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All aboard the Magpies bandwagon

Steve Gauci new author
Roar Rookie
11th April, 2011
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Steve Gauci new author
Roar Rookie
11th April, 2011
11
1343 Reads

According to the dictionary, the definition of a bandwagon is: 1. An elaborately decorated wagon used to transport musicians in a parade. 2. A cause or party that attracts increasing numbers of adherents: young voters climbing aboard the party’s bandwagon.

3. A current trend: “Even brand-name [drug] companies . . . have jumped on the generics bandwagon” (Beth Howard).

In sport, a bandwagon can refer to a popular team, or even a subject which is drawing the attention of the public. The same can be said for other areas such as politics, religion, etc.

If we look at AFL, the most followed sporting team, Collingwood, has almost reached 70,000 members so far in 2011 – that’s right, 70,000! As recently as 2010, Melbourne-based AFL clubs were happy with 40,000 members.

The Magpies, after winning the 2010 Premiership, have nearly doubled their membership. Astounding! Names such as the ‘Collingwood Army’, slogans such as ‘Side By Side’ are fostering a culture of ‘we are one, you belong to us’. Makes fans feel special, doesn’t it?

It makes supporters want to stay loyal to a cause, regardless of how bad or good the team is. The money contributed by fans helps the club reach its objectives, both financially and on-field, having the pride in telling others ‘I am a member’.

The Premiership last year has made non-financially supporting fans want to become supporters of the club, to be part of a potential dynasty. The test will be when Collingwood eventually goes into decline – will those supporters stick with the club? Only time will tell.

Outside of sport, we have an ever growing bandwagon of people disliking PM Julia Gillard’s plans to introduce a carbon price for business. The opposition have labelled this a ‘Carbon Tax’, and has seen protests against its introduction.

The chorus of discontent is growing louder, even many media outlets and political commentators dislike the proposal. Have their opinions infiltrated into the minds of everyday Australians? Possibly, however the issue has seen many Australians form ‘teams’ for and against the policy, polarising opinion.

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The truth is we will not know until the policy is introduced as to how effective or ineffective it will be. If it leads to cleaner air, the bandwagon against the policy may break down, because health is first priority to most people.

However, the question of money, and how much extra tax each Australian must pay may keep the bandwagon of discontent together, especially those who see money as the most important thing to have. All depends on what each side stands for, and if people stay true to their beliefs.

All around the world we see hoards of people support something. The more successful something becomes, the more people want to be part of it. It’s a natural progression. However, on many occasions we also see numbers dwindle at the sign of poor performance.

The term ‘bandwagon’ has somewhat of a negative connotation, as it can be used to loosely describe someone’s true willingness to support a cause or a team. However, it brings a lot of good within teams because people become united, which can build loyalty down the track.

A bandwagon cannot build itself, only united people can build it so others can join.