‘Big Blue’ the A-League’s biggest game?

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

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    The grand final pits Sydney FC against Melbourne Victory, adding extra spice to one of the A-League's most heated grudge matches. (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

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    Is the Big Blue the A-League’s biggest game? Is the reputation undeserved, or are Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory truly the bitterest rivals in the land?

    It certainly seemed that way given the intensity of their clash at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night, as the two sides battered each other on a dry and difficult pitch in an absorbing 1-1 draw.

    A point apiece was just about the right result, although Victory fans might argue their team enjoyed the better chances, while Yairo Yau’s post-goal celebration suggested he doesn’t much appreciate being forced to come off the bench for the Sky Blues.

    From a footballing point of view, the clash still left some questions to be answered.

    Can Sydney FC afford to drop points in their final two encounters on the road at Western Sydney and Brisbane Roar?

    Is Victory’s defence solid enough to mount a genuine title campaign?

    Can either side stop the juggernaut that is Western Sydney Wanderers?

    At the start of the season it would have seemed almost unthinkable for Sydney FC to go into the Sydney derby as underdogs, but that’s exactly what will happen at Parramatta Stadium next weekend.

    Nevertheless, with such a potent strike force they’ll fancy their chances of springing an upset against the upstarts from across town, and I wouldn’t bet against Western Sydney’s winning streak coming to an end.

    But what the Sky Blues may have to factor in is an irate supporter base, after the club released a press statement to admonish The Cove for unfurling an unauthorised ‘tifo’ banner against the Victory.

    The banner, which received only an instant’s worth of TV coverage from Fox Sports, used a commonly heard but readily offensive slang term to refer to the Victory.

    Some Cove members are now upset the club chose to admonish the supporter group publicly, but in truth it’s difficult to see what other choice club officials had and quite frankly, it’s naïve in the extreme to imagine someone wouldn’t have taken offence in the first place.

    The whole incident helps give rise to the notion that the Big Blue – a moniker we seem to be stuck with – is the most heavily anticipated and spiteful of A-League affairs.

    If that’s the case though, it’s a shame only 22,000 fans turned out at Allianz Stadium to watch it, even if that does represent a decent attendance figure for the Sky Blues.

    It’s a far cry from the consistent full houses some pundits were predicting when Sydney FC signed Alessandro Del Piero at the start of the season and for all his value on the field, it’s questionable whether Del Piero has been quite the expected box office draw card off it.

    He certainly knows all about the intensity of matches between the two fierce rivals, given how frequently he’s been fouled in them, but there are a couple of other fixtures which deserve further scrutiny when it comes to rating the A-League’s biggest rivalry.

    Fixtures between Victory and their cross-border rivals Adelaide United are certainly not for the faint-hearted, while the F3 derby between Central Coast and Newcastle can often be a niggly affair.

    However there’s a sense that matches between clubs from Australia’s two biggest cities just have that little bit more spice, though it remains to be seen whether the Wanderers become Victory’s fiercest rivals over time.

    Regardless, last weekend’s Big Blue truly was an exhilarating affair and hopefully it was a precursor of things to come with the finals just around the corner.

    Western Sydney may be the story of the A-League season so far, but on a night of high drama in Moore Park, Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory reminded us all that there are plenty of other talking points.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Mike Tuckerman

    Mike Tuckerman is a Sydney-born journalist and lifelong football fan. After lengthy stints watching the beautiful game in Germany and Japan, he settled in Brisbane, and has been a leading Roar football columnist from December 2008.

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    The Crowd Says (171)

    • March 19th 2013 @ 7:22am
      Jukes said | March 19th 2013 @ 7:22am | ! Report

      Its hard to say Mike. There are some definite rivalries brewing in the A-league. Most of the rivaries seem to involve the Melbourne Victory. I guess it should be seen as a badge of honour in a way. They are one of the more successful clubs with the biggest supporter bases and are always being hunted down. Always a big game when playing Melbourne V. Having said that an absolutely massive game this weekend with Sydney FC and my team the Wanderers. A chance to claim the premiers plate and knock those latte sippers out of the finals or at least dent their hopes. Its a shame that FOX didnt allow the live site to go ahead. It is extremely short sighted in my opinion. It would have been a sea of supporters enjoying the atmosphere inside and outside the stadium. I can understand the commercial implications for FOX but they missed a great opportunity in my opinion. It would have been massive.

      • Roar Guru

        March 19th 2013 @ 9:44am
        Cameron Kellett said | March 19th 2013 @ 9:44am | ! Report

        That’s pathetic that Fox did that. Like the commercial aspects just from Parramatta are going to affect the overall number significantly! I’m watching and I don’t support either side. Go Wanderers!

        For everyone who didn’t know…

        If the wanderers win this weekend they take their winning streak to 11, 3 better than victory’s 8. They also take total number of season wins from 17 to 18 and equal Brisbane roars record of 18 wins during a regular season. To be noted – Roar played 30, wanderers will finish the season with 27 matches played. Phenomenal records by Wanderers!

        • March 19th 2013 @ 12:07pm
          oly09 said | March 19th 2013 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

          It’s more likely that Parramatta Council made a decision to have a live site without investigating and researching the costs involved. It’s a good idea and hopefully when it’s properly looked into they can set them up on a regular basis for big Wanderers games next year.

          • Roar Guru

            March 19th 2013 @ 12:12pm
            Cameron Kellett said | March 19th 2013 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

            That’s fair enough, but they announced this ages ago. Don’t you think fox would have raised eyebrows early on and squashed the idea and talk Weeks ago?

    • March 19th 2013 @ 7:48am
      MV Dave said | March 19th 2013 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      In terms of attendance nothing comes close to the Melbourne Derby…around 110,000 spectators watched the 3 games this season. In terms of on field intensity l would also say the Melbourne Derby wins out, certainly in terms of the games l have seen live.
      It is wonderful to have several clashes that are considered ‘Marquee’ and as a MV supporter even better that we are involved in 3 of the biggest (AU matches also).
      Your comment on ADP not having the expected impact off the field is a strange one…SFC’s total attendance last season was 166,000 at an average of 11,800 whilst this season total attendance of 242,000 for an average of 18,700 an increase of more than 50%. Also his impact on attendances away from home has been significant.

      • March 19th 2013 @ 8:39am
        Jukes said | March 19th 2013 @ 8:39am | ! Report

        I agree 100% Dave the Melbourne Derby is easily the biggest game of the year. Not sure how much Melbourne heart contribute to the overall numbers but if they get the club moving in the right direction and get more members, bigger crowds and support then gives this match every chance of remaining the premier fixture on the A league calendar.

      • March 19th 2013 @ 9:09am
        striker said | March 19th 2013 @ 9:09am | ! Report

        MV Dave i agree Mike is a joke, Sydney FC attendances are fantastic compared to last year and have increased there fanbase to now have an average 15-20k compared to 11800 last season, Bringing ADP to the competition was the best thing the A-League has done not only for Sydney FC but to the league in whole.

      • Roar Guru

        March 19th 2013 @ 9:22am
        Cameron Kellett said | March 19th 2013 @ 9:22am | ! Report

        MV Dave,

        I don’t know if Mike reads others articles at all but in my article the other day titled ‘A-league records a testament to the history of Australian football’ jbinnie, Fuss and myself and a few others dissected the influence ADP has had. What was clearly evident was the impact he has had on Sydney fc. Somehow all of us can see it, but Mike questions it???

        Mike, i’m not sure if you’re a facts man, but of you would like to know the impact ADP has had then follow the link below. Jbinnie provides a great offering. If you don’t i’m sure he’d be more than happy to let you know himself.

        http://www.theroar.com.au/2013/03/12/a-league-records-are-a-testament-to-the-history-of-australian-football/

      • Roar Guru

        March 19th 2013 @ 9:44am
        apaway said | March 19th 2013 @ 9:44am | ! Report

        MV Dave

        Agree on both counts. The Melbourne derby is the match I most look forward to as a neutral. And Mike, to question whether Del Piero has had the expected impact is, frankly, quite ludicrous.

        • Columnist

          March 19th 2013 @ 10:08am
          Mike Tuckerman said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:08am | ! Report

          apaway – I don’t question whether Del Piero has had an impact, I question whether the impact is as significant as the club and Del Piero’s backers originally hoped.

          • March 19th 2013 @ 10:23am
            Punter said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:23am | ! Report

            There maybe 2 things that maybe affected Del Piero’s impact, SFC’s poor form, especially first half & even now, still a long way behind MV, WSW, CCM, BR & even AU as afar playing good football & the growth of WSW.
            Imagine Del Piero playing for SFC, playing football like those mentioned above & being successful.

            But I brought tickets for friends, who had friends coming from Hong Kong, who when asked what they wanted to see in their trip to Sydney, was go see Del Piero play for SFC. He has huge impact.

            • March 19th 2013 @ 1:35pm
              Batou said | March 19th 2013 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

              BR?… You’re having a laugh right?

              • March 20th 2013 @ 3:02pm
                Ian said | March 20th 2013 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

                BR unbeaten against MV. BR beat Adelaide twice.

                not great, not absolute crap.

          • Roar Guru

            March 19th 2013 @ 10:25am
            Fussball ist unser leben said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:25am | ! Report

            Mike, can I ask: what were the off-field benchmarks you set for ADP?

            You must have set some benchmarks, if you’re questioning ADP’s off-field impact … or are you basing your analysis on the rumblings in your gut?

            I presume you are an accredited A-League/FFA journalist? This gives you access to football people that fans can only dream about.

            Why don’t you interview the Sydney FC’s owners, CEO, sponsors, etc. to get a meaningful answer to your question about ADP’s value off-the-park? It would be much more credible than the musings of fans on an internet blog.

            From afar, based on my knowledge of business, ticket sales & merchandise sales, ADP would have generated sufficient revenue to more than fully cover BOTH years of his contract with Sydney FC.

            Plus, he has generated media interest in the A-League – locally & abroad – that we’ve never seen before.

          • Roar Guru

            March 19th 2013 @ 11:10am
            apaway said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:10am | ! Report

            Fair enough, Mike.

          • March 19th 2013 @ 11:34am
            jbinnie said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:34am | ! Report

            Mike – a dangerous area to get into.By my reckoning Sydney’s average crowd at this late stage of the season has lifted from 11,633 on the 3/3/2012 to 18,660 on16/3/2103, a differential of 7,077 per game. While it would be nice to say that Sydney’s performances this year were the cause of this huge increase I think you would agree, that would be stretching things just a bit too far.
            Back to the figures. At a conservative $25 average entry that would mean Sydney are drawing an extra $175,675 for every home game so that in the12 played so far it would be correct to assume ADP’s presence has added
            $ 2,284 000 to their gate income.
            Now not being party to ADP’S “deal”, or, if he is being gainfully employed by the club, now,and in the off season at functions or personal appearances, I cannot even start to imagine what type of potential money he can bring in, but that “gate figure” would go a long way to meeting his costs I’m sure.
            The increases he has caused at other club’s home fixtures remain an unknown factor to us all, but by my reckoning his appearances at other club’s home games has caused an increase of around 44,000 and using the same $25, that means his presence has added another $1,100,000 into the pockets of those 9 clubs.
            As I say,Mike,a dangerous area for discussion. jb

      • March 19th 2013 @ 10:30am
        Towser said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:30am | ! Report

        Strange indeed MV Dave given the increase in SFC’s attendance you quote. Also Roars average is 13,200,vs SFC & ADP nearly 23,000.

      • Roar Guru

        March 23rd 2013 @ 12:17pm
        NUFCMVFC said | March 23rd 2013 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

        I might be going against the grain here but I actually think as it stands the Sydney derby is more authentic given the distinction between what both teams reprsent is clear and both teams have identity, as a neutral I know what it is about. As a neutral I enjoy seeing a suburban ground in Parramatta packed to the rafters, and I enjoyed the evenly balanced Cup style crowd that eventuated at Allianz, a ncie different to the normal SFC games there

        Frankly I don’t feel the Melbourne derby in my bones, it is more of a spectacle you enjoy going to “because it’s a derby” and I enjoy being ain a full AAMI park. I don’t know what the rivalry is even about, it is merely Melbourne Victory playing a bunch of clowns in their only meaningful game for the whole season where there is an actual meaningful crowd in attendance and nothing changes the fact it is eessentially manufactured because the FFA didn’t want to let South Melbourne in either directly or in de facto form via the SOuthern Corss bid

        That pre-season game versus South Melbourne was another matter however, that had much more feeling than any of the Melbourne versus Heart derbies

        • March 23rd 2013 @ 12:29pm
          Bela Guttman said | March 23rd 2013 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

          South Melbourne blah blah blah…… it does get so tedious. By the time South Melbourne actually gets to the HAL they’ll be hated by everyone.

    • March 19th 2013 @ 7:55am
      Bela Guttman said | March 19th 2013 @ 7:55am | ! Report

      It couldn’t possibly be the biggest game if it wasn’t in Sydney or it didn’t involve a Sydney team now could it?

      • Columnist

        March 19th 2013 @ 8:11am
        Mike Tuckerman said | March 19th 2013 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        That’s precisely the question put before you.

        • Roar Guru

          March 19th 2013 @ 9:29am
          Cameron Kellett said | March 19th 2013 @ 9:29am | ! Report

          I only saw six questions in total for this piece and the question Bela asked is not ‘precisely the question put before you.’

          Bela, if I read you correctly you were using sarcasm, weren’t you?

          • March 19th 2013 @ 10:38am
            Bela Guttman said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:38am | ! Report

            Yes, kellet_1992, it was a sarcastic comment although the answer to my question has to be ‘no’, unless it involves a Sydney team it couldn’t possibly be the biggest. We all know how important size is after all:)
            Perhaps we can now just get back to enjoying the game.

        • March 19th 2013 @ 3:49pm
          Bela Guttman said | March 19th 2013 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

          Biggest game? what does that actually mean as you haven’t defined your term. Biggest in terms of attendance? No, the Melbourne derbies have more people at the ground. Biggest in terms of rivalry? As many have said there are many rivalries and all are important but if you ask any MV fan whether they’d rather clean sweep the derbies or ‘big blue’ and most will choose the derby. Ask any SFC fan whether they’d rather clean sweep the derby and I’m sure that they’d say the same. Most important game? Well that depends on the season and what is at stake for that particular game.

    • Roar Guru

      March 19th 2013 @ 8:38am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | March 19th 2013 @ 8:38am | ! Report

      As an MVFC fan, it seems we are involved in a lot of “biggest games in the A-League”.

      The matches against AUFC, MHFC, SFC & WSW have massive intensity & passion on and off the park.

      I’d rank the Melbourne Derby as No.1 – regardless of position on the ladder or form, these matches are massive; just as any real Derby should be.

      Then, the other 3 matches are about the same. Their relative important will vary, depending upon the importance to a particular match in a particular season.

    • March 19th 2013 @ 9:02am
      Cpaaa said | March 19th 2013 @ 9:02am | ! Report

      Sydney FC V Melbourne Victory is the biggest. Simply for creating what all our other sports have not been able to do, a genuine Sydney V Melbourne sporting contest.

      • Roar Guru

        March 19th 2013 @ 9:12am
        Redb said | March 19th 2013 @ 9:12am | ! Report

        Cpaaa,

        Incorrect. Both the NRL and AFL competitions feature Melbourne and Sydney teams. Melb Victory and Sydney Fc are no longer one team towns, they dont represent the whole of Melbourne or the whole Sydney they are teams in a competition.

        • March 19th 2013 @ 10:08am
          Punter said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:08am | ! Report

          In neither the NRL or the AFL does the Melbourne v Sydney matches generate more interest than many more traditional rivalries.
          I would say Swans v Eagles are bigger rivalry than any Swans match against Melbourne teams. Plus Melb teams have far greater rivalries within Melbourne & a greater one against Adelaide.
          In NRL Melbourne is not really regarded as a major rival for any Sydney teams, who all also have bigger rivalries within Sydney & with Brisbane much bigger.

          • Roar Guru

            March 19th 2013 @ 10:36am
            Redb said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:36am | ! Report

            Punter,

            My point is that relative to the A League it might be a big rivalry however that does not translate to the wider sporting world where as you say there are bigger sporting rivalries, many of which are local derbies. In RL you have Origin State v State.

            Sydney and Melbourne actually don’t see each other as big sporting rivalries. There are far more important sporting rivalries in Australian sport.

            • March 19th 2013 @ 10:57am
              Punter said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:57am | ! Report

              There is no doubt there Redb, no-one is proclaiming that SFC v MV with 22k in attendance is comparable to Collingwood v Essendon or Carlton with 75K in the G.
              But I would say that SFC v MV is the first real Sydney v Melbourne rivalry that can transcend the sport, I know you have attended a SFC v MV game. In other words this is really the only Sydney v Melbourne rivalry that can attract more interest than normal, crowd, media etc.

              • Roar Guru

                March 19th 2013 @ 11:27am
                Redb said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:27am | ! Report

                Punter,

                Sporting rivalries are a funny thing. Some can be manufactured, some just work, most are about belting your next door neighbour.

                In cricket, Vic v NSW doesn’t resonate. Really, it should given the long term history.

        • Roar Guru

          March 19th 2013 @ 11:12am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:12am | ! Report

          @Redb

          1. Which AFL team in Melbourne has a massive rivalry with Swans? In my 30+yrs following AFL I’ve never heard of a single Melbourne club having a rivalry with the Swans

          2. Which NRL team has the biggest rivalry with Storm? I live in Melbourne & have never heard of any specific rivalry over the past 14 years.

          • Roar Guru

            March 19th 2013 @ 11:26am
            Cameron Kellett said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:26am | ! Report

            Answer to your second question Fuss.

            Dragons, Manly and Brisbane Broncos.

            And I thought you don’t care about other sports, so maybe that’s the reason you haven’t heard of these?? Regardless of what you read in the papers which I also thought you tend to find more resourceful information on sites like these??

            You’re not a League supporter so it’s ok you didn’t know.

            • Roar Guru

              March 19th 2013 @ 11:31am
              Fussball ist unser leben said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:31am | ! Report

              Kellett_1992

              I’ve spent the majority of the past 14 years living in Melbourne and, not once, have I ever encountered any hype about Storm v Dragons/Manly/Brisbane.

              If we complain about poor HAL coverage in Melbourne media, the NRL coverage is abysmal.

              • Roar Guru

                March 19th 2013 @ 11:38am
                Cameron Kellett said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:38am | ! Report

                You go from “rivalry” to “hype” good work Fuss! Good work.

                There is a difference, but i’m sure you already knew that.

              • Roar Guru

                March 19th 2013 @ 11:44am
                Fussball ist unser leben said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:44am | ! Report

                So, kellett, you’re suggesting you can have a rivalry even though no one is interested?

                Fair enough.

                It could be a new philosophical conundrum … “If 2 clubs are major rivals, but no one is there to cheer … was there actually a contest”?

              • Roar Guru

                March 19th 2013 @ 11:53am
                Cameron Kellett said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:53am | ! Report

                You’d know cause you care about the NRL don’t you?? Oh wait that’s right, how would you know? Do some research as to what the NRL “themselves” regard as rivalry or existing rivalries in the competition.

              • Roar Guru

                March 19th 2013 @ 2:28pm
                apaway said | March 19th 2013 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

                To be fair, Fuss, as a Manly RL fan, there is now a fierce rivalry with the Storm when they come to Brookvale. Not sure if its mirrored in Melbourne.

              • Roar Guru

                March 19th 2013 @ 2:42pm
                Fussball ist unser leben said | March 19th 2013 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

                @apaway

                That’s very interesting to note, although I’ve quickly scoured 2012 NRL fixtures & it seems Manly never even played Storm in Melbourne, so, perhaps, the rivalry is decidedly 1-way.

                Surely the NRL would try to play the biggest Storm matches in Melbourne?

                Also, I noticed the match in Manly attracted a crowd of 12.1k, which is lower than Manly’s home average for 2012.

              • Roar Guru

                March 19th 2013 @ 4:28pm
                Cameron Kellett said | March 19th 2013 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

                Fuss,

                I’ll let you in on something. The way the NRL is scheduled and run is as you said above “abysmal”
                Melbourne storm along with Manly are two clubs shafted in terms of scheduling.

                Titans were scheduled to play 1pm gold coast time in blistering heat and no one really turned up. The A-league does the best job in Australia in terms of scheduling.

                I’m glad I have time and passion to support both codes but if I honestly had to choose, A-league it is.

                Best thing is… I thankfully don’t have to choose as the seasons played in differ.

              • March 21st 2013 @ 10:57am
                Ian said | March 21st 2013 @ 10:57am | ! Report

                Fussball – Kellet is right.

                You’re wrong.

                There is a rivalry between Storm and Manly, Broncos and Dragaon. I would have picked the same 3.

                league doesn’t get much coverage in melbourne.

                Though State of Origin is the biggest rivalry in australian sport and it does not involve melbourne in any way apart from an occasional game there to get cash.

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2013 @ 11:18am
                Fussball ist unser leben said | March 21st 2013 @ 11:18am | ! Report

                @Ian Whitchurch

                I’ve lived in Melbourne for the majority of the past 14 years since Storm entered the local sporting scene.

                I’ve never heard any mention in Melbourne of a rivalry between Storm and any team in the NRL .. yes, there was a major rivalry between Storm and David Gallop, but that’s now fizzled.

                My research indicates that, in 2013, Storm will host:

                * Manly on 20 May
                * Broncos on 5 July
                * Dragons … NEVER

                I’ll eagerly watch for the hype for these MASSIVE rivalries in the week/s leading up to those fixtures.

                Someone should inform the NRL about the MASSIVE rivalry between Dragons & Storm – the Dragons haven’t visited Melbourne since Aug-2011 .. 3 years without the MASSIVE rivals visiting Melbourne?? Very odd indeed.

                PS: Last year neither Dragons nor Manly visited Melbourne. The NRL certainly is keeping these MASSIVE rivalries a secret?

            • March 19th 2013 @ 2:52pm
              Punter said | March 19th 2013 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

              Seriously Kellet, what are you on today?

              I’m a Dragons fan, hate Souths, Easts, Bulldogs, Cronulla, Broncos, Manly, but can’t say there is much hate on the Storm, I think they are way down the list.

              • Roar Guru

                March 19th 2013 @ 3:16pm
                Cameron Kellett said | March 19th 2013 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

                Punter,

                What are you on? Are you a Dragons fan? Are you allergic to plain English?

                Re-follow the text of the conversation with Fuss. My response was to him in which he said are you ready!

                ” I live in Melbourne & have never heard of any specific rivalry over the past 14 years.”

                I guarantee you Punter that throughout the Past 14 years that Dragons vs storm had a rivalry, that was “specific” and gave every indication that a rivalry was present.

                I didn’t realise we were just looking at the last 3 years of rugby league!

              • March 19th 2013 @ 4:21pm
                Punter said | March 19th 2013 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

                Maybe in Melbourne, But the Dragons have far greater rivalries, as listed before, what they lost a GF to them in 1999 & that constitutes a huge rivalry.
                When I look at the Dragons main rivals, I don’t think Storm are in the top 8.

              • Roar Guru

                March 19th 2013 @ 4:34pm
                Cameron Kellett said | March 19th 2013 @ 4:34pm | ! Report

                And that is ok Punter but 2008-09 also added fire in the belly of both supporters. Regardless of how long that fire flamed.

                Rivalries and their importance will only apply when people want them to. Channel 9 does a pathetic job at this when these sorts of rivalries have laid dormant for some time. They somehow conjure up a 3 minute rev up in a semi final to oversell a game.

            • March 19th 2013 @ 7:06pm
              yewonk said | March 19th 2013 @ 7:06pm | ! Report

              manly dont have any fans but if they did it would be a massive game against melbourne.

          • Roar Guru

            March 19th 2013 @ 11:39am
            Redb said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:39am | ! Report

            Fussball,

            In the rich tapestry of AFL rivalries, Sydney is down the list. If I had to pick a Vic team it would be Geelong, Nick Davis anyone.

            I’ve expanded elsewhere on my points.

            • Roar Guru

              March 19th 2013 @ 11:45am
              Fussball ist unser leben said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:45am | ! Report

              Geelong a major rival of Swans … surely, even you don’t believe what you’ve just written?

            • Roar Guru

              March 19th 2013 @ 11:45am
              Redb said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:45am | ! Report

              Actually I’m wrong it would be Collingwood v Sydney.

              • Roar Guru

                March 19th 2013 @ 11:49am
                Fussball ist unser leben said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:49am | ! Report

                So, a below-average player has created this massive rivalry between Collingwood & Swans that will last for the rest of time?

                Is it 1 April, today?

              • March 19th 2013 @ 11:55am
                Jukes said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:55am | ! Report

                I could give two sh*ts about AFL but the closest Sydney has to a rivarly is probably the WC Eagles and thats only due to the history of those two teams competiting in Grand Finals. Its not much of a rivalry but close as I can come up with.

              • Roar Guru

                March 19th 2013 @ 11:58am
                Redb said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:58am | ! Report

                Don’t blow a fuse Fussball. 🙂

      • Roar Guru

        March 19th 2013 @ 9:13am
        Cameron Kellett said | March 19th 2013 @ 9:13am | ! Report

        So because other sporting codes have not been able to create a great Sydney vs Melbourne rivalry that makes their fixture the bitterest in the land? Or creates a more genuine contest? That’s a bit far fetched.

        • March 19th 2013 @ 10:31am
          Cpaaa said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:31am | ! Report

          Kell ” What are you on ?” Im simply stating the obvious, NRL or AFL do not have a sporting rivalry when it comes to sydney V Melbourne.The only bitterness would be coming from afl fans for they have never had this contest with a sydney club, not even in a 150 years more. The NRL has a fantastic State of Origin series with NSW V QLD but it is not club level and it is not with Melbourne, there are other rivals you may mention BUT….not ONE will be Sydney V Melbourne.

          Red B “i am 100% correct”

          Syd FC V Mel Victory was always the most anticipated game of the season before the mention of a derby. Why ? because it is Sydney V Melbourne. No other sport in Australia has a contest that goes head to head with our 2 most recognisable international and cosmopolitan cities

          “they dont represent the whole of Melbourne or the whole Sydney” yes they absolutely do, and that is the reason for derby, derby meaning ” We are the undisputed Football Kings of this City”.
          What you said is fair enough coming from an AFL supporter, because afl will never have a Sydney V Melbourne spectacle.
          The swans cant rival every Melbourne club and the storm cant rival every Sydney club. AFL strength has also been its weakness, Melbourne centric.

          The Big Blue is a bit of a big Bull5hit name, because of WSW drive to become a club bigger than SFC and one day have more members than MV. If this happens the biggest rivalry may one day switch from the east of Sydney to the west…then having WSW V MV as the most anticipated.
          In Melbourne the sun will rise in the west if MH one day take over Victory in membership and followers.
          One thing that will never change though is the fact that Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory were born at the same time and that will remain until kingdom come.

          • Roar Guru

            March 19th 2013 @ 11:07am
            Redb said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:07am | ! Report

            Cpaaa,

            It’s not bitterness. I dont care for Sydney, its full of sin and vice and drive by shootings 🙂

            Just pointing out that whilst the A League might have a more even Syd v Melb rivalry within its new competition, that does not score a lot of points when there are bigger rivalries anyway.

            it is also diluted by having another team in each city.

            • March 20th 2013 @ 4:53am
              Minister for Information for the Democratic People's Republic of Football said | March 20th 2013 @ 4:53am | ! Report

              Redb….live a little. There’s nothing wrong with a little sin and vice. 😛
              I agree on the drive-by shootings though.

          • Roar Guru

            March 19th 2013 @ 3:22pm
            Cameron Kellett said | March 19th 2013 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

            Cpaaa,

            It seems as though people aren’t reading what i’m writing today so I’ll take a breath and calm down as I am far from on anything, thank you.

            I asked two questions, just two and never made any indication or inclination that there was a rivalry of Melbourne vs Sydney nature that stacked up against the A-league fixture.

            Re-read my first question. Or like the question mike offered are people starting to become confused.

      • March 19th 2013 @ 9:31am
        pete4 said | March 19th 2013 @ 9:31am | ! Report

        Cpaaa – I agree from the intercity rivalry perspective the “Big Blue” is the biggest. Hopefully in years to come the “Big Red” develops along the same lines

        • Roar Guru

          March 19th 2013 @ 9:36am
          Cameron Kellett said | March 19th 2013 @ 9:36am | ! Report

          So Pete4,

          You agree the “Big Blue” is the biggest in the land? Or bitterest? May be a great contest with passion ever so apparent but it is not the biggest in the Australian sporting landscape. Maybe A-league for some followers opinions but in all the years these two teams have faced each other, other fixtures have easily outgrown this one match.

          • March 19th 2013 @ 9:46am
            pete4 said | March 19th 2013 @ 9:46am | ! Report

            kellett – no I said the I match from the “intercity rivalry perspective” is. Don’t know about the other codes so don’t want to comment

            • Roar Guru

              March 19th 2013 @ 9:57am
              Cameron Kellett said | March 19th 2013 @ 9:57am | ! Report

              Intercity is the only aspect I agree with but I believe Wanderers can take that mantle and replace Sydney. Can! Doesn’t mean will though. I’m just blown away by those who would regard it to be the biggest in the Australian sporting landscape.

              • March 19th 2013 @ 3:04pm
                pete4 said | March 19th 2013 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

                Not sure WSW ever will because it’s (East) Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory which is akin to our own version of El Classico between Real Madrid and Barcelona

      • March 19th 2013 @ 9:40am
        Titus said | March 19th 2013 @ 9:40am | ! Report

        But Redb in the AFL any interest in the game is heavily weighted Melbourne and in the NRL the inerest is weighted towards Sydney. Football is the only game where the interest is weighted evenly between the two cities.

        • Roar Guru

          March 19th 2013 @ 10:02am
          Redb said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:02am | ! Report

          Titus,

          It’s still not proportional or material compared to the other codes. The Aust Baseball league has a Sydney and Melbourne team, so does the Aust Ice Hockey League. It might be a big game in the A League but it hardly captures the hearts and minds of Melbourne and Sydney.

          Even A League fans concede the local derbies are probably bigger already which is in line with the AFL and NRL.

          • March 19th 2013 @ 10:16am
            Punter said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:16am | ! Report

            Redb, hence the debate are local derbies bigger or is the big blue bigger.

            In the EPL, there is massive derbies, especially the Liverpool derbies & Manchester derbies, there are many others including London derbies, I know Towser, will mention the Sheffield derby. But the reason I brought Liverpool & Manchester, there is also an intercity rivalries between these two great teams that matches the derbies.

            You could have a decent debate on which is the bigger/bitter game Liverpool v Everton or Liverpool v Man u.
            Likewise in the A-League, Melb victory v Heart or Victory v SFC.

            But in AFL & NRL, because of history, there is no debate, there are far bigger rivalries than Sydney v Melb.

            • Roar Guru

              March 19th 2013 @ 2:31pm
              apaway said | March 19th 2013 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

              Punter, throw in Leeds vs Man U and Arsenal v Man U.

              But the biggest rivalry in all sport that is NOT a “derby” would be Barcelona v Real Madrid.

            • March 19th 2013 @ 8:23pm
              c said | March 19th 2013 @ 8:23pm | ! Report

              gentleman rivalry may be measured by the passion of the fans at the ground and no fans come anywhere near 2 ours

              • March 19th 2013 @ 8:43pm
                Australian Rules said | March 19th 2013 @ 8:43pm | ! Report

                And c, ‘passion’ is measured by more than just chanting a lot.

                Home crowd averages of 50k+ all throughout winter, and 50k+ paid-up members, shows real passion too.

              • March 19th 2013 @ 9:33pm
                c said | March 19th 2013 @ 9:33pm | ! Report

                yes ar no doubt your numbers are currently far far better but on the ? of passion seriously there is no comparison just try it and you will c for yourself 🙂

              • March 20th 2013 @ 9:51am
                Australian Rules said | March 20th 2013 @ 9:51am | ! Report

                Well c, again, it depends how you define “passion”.

                I think passion is elderly ladies who haven’t missed a game in 50 years. I think it’s families that go to the footy together every single weekend in winter. I think it’s fans of Bulldogs, Melbourne and Richmond that get 30,000 to every single game despite not having won anything for over 30 years!

                I *don’t* necessarily think it’s a bunch of teenagers clapping and singing.

              • March 20th 2013 @ 12:49pm
                Bela Guttman said | March 20th 2013 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

                Perhaps all of those things show passion ‘Australian Rules’. Its great that we have so many sports that we can support her, it isn’t a competition over which is the ‘best’!

          • March 19th 2013 @ 10:42am
            Cpaaa said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:42am | ! Report

            Does ice hockey and baseball generate 22k at the stadium? i must check it out.

            • Roar Guru

              March 19th 2013 @ 10:50am
              Redb said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:50am | ! Report

              Cpaaa,

              So crowd numbers are the barometer of a rivalries worth? Ok then brace yourself.

              http://stats.rleague.com/rl/rl_index.html

              • March 19th 2013 @ 10:52am
                Nathan of Perth said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:52am | ! Report

                I know its the same old trolling, but for some reason I laughed at that one.

              • Roar Guru

                March 19th 2013 @ 11:04am
                Redb said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:04am | ! Report

                NOP,

                At least I didnt bore everyone with a bunch of numbers. Theres the link, educate yourself. 🙂

        • March 19th 2013 @ 10:11am
          Titus said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:11am | ! Report

          The Baseball and Ice Hockey may have teams but they don’t have fans.

          A game of AFL between Sydney and a Victorian team will involve an audience that acknowledges that Melbourne is the centre of the AFL universe, it is not an equal rivalry.

          I agree that to the fans the local derbies are bigger but Football is the only game where both Melbourne and Sydney consider themselves Australias Football capital.

          • March 19th 2013 @ 10:43am
            Cpaaa said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:43am | ! Report

            100%

          • Roar Guru

            March 19th 2013 @ 10:46am
            Redb said | March 19th 2013 @ 10:46am | ! Report

            I would argue that whilst the A League is much bigger than Baseball and Ice Hockey it is not the dominant sporting competition in Australia and therefore its rivalries do not to translate to the wider sporting populace which is largely divided between AFL and NRL.

            You ask an AFL fan, say a Carlton (knob) which is more important beating Collingwood or Sydney FC in the A League. Conversely ask an NSW RL fan which is more important beating Melbourne in the A League or Queensland in origin. I’m using blatant examples here to demonstrate the point. There are multiple sporting rivalries beneath these that would be much bigger than Melb v Sydney in the A League.

            So when Cpaaa draws in ‘other’ codes in the rivalry debate it is not a valid comparison as Syd v Melb is ‘meh’ to most sports fans which hate other teams more, much more.

            • March 19th 2013 @ 5:24pm
              Paul said | March 19th 2013 @ 5:24pm | ! Report

              Why would a Carlton fan care about beating Sydney FC in the A-League?

              The more relevant question would be does the Carlton fan care more about beating the Sydney Swans, the Storm fan care more about beating the Sydney Roosters, or the Victory fan care more about beating Sydney FC?

          • March 19th 2013 @ 11:05am
            Nathan of Perth said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:05am | ! Report

            “A game of AFL between Sydney and a Victorian team will involve an audience that acknowledges that Melbourne is the centre of the AFL universe”

            And with a West Australian team, the audience acknowledges that the Pope may be Victorian, but Jesus is West Australian.

            • Roar Guru

              March 19th 2013 @ 11:08am
              Redb said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:08am | ! Report

              and he played centre half back for Jerusalem.

            • March 19th 2013 @ 11:28am
              Titus said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:28am | ! Report

              Sadly Nathan, Jesus was an imaginary figure created to keep control of your lives and to make sure you follow the culture and laws set down by the vatican and most importantly, keep giving them money.

              • Roar Guru

                March 19th 2013 @ 11:34am
                Redb said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:34am | ! Report

                Richard Dawkins say Hi.

              • March 19th 2013 @ 11:41am
                Nathan of Perth said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:41am | ! Report

                Strong stuff from someone parroting the violent West Sydney line half a page below this comment 😉

              • March 19th 2013 @ 11:43am
                Titus said | March 19th 2013 @ 11:43am | ! Report

                Hi Mr Nile!

              • March 19th 2013 @ 12:59pm
                Damiano said | March 19th 2013 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

                How did this get turned into a discussion about AFL? How tedious. Surely there must be something to discuss on the AFL page?

                On the topic, for me, as a Victory supporter, Sydney Vs Victory are the biggest games in the season. The Heart just don’t have the same level of support to make it a true rivalry, Sydney Vs MV is like Inter Vs Juve, whereas MV Vs Heart is more like Juve Vs Torino if you take my meaning.

    • March 19th 2013 @ 9:04am
      Ballymore said | March 19th 2013 @ 9:04am | ! Report

      As an outsider looking in I felt that the ‘Big Blue’ began as HAL’s preeminent fixture but has fallen down the pecking order since the arrival of the MEL and SYD derbies.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-roar/id327174726?mt=8].

      • March 19th 2013 @ 9:53am
        mahonjt said | March 19th 2013 @ 9:53am | ! Report

        As an MVFC fan (insider) – I absolutely agree with you.

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