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Alan K | all galleries >> Galleries >> Hanging Out In My PAD 2011 > 20110120_6123 Cheer, Cheer The Red And The White (Thu 20 Jan)
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20-JAN-2011 AKMC

20110120_6123 Cheer, Cheer The Red And The White (Thu 20 Jan)

Pyrmont, NSW

"Honour the name, by day and by night, lift that noble banner high, bring down the thunder, from the sky!'

What does red and white have to do with Sydney?

1455, the houses of Lancaster and York... oh wait, wrong story (and wrong flowers).

The 1970's. The era of big collars, long hair, big, bushy moustaches (sometimes on men), Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt cleaning the streets of Manchester, ABBA and in Australia, three main codes of football. Rugby league, played seriously hardly anywhere else in the world, holds sway in NSW and Queensland. Rugby Union, played in several places around the world, has a smaller following. In Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, the dominant code is Australian Rules Football which is played seriously nowhere else in the world, though a kinda-sorta similarity to Gaelic football allowed occasional hybrid matches to be played between Australia and Ireland. The predominant Australian Rules competition is the VFL, centred on 12 Melbourne teams, some of which are haemorrhaging money from being in such a small but crowded market. Soccer is all but ignored by everyone aside from recent European immigrants.

The 1980's. The era of ridiculous blow waves and hair spray volumes which caused the first ozone layer holes, George Michael and Bon Jovi, Hawkie as Prime Minister and Keating as Treasurer / Undertaker, and medical "entrepreneur" Geoffrey Edelsten opening a chain of medical centres featuring chandeliers, grand pianos... just imagine a Las Vegas brothel, because I did . In 1982 one of the struggling Melbourne clubs, the South Melbourne Swans, packed up and moved to Sydney to become the Sydney Swans. In the mid 80's Edelsten bought the club and injected the same (IMHO) tacky razzle-dazzle into its marketing. (Though it worked, for a time.)

The 1990's. Who remembers what happened then? Well, except that Law & Order started production and Seinfeld had its entire run, and the Internet really kicked into high gear in the second half. The Swans started the decade bleeding money (again) and struggled to survive. But they did with various backers, and rebuilt themselves over the years.

The 2000's: Are those gone already? The Swans have returned to being a capable and competitive team and even Sydneysiders who have never seen them play (like those of us who have never been to a football game at all) are generally happy enough to hear that the home team is doing well. How long this remains true with the proposal to open a western Sydney club... well, that remains to be seen. (It worked oh so very well for the basketball team, not.)

But for the moment at least, the Swans are the "red and the white" of the aforementioned song and although the traditional NSW colour is sky blue, an exception is made for the Swans.


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Mairéad20-Jan-2011 21:50
This sunny image has brightened my day and a very good piece of writing about football....which is something I'm
not at all interesting in...unless Ireland are playing and it doesn't matter whether it's soccer, Rugby or Aussie rules, because then, green is the colour -glad you've got a bit of it here.
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