Who are the A-League clubs in the Anchorman fight scene?

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Ladies and gentlemen, can I please have your attention. I’ve just been handed a urgent and horrifying news story, and I need all of you, to stop what you’re doing and listen.

Up like a salmon, a spawning salmon!

I’m sure we’re all in a glass case of emotion over the lack of football in the world and to fill the void, we’re reaching into the bizarro realm of football-pop culture crossovers.

This is the sort of article that has many leather-bound books, and its apartment smells of rich mahogany. The sort of article that could deny the human torch a bank loan and then takes your mother out for a nice seafood dinner, and never calls her again.

Someone (it may have been me) once said the A-League was akin to a bunch of bloodthirsty broadcast journalists fighting for the number one spot in town. The only differences are A-League clubs fight over a toilet seat instead of ratings (How many viewers did the Evening News Team have on Kayo?) and to quote Bill Bailey, the footballers are simply trying to shepherd a ball of leather into an outdoor cupboard, rather than kill each other with hand grenades and tridents.

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They’ve done studies you know. They say 60% of the time, listicles work every time. And if you’ve got this far, you’re either like Ron Burgundy jumping into the bear pit and immediately regret this decision, or you want to know which characters in the iconic Anchorman fight scene correlate to A-League clubs.

Before we start, let’s go over the ground-rules. No touching of the hair or face…and that’s it!

Ron Burgundy – Sydney FC

Ron starts off defensive when initially accosted by Wes Mantooth. Like the Sky Blues, it’s clear he doesn’t want to go on the attack, he’d rather sit and wait for his opponent to make a mistake. He knows he’s the top dog in town and he only reacts when he’s had enough of being provoked. For some reason, his choice of weapon is a rolling pin? I guess it gets the job done, and Ron is shown to be effective in the brawl. Kinda like how Sydney have little flair outside of Milos Ninkovic, but still get the job done each week.

Wes Mantooth – Melbourne Victory

Melbourne Victory are brash and often (this season excluded) Sydney’s perennial challengers for the coveted status of the top club in Australia. Mantooth is provocative and uses much of his Oscar-worthy (in my humble opinion) monologue into goading Ron Burgundy into coming at them. There’s a moment towards the end of the fight where Wes actually has Ron at knife point, but then makes the rookie mistake of talking too much and spurning the opportunity to finish them off. No one hates Sydney more than them, but for the time being, Melbourne are doomed to be number two.

Brian Fantana – Newcastle Jets

Just like the Jets, Brian is lowkey one of the film’s best characters. He’s unique; mixing in some common-sense with some bewildering statements. However, despite some promise at the beginning of the fight (my guy literally bought a gun to a knife fight) he gets absolutely wasted in the ensuing scenes. He instantly trips over as the fight begins, a sign of things to come. Newcastle have so much potential, with an incredibly loyal fanbase, their own distinct identity and a rich footballing history. Unfortunately, despite some brief dalliances with success, it’s become commonplace to see them get caught in a net and dragged along the ground by a couple of horses.

Champ Kind – Brisbane Roar

Champ rocks up with knuckle dusters, so you know this ain’t his first rodeo. He then proceeds to unleash hell on his fellow journalists, showing the sort of fighting prowess that would make Connor McGregor proud. He punches a guy in the face and then flips another into a car windscreen, before pointing to someone else to indicate they’re next. He is later seen knocking two people’s heads together, a truly vulgar display of power. He knows how to survive and create chaos – just like Brisbane Roar have done time and time again.

Brick Tamland – Melbourne City

This might seem like an odd choice, but hear me out. Brick has an identity crisis before the fight and briefly changes sides, a clear parallel to City changing their name and colours from the Heart’s red and white. Despite holding a hand grenade and looking like he has no clue what he is doing, he then shows his efficiency as a killer and spears some hapless soul with a damn trident. Despite a weird history ripe for memes, City have demonstrated they can be lethal when it suits them. Plus, Brick is the most fun person to watch in this fight, much the same as City have always been fun to watch, for better or for worse.

“I’m Tom Glover. People seem to like me because I am polite and I am rarely late. I like to eat ice cream and I really enjoy a nice pair of slacks.”

The guy from the Public News Team – Western Sydney Wanderers

“Not so fast, you ingrates. Public News Team is taking a break from its pledge drive to kick some ass,” is a helluva proclamation from Tim Robbins’ character. It’s bold, and a dramatic way to announce your arrival on the main stage. In A-League parlances, it’s reminiscent of Western Sydney’s introduction to the league. The Wanderers are just as bold and maybe even as crazy as this guy (spoiler: he later pushes a woman into a bear pit) and I could totally see the RBB doing the Poznan while their capo screams “No commercials; no mercy!” into a megaphone. Plus, he’s also smoking, which is as close to a flare comparison as this article gets.

Frank Vitchard – Perth Glory

When Frank turns up with his news team, you know this battle is going to get a little weird. And weird is Perth Glory’s middle name, what with owner Tony Sage’s dalliance with bitcoin, medicinal marijuana and desire to incorporate South East Asia into the A-League. Just like Tony Popovic’s side last season, Vitchard (played by Luke Wilson) shows a lot of bravado – only to get his arm cut off, something which he “did not see coming”, a bit like Glory’s Grand Final demise last season.

Arturo Mendez – Western United

I didn’t even know this guy had a name, I just knew him as ‘Ben Stiller in a wig with a Spanish accent’. Even after the arrivals of the previous two characters, you’re a liar if you say you weren’t caught off guard when Señor Zoolander rocks up. Remember when Western United were revealed to be front-runners for the A-League expansion spot and everyone was stunned? Anyway, now I’m dreaming of the day Mark Rudan grows out his hair, cops a moustache for the ages and starts shrieking at people while carrying a whip (if you believe the stories about his discipline, I wouldn’t be surprised if the last two were already partly true).

“Tonight’s top story: The sewers run red with Sydney’s blood.”

The guy on fire – Adelaide United

It’s eye-catching and ballsy. That’s the perfect description of Adelaide United, right? For so long a favourite of the neutrals, United have won plaudits for their easy-on-the-eye football at various points throughout their history. But as we’ve seen this season, if you play with fire, you get burnt. The Reds’ focus on attacking at all costs has seen them living a semi-charred kind of life, with their defence feeling the heat and giving up gifts like Santa on Christmas Eve. Setting yourself on fire to win is commendable, but it’s probably going to cost you dearly.

The guys on horseback – Wellington Phoenix

In all honesty, I was struggling for characters to compare to A-League clubs, and then I realised the guys on horseback were in this scene. That’s Wellington for you – and I mean that endearingly. The two men – quite possibly the Nix’s quietly underrated midfield duo of Matti Steinmann and Cam Devlin – actually do some serious damage to Brian Fantana. Despite people forgetting they’re a part of the league, they’ve actually been really bloody good and effective this season.

The guy killed by Brick’s trident – Central Coast Mariners

Who else were they going to be? Sorry Mariners fans, I honestly don’t derive any joy from making fun of you (and I’m slightly worried this will make me a target for Marvin), but the guy who gets skewered by the dumbest guy on the battlefield is probably on Central Coast’s scouting list.

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