Why should anyone support Port Adelaide?
Port Adelaide is a basket case. Record losses on and off the ground have turned South Australia’s oldest, proudest and most successful football club into a national joke.
Rival club supporters who’ve had to cop it for years from arrogant Port fans are having a field day. But for Power supporters, it’s not so funny.
Port is the AFL’s worst team since the dying days of Fitzroy in 1996. Ironically, the Power took the Lions place in the comp the following season.
Ignore the hysterical shrieks of die-hard fans, the Power’s shocking demise this season is not some Fabian-type conspiracy orchestrated by a bitter, jealous and parochial South Australian National Football League as payback for Port’s ill-fated rebel bid to join the AFL in 1990.
Poor player list management, an under-resourced coaching department and a dysfunctional front office are more likely causes.
Front-running supporters have to take a hard look at themselves, too. For 140 years they’ve had a dream run as Port dominated the SANFL with 34 premierships before quickly becoming an AFL powerhouse. The club only took seven years to win its first AFL flag in 2004.
These people have long bragged about being the most loyal, passionate, committed through thick-and-thin footy supporters going around.
But only 14,169 bothered to show up for Port’s 59-point loss to the Western Bulldogs last Sunday, the second lowest AFL crowd at AAMI Stadium (the lowest is 14,113 for the Power’s home game against West Coast last year). They’ve deserted the club in its darkest hour.
Truth is, this is the first time ANY Port supporter has had to endure the “tough times”. Old-timers point to the premiership drought between 1966-1976.
They don’t mention that the club only missed the finals once in that time while playing off in six grand finals. Hardly struggle street.
The move to Adelaide Oval in 2014 is not the panacea for Port’s ills, which go much deeper than anything a simple venue change can cure.
AFL boss Andrew Demetriou has repeatedly guaranteed Port’s survival in the comp. But for how long?