Some AFL jumpers are good, some are bad and some are downright ugly. Here are the 35 strangest.
25. The Allies
State of Origin started flagging in the 1990’s due to a multitude of reason not least of which was the introduction of non-Victorian teams into the AFL. The problems were not helped by there being three states of the same standing (Victoria, SA & WA) and then four other states of a comparable but lesser standing (Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Northern Territory) due to smaller football playing populations. The AFL bit the bullet in 1995 and merged Queensland, New South Wales Tasmania and Northern Territory into The Allies to take on the big three states as per the game above against Victoria at the MCG in 1996. With a healthy dose of teal, some black and jagged orange bits to the fore, The Allies jumper looked remarkably similar to something Port Adelaide would wear when it entered the competition in 1997. The Allies and this jumper were never seen again after 1998 – a jumper befitting the concept.
24. Brisbane Lions – the wrap around lion
When the Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy merged at the end of the 1996 season they came up with one of the best jumpers in the AFL. It’s the jumper the Lions wore when they won their hatrick of premierships 2001-03 and it’s certainly the best jumper that Brisbane has ever had. In 2005, the Brisbane Lions seemingly got bored with having a great jumper that perfectly melded the two clubs combined history and, under AFL pressure, produced this clash strip. It looked like a training jumper, featured a giant, wrap around lion and oddly enough Brisbane wore it at the Gabba when they were ‘away’ to Melbourne who had sold one of their home games to Queensland.
23. Melbourne – simply red
When confronted with the issue of producing a lighter coloured clash jumper, Melbourne opted for the all red number above. I’m still wondering they didn’t revert to their royal blue jumper of the late 70s to early 80s . Anyway this all red number didn’t so much look like a training jumper as a red bib used at training over a jumper, save for the cursive script capital M which clearly identified it as representing Melbourne. Apparently the red substitute vest was modeled on this Melbourne jumper.
22. Geelong – hard as a cat’s head
Look at the top half of the picture above and you probably think, two hard nuts going at it. Scroll down a little bit and you are probably still thinking the same thing until you see the cartoon cat’s head worked into Geelong’s hoops. Hard, tough and uncompromising are not the thoughts that run through my mind when I see that cat’s head. Cartoons have their place in AFL in logos, mascots, merchandise and the like but not on footy jumpers in my book. If one of the rules of a good footy jumper is Nana should be able to knit it, I can see Nana throwing down her needles in protest if asked to knit this cartoon cat face. The versatility of the cat’s head design was shown by this inverted colours clash jumper below. Meow!
21. Essendon – silver
The AFL deigned that the giant red sash just wasn’t cutting it as a clash jumper and so the Bombers, determined to keep some part of their constitution in tact, maintained the red sash but changed the black part of the jumper to silver. The silver jumper was teamed with natty new silver shorts but the red and black hooped socks remained – a classic case of not thinking about your clash strip as a whole kit ie jumper, socks and shorts combined. How could you possibly improve on a silver clash jumper? Write names all over it of course!