The Big Couch crew from Mix 94.5’s drive program is getting ready to don their favourite sporting team's jumpers in support of Beyond Blue's Footy Jumper Friday this week.
Beyond Blue's mission is to raise awareness of depression, a disease that affects up to one in four females and one in six males in Australia.
Dean Clairs, Shane McFarlane, and Lisa Fernandez, better known as Clairsy, Shane and Lisa on The Big Couch, are eager to help out in any way they can.
For Clairsy and Shane, that means the chance to wear the red and blue jersey of their childhood football team, the West Perth Falcons.
“We will be wearing jerseys for Footy Jumper Friday to support Beyond Blue, which helps those with depression,” Shane says.
“We thought of all the football jumpers we would like to wear, it was West Perth.”
Lisa says she is a Perth Demons supporter because of new coach Andrew Jarman.
“I followed Andrew Jarman’s SANFL team, the North Adelaide Roosters, that’s why I support the Demons,” she says.
But Clairsy says he knows the true reason Lisa follows Perth.
“She is a demon,” he says.
The subject of WAFL allowed the trio to reflect on days gone by at the football.
“For me it was always linked to the old man,” Clairsy says.
“When I was 10, I saw us thrash South Fremantle in the Grand Final, and Barry Day kicked 8 goals.
“And in 1981, the greatest day ever in footy, I watched us beat East Fremantle 37 goals to nine.”
Shane recalls going to WAFL matches and sitting on his dad's shoulders.
“I remember going to Leederville when it was our home ground, putting the red and blue blanket down, mum and dad, me and my sister, and there would be about 30,000 people there,” he says.
“To get a seat around the boundary you would have to get there at 9am.”
Lisa used to live opposite East Perth Oval.
“It used to be like an AFL game,” she says. “You could see the crowd coming and it was huge.”
The Big Couch crew are eager to go see more WAFL games this year.
“I saw about three games last year,” Clairsy says. “I saw the Swan Districts game when we lost in the preliminary final.
“It looks like it's going to be a good year for the club so we hope to get down there and have a look.”
Clairsy rates Troy Longmuir and Callum Chambers as his favourite Falcon players, whilst Shane took a pot shot at his own age with his answer.
“Mel Whinnen,” he says, in reference to the nine-time West Perth fairest and best winner who played in 60s and 70s.
Lisa says her favourites are “the good looking ones”.
Nowadays, the trio are avid followers of the AFL, with Lisa and Clairsy big Fremantle fans and Shane an avid Eagle's supporter.
Footy Jumper Friday offers people the chance to wear a sporting jersey in some very inappropriate places.
The crew discussed where those places would most likely be.
“A lot of weddings happen on a Friday,” Lisa says. “Imagine the bride rocking up in a Fremantle jumper.”
Clairsy: “I’d like to see a guy doing this at an airport wearing his jumper,” he says while waving his arms to signify a person who brings an airplane to park on a tarmac.
Lisa: “Or your doctor if you are going to have a boob job and the doctor walks in with a footy jumper,” she says.
On a serious note, the Big Couch crew took the opportunity to stress the importance of Beyond Blue's mission.
“We are asking listeners to go to the Mix 94.5 website, form a team and donate for a great cause,” Lisa says.
Shane says Footy Jumper Friday has been Mix 94.5's community focus for the last six weeks.
“We don’t talk about anything else,” he says.
“Depression is one of those things that isn’t diagnosed sometimes,” Shane says. “People just think you are moody.
“And when it is diagnosed, there are only certain drugs that can keep it at bay.
“Our job in the media is to keep pushing Beyond Blue's message and to get people to go to our website and donate.
“It’s great fun to wear your footy jumper but it’s also about donating.
“We would like big workplaces to get a team together so you can all wear, say Eagles jumpers, and if you’ve got another department they can wear a Fremantle jumper and you can have a derby on the day.”
Lisa says linking football jumpers with the fight against depression is a good way to raise awareness among men.
“A lot of people who go to Beyond Blue are men, and so using the footy jumpers in awareness is great,” she says.