The Roar
The Roar


AFL's Americanisation continues with player name announcement

Roar Guru
3rd February, 2014

Last week the AFL hit us with their latest trick out of the bag – player surnames on the back of jumpers.

This is not a locked in, set in stone concept, but it will be trialled during Rounds 3, 4 and 5 of the 2014 season.

I think any other staunch AFL fans will feel the same as me.

This idea firstly eats at the heart of a tradition in our game.

We haven’t needed names for 150 years, why start now? And more to the point, why then have the numbers as well if you’re going to have names?

I think this whole thing is just another unnecessary, pointless change the AFL has implemented purely for the sake of changing things. I’m all for the idea of, ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’.

This concept of player names slips in the same category as an interchange cap, only one runner and potential tweaking of the lengths of quarters. Anyone else seeing the common theme of Andrew Demetriou here?

Any genuine AFL fans won’t need this. If you’re a serious enough supporter of your team and the AFL, you will know who is who by the numbers.

If you don’t, then don’t watch it.


The other thing about this, is that it is another large step down the American path.

This is a path we have been taking for a number of years now.

Free agency is huge in American sports and is a ploy we have ‘stolen’ from them.

Blame the players, they wanted it. Not to mention the latest from Demetriou, who just today said he will consider more bright lights, loud music and ‘entertainment’ on grand final day, in light of seeing first-hand the Superbowl in the USA.

Now why is he over there at this point in time anyway? Get back here and make that $2million pay packet worth something.

And don’t think that having player names will help people at the games, it won’t.

Sure, it helps TV viewers to learn, and I guess this whole idea is built around bringing new people to the game.

But surely mass marketing and games in New Zealand do enough of this?


And now that we want to name players, should the umpires receive the same treatment? If it works for the players, it works for the men in the lime green too, for mind.

I acknowledge the AFL hasn’t made this change permanent, and right now, this season, we only will see it trialled, but I fear for the worst. I have a nasty feeling it will become full-time from 2015 on.

I still can’t fathom why Demetriou’s latest scam has so many people that support it.

For any real AFL fan, this one gets the thumbs down.