player ... errrr, sorry, any player miss an AFL Grand Final," the spokesman said. "Unless, of course, it's a Collingwood player, in which case it's just funny. Sydney
"But we think in this case it's a good result for football. It's certainly a good result for
, and therefore a good result for us. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go and help the Swans cheer squad with their banner." Sydney
The spokesman did concede, however, that the Hall decision had caused problems for the League.
"Hell yeah, it meant we also had to let Gaspar off for his blatant elbowas a square-off. So don't think we haven't suffered."
Nevermind the fact that both players got off and especially nevermind the fact that Gasper’s incident was MUCH worse, (Hall gave a jab to the stomach, Gasper tried to elbow the guy in the face) this is all just a conspiracy against the Eagles. Both players get treated equally and both players are free to play in the grand final but it is all just the AFL trying to favour
So yeah, I hate the Eagles fans and hope their team loses just to shut them up, but unfortunately I don’t think it will happen.
My sad, unfortunate, and hopefully dead wrong prediction: Eagles by 26 points.