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Ensuring your off-season footy code war article offends as many fans as possible



Nothing epitomises the footy off-season for me more than the sound of leather on willow, the smell of sausages sizzling away on the barbie, and the cacophony of cicadas in the late afternoon – unless of course it’s the sound of keyboard warriors thrashing away in response to another footy code war article on The Roar.

Nothing gets footy fans more engaged, enraged and willing to lash out across the net than a disparaging remark about their particular brand of footy entertainment, whether justified or just downright antagonistic, and that holds true whether they refer to their favoured sport as “the world game”, “the greatest game of all”, “the game they play in heaven” or whatever the AFL equivalent is.

Of course, once the sabres have been drawn and are rattling, these reverential sporting titles are well and truly forgotten and quickly replaced with the likes of “aerial ping pong”, “mungo ball”, “kick and clap” and “dive ball”, all of which will draw an immediate response from footydom’s insecure and the easily offended.

If you’re considering making yourself useful by getting on the code war article bandwagon this off-season, it will pay you to remember that more often than not, the contents of the article you are contemplating are largely irrelevant, and most likely won’t even be read, provided that you get the required trigger words into the title.

Tom McCartin and Paddy McCartin of the Swans look dejected.

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Remember, actual facts – if any – that support the article’s premise. If any will just confuse everyone, it will be immediately debunked by some googling Wikipedia disciple who believes anything and everything that they read on the internet.

For the best results, and to receive maximum comments and personal abuse, try to offend every footy code at the same time, with the possible exception of your own favourite code.

For example, an article titled “More people play and watch football (soccer) around the world than all the other football codes put together” is bound to draw immediate unfriendly fire from league, union and AFL fans alike. They will then most likely produce rubbery statistics and dodgy article references proving it is, in fact, their own code that has the numbers.

If you don’t have the courage to attract this much heat though, or actually like one of the other codes, just pick a soft target, upload the article and stand well back from your computer. Articles about the non-stop comical diving ruining the once-great sport of soccer will see your screen light up, and sometimes just using the word “ soccer” instead of “football” will earn the same response.

You can easily earn the ire of AFL supporters by merely pointing out that no other country on earth could be bothered to even play their game. But be warned – AFL supporters hunt in packs, largely live in second-rate states, have long memories, and will probably clog your internet existence for decades to come.

Inflammatory articles about both rugby league and rugby union are a no-brainer, literally, but don’t expect a rapid response, as league and union supporters are notoriously slow…….to gather their thoughts, and traditionally spend much more time trying to deal with the intricacies of spell check. Unless of course, they are more comfortable relying upon a monosyllabic response.

Union fans will just love to hear how far Australian rugby has slipped in the last couple of years. Well, from the 1680’s really. Not only in the world rugby rankings but also in comparison to the other codes, particularly following their recent loss to Italy. Any article containing the words “Bledisloe” and “Cup” in the same sentence will also be roaring hot in no time and will drag in both the perennially victorious Kiwis, and the Wallaby losers.

League fans can also be easily baited, even on an online platform. Raising doubts about the validity and relevance of the recent World Cup is a good starting point for new authors, and if that’s not enough, league fans will argue till their migraines become unbearable that there is no evidence to link the constant head trauma received in the game to CTE.

Selwyn Cobbo injured during Origin

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

They’ll swear blind that you have just as much chance of a dementia diagnosis from playing lawn bowls as you do from making thirty to forty tackles every week. Just upload the article and then stay out of their way and let them go at it, as you have the same chance of convincing them otherwise as having them attend Israel Folau’s next prayer meeting.

So now it’s time to get busy. Don’t let this footy off-season pass you by. What better opportunity to have a free kick at your least favourite footy code.

Who knows, you may just make a few new friends. You’ll almost certainly make lots of new enemies.

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