Tigers fans still there through thick and thin but where are Hawks fans?

Richmond may have disappointed by missing the finals again this year, but its fans certainly haven’t. Stats revealed in the Herald Sun show that despite an overall downturn in attendances, Richmond has had the fourth largest crowds on average this year at 42,113, behind only Collingwood, Carlton and Essendon.

These Tiger fans who turn up every week should be given a medal. They are the most loyal in the league bar none. Who else would continue make the effort after only two finals series in 30 years? Carlton supporters would have jumped ship years ago.

As for Hawthorn, which boasts 62,800 members, how does it explain average crowds this year of 32,513 – while winning most of its games? Does that mean cats and dogs aren’t allowed in?

Granted they have members in Tassie, but there is no way that could explain such poor crowds for a team that supposedly has so many members. If it does have 62,800, a hell of a lot aren’t turning up after paying to do so in a potential premiership year. Strange.

While thousands of sooky la las have stayed home this year to watch games on TV or due to ridiculous food and drink prices, that loyal core of Richmond fans have not (apart from my husband and a few others I know). These diehards are the backbone of our club and deserve a pat on the back.


  1. Dear Cheryl,

    The only thing strange about the Hawthorn attendances is your figure. Not sure where you sourced your data from but my calculations show Hawthorn’s average attendance for 2012 as 40,501 vs Richmond’s 39,612 not including finals. If we limit the attendances to the MCG, Hawthorn’s average was 50,826 vs Richmond’s 49,625. The Hawthorn figure includes two games against the new start up sides one of which was a Sunday twilight match in the middle of winter against Gold Coast. If we look at the trend, Hawthorn’s line stays fairly steady across the season, Richmond’s markedly dips.

    Two things to note – good on the hardcore Tigers fans for turning up but in reality the percentage of members who turn up to every game would be no different to any other club. Afterall only 27,000 odd turned up to see Jack play for the Coleman Medal, which I guess would have been one of the highlights of the year. Every club has a hardcore group of supporters – by all means laud the hardcore Tigers faithful – but let’s not forget the North, Footscray and Melbourne supporters who turn up every year despite years of disappointment.

    Secondly, just because people buy a membership it doesn’t equate to being able to go to every game. I have a friend who’s a Hawthorn member who hasn’t been to a game in four years due to health issues, another whose army commitments make it difficult for him to attend. I have a four year old son so I have to choose which games I bring him to. A twilight fixture on a Sunday means he’s going to be way out of sorts for kinder the next day – hence we pass on attending. When I was playing football in the VAFA, every one of my team mates who followed Hawthorn was a member – but obviously our playing commitments came first.

    Oh, and don’t you think the Cats and Dogs stuff is a bit passe? I mean the joke wasn’t really funny in 1997, let alone 15 years later. I’ve been good and refrained from chicken poo jokes and tearing up of membership cards references (whoops!).

    I do enjoy your writing and your love for the Tigers shines through but here, I think the yellow and black lenses you’re looking through might have just distorted the facts.

  2. Cheryl Critchley says

    Hi Jim,
    Those stats were from the Herald Sun so sorry I’m not sure exactly where they sourced them, probably the AFL. You make some good points but my main point is that given how badly performed Richmond has been for so long we are still drawing amongst the best crowds. A case in point is tonight’s game against Adelaide. As of Thursday night, onlly 51,400 tickets had been sold (official AFL tweet). That isn’t much more than an average during the season for Richmond. If Richmond was playing tonight, even against an interestate club, the sales would have been much higher, partly because we’re all so hungry for finals action.

  3. Cheryl Critchley says

    PS Sorry about the typos in the previous comment – I meant to say not much more than the average game during the season for Richmond

  4. Thanks for the replay Cheryl. I’m probably typical of many a Hawthorn supporter – we’ve listened to Black Sabbath’s second album far too much (titled Paranoid if you’re not a fan of the heavy metal pioneers). We’re convinced we get the raw end of the deal with the draw, finals fixturing, umpiring – you name it. So we sometimes get a little prickly.

    I hope the Tigers make the finals soon. My brother in law is a hardcore Richmond fan, like yourself. I reckon he deserves to go through the pain that I’m going through at the moment (if only we’d kicked straight, if only Mitchell hadn’t given away a stupid 50 metre penalty, if only the siren had gone three seconds later in the first quarter, if only, if only if only).

    By the way, I’m not if you’re familiar with a local punk band called the Cosmic Psychos. They are something of an institution – responsible for such classics as It’s a Nice Day to Go the Pub. I saw them last time and their lead singer Ross Knight gave a fantastic reasoned argument as to why Richmond in fact are the moral victors of 2012. You hardcore Tigers show up all over the place.

  5. Cheryl Critchley says

    No worries thanks Jim. I hope the Tigers are going to make it soon too. It’s getting harder and harder to interest my kids in the footy and the oldest is threatening to switch to Gold Coast!! I do know the Cosmic Psychos – they’ve been around for ages. Good to hear Ross is a good supporter. Hopefully he’ll be there when we make it. As for the Hawks that was disappointing – a bit like Geelong in 2008. Hopefully they can go one better next year!

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