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Is your AFL mascot costing you premiership cups?

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Roar Rookie
10th December, 2021
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How is your mascot impacting on your team’s psyche?

Traditionally VFL/AFL teams had a terrifying mascot, scaring the opposition into submission and pitiful defeat.

Typical examples are the Tigers, the Lions, the Demons and even the Bombers. The Magpies are a little more subtle, but have you ever been swooped?

Some teams just have the potential to be very mean. Hissing and scratching Cats, snarling Bulldogs, plus Eagles, Hawks and Crows with their beaks and talons.

Giants are intimidating (excluding ‘Two Metre Peter’ and Mason Cox). The Power can at least be shocking.

Poor Sydney became the Swans on migration and name change. But the fans were smart enough to retain the Bloods moniker from South Melbourne days. The innocuous Kangaroos are also known as the Shinboners.

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But some teams’ mascots are not so nefarious. I consulted with a team of my psychologists, as you do, to analyse this more closely.

The Saints are one of the old traditional teams. They have such a magnificent motto: Fortius Quo Fidelius, strength through loyalty.

They are named after a suburb, St Kilda. That is where presumedly they gained their nickname. Saints, please.

And it shows. Did you ever see Nick sit in the naughty corner? And I mean Riewoldt not Saint Nicholas.

Is any team quivering against the Saints? One flag in 124 years. Proof of a poor mascot choice.

Max King

(Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The Blues. Down on heart, down on form and down on wins.

As the social commentator and famous musician Elton John sang, “and that’s why they call it the Blues”.

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They have spent the last 20 years in purgatory. They are collectors of wooden spoons like shells on the beach.

Their fans are lowered to arguing with Dockers fans about who is more likely to make the eight.

But they were not always a downer. In 2000, they came runners up. In fact, they hold the equal most number of premiership flags.

Maybe the Blues used to mean something, a bit like the purple Phantom, a past comic book hero. Maybe the current millennium players just don’t know it.

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Fremantle have been around for 25 years. Obviously they have an inkling that their mascot was important as they have been fiddling with it since day one.

Now who was the work experience kid who came up with an anchor? Reaching back into the past, it was a symbol that the port city could get a grip on. And get pulled down and held down.

The team gets on a roll, scoring some goals, and up pipes Ross Lyon, don’t forget your logo.

But I am being disingenuous. This anchor is but a logo, a wardrobe malfunction and a mnemonic for match day.

Fremantle’s mascot was Grinder, a mean Docker with a snarl. But he didn’t match the side’s mojo and was replaced with surfer dude called Johnny Docker.

He looks ripped and like he can have some fun. But intimidating? He has not yet been able to bag the Dockers their first flag.

David Mundy celebrates a goal.

(Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

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It is interesting that the man who dressed up as the Eagles’ mascot was also the same man as the Dockers’ mascot in the late 2010s.

This cosplayer appeared as the respective character for each team’s home games but always dressed as the Eagles mascot in the derby.

Is this man the conspectus of the modern Perth man? Are that team of psychologists still here? They have gone through six of my cellared reds. It would have been cheaper to have paid them.

Now we come to the AFL mascot standard bearers, the Suns. They were created in an age when kids are taught to play nice.

What are they meant to do? Give the opposition severe sunburn? Maybe a melanoma if they are exposed too long.

They have been in the AFL for ten years. They have played in no finals. They have no premierships. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

One of my favourite songs is George Harrison’s ‘Here Comes The Sun’, the 20th century’s Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 ‘Finale’. It is a beautiful, uplifting song, using the sun as a metaphor.

The brightness and warmth lifts your mood to present and future happiness. This song should be a compulsory inclusion before the match in the change rooms, in the stands and on television in the Gold Coast.

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At least for Round 1.

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