Retro Round: Forgotten Footy Facts

To celebrate this weekend’s ‘Retro Round’ here are some fact from footy’s glorious past that most people have forgotten.

  • A pie at the footy in the 80s cost 60 cents. Asking for sushi would get you a blank stare. Asking for a salad would end in a fight
  • Footy commentators would sometimes say racist or sexist things. This of course could never happen today and would be instantly career ending
  • Watching footy at a suburban ground would often result in fans contracting trench foot and/or lock jaw. It was all in good fun though
  • A ‘concussion test’ meant an opponent would whack you in the head again to see if you’d get back up
  • Fans would often abuse indigenous players, often with racist slurs or booing. Unthinkable in our more enlightened age
  • Once the entire 1936 Carlton team sunk in the mud in the centre, never to be seen again
  • Serving ‘mid-strength’ beer would have resulted in the grandstand being burnt to the ground
  • Smoking was limited to the quarter and three quarter time huddles in 1927 after numerous eye injuries when attempting to tackle a player with a lit cigarette
  • A ‘pressure act’ was standing on an opponent’s head while he was lying in the mud
  • Footy boots once weighed 30 kilos and resulted in most players staying in their positions for most of the games
  • Drug testing was once used to ensure players had actually taken their drugs
  • A ‘salary cap’ was where the players’ salaries were kept during the game. It was usually worn by a local gangster to ensure no one stole it
  • A ‘hard ball get’ was when a player kicked the ball onto the road and someone had to go get it with their stops on

Titus O’Reily is doing a live show 2nd September at Yarraville Laughs. Tickets on sale now at


  1. sheppo

    A review of the weekly umpiring decisions was not aired on the world wide interweb, where the umpire boss would just say the umpires got everything right, but measured by how long the maggot, um, I mean umpire spent in hospital.

  2. BillMansell

    And drinking sherry at 3/4 time on really cold days didn’t eventuate until Jack Dyer convinced Lou Richards that it would the Pies come back one lazy Saturday afternoon.  he was wrong.

  3. fayed47

    Great as usual – I love the smoking and beer mentions.  I do remember players smoking on the ground at 3/4 time though.

  4. kgray

    Asking for sushi or a salad still gets you a blank stare at Etihad. They got rid of all that healthy crap in the off season. Its all pies, snags and pulled pork now.

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