The 2012 ‘Mopsy’ Fraser Cup – Round Nineteen

Greetings Tipsters

If ever you wondered if it really could be lonely at the top, look no further than the vision of Matthew Primus standing alone in the rooms while the Blackouts were playing their most useless day of football in 143 years. Maybe if you’re feeling schadenfreuidan, you might gorge yourself on the shots of Primus slumped in the box, head in hands, unable to watch the moments marking the end of his coaching career.

Who’d be a coach? More to the point, who’d be a coach of the Blackouts or, for that matter, the Fuschias? Is it just the team and the coach, is it the administration or is it a near-indefinable club culture?

Granted, the Blackouts had a few years of success under Choco, one flag and, well, the alltime Grand Final humiliation but this is a club that for most of its life has been the biggest, ugliest fish in a pretty small pond. It’s the only expansion team to have a prior existence rather be invented from scratch. That team was particularly unpopular in its home town and has struggled to attract further support once in the AFL. The club seems to be run on the same basis as it was being run over twenty years ago.

Not that the Port 4&20s have done much lately. After winning seven SANFL flags in the 1990s, they’ve gone without since ’99, their longest premiership drought since 1883.

Then there’s stories that the Blackouts have an unfavourable stadium deal. Footy Park is owned by the SANFL, who also hold the Blackouts’ license. That same organisation have also convinced the SA govt to spend half a billion dollars destroying the charm of the Adelaide Oval so the two local AFL teams no longer have to endure the onerous stadium deal and the Blackouts fans (both of them) won’t have to travel so far to see their boys play.

So at what point did the AFL decide that Port Adelaide were exactly the kind of club the national competition really needed? Sure, we needed a second team in the city of churches – didn’t we? – but why take a second division club with second division ideas and management and say “Welcome uptown fellows”?

They’ve recently installed a new CEO and will soon have a new coach and president. Maybe they can turn it around, but probably not. Like the Tiggers and the Shinboners and the Scray, they can look forward to one day being competitive and maybe make the occasional preliminary final. At least those clubs have some advantages, these days being well run if not exactly wallowing in wealth and state of the art facilities.

Which is more than can be said of the Fushcias. But the Blackouts are enough depressing reading for now.

Cheers Tipsters

P&C, A Stop Privatisation of Footy Production, a division of Trans-Dementia Inc
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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.


  1. Neil Belford says

    Who gets the most in handouts from the AFL – not Port Adelaide by a long shot

    Who gives away thousands and thousands of tickets to games to get their attendances up – not Port Adelaide

    Who has the worst supporter base in the AFL – Not Port Adelaide

    Who has not won a premiership or finished top a few times since 1997 – well lots of teams but not Port Adelaide.

    Amongst Victorian football journalists there are many are bullshit pedalling dickheads – but you dont have to believe the crap they write. Save me from thinking they represent the Victorian public.

    If you want the answers to these questions see Sunday Morning Coming Down this week.

  2. Dave Nadel says

    I actually think the fact that Port Adelaide was a real club rather than one made up by marketting graduates from minor tertiary instutions and “advisors” to the AFL was a good thing. Port have real supporters and real history. They just don’t have enough of them because, while they represent more Adelaide fans than any other SANFL team, supporters of all the other SANFL teams oppose them and so barrack for the Crows – a club with no history and no real basis for support apart from a chip on the shoulder towards Victorians and contempt and envy towards the best team South Australia has produced. (Actually, despite my love of Collingwood, objectively Port Adelaide is the most successful club in any code of football Australia has produced)

    Victorian AFL fans often complain about the amount of financial and other assistance given to non-Victorian clubs but I am almost certain that Port Adelaide has had less assistance than any non-Victorian club apart from perhaps the Crows. I sincerely hope that Port gets back on its feet, partly out of Magpie solidarity, but mostly because they are the only non-Victorian club (apart from Sydney) with any connection to the more than a century of football tradition which actually makes our game great.

  3. nathan jarvis says

    Port have got nothing on South Bunbury –

    Port is the classic instance of something that tried to be something else and wound up being a third thing altogether – pissing off where it left and never arriving at where it wanted to go.

    Revoke its licence and deregister West Coast while you are it. This competition needs a pull-through with a Christmas tree.

  4. You’re on the money Mopsy. The Chokers are never going to come good without dramatic change. change as in a new bladder, a new cover, new lacing, and most important of all – it has to be pumped full of fresh air. And it’s difficult to see that happening amongst the Free Settlers. It’s deeper than a pathological hatred of all things Port – it’s a class thing. You just wouldn’t be seen dead barracking for the Magpies in the City of Churches and expect to be accepted in polite society. that ain’t gunna change any time between now and Judgement Day.

    It’s going to take a tremendous make-over when The Jailbirds come down from the mangrove swamp to Adelaide Oval, but somehow they have to build on that True Port Adelaide Tradition to pull a new demographic to its ranks – the disenfranchised, the disheartened, the disorientated, the desolate and the healthy smattering of the dispirited. In a town where the line in the sand is a moat, this will take a sermon on the mount, a Lazarus moment, or even some front page walking on water caught by an alert Addy photographer.

    As for coaches, they know what they’re getting into when they sign on. Maybe they don’t. maybe they over estimate their own capacity to lead & inspire young men. While our heart goes out to their anguish, there’s not much more we can do for them I guess.

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