Some AFL jumpers are good, some are bad and some are downright ugly. Here are the 35 strangest.
30. Adelaide – yellow state jumper
Heritage Round was one of the themed rounds the AFL ran with for a few years until they got bored with the concept or stopped making money out of it or something. Teams resurrected jumpers from the past that no one could remember and it helped if you had 100+ years of club history to draw upon. Unfortunately the Adelaide Crows (established 1991) had no such rich tapestry of jumper designs to tap into. After a couple of lame attempts of putting the Adelaide club shield and tiny versions of all the SANFL club colours on the standard Adelaide jumper, the Crows bit the bullet in 2005 and wore this yellow number – a South Australian state representative jumper from the 1930s with AFC replacing SA. The link between the two sides could be described as tenuous at best or rewriting history at worst.
29. International Rules – blue
Australia’s national sporting colours are definitely green and gold: the Wallabies, the Socceroos, the Kookaburras, the Australian cricket team and so on. But the since the International Rules (a hybrid of AFL and Gaelic football, slanted more to Gaelic football) was restarted in 1998, the AFL players representing Australia have been togged out in blue. Why blue? Perhaps because a lot of the games resulted in a blue. And why the T-shirt design? Some part of the Australian game could have been retained – the sleeveless jumper. It is a jumper that reflects the status of a competition – it leaves more questions than answers.
28. Jumpers with names
I don’t know when this trend of putting an enormous list of names on an AFL jumper started but I wish it would end. The list of names varies: every player to have played for the club, every premiership player, every club member of 20 years duration, every current member, every current supporter on the club’s email list, everyone who has ever attended a game of football, everyone who has ever entered a football ground at one point in time or another. The point of these name jumpers is lost on me – you have to be standing right next to the jumper to have any hope of identifying a name and with a magnifying glass. Many clubs have rolled out jumpers like this.
27. Port Adelaide – lightning bolt
Port Adelaide burst on to the AFL scene in a splash of colour, and that colour was teal. Port, like all expansion clubs, arrived with a home jumper and an away jumper. Their original home jumper was black and teal with jagged lines cutting in on one side looking a bit like a cross between prison bars and stylised lightning. The away jumper was remarkably similar which begged the question why bother with home and away jumpers if they were so similar. Clearly a bigger change up away jumper was needed focusing on Port’s now abandoned name of Port Power and it’s accompanying lightning bolt logo – this was the result. In bad news for Port fans, this is one of their club’s better away jumpers before a 7 year old designed their current one.
26. GWS – all white is not alright
Another expansion team, another set of home and away strips. I would have thought as a new franchise, a strong, readily recognisable symbol of your team seen week in week out would increase awareness of the team and ‘grow your brand’ better than chopping and changing outfits each week. The casual observer should be able to flick on the TV and easily work out who is playing who not think “Ah, Carlton are playing some team in white.” GWS chose orange as their primary jumper colour, a smart choice given no other team uses orange, thus minimising the need to wheel out an alternate jumper. Alas this was not part of the Giants’ thinking and they produced a jumper for away games of a plain white strip with a logo in the middle making them look like a team of umpires circa 1897- 2005.