Evolution of a Monaros fan

 

My first contact with the nascent club was in reply to the call for nickname suggestions. ‘Barbecues’ was one, ‘Cars up on cinderblocks’ may have been another. I emailed them with suggestions for a theme song, tho I really should have written and recorded one first. It would very likely have sounded a lot like The Fantastic Baggys’ ‘Anywhere the girls are.’

 

Still a Swans fan at this point, tho I had despised the treatment meted out to Barry Hall. A Premiership captain, f’gawsakes. The ‘no dickheads’ policy ended up producing some insufferably self-righteous dickheads. The end of General Admission to the Hill, when it was replaced by the Victor Trumper Stand, really took the gloss off watching games at the SCG.

 

By 2013, sated by success, I began to take more interest in this fledgling team. I was curious to see how they would grow and develop. We started going to matches. I sat above the bench for Kevin Sheedy’s last match, watched him stand at the boundary line and have a quiet word to each player who came off the field.

 

My allegiance had shifted – but how far? Round One, 2014, Perky Girl and I went to the Showground with Jeff, a Swans fan who I first met in my loungeroom one morning in late ’86, I knew this would be the Day Of Decision. The teams ran out onto the field and I didn’t decide, I knew. That we won the Thunderstorm game didn’t hurt, it gave me a chance to stir Jeff. Unfortunately, he is a most unstirrable person.

 

We got memberships, we’d ride Rita out to the Showground. It took a while for me to stop referring to it as Stooges Stadium. I wore my orange and grey motorcycle jacket with Ducati across the front, an unintended reference to the Ferrari moniker. We sat on the northeastern flank, I’ve always liked to sit in the sun. We had our rituals, like chestbumping after a goal and sometimes kids would come up to us and stand on the seat for a chestbump.

 

I noticed groups of fans, Indian, SE Asian. That’s western Sydney, you’ve gotta get those people onboard. The club has made a real effort to get involved in the community. They organise sports, school breakfasts, a shedload of stuff. No coincidence that Steve won the Jim Stynes gong last night.

 

Yet I didn’t like the nickname. Bland, derivative, uninspiring, clunky on the tongue. Don’t know when I first hit on Monaros, maybe ’14. I used it in a match review, complete with explanation, when we beat Hawthorn in ’15. The club was good enough to run it unedited on the website, tho the art director messed it up.

 

Monaro sounds better. Say it. Rolls out nicely, eh? Say Giant. Like chewing old muesli. Lends itself better to chants. “MoNaRo! MoNaRo!” Or a long “Monaaaaaro. Monaaaaaro.”

 

It’s an indigenous word for the area around Canberra, where the team play three home matches every year. That hilly patch gave its name to the car and it was probably an article in Australian Muscle Car about the naming that gave me the idea.

 

The Monaro was a big investment and a leap of faith, it changed the motoring landscape. The HQ was the cute one, the HK/T the racing stars. These Monaros have gone from HQ to Norm Beechey’s fearsome HT. Those cars were built of steel, not plastic.

 

That plastic team crap, jeez. Yes, we know that GWS is a creation of the ‘AFL’ for sound commercial reasons, yes, they got a pile of draft picks, some of whom are now playing in your team, but when you call it a ‘fake’ team, unlike a ‘real’ team such as Richmond, what exactly are you talking about? An accumulation of years? Bums on seats?

 

It’s real to me. To thousands of other fans, to the club, to the players. Roll on Saturday.

 

 

Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.

 

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About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.

Comments

  1. Earl, I’d go with Monaros if I had any say. Which I don’t.

    I reckon many fans would be with you. But I don’t think the AFL world view allows for much irreverence.

    As for the arguments about ‘real’ footy clubs? Well, a good way to become a real footy club is to play real, hard-nosed footy. And that’s certainly what GWS have done the last 3 weeks.

    Cheers

  2. Can hardly wait for Saturday’s big clash between red hot favourites Richmond and underdogs GWS. In the meantime I’ve been greatly entertained by watching Jud Trump and Neil Robertson excel at snooker on Eurovision TV (Fox 511).

  3. Ken Richards says

    It will be a plastic team unless fans like you put in the hard yards. It must be interesting to be in at the birth of something. Enjoy your enthusiasm. I say with a fan when they won their game at Geelong this year. Her take was that she had an unmatched opportunities to meets and greet with the playing group

  4. Onya Earl. The VFL Divine Right of Kings arguments totally give me the tom tits. Having watched Stephen Coniglio up close from when he was 16 @ Swan Districts Colts – when he signed for life I thought “this is a tightly bonded committed group of proud achievers”. More power to them for the hard yards of building something great.
    Is Stomin’ Norman Beechey the Monaros Club Patron?

  5. Earl, I’ll be another “Jeff” – a most unstirrable person when it comes to my team and sticking with it!

  6. I enjoyed this Earl and thank you for clarifying the personal origins of the Monaros. Yep, a much better name than the Giants, and if the NFL can have the Chargers, then why not? Should their U18’s be the Toranas? Good luck for Saturday!

  7. Luke Reynolds says

    Great piece Earl.

    Monaros is far better than Giants.

    All the best for Saturday!

  8. Earl O'Neill says

    Cheers folks.
    Research has revealed that I last used ‘Giants’ in a match review, round 3, ’14. ‘Monaros’ was preferred on 16 April.
    Peter, Norm is a reclusive fellow, at 87 drives a yellow Corvette. Bob Jane raced an HQ Monaro sports sedan, it was orange.

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