Yes, my boys beat them at the weekend (and so they should have, in fact we should have buried them, but didn't, which is slightly worrying as September draws nearer... but anyway...) which has led me to reflect on poor old Fremantle's general awfulness. I'm not bagging the players (in fact some of them are pretty bloody good, hello Matt Pavlich if you're reading, and Aaron Sandilands, gee you're big), or the coach, or anyone associated with the club actually, with the possible exception of the marketing department who helped set them up in the first place.
First, the jumper. It's horrible. What a mishmash. Everybody knows that footy jumpers should have no more than three colours. Freo has four: white, green, red and purple. I only discovered after research today that the green and red are supposed to represent port and starboard, thus emphasising the maritime theme. Well it ain't working. No one knows about port and starboard. You need to lose at least one of those colours. It probably won't be purple, as that's the most distinctive hue. Maybe a white, green and purple jumper is the way to go? (Traditional suffragist colours, by the way, if anyone's interested. The Freo Feminists? Hm... probably not.) In STRIPES. Or with a SASH. Or a V. Like a real jumper. And what's with the anchor? It's just ugly. Drop the anchor.
Second, the nickname. Apparently there are no dockers in WA, they're called wharfies, which makes it even more ridiculous. If they wanted to make it sound like the Fremantle Doctor (a famous cool breeze, if there is such a thing), just call them the Doctors! Replace the anchor with a stethoscope, it would make about as much sense. And legally, they're not supposed to call themselves the Dockers anyway, because Levi Strauss will sue them!! (says so on Wikipedia, it must be true.)
Three, the song. For those who haven't heard it (and since the Dockers (TM) rarely win in Melbourne, we've been lucky enough not to hear it very often), it goes like this:
Freo, heave ho!
Freo, heave hol
Give ‘em all the old
Freo, heave ho!
We’re the rollers
We’re the rockers
We’re the mighty Freo Dockers!
We’re gonna roll ‘em and we’ll rock ‘em
We’re gonna send ‘em to the bottom
And if they get up, we’ll do again
The Dockers stop at nothing – nothing
Freo, way to go!
Etcetera. I won't inflict the whole thing on you, it's too painful. You can listen to it here if you're a total masochist. Compare that abomination to Richmond's joyous "Tigerland... Yellow and black!" or the sublime Sydney song, where they "shake down the thunder from the sky." Again, I discovered today that the awful dirge upon which Freo's "rock'n'roll" "anthem" is based is the traditional awful Russian dirge, The Song of the Volga Boatmen. So again, you have to give them points for trying to work to a theme. But it's just horrible. No wonder they never win, who'd want to stand around and sing that after a game? You couldn't belt that out, it's unbeltable.In short, the reason Fremantle have been so unsuccessful is that they have nothing to play for. A jumper no one could be proud of, a ridiculous nickname they're not even officially allowed to use, and a club song that no one could enjoy singing.
My prescription: a new jumper. Perhaps green, white and purple hoops. Something clean and sensible.
A new nickname. There must be some animals left, surely. Could they be Goannas? They're pretty scary. Or Emus? Okay, I'm clutching at straws here. I guess they're not going to want to be quokkas. As long as it's not one of those abstract noun names -- Power, Victory, Storm. Ooh, I know, if they want something wind-related they could be the Hurricanes. As long as they don't try to draw it on the jumper.
A new song. Preferably something, you know, singable. How hard can that be? Base it on a song everybody knows, that's out of copyright. Don't try and write something new. That way madness lies.
And then start winning some games. Easy.