So why the Western Bulldogs?
It's hard to know why fans of clubs as unsuccessful as ours persist. With one solitary flag in 1954, and only one Grand Final appearance following that, way back in 1961, barracking for the Dogs is either an exercise in futility or a romantic, epic quest, depending on your point of view.
Some of the answers are here in this collection of stories that I've written along the way, different moods and different moments in a Bulldogs' fan's journey.
Saying goodbye to 2011
It’s the second last week of the season, and we’re at the ‘G’, watching the Dogs take on the Hawks. We’ve gone along, not thinking we’re a chance to win, but because that’s just what you do when you’re a Dogs fan. You turn up with stoicism, switch on the self-deprecating humour, trot out, with varying degrees of sincerity and sarcasm, the well-worn line: There’s always next year. Read more
The true believers
I attended my first Footscray match in utero. My mother, a passionate fan, prided herself on missing only one match for each of her four pregnancies, which, to her annoyance, coincided with the winter months. She would stand for three hours at a time in the outer, rain trickling down her neck, while my dad minded a gaggle of small children at home. When we would press her for snippets about the days when we were born, her reminiscences focused on the football games. Read more
More Bulldog stories (and many more must be out there...)
My mum has set down her memories of the '54 flag - only her third ever match. Read on for her account
Neil Anderson was seven years old when his dad took him to the '54 Grand Final. They returned hom, surprised to be victorious, to find their mother had prepared a cake which in the most glorious of Tragician moments, read: 'Bad luck Footscray, you did your best.'
Read Neil's story
Shona Grimshaw is another life-long Bulldog fan. She says: "I grew up in Essendon with a father who barracked for Essendon and a brother who barracked for Footscray.
It never occurred to me to question why I too barracked for Footscray, it was just the way it was.'
Read Shona's story
Days like these
In 1997, the Bulldogs lost the Preliminary Final after being 22 points up against eventual flag-winner Adelaide. It's a bitter memory that has never faded.