Grown adult can’t wait for 22 men to run through crepe paper

Restaurant manager Kathy Bewick, 43, said she is counting down the days until she can watch 22 grown men run through a giant piece of crepe paper.

Kathy is not some massive weirdo however, she’s a member of a large group of people identifying as an ‘AFL fan’.

Every year between February and October, AFL fans build giant structures out of crepe paper called ‘banners’ and force a ‘team’ of 22 men usually aged between 18 and 34 to run through it to odd music.

“This off season has been tough, what with the West Indies being basically a disinterested suburban club side and the onslaught of tennis.”

“I cannot wait till that first banner goes up and the boys come out.”

Strangely, the banners often contain messages antagonising another set of AFL fans.

Head of Anthropology at Melbourne University David Fremont said this sort of intra-tribal taunting was a key process in group bonding.

“AFL fans may argue amoungst themselves but they are part of a large and insular tribe who inherently distrust people who don’t like Australian Rules.”

“Don’t be fooled, even when AFL fans seem at war with each other, they are still all part of one big, weird extended family.

“Building a large banner out of crepe paper only to have a group of young man destroy it in seconds may seem absurd to non-AFL fans but say that in the southern states of Australia and get ready for a life of being ostracised from every level of society.”

Kathy however said she couldn’t care less about over-analysing the traditions of footy.

“Australian rules football is the greatest thing ever invented by humans. Each day without it is a day in the desert with no water.”

“The worst NAB Challenge game is better than the best of anything else.”

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  1. Jim Woodcock

    Personally, I get really annoyed when they just lift up the banner and run under it.

  2. hanko

    I personally want to see some extra tough crepe paper and watch the boys bounce off. Comedy gold. In fact if the rest of the cheer squads could sabotage the Collingwood supply for the whole year that would be the best.

  3. Dan McGivern

    As someone who grew up in NSW ( and a swans fan )I have never got the whole banner thing ? I get that older clubs do it ( tradition etc?) but if the swans/ Giants / lions and Suns stopped it I wouldn’t care less . But anyway that’s just me I guess

  4. Dianne Brown

    Yeah they need to tear the paper properly or go home . Even worse when the bad weather wrecks it before they run out . That can upset my whole day U0001f648U0001f61cU0001f602

  5. Robyn Hay

    Part of the tradition of the game Dan McGivern, it is understandable you “don’t get it” growing up in NSW and as many of the traditions of AFL have fallen by the wayside, let’s hope this one continues and before you ask, one of the traditions which has gone is the AFL actually giving two hoots for the ordinary grass roots supporter, it has become far too “corporate” for my liking.

  6. Mike Sargeant

    …and 24 men can’t wait to appear to be disinterested in running through it.

  7. Dan McGivern

    I understand the tradition Robyn for traditional teams but sometimes taking on those traditions for newer teams seems really hollow? In the late 80s I came to appreciate AFL ( even when the swans were terrible) and then to see them build into what they became was exciting . I also understand their Sth Melbourne history and that’s unique to them .

  8. Geoff Schaefer

    Very true Jim. All that work and they have to roll it up and then destroy it themselves. Must be heart breaking for them…

  9. Kevin Martin

    It used to be only in finals and significant games eg Anzac Day. Dont know when it went for every game?

  10. kazstar99

    TitusOReily God! I agree with her in so many ways….WAIT!!! Just checking it’s not me ;o) #greatminds

  11. Brett Bylsma

    Or 18 grown men can’t wait for 22 other grown men to run through crepe paper to start the accumulation of numbers for an imaginary ‘fantasy’ competition. Close Jason?

  12. Chris Fleetwood

    Nearly as absurd as goal umpires flag waving and players missing the 2 sticks for goals and still getting a score

  13. Liam Smith

    I think Kathy is right. Time for me to move on…
    Kathy however said she couldn’t care less about over-analysing the traditions of footy.

  14. Steve Crennan

    It’s so exciting to know that at least one other person in the world besides me thinks that all this business with the banners is ridiculous.
    Let me also add that the cheer squad people that make them are pretty creepy – in the same way that grown men that drive miniature trains are creepy.

  15. Sophie Galer

    Oi, don’t tar us all with the same “creepy, sheltered workshop, window licking” brush. Some of us are limited in the ways we can help our club i.e. broke and this is a way we can volunteer.

  16. Nick White

    Grown men on miniature trains. Steve, you should be working with Titus, that’s magnificent!

  17. Julie Peters

    Steve Crennan, have you ever gone to banner making?? Obviously not, because if you had you would know that the people there are just everyday people, often with their kids who enjoy doing something to help the team and that makes them feel a part of the club that they love.

  18. Kevin Martin

    Official cheer squads started mid 60s and banner making was done by these fans.
    Banners originally just on fences then the ‘run through’ started for GF only

  19. Mark Millington

    Greg is this when u were making port banners ?

  20. Tess Burton

    I bet! I’m coming over at the start on March – 2 weeks too early U0001f613

  21. Mario Vinci

    oh whaaaaat! for a seminar? otherwise i have to question your sanity haha

  22. Sean Lyons

    Men singing the club theme song with cameras shoved in their faces is quite normal though. We do it at my workplace quite often.

  23. Heather Brown

    Creepy? How so? We’re all fairly normal actually.

  24. srahul_35

    TitusOReily the state is waiting for the threepeat champions to take on a historically bad Carlton in a pre-season game, and I love it.

  25. garyh007

    TitusOReily don’t worry Titus not that long to go I think there is roughly 5000400 secs to first official Boyne rich v car

  26. Owenwa

    I am so excited as essendon supporter for the season john coleman is just getting a medical clearance as we speak

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