Should footy fans take responsibility when things end badly?

After what has happened with the Kurt Tippett saga and the Adelaide Crows I have been thinking about whether the Crows fans should take some of the blame for what has occurred. This has lead me on to an even bigger question about whether footy fans need to take some responsibility when things go wrong at the footy club they support.

Let’s first look at what happened over here in Adelaide and go back three years ago to October 2009. Adelaide had lost to Collingwood by five points in a knockout semi-final with Tippet kicking four goals for the match. Tippet had had a good year kicking 55 goals for the season and many believed that he was a key factor in the Crows not only making the finals in the 2010 season but maybe even being a genuine premiership contender. There was one problem however. A new team, the Gold Coast Suns, were about to enter the AFL competition and with Tippet being a Gold Coast boy, he was being enticed to come back home and play for the Suns.

With the likelihood of Tippet leaving the Crows and heading to the Suns many Crows fans were demanding that the club do everything it possibly could to keep Tippet at the Crows. Talk back sports shows on a daily basis would have Crows supporters calling in saying that guys like John Reid and Steven Trigg needed to do something fast as Tippet was going to be the next big thing in the AFL and their jobs may need to be seriously questioned if Tippet walked away from the club. After all they had already lost Nathan Bock to those dam Suns. There was a fair amount of pressure on the Crows to keep Tippet. When the Crows formally announced his re-signing (for two more years) on the night of the club’s best-and-fairest presentation the crowd at the Adelaide Convention Centre erupted. The re-signing was hailed as the Crows’ greatest since they lured South Australian Darren Jarman back from Hawthorn at the end of 1995.

Fast forward 3 years and we all know the aftermath that has occurred because of what the Crows and Tippet did back in October 2009. How have the fans reacted – well let’s just say that in Adelaide the Kurt Tippet name is worse than fruit fly in a fruit growing region or a group of atheists at a Christian Convention. Newspapers have done surveys to see what the fans think of Steven Trigg with a majority implying that he should not be allowed to step foot in the Adelaide Crows headquarters ever again. Are these the same fans who said the club needed to do everything to keep Tippet at the Crows 3 years earlier? Are these the same fans that said Tippet could take the Crows to their next premiership? Should these fans take some responsibility for what has happened to their football club considering they placed so much pressure on their club 3 years ago?

One of the things I love about sport is how passionate fans can get. It makes going to the game so much better. I enjoy reading people’s opinions on the state of play at their particular club or another club, knowing full well that we all think we are experts of the game and would definitely do a better job if given the chance. My question is when do we as fans of our clubs start to take some responsibility when things go wrong at our club.

As some of you know I do not support the Adelaide Crows and I am one of the few Brisbane Lions supporters in South Australia but I only have to look back to October 2009 as well to see my club made some decisions that caused the polarisation of its fans. At the end of the 2009 season Brisbane fans were optimistic. Just like the Crows, the Lions had also lost in the knockout semi-final to the Western Bulldogs after a come from behind victory against Carlton the week before. Most people thought that Voss in his first year had done a wonderful job and with a bit more experience in the side the Lions could possibly be a premiership threat in 2010.

I was holidaying with my family in Perth and every morning as I opened up the paper I would read about the Lions trading heavily. We had picked up Staker, Buchanan and Raines but everyone was waiting to see whether they Lions would get the ‘big one’ none other than Brendan Fevola. History shows that they did and after a great start to the 2010 season (the Lions winning the first four in a row) and Brown and Fevola gelling well, it all went pair shaped. Again I ask the question – do the Lions fans need to take some responsibility for what occurred? After all we all wanted another flag before Browny and Blacky finished up and time was against us. We did want the fairytale to occur of Voss being both a premiership captain and coach of the Lions. The question still remains – did the Lions fans have the right to bag the decisions that were made just because they didn’t work out the way we wanted them to?

I am sure that every fan of a football club whether it be the AFL or the Rugby League, the English Premier league or the A league has a similar tale to tell like Adelaide fans have with the Tippet saga or Brisbane fans have of getting Brendan Fevola but as far as I am concerned the question will always remain – Do footy fans have to take some responsibility when things go pear shaped at their club?

About Andrew Weiss

Andrew is one of the few Brisbane Lions supporters that lives in the Adelaide Hills. He still has bragging rights over any Crows or Port supporter by mentioning the back to back to back premierships the Lions achieved in 2001-2003. After playing for over a decade for the mighty Adelaide Lutheran Football Club better known as 'The Doggies' he now spends his Saturdays running around footy ovals as an umpire, getting abuse no matter what decision is made. Coaching is probably next on the agenda as his two sons have started to play the great game of AFL. Andrew is a sports fanatic who when not watching or reading about sport is teaching secondary students about Biology, Nutrition and Psychology.


  1. Steve Bell says

    Adelaide fans should also be punished for their club’s indiscretion. on April 1 next year their memberships should become Port Adelaide memberships for a period of 6 months.

  2. Ben Footner says

    I certainly agree with this to a point. Every man and his dog was calling on Trigg and Co to throw the kitchen sink at Tippett to get him to stay. I definitely have some sympathy for Trigg and Reid in particular as a result.

    Ultimately it will be our membership fees paying the $300k fine, and it will be us witnessing the possible downturn in form as a result of the lost draft picks also. So we’ll cop our fair share out of this debacle, don’t worry about that.

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