The 2019 footy season finished not so much with a bang but a fizzle when Richmond crushed Greater Western Sydney to the tune of 89 points in the Grand Final. Now, with the 2020 fixture released and the season fast approaching, what to do if you’re not sure who to support?
Of course, you could look at the playing lists and last year’s results to help you decide. Alternatively, you could use each club’s theme song to narrow it down.
Adelaide Crows: A decades-long rivalry between the states of South Australia and Victoria over which has the superior state footy league continues today, evident even in Adelaide’s theme song. Melbourne, long-seen as the heartland of Aussie Rules and the AFL (after all, nine out of the 18 teams call this city home, and that’s not counting Geelong), must be silently furious about the lyric that a team from Adelaide are the “admiration of the nation”. One has to admire a team confident enough to make such a claim. They might not always compete for the flag, but the Crows are around the mark more often than not.
Brisbane Lions: La Marseillaise: the French national anthem and a symbol of their revolution. What a great basis for a footy anthem. The Brisbane Lions are a team that was started from a merger of two previous clubs: the Fitzroy Lions and the Brisbane Bears. Even though that was over two decades ago, the current day Lions pay tribute to their previous incarnations with a powerful anthem. “Do hear our mighty roar!” the song declares... and what a mighty roar it is indeed.
Carlton Blues: The Blues’ song is a throwback to an older, classic sound that is very different to all the music on the radio right now. In a footy culture composed of new songs that already sound dated and older songs getting modern touch ups, it’s nice to hear the Blues stick to their rich tradition of success with their nostalgic tune.
Collingwood Magpies: Collingwood has won 15 premierships in their history in the competition, behind only Carlton and Essendon. They’ve only won two since 1958, but are still a staple of footy talk around the country, not just in their home city of Melbourne. Collingwood fans, also known as ‘the Magpie Army’, are feared wherever they go, turning even the most hostile away games into virtual home matches. Their song perpetuates this confidence, boldly declaring “the Premiership’s a cakewalk”. Though this may not have rung true as of late, this club never fails to make a season interesting. Loved by some, hated by many, Pies’ supporters wouldn’t have it any other way.
Essendon Bombers: This team is the equal most successful in the history of the competition, with 16 flags spread over their history. When you’ve won as many flags as Essendon have, you can proudly proclaim flying “up, up” to “win” some more. The Bombers enter the new decade with this bold and proud theme song being blasted from pub to pub and bar to bar in Essendon, as it has been for many decades.
Fremantle Dockers: This song is far more of a mash up than others in the league. But there’s an odd charm to the fact that this sounds like it’s trying to go for threatening, dark and fun rock all at the same time. If you have a particular love for the 90’s, you’re going to LOVE this song. It’s full of sassy confidence - “we’re going to roll ‘em and we’ll rock ‘em, we’re going to send them to the bottom”.
Geelong Cats: Before the AFL, Geelong was one of the whipping boys of the VFL and the team people felt sorry for as the national league began. But a record-breaking 119-point Grand Final win in 2007 changed everything. Drought? Over. Dynasty? Started. They made the Grand Final in each of 2008, 2009, and 2011, winning the latter two. Though they haven’t been to the top of the mountain since, they’ve dominated in the home and away season most years Their song bleeds confidence as it exclaims “we play the game as it should be played”.
Gold Coast Suns: The second newest team in the competition entered the league in 2011. The Suns have an exciting core of young players and a coach that, through his time playing in Premiership-winning teams at Port Adelaide and Hawthorn last decade, knows what it takes to “run all the way” to the top. Their song is young, energetic and eager, as are the Gold Coast players.
GWS Giants: The newest team in the competition made their intent known from the get-go with a foot-stomping theme song. “There’s a big, big sound” the song declares before the ‘orange tsunami’ (as the team and club as a whole are referred to) march on towards the ultimate prize. Their first Grand Final appearance two months ago was a disaster, but there’s nothing stopping the big, big sound being played loudly through the MCG speakers on Grand Final day in the near future.