Battle of the doldrums: Bulldogs supporters vs Tigers supporters

By Neil Anderson

Everyone has a ‘second team’ and everyone has a team they love to hate.
Last Saturday night the stars finally aligned when the Tigers took on the Blue-chippers. The Bulldogs tried and failed to beat the Blues the previous week, so in a perverse, sick and desperate sort of way, I was hoping my second team could get the job done. And surprise surprise the Tigers lost at the death by four points.
So with all the talk-back callers using the word ‘frustration’ a lot, among other things, and an Almanac writer saying there’s nothing worse than being a Richmond supporter, it got me thinking. Which supporters are doing it toughest, Bulldogs or Tigers? Here are their vital stats so you be the judge.
1. Nice clutch of premierships in the late sixties and early seventies. Also snagged one ‘recently’ in 1980.
2. Richo once kicked ten against the Dogs.
3. Supporters attend matches through thick and thin.
1. No premiership for thirty-two years (try 58 years).
2. Only one final appearance in the last decade?
3. Recruiting pretty suss until very recently.
4. Losing matches by just a few points, particularly this year.
5. Losing to sides they definitely should have beaten.
6. Seem to have dibs on the No.9 spot and might happen again this year.
1. Produced some champion players over the years including the greatest; EJ Whitten.
2. Had almost the the greatest number of Brownlow Medalists.
3. Survived the VFL coup of 1989 because of grass-roots support.
4. Became known as a community-minded club and built new facilities accordingly.
1. No premiership since 1954.
2. Specialized in getting as far as Prelims in the last twenty years and never took the next step to arrive at ‘the big dance’. This made the pain of defeat even worse when expectations were so high.
3. Recruiting also a bit suss in the last twenty years. Lots of small/medium types recruited after 2000 so they could run like the wind at the new Docklands Stadium. Unfortunately they also needed key-position players and big boofy ruckmen, particularly around finals time. Where was the Clark Keating type of player when you needed one?
In summary, at least the Tiger supporters are passionate. Sometime a little too passionate when they dump  manure on their own doorstep. The Bulldog supporters tend to bottle up their disappointments, of which there have been many, so it’s hard to make the call on who’s doing it the toughest. But…hang on a minute…I’ve got one eye on the Bulldogs/ Saints match and they just posted the half-time stats on a couple of our players. Liam Jones our only tall forward and great white hope…one handball! Our number five pick in a recent draft Jarrad Grant…also one handball!
Sorry Tiger supporters, all bets are off. You’ll have to do a lot better than that. Your misery doesn’t even come close to our misery.


  1. Cheryl Critchley says

    Good post Neil but if you just took it from 1980 the Tigers would kill you for pain :-). We haven’t made a final for 11 years – more than a decade – so our recent history is shocking. But as you say, it’s all relative and taken as a whole you guys edge ahead in the pain stakes. Stay strong!

  2. Hmmm, Neil without being a wet blanket i must take you to task re the 4 strengths. Every club has produced their champion players, and true EJ was great, but not the greatest. Almost the most Brownlow medallists is not the same as having the most Brownlow medalists. I hope the community minded facilities don’t include the pokies, which are certinly there .

    Sorry to be a wee bit negative, but i couldn’t not say something re those points.



  3. Stainless says

    Gee Neil – it’s a bit like choosing between two different circles of hell.

    All I can say is this. You know when you’re side’s going badly when supporters of other teams express sympathy about their plight or patronising admiration for their valiant near misses.

    I can at least remember a time when Richmond was loathed by opposition supporters (i.e. we were good and let the footy world know we were good). I can’t recall a time when the Doggies have been similarly loathed (except maybe the early Wallace years when Libba, Romero and the like were indulging in some questionable tactics and winning games into the bargain).

    I would love to be loathed again!!

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