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Brace yourself, here are the 5 strangest AFL Pre-season jumpers. You have been warned.
5. Hawthorn hawk and scratch
Ah another Hawthorn jumper and with a bird in profile and another old favourite, the stylised claw marks presumably from the hawks talons. It looks like something that should have been in the colouring book of a Hawthorn kids membership pack.Was this the first lot of scratch marks on an AFL jumper? Perhaps, certainly there have been plenty since. The Hawks really were the best part of a decade before their time when they ran out in this in the late 1990s for pre-season. After winning the Ansett Cup in the new jumper they liked it so much they gave it a run in the season proper as an away jumper.
4. Richmond yellow
My eyes, my eyes! in 2007 Richmond inverted their colours but forgot to include very much black, let the floating tiger head wander over to the side of the jumper and some stylised tiger claw marks and yellow every where. I can feel my retinas complaining. Enough.
3. Richmond Silver Top taxi
Richmond sold out their pre-season jumper as a giant add for silver top taxis in 2005. What colour did they choose – silver of course in fact all silver with the obligatory floating tigers head which by this stage was hovering around the middle of the jumper. That must have taken months to design.
2. Hawthorn t-shirts
How could you make an AFL jumper not like an AFL jumper? Add t-shirt length sleeves, well played Hawthorn in pre-season 2000. In the final game the t-shirt jumper was used the players complained of being too hot and returned to the field after halftime in traditional sleeveless jumpers. Brilliant.
1. Hawthorn diamonds
Everyone knows it, so here it is. Clearly the worst AFL jumper ever constructed – the Hawthorn diamond jumper worn for one game in the 1995 pre-season. Where did the blue come from? Where did the diamonds come from? Why does it look like bad jockey silks? Who thought this was a good idea? Some many questions still remain, so few answers all these years later. The jumper looks particularly good teamed with the brown shorts and all yellow socks the Hawks were wearing at the time.
And just when you thought you’d seen it all in all, here is Dennis Pagan and associated assistants in coaches pre-season attire from the North Melbourne days. Note the three quarter pants.
10. Stripes, hoops, yolks and history
St Kilda wear stripes right? Well vertical thirds of red white and black if you will until they decided to rotate their jumper 90 degrees and have red white and black horizontal thirds. Not a bad jumper but why bother? What’s next – Geelong in stripes? Sydney in stripes? Well funny you should say that as here is Sydney’s jumper from the 1997 and 1998 pre-season, it’s a mish mash of a red yoke with the opera house cut out, the swans jumper since 1986, with the bottom half red and white stripes, perhaps a nod to the heritage jumper the Swans wore in 1996 representing the 1905-06 era . As a jumper seemingly trying to combine the old and the new, it’s an unusually poor effort by the Swans who rarely mess around with their jumper.
What other club would seem unlikely in stripes? Um I don’t know, any club that would throw out 100 plus years of tradition for a few dollars [think light blue M&Ms]. Enter Carlton and their magnificent single white stripe jumper from the 1998 pre-season. Why did they bother? It really is just a Carlton jumper with a strip of white down the front. It must have taken ages to design and sold like hot cakes down a the Princes Park shop – a real point of difference from the standard Carlton jumper.
9. Richmond Evolution of a Tiger
Richmond, the Mighty Tigers, of Tigerland decided to get Tigerish with their jumpers in the 2000’s and chuck on a Tigers head. Their first forays into this caper were so impressively bad they are lower in this countdown, but even their later efforts raised some eyebrows.
So here we go with what was actually the fourth tiger head jumper produced by Richmond in 2009. It featured a jagged half sash type yellow thing that sort of looked like it could be very triangular stylised cat claw marks or a black and yellow tribute to a very early edition Port Adeliade lightning bolt jumper. And of course their was the tigers head in the middle of the jumper. Overall passable when you consider what came next.
Rule 1 of pre-season jumpers must be when in doubt add silver. In 2011 Richmond added silver to the ‘yellow and black’ and the traditional sash became a yellow and silver swirl. The floating tigers head had drifted, migrating toward the side of the jumper.
Fortunately this abomination only lasted one season and the following year the disembodied Tigers head evolved into having a torso and into looking like Tony the Tiger from Frosties cereal. The swirly sash remained with some gradient work thrown in. An improvement? The jury is out.
8. Adelaide Crow
The first 5 years of their existance the crows wore the same jumper. Most people would probably wish it had stayed that way given some of the atrocious and stupid decisions they have made about alternative jumpers since. The Crows first foray into a pre-season jumper in 1996 was probably their best, which is not saying a lot given where it is positioned on this list. On the front in featured a Crow with blue red and yellow surrounding it (which was resurected in 2007) and on the back it had a now familiar footy jumpire features some stylised jagged lines.
7. Collingwood barcode
I believe in there may have been a few occasions when the Collingwod president Eddie McGuire has been pushed on the matter of Collingwood developing a clash jumper and he has indignantly and emphatically declared, ‘Collingwood have always worn black and white stripes.’ What he fails to mention is ‘except for that pre-season in 1996 when we wore barcode like jumpers with a giant cartoon magpie emblazoned across the front.’ Take it away Bucks, Rowdy and Monkey. The irony is the cartoon magpie is wearing a normal black and white stripes Collingwood jumper.
A couple of years later Collingwood decided they still needed to have a cartoon magpie on their jumper but this time it would have to be squeezed into an isoceles triangle. Why? No one knows.
And now back to the barcode for one more look. If only Collingwood wore the same jumper as the magpie!
6. Hawthorn yellow
Johnny Platten models another Lightning Premiership invention from 1996. Plenty of yellow from the Hawks but amazingly this is no where near the worst jumper they have taken the field in. Admire its simplicity and its yellowness and get ready for plenty more where that came from.
The AFL pre-season is a time to experiment with new jumper designs. Some are good, some are bad and some are downright ugly – here are the 20 strangest.
15. Melbourne – timeline of design
In 1996 the lightning premiership was played over a weekend in February at Waverly Park with games of two 20 minute halves. A number of clubs unveiled fresh jumpers for the event. Melbourne went with this number.
As you can see it was a navy blue jumper with a wavy capital M with a demon face underneath. It was intersting, it was different and that was 1996. Somehwere along the line Melbourne must have decided they were never going to pay another red cent to a graphic designer, as over the best part of the next 20 years they have rolled out the following….
2003 Hey lets dig up that jumper form 96 and invert the colours but we’ll mix it up by putting white in the demons face and by putting the design down the side of the jumper where no one can see it.
2005 Ok lets centre up the big capital M and take off the demon head
2009 Lets change tack here – scrap the big wavy M, now where’s that template of a demon’s head?
2010 Ok time for a shake up lets take a melbourne jumper and replace the red and blue with white and lets chuck that demon head on again.
What could possible by next? That same demon logo again? Only time will tell.
14. St Kilda stick figure
As a kid I realy liked the St Kilda logo, it was unique – it had a stick figure with a halo playing footy and stick figures were about my level of drawing ability. Plenty of clubs have put stylised cartoon animals on their jumper but I believe St Kilda were the first to put a stick figure on thier jumper when they unveiled this jumper for the 2014 pre-season. Has any other sporting team in the world ever had a stick figure on their jumper? The all red back of the jumper did look a little different too.
13. North Melbourne white
I don’t think I have properly showed just how terrible the white kangaroo jumper is. It was the pre-season jumper for 2005 and ended up also being used as a clash jumper during the regular season. It’s bland, it’s boring and for me it started the rot of predominantly white footy jumpers.
12. Western Bulldog thirds
The Doggies fiddled with their jumper again in 2002 preferring to lose the hoops and instead go for thirds of red, white and blue. Of course the ‘Biting Dog in profile’ logo was a must.
11. Fitzroy lion
Fitzroy’s final two pre-seasons in the AFL in 1995 and 96 were conducted in this jumper. It had a bit of a barbers pole/candy stripe going don the sides and featured the lion from the Fitzroy logo of the time. The Fitzroy lion of this size was never on the Fitzroy jumper but after the merger with Brisbane it became the symbol of the new Brisbane Lions and took pride of place in the centre of the jumper. I can’t help but think that the merger jumper was inspired by this pre-season jumper. This picture is the only one I could find of this jumper. It’s actually a couple of supporters at the Coburg City Oval following the short lived merger between the Fitzroy Football Club and Coburg Football Club to become the Coburg -Fitzroy Lions for seasons 1999-2000. Coburg’s nickname was also the lions and they wore this jumper at away games.
The AFL pre-season is a time to experiment with new jumper designs. Some are good, some are bad and some are downright ugly – here are the 20 strangest.
20. Footscray – Year of the Dogs
The Doggies wheeled out this number for the 1995 and 1996 pre-season and then adopted it as thier away jumper during the AFL centenary season in 1996 – a nice traditional jumper to wear in the 100th season of VFL/AFL football. This jumper featured in the documentary about Footscray’s tumultous season in 1996, ‘Year of the Dogs’. By the end of 1996 a new broom swept through the Whitten Oval, a new president, David Smorgon, was installed bringing a raft of changes – the club name was changed to the Western Bulldogs, home games were moved to Carlton’s Princes Park and a new jumper was unvieled, consigning this one to history.
19. St Kilda white & black
St Kilda produced this simple but bold pre-season number that proved two things. It was better than most of it’s efforts at clash jumpers that they’ve used in the season proper – think the apron jumper with its peeling logo – and it was versatile. With a light version and a dark version easily made and the Saints got to use both of them in the one night in 2011 when they played Essendon and Brisbane in a triple header game.
18. Sydney to South Melbourne
Sydney don’t muck around with their jumper but when they do make changes it’s classy. In a throw back to the old South Melbourne jumper of white with a red V, the Swans produced a similar jumper with a bit of Sydney styling – cutting the sails of the opera house into the red V and an alternative jumper was created if required. Plenty of white in the jumper and when was the last time red numbers were seen on an AFL jumper?
17. North Melbourne kangaroo
Back in the mid 1990s North Melbourne were puting kangaroos on their jumpers in the pre-season which was soon taken up as an away jumper for the season proper. Compared to the stylised Kangaroo shield and swirly lines, the blue roo in profile is elegant in its simplicity.
16. Brisbane Queensland flood appeal
Brisbane wore this jumper in the pre-season of 2011 just months after the terrible floods in Brisbane and South East Queensland of January of that year. A very worthwhile cause and it is unusual for an AFL club jumper to be changed for a charitable cause. With the map of Queensland it was a bit of a throwback to the old Brisbane Bears jumper with its stylised map of Queensland. What was odd about the jumper is the usual royal blue yoke was removed from the front of the jumper but not the back meaning there was a bar of blue across the top of the back of the jumper above the number.
5. Collingwood black In 2001 Collingwood threw out over 100 years of tradition and changed their jumper from being a white jumper with black stripes to a black jumper with white strips. Whats the difference you might think? Well not a great deal really, so why did they bother? One reason offered is that the sponsors logos looked better on black background. I don’t know about this but it’s as good as any explanation I’ve heard. The Magpies change to a predominantly black jumper seems to have thrown up additional clashing issues with clubs with mainly dark strips such as Port Adelaide. The age old doosie jumper clash of North Melbourne v Collingwood has had many different, needless and ludicrous ‘solutions’ one of which was this ‘black with a pair of white braces’ number the Pies ran out with in 2011 and 2012.
4. Melbourne silver When in doubt – add silver. Melbourne’s forays into clash jumpers have been fraught with danger but even the Demon’s plumbed new depths when they produced this clash jumper in 2008. Perhaps not enough silver was the issue. One of the Dee’s following efforts at a clash jumper, as modeled below in 2010, was a slight improvement but made the Demon look like a Phantom of the Opera mask.
2. St Kilda fading away
St Kilda ditched their failry well liked clash jumper known as the candy stripe jumper in favor of a jumper dubbed “The Apron.” The Saints went for an all white look with the red and black ribbons looking like the draw strings of an apron. The club shield on the front was a welcome addition except that the saints had decided top make it look like the logo was peeling off. Why? Were they fading away? Hardly the strong bold image a football club would want to project I wouldn’t have thought.
3. Hall of Fame white
This one really challenges for the blandest football jumper ever created and I don’t know how I missed it. The reason was vague – 150 years since Tom Wills wrote a letter in a pub and thus Australian Football was born [according to Chanel 10] or something like that. The concept was vague – ‘The Hall of Fame Tribute Match’ played as Victoria against The Rest known as the All Stars. And the outfit was beige – decked out all in white in the sort of outfit never before seen on any football ground in the 150 year history of Australian Rules football except on umpires. To top it all off the bottom half of the jumper was afflicted by that modern day scourge of football jumpers – a list of names (the names of every football club in Australia apparently). The affect was to make the white jumper look beige. 1. Western Bulldogs sell out
Give me strength, quite possibly the shittest AFL jumper ever. Nonsense sponsor jumpers are barley tolerable if they are confined to the pre-season competition. But over the past decade or more a disturbing trend has emerged where eye-sore mish mash jumpers that shouldn’t have been given the tick of approval even for pre-season experimentation have appeared as away jumpers or clash jumper in the AFL season proper. This is right up their as one of the worst pre-season jumper ever conceived and unfortunately it saw time on AFL field in the 2005 home and away season. Disgusting, I hope the Doggies made plenty of cash out of it.
Some AFL jumpers are good, some are bad and some are downright ugly. Here are the 35 strangest.
5. Port Adelaide – white lightning
It was teal all over the back and white on the front with teal and black caligraphy pen triangles to represent lightning. It was brilliant, it was Port Adelaide’s cash jumper in 2009. Take an opportunity to pause and take in the sheer brilliance of the jumper by staring at Dean Brogan below.
4. Adelaide – murder of crows
Adelaide have come up with some stunningly strange designs over the last 10 years but this one takes the biscuit. This season’s away jumper is said to be a ‘Murder of Crows’ with the design on the front said to be composed of various crows placed on top of one another. What it looks like to me is three splashes of paint across a white canvas but art is open to interpretation. Interpret away!
3. West Coast – ochre
Ochre….. why? From 2000 to 2002 West Coast ran with this number as thier away jumper – a stylised Eagle with some burnt orange fading to yellow. And that was just the front! Check out the yellow to red on the side and then the strange colour gradient change from red to light blue across the back as per below and red numbers.
And now back to the front for your viewing pleasure.
2. Brisbane Bears – cerise
The Brisbane Bears joined the expanded VFL in 1987 and along with the West Coast Eagles chose yellow as their main colour. Being Queensland based Brisbane choose the traditional Queensland colour of maroon to match the yellow. Somewhere along the line Brisbane decided to change from maroon to cerise – a colour I have never heard of before but I suppose could be best described as ‘light maroon.’
The are some other unusual things about he Brisbane Brears jumper beside the cerise. One is the logo: a triangle and two capital Bs worked into the shape if a map if Queensland. But the pice de resistance was a koala bears head appearing like a set of Mickey Mouse ears over Toowoomba.
Second was the mini logo on the sleeve of a long sleeve jumper. I think this is the only jumper in VFL/AFL history to have a logo on the long sleeve version.
As below the colour inverted jumper used as an away jumper in 1991 was marginally better.
1. Port Adelaide – real lightning & real teal training jumper.
Port Adelaide kept going to the well for clash jumper designs and kept coming back with teal and lightning bolts. This jumper featured the most realistic lightning over a back ground of teal (of course) and silver triangles (why not?) It gave the effect of lightning cracking over a brick courtyard.
Judge: Port Adelaide Football Club you have charged with crimes against football jumpers. How do you plead: guilty or not guily?
Port Adeliade: Not guilty.
Judge: Your wrap sheet includes liberal use of teal and stylised lightning bolts. Explain yourself.
Port Adelaide: We were a new franchise struggling for identity and we had our tradiional balck and white jumper disallowed.
Judge: Hmm, I’m willing to withdraw the charges relating to lightning bolts but you used an all teal training jumper in a match against Collingwood in 2002. Not a jumper that looked like a training jumper but an actual training jumper. That is indefensible, I hereby sentence you to have all future jumpers designed by small children.
Have I missed any? Let me know in the comments below.