The ups and downs of being a Richmond supporter in 2017 or just a standard season

Should I be surprised it is turning out to be another topsy-turvy season at Punt Rd or is it blending into another season of sage that we have had for the last 35 years?

Being a Tigers supporter means you need patience, tolerance and a very thick skin not just for the players who would test the Dali Lama if he was a Richmond supporter (saying that, I reckon he looks like a Hawthorn supporter, no one can be that calm always unless he has had a lot of success).  However, as a Richmond supporter since 1980 (yes great timing there), I have seen umpteen wasted seasons, Save our Skins campaign, coaches come in promising the world and failing to deliver, terrible draft picks, a few finals campaigns and a sprinkling of star players who have sustained us in the dark times.

 

The amazing thing is we still come back for more. Nearly 70,000 members again signed up this season putting the Tigers in the top 5 for memberships in the AFL.  Crowds still flock to the MCG, there was over 58,000 at the G last Saturday for the game against the Swans and the passion for the club is still alive.  Now after the 4th game the Tigers have lost by under 10 points we find ourselves in that familiar position of saying what if, rueing missed chances and discussing if the coach is the right man for the job.  So in case you are wondering what it feels like to be a supporter of Richmond let me take you through an average week after loss such as we had last weekend.

 

Saturday straight after the siren

Ah yes the numbness that creeps in, I am stunned we have blown another game and thinking of the crap I will cop from friends and relatives who are non-Tiger supporters.  My cousin storms off muttering to himself why he keeps coming (he also decided to follow the Tigers in 1980), I walk slowly to the Cricketers Arms to meet up with a couple of mates who are Swans supporters.  They reckon if roles were reversed they would not have turned up and I am a bigger man for doing this.  To tell the truth after a game I go to a pub to wind down win, lose or draw.  I would rather calm down over a pot of beer then come home and lash out at a loved one.

 

Sunday

This is the worst part of a loss.  You read the paper it is about how bad Richmond were, opinion pieces about Richmond failing to live up to its promise and whether they are pretenders.  Switch on the TV or radio and there is line of ex-players and journos ready sink the slipper into Richmond (notice both Danny Frawley and David King really like to sink the big boot into Richmond).  Of course there is social media.  The memes to pop up on your Facebook or Twitter and of course the friends who send messages on how terrible your team is.  In Richmond’s case it tends to be Carlton and Collingwood supporters who tend to give us the most stick.  To take my mind off this I had to coach my girls’ soccer team against the top side of the comp.  My voice already horse from Saturday made me sound like 12-year-old boy hitting puberty as I was yelling out instructions to the team.

 

Monday

We now sit through all the footy shows that evening, AFL360, On the Couch, Talking Footy and Footy Classified all having their say.  At this point the numbness is starting to wear away and you stop looking back.  It is at this time I chat to other Tiger supporters and figure out how we can fix this and where to next.

 

Tuesday to Thursday

We start looking forward.  We think well it is not like the last days of Terry Wallace’s tenure or the early nineties.  We take heart it is a strange season and the Bulldogs success from last season gives us hope.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel

 

Friday to Sunday

We are in game mood. Always helps when we play a fierce rival such as Carlton, but there is always the thought in the back of our minds that if we lose then it will be like early in the week times 10.

 

So yes we are down, but as you can see us Tigers are resilient lot and besides what else are we going to do? Become a GWS plastic supporter? No Chance.

 

Eat Em Alive.

 

About Vaughan Menlove

Obsessed with Richmond, Luton Town, Melbourne Victory and Arsenal. The Dr had a soccer career hampered by the realisation he was crap, but could talk his way around the game. Currently on Southern FM with The Peoples Court and co host of Goodfellas Football podcast with Steve Baker

Comments

  1. The Wrap says:

    Keep the Faith Vaughan; all that Character Building is about to pay off.

    PS: I hope you’ve kept a list of all those who poured it on when we were down. I have. Not surprisingly, many of them are Hawthorn Supporters. Arrogance runs deep in The Leafy East.

  2. Luton! Must have been that quality team around 85-7, they ran Everton close in the Cup back then.

    Terrible strip and nickname. But a proud group of fans. Go Luton!

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