Essendon clash strip doesn’t tear at tradition
Essendon stuns Geelong in AFL Round 15. Slattery Images
As a passionate Essendon supporter I certainly see reason why many ‘traditionalist’ Essendon supporters are upset and beside themselves at Essendon’s clash strip, a predominate grey colour.
I however am not fussed by this apparent 140 year change. In fact I like the new strip.
It’s modern, innovative and has a touch of prestige with Essendon marketing the clash strip as a heritage guernsey.
Every Essendon player to have won a premiership has their name on the jumper and arguably the best player to play for Essendon, Dick Reynolds has his name and signature upon the breast of the jumper.
This uproar and disgust of changing history maybe needs to be viewed by the whole history of the Essendon Football Club and how many changes it has gone through in its rich history as a one of the most powerful and successful clubs in the world.
Many people complain about the changes to the traditional colours of red and black but do we actually know how the colours of red and black came about?
In fact it was the Essendon Rowing Club at the time who borrowed horse racing silks for their races in which the red and black tradition started.
There is also reason to believe through historical archives that Essendon started with red and black stripes, not the traditional sash we see today.
Ironically when Essendon first began, uniforms were not apart of the football club. Instead players wore their dark blue work uniforms to play in and to avoid clashing with other players from different clubs, who also wore their work attire, adopted a red sash over the top of their work gear. Much like kids in a primary school PE lesson!
History has also shown not just changes to Essendon’s uniform over the years but many traditions have changed over Essendon’s inception. For years I have simply known Essendon as the “Bombers”.
However this did not come about until the 1940’s with their direct proximity to the Essendon aerodrome during the war. Previous to this Essendon were known as the “Sash Wearers” and the “Essendonians” which have all be it abandoned.
The Essendon logo has gone numerous changes and as it stands has no direct link to any form of its original logo. In my lifetime alone I have seen over four logo changes.
My point is that yes the alternate strip is not your classic Essendon jumper and for many Essendon fans it is pulling away from the steep traditions of the Essendon football club.
The hype Caroline Wilson placed on the topic was nothing but pulling at heart strings. Describing the jumper as ‘diluting tradition’ and therefore the ‘history and power’ of the football club is a joke! Let’s put some perspective on this. It is a jumper! I think what we need to remember is it is not colours or the buildings that make a football club and its steep history, it is the people within it that make it.
When my Bombers run out on the field against the Saints, I know the boys running out have the heritage, tradition and passion like the Essendon players of the past and will play excellent football regardless of their strip.
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