Some AFL jumpers are good, some are bad and some are downright ugly. Here are the 35 strangest.
20. Fremantle – flying anchor
Freo gave their original ‘green machine’ (No 31 on this list) away jumper the old heave ho and replaced it with this flying anchor number. Was it an improvement? Hard to say. It looked as if the Dockers players were wearing white braces over their footy jumpers and it featured a dreaded colour gradient. Notice how the shaft of the anchor slowly turns from white to purple as it ascends across the jumper. How the hell could Nana knit that! Gradient wool? Bah.
19. Hawthorn – cartoon hawk
Hawthorn – the brown and gold, the poos and wees – have had a long and distinguished history of turning up stinkers of jumpers. Who could forget the blue and yellow diamond number they rolled out one preseason or the t-shirt style jumpers they wore another preseason only to bin them at half time of a game because the players were too hot. Despite having a jumper that clashes with no one Hawthorn gladly embraced the clash jumper malarky in the season proper too. Some say the wings spread, talons out hawk, as above, was an attempt to frighten the seagulls from the MCG playing surface but as both a footy jumper and as a seagull frightener I would put this down as a failure.
18. Brisbane Lions – the paddle pop lion
Brisbane. They had a great jumper, a perfect combination of Fitzroy and Brisbane featuring Fitzroy’s regal looking lion in profile with it’s paw on top of a football. It was strong, it was bold and it was Fitzroy. In 2010 Brisbane then decided to change this emblem to a cartoon lion. It was derided by fans as the paddle pop lion or worse still a portrait of Nickelback lead singer, Chad Kroeger.
So enraged were the people of old Fitzroy they launched Supreme Court action against the Lions new lion but were ultimately unsuccessful in having the design overturned. In 2013 those opposed to the paddle pop lion design were still collecting signatures on petitions outside Brisbane games a the Gabba. Not in my memory has an AFL jumper design created so much prolonged angst among fans.
17. Western Bulldogs – dogs in red
With the benefit of having white as one of the tricolours in their uniform the Bulldogs were able to produce one of the best, if not the best, clash jumpers in the AFL in 2007 by swapping the royal blue with the white. It was clearly a Doggies jumper and being mainly white it contrasted with the opposition when required. Fast forward to 2013 and it was somehow decided that a predominately white jumper wouldn’t work against the dark blue, yellow and single panel of white of the Eagles. Hence the Doggies rocked out in this red number. Points to them for understanding the concept of a clash kit and changing their socks and shorts to match their jumpers. The Doggies hadn’t worn red shorts since they were Footscray and played at the Western Oval on Saturday afternoons only in the 1970s.
16. Carlton – light blue
Round 3, 1997 – a dark day for football. Carlton threw out 100 years of tradition for nothing more than a cash grab to promote a new light blue M&M. So much did the Blues like the light blue number they left it in mothballs for 14 years until they wheeled out the clash kit below in 2011. It still looks like Sturt in the SANFL to me and not the Old Dark Navy Blues.