For some people the AFL Grand Final is a big annual event, with the end of season fast approaching let’s take a quick look at some fun facts about our favourite teams mascots.
Mascot: Claude “Curls” Crow
A group of crows is called a murder, seems fitting going into battle against another team. Among our avian mascots, crows are the most intelligent. The Corvidae (crow and raven) family originated in the Australian sector of Gondwana many years ago. It’s thought that the intelligence of the early corvids developed as a response to the demands of adapting to a drying continent. As ancient Oz drifted towards Asia the corvids flew coop and colonised the other continents.
Mascot: Bernie Gaba Vegas
African lions have the loudest roar of all the big cats, mighty and fearsome to make their foes tremble up to 8km away! Lions can sprint up to speeds of 81kmph, that’s some tough competition to get the ball. Lion’s are top of the food chain, with no natural predators (except man), and will take down other animals the size of a hippo. Watch out other teams, this pride of Lion’s will eat you for breakfast.
Mascot: Jock ‘One Eye’ McPie
Magpies occupy the same territory for life, so once they’ve won a premiership they’ll be back every year to ferociously defend what’s theirs. Magpies have excellent facial recognition, they know everyone (including humans) that live in their territories. This means they know exactly who is their friend and who is their enemy. Only 5-10 % of magpies will swoop and be aggressive to human threats, this means the Collingwood team is made up of the toughest and meanest magpies who are not afraid to stand up for themselves.
Mascot: Captain Carlton
The “Old Dark Navy Blues” have had a few mascots over the years, unlike the other teams creating a moniker to couple with their nickname, it was a little harder for the Blues to settle on one. From 1900 – 1939 “Cocky Marr” became the unofficial mascot of Carlton. Cocky Marr was a sulphur crested cockatoo that would attend games with his owner, and sit behind the goal posts squawking at every goal kicked. Cocky Marr passed away at age 43 and the need for a new mascot arose. There have a been a few more over the years but most recognisable is the current mascot “Captain Carlton”, he was joined by “Navy Nina” who’s appearance coincided with the inaugural Carlton Women's Football Club AFLW.
Mosquito’s have been around for 210 million years, so by now they’ve learnt a thing or two about survival tactics and how to be a top contender in the animal kingdom. Mozzie’s are considered the most dangerous animal in the world due to their ability to transmit blood borne diseases like malaria. Sweat helps mosquitoes choose their victims, human skin produces more than 340 chemical odours, and some of them smell like dinner to mosquitoes, so those sweaty players will get honed in on quick smart for a take down tackle.
Mascot: Johnny “The Doc” Docker
Johnny “The Doc” Docker is named after the ‘Fremantle Doctor’, a W.A. local term for the cooling afternoon sea breeze which occurs during summer months in south west coastal areas of Western Australia. Johnny’s look is based on a surfer who loves to ride with the breeze, being a surfer in Western Australia certainly requires a dash of steel as you face the threat of deadly creatures like the great white shark. With a tough nut like Johnny helping the Docker’s they’re bound to face any on land opponent with as much, if not more, fearlessness.
Mascot: "Slammin" Sam Tomcat
Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world, not surprising that they are popular footy club with many fans then. A domesticated cat can jump 6 times it’s own body length, an average footballer is 1.88m tall so this is the equivalent of our Cat jumping 11.28m from a standing position. With cat’s being extraordinary silent hunters the opposition better watch out for those killing pounces!
Gold Coast Suns
Mascot: Sunny Ray
Classified as a G2 dwarf due to its size, heat, and chemical makeup, the sun is a MEDIUM-sized star. The term dwarf, however, seems inadequate when you realise that the sun accounts for 99.85% of the mass in our entire solar system! The suns gravity is 28 times the strength of Earth’s. No wonder the Gold Coast Suns are fast becoming such a popular team with their own equally amazing gravitational pull for fans.
While the validity of giants existing in human history is debatable the tallest man in medical history, for whom there is irrefutable evidence, was Robert Pershing Wadlow. Robert towered over his fellow men at 2.72ml tall (8ft11.1in). While Robert’s height was impressive the Aussie AFL Giants are more like the creatures of legend. GWS namesakes are seen as ferocious, enormous sized and strength packed in a human form. They can roar like thunder, make the earth shake, and snack on grown people. If the GWS Giants are hungry the on-field opponents better run for their lives. Unlike the legendary giants of mythology the GWS Giants are very real and as per their name pose a HUGE threat to their opponents.
Mascot: Hudson "Hawka" Knights
Hawks have excellent eyesight. They can see up to 8 times more clearly than the sharpest human eye. A skill usually reserved for hunting but has it’s advantages on the oval when spying the best opportunities to grab the footy. They are also known for being daredevil hunters, diving at speeds of up to 240km/hr on their prey. The opposition would have barely any time to register what hit them when those sharp talons tackle them.
Mascot: Ronald "Dee" Man
The term “demon” can strike fear into the hearts of many but did you know there is a little known demon that lives in Madagascar? The Aye Aye, locally known as a demon, is a small sub species of lemur. The Demon Primate is so strange in appearance that when it was first discovered it was thought to be a squirrel! They are Earth’s largest nocturnal primate but their most unique feature is their middle finger, much longer than the others, these fingers are opposable with a double-jointed tip and a hooked claw on the end. This unusual feature allows the small demon to extract bugs from tricky locations. Some may say our own Melbourne Demons have adapted in similar manner always able to manoeuvre tricky situations on the field.
North Melbourne Kangaroos
Mascot: Barry "Bruiser" Cracker
Kangaroo’s are the tallest marsupials, growing up to 2 meters tall. Making them look right at home on the footy field amongst the tall players. Along with their height they show incredible athleticism in reaching speeds of 65km/hr, that’s faster than an average racehorse and they can jump up to 3 meters from standing. That jumping action is perfect for nailing those high flying marks.
Although Port Power’s mascot’s name suggests he is thunder he resembles the traditional shape of a lightening bolt. This is fitting as you cannot have one without the other. Sometimes you may see lightening but not hear the thunder, this is because the lightening is too far away for the sound to travel. An average clap of thunder is 120decibles at close proximity, an average football stadium crowd will produce 80-90db when cheering but with 18 thundering players on field that makes 2160db. That mighty noise will drown out any competitors cheer and strike the oppositions with quaking fear.
Mascot: Tiger “Stripes” Dyer
Tigers usually hunt alone but a group of tigers is known as an “ambush” or “streak”. Our Aussie group of Tigers definitely live up to both terms being able to ambush their prey and have those winning streaks making them a formidable foe. Unlike most members of the cat family, tigers like water, so during those wet winter months of footy they feel right at home (watch out Cat’s and Lion’s). Tiger’s have also been around for a very long time, the oldest tiger fossil dating back 2million years old, during this time they have always been top of the food chain and 2018 is no exception.
Saint Kilda Saints
Mascot: Trevor "Saint" Kilda
Did you know that there was one saint animal too?!? Saint Guinefort (not officially recognised by the church but locally considered a saint) was a greyhound that was made patron protector of infants after killing a snake that was making it’s way into the crib of his owners baby. It is said after his death that locals would bring their infants to his memorial and ailments would be miracuosly cured. On the oval, the Saint’s often perform their own miracles, coming from behind in amazing victories or by smashing scores with incredible margins. They certainly have many devout followers who pay homage to the St Kilda Saint’s.
A beautiful, graceful bird but also powerful and vicious. When defending their territory swans have been know to attack anything from small birds to full grown humans. The ferocity of these attacks can leave you battered and bruised as we’ve seen on field when the other team leaves nursing their wounded pride. There is an ancient belief that swans sing just before they die, leading to the term swan song. In AFL the swan song will be sung victoriously as the other team suffers the death of the match.
West Coast Eagles
Mascot: Rick "The Rock" Eagle
Sight is an eagles strongest sense, their vision is 4-5 times more powerful than humans and they can see 5 basic colours (including UV) as opposed to our 3 basic colours. They are a top predator to be feared, silently attacking from the air, taking on prey from small mice to large cats and deer. Eagles are extremely confident hunters, other birds of prey will glance over their shoulder before going for the kill but eagles don’t need to as they know that they are top of the predator list and no other stands a chance against them. That must be why the Eagle boys always appear so confident on field.
Mascot: Woofer "Dogg" Whitten
Bulldogs were originally bred for bull baiting (hence the name Bull-dogs), making them courageous and fearsome little critters. The wrinkles on their face were a desired characteristic as when they fought the bull lots of blood would go flying and the wrinkles would divert the blood from blocking their eyesight. This practice was banned in 1835, although most bulldogs today are cuddly and adorable the tenacity and ferociousness from many years ago can still be evident. Our Western Bulldogs are prime examples of those traits, going straight for the take down with the same dog-heartedness as their namesakes.