Carlton’s Banner Efforts Are Now 0-2 Much Like The Team Itself

Last week we highlighted the fact that the Carlton Football Club had apparently begun a Western Bulldogs-style campaign of using their banner slogans for comedic purposes.

The only problem there being that the Bulldogs employ a professional comedy writer to craft their hugely beloved and witty slogans, whereas the Blues did not do that. The result last week was a fairly middling gag that made the team look silly after taking a directed shot at Dustin Martin, only for the Richmond gun to turn around and stomp them mercilessly up and down the field for four quarters.
One correction we need to stress is that last week we relayed reports from multiple major AFL media outlets that the Blues had hired a marketing/PR firm to handle the banner writing this year. This is not true. The writing is being handled by a fan who happens to work for a “leading branding and advertising agency.” Big difference.
Now then, the Blues took on Melbourne yesterday, and for the second week in a row the banner attempted a joke. In an improvement on round one, they didn’t go after any specific player. That’s a good thing.
But with that said, the joke is… still not good.

Oof. In an immediate sense, the rhyme is a bit forced, which puts the gag on the back foot straight away. But let’s focus on the two concepts invoked here:

Dees fans are about to have an off day like Bueller.”

So… Melbourne fans were gonna skive off the game and go mime ‘Danke Schoen‘ on a Van Steuben Day parade float? I get that the insinuation is that Carlton wants Dees fans to not enjoy their day. But an off day “like Ferris” by any measure of a day’s quality is a pretty goddamned good day indeed.

You might have yachts but hovercrafts are cooler.”

This has literally never crossed the mind of anyone in the entire combined history of maritime thought.

A good, playful, sports-related joke needs to not only be a good call, but it needs to not expose the joke teller to reprisal. The reaction you’re looking for is “ha, yeah, that’s a good one,” not “Oh yeah? Well, this!”

The banner is referring to Blue Betty, the hovercraft Carlton inexplicably purchased to serve as a game day vessel for their (admittedly badass) mascot Captain Carlton.
It’s all well and good to have a crack at Melbourne’s traditionally blue-blood background. That’s fertile ground for playful banter. But using the hovercraft as a full stop to a gag isn’t a smart move. Because well, this:

Footy fans rarely forget things, and they’re certainly not about to forget Blue Betty going arse-over-tit in the Yarra River anytime soon.

Even Bulldogs banner writer himself Danny McGinlay had a crinkled brow over the Blues efforts.

For the record, McGinlay’s Bulldogs banner this week was an absolute corker, paying tribute to club gun Tom Liberatore and his historically loose off-season trip.

Carlton’s opponent next week is arch-rival Essendon. Sportsbet won’t take odds on it, but given current form I’d wager the chances of a needle pun appearing in crepe paper this weekend are about evens right now.

Workshopping. It’s not a dirty word.

Photo: Wayne Ludbey/Twitter.