Rocky road to finals contention captured in Mark Knight cartoon
Australia has more than its share of passionate sporting tribes across different codes and loyalty can be a long road for frustrated fans – well, until their team’s luck turns like Carlton’s
READING LEVEL: ORANGE
Australia is a nation of tribes*. No, not the tribes we associate with our First Nations Peoples but tribes centred around sport and the teams that we support in the major sporting competitions.
The Magpies, the Blues or the Swannies in the AFL. The Broncos, Rabbitohs or the Storm in the NRL, and the Mariners, Wanderers or Victory in the A-League are just some of the sporting tribes we belong to and identify* with.
This sporting creed* and the culture* associated with it seems to amplify* come finals time. Supporters lift, passions begin to rise and excitement builds as an army of supporters see their team edge closer to the ultimate prize of a premiership.
Such was the case with AFL side Carlton and their many, long suffering Blues supporters. They have been threatening to play finals for many years, but it has been 10 years since Carlton has made the cut, and more than 23 years since a Preliminary* Final.
With this being his second year at the club as coach, Michael Voss was hoping for success, but it all got off to a disastrous* start with Carlton losing more games than they won. Halfway through the season and Carlton was in the bottom four and supporters were calling for the coach’s head. Such was the frustration among the Blues’ tribe that some ripped up their club memberships!
Fast forward four months and Carlton was playing finals after a nine game winning streak. No more talk of sacking* coach Voss and the Blues had made it to a Preliminary Final. I decided to draw a cartoon about this amazing turnaround in fortune for the Carlton Football Club and how their supporters were feeling now.
I thought the cartoon should be a compare and contrast exercise; that is, how upset supporters were back in May, when the team was losing, to now in September when they were riding high and Carlton fans were singing in the streets.
The cartoon should be two frames, I thought, the first showing angry Carlton supporters back in May tossing their membership cards into a garbage bin in disgust*. The second frame would show them in September and how happy they now are, dancing with joy at the news they had made a Preliminary Final.
But that would be too obvious. I wanted to show how those people – who were so despondent back in May that they tossed their memberships in the bin – might really feel. So I thought about how would they be reacting to the good news that their team was now a finals contender*.
It suddenly came to me.
Rather than be excited, they would be shattered.
Why? Because they would be on their hands and knees going through the garbage at their local tip, sifting through tonnes of waste trying to find their membership cards that they had thrown away in disgust months before.
That would be the comedic* twist in this cartoon. It would also make for a funny scene, with Blues supporters in their scarfs and beanies on their hands and knees, searching through piles of garbage on a landfill* site for discarded* membership cards.
Let’s hope your tribe does well this footy finals season!
The Herald Sun Premiership poster is marking its 70th year raising funds for The Royal Children’s Hospital’s Good Friday Appeal. Mark Knight is celebrating 15 years of drawing the only poster officially endorsed by the AFL.
A key part of game day celebrations, the winning team’s poster will be available for $5 straight after the siren at the MCG or at goodfridayappeal.com.au
- tribes: large family or other group that someone belongs to
- identify: feeling and saying that you belong to a particular group of people
- creed: statement or system of belief
- culture: way of life, customs and beliefs of a particular group
- amplify: increase the strength, make louder or greater
- preliminary: event or action that prepares for or introduces something
- disastrous: terrible, tragic, caused great damage
- sacking: removing from the job, often in disgrace or after a series of problems
- disgust: strong sense of disapproval or dislike
- contender: someone who competes with other people to try to win something
- comedic: relating to or involving comedy
- landfill: the tip, the place where waste is buried in the ground in large amounts
- discarded: thrown away, disposed of
- Who coaches the Carlton Blues?
- How many years since the team has made a Preliminary Final?
- Mark Knight said Australia is a nation of what?
- The teams he names are from which three codes?
- After a disastrous start, Carlton had a winning streak of how many games?
LISTEN TO THIS STORY
1. What happens next?
Imagine the two halves of Mark’s cartoon are part of a story that is made up of three sections. The three cartoons tell the complete story, and Mark’s split cartoon tells the first two parts. Think about what the end of the story could be and draw the next cartoon to complete the story.
Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Visual Arts, Visual Communication Design, Critical and Creative Thinking
Being able to draw is only one of the skills needed to be a great cartoonist. Write a list of all of the other skills that you think cartoonists like Mark need to do their job.
Next to each skill, write a sentence that explains why that skill is important or helps them to do a great job.
Time: allow at least 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and Social Capability, Media Arts, Visual Communication Design
Stretch your sentence
Find a “who” in the cartoon – a person or an animal. Write it down.
Add three adjectives to describe them better.
Now add a verb to your list. What are they doing?
Add an adverb about how they are doing the action.
Using all the words listed, create one descriptive sentence.