The 5 footy nicknames that just didn’t stick


Geelong Pivotonians

THE good people of Geelong had two questions in 1878: What was wrong with Argyle Paddock and what the hell is a Pivotonian?

Around the same time that the footy club shifted its base from Newtown’s Argyle Paddock to Corio Oval in East Geelong, the nickname “Pivotonians” became common ground.

Originally nicknamed the Seagulls for the team’s coastal location and their penchant for being chip-stealing arsehats, someone decided a much more pretentious and cumbersome nickname was needed – and the Pivotonians were born.

Supposedly named due to Geelong’s pivotal point for shipping and rail in Victoria, the nickname stuck until 1923, when a cartoon in the Herald depicting an incident involving a stray black cat in a Geelong huddle sparked the change.

The black cat proved lucky, with Geelong making the grand final and future generations of supporters avoiding having to ever say “Go the Pivotonians!”.



Hawthorn Mayblooms

ROY Cazaly (above) was a football legend. So when he walked into Glenferrie at the start of 1942 to take over as Hawthorn coach, he knew a thing or two about success.

He looked at the list and thought “well there’s a war going on so these blokes will do”.

He looked at the facilities and thought “well it’s no Victoria Park, but it could be worse”.

He looked at the nickname and thought “what the fuck”.

Roy wasn’t a fan of the Mayblooms – a flower that was common throughout Hawthorn and hence used as the team nickname from 1925 to 1942 – so he changed it to the Hawks.

The next season, with their new found badass mascot, the Hawks had the most successful season in their short history. 74 years later and they have 13 premierships.

It’s all your fault, Roy.



Fitzroy Gorillas

UNLIKE the Mayblooms and the Pivotonians, this is one nickname that should have stuck.

Fitzroy’s mascot was the gorilla from the late-30s until 1957, when the club decided they needed an animal that was more fear-inducing. It’s unclear if they’d ever seen a picture of a gorilla at that point.

Re-nicknamed the Lions, Fitzroy went on to record four decades of mediocrity, never again making the Grand Final before being forced into a merger with Brisbane at the end of 1996.

Fitzroy is now home to a thriving cafe culture, street art, and judgmental vegans.



Melbourne Fuchsias

I DUNNO, maybe flowers were more intimidating in the early 20th-century than they are now, with their hay fever-inducing pollen and…fucking…bees…or something.

Nicknamed as such for the team’s jumper bearing a stark resemblance to the fuchsia bush (the colours are sorta, kinda similar), the Melbourne Fuchsias lasted until legendary coach Frank ‘Checker’ Hughes cut the bullshit in 1934.

“You are playing like a lot of flowers. Lift your heads and play like demons!” Hughes (pictured above calling his players a bunch of no-good dandy boys…probably) is said to have cried at a halftime huddle.

With their newfound nickname, the Demons went on to win four premierships under Hughes, and another six under Norm Smith in a 25-year period.



Brisbane Bears

WHEN Brisbane entered the league in 1987, marketing was a thing. It had been a thing for years.

Unlike the other mascot mistakes at the aforementioned clubs – which were mostly forced on them anyway – Brisbane had a chance to get their shit right. Instead, they got their shit royally wrong.

For one, their mascot was quite clearly a koala, not a bear. For two, koalas are lazy little turds that mostly eat, sleep, and get high like a fat Denver teenager. And for three, the logo looked like a pissed-off, cross-eyed koala that had just been stung in the face by a bee.

Thankfully, the Bears died a quick death by merger in 1997 and they inherited Fitzroy’s mistake instead.

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