SA state guernsey should be sacrosanct

Rodney Penny Roar Pro

By Rodney Penny, Rodney Penny is a Roar Pro

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89 Have your say

    Yesterday, the Adelaide Crows announced to the football world that they will be wearing a replica South Australian state guernsey in the Round 2 Showdown against Port Adelaide.

    This surprising and polarising move was described by the Crows as a tribute to South Australian football, which will coincide with the opening of the new Adelaide Oval.

    Without much surprise, many Port Adelaide and general AFL supporters have labelled the decision as disrespectful, disappointing and distasteful, along with several other superlatives that I won’t mention on such a civilised website as The Roar.

    I must agree with those people.

    The state jumper is something that many South Australians identify with. It’s got our state colours on it, we’ve smashed the hell out of the Vics in it and before the Crows and Port entered the AFL, it unified our state.

    It didn’t matter if you were a Norwood or a Port supporter; when the Croweaters played, everyone was on the same page.

    Most of the South Australian players in the AFL have proudly worn the Piping Shrike in the under-18 national championships regardless of whether they went for the Crows, Port or the Scotch College First XVIII.

    And therein lies the problem. The guernsey belongs to the state, not the Crows.

    Along with the Crows’ narcissistic idiom of “The team for all South Australians”, they clearly believe that they have the right to wear a sacrosanct identifier of South Australia against a club that has done more for South Australian football than any other.

    It’s in a way giving a giant ‘up yours’ to a 143-year-old club, which is as much rich in history as it is plentiful with silverware. It’s a thought process based on selfishness and entitlement and to be honest, I can’t believe it was approved by the AFL.

    It’s like Carlton wearing the ‘Big V’ against Collingwood or the Broncos wearing the Queensland jersey against the Cowboys or Lorde attempting to dance. It just shouldn’t happen.

    Before yesterday’s announcement, I was looking forward to the opening of the Adelaide Oval. It was going to be a memorable experience.

    In many ways, it was going to show how progressive Adelaide is becoming and how maybe all the political BS that has divided sport in this state over the past 40 years was beginning to dissipate.

    I can’t help but feel as though the Crows wearing the state guernsey will divide supporters, rather than unify them.

    The Crows and Port were supposed to be on an equal playing field at the Oval. No bias, no resentment over Port’s supposed ‘betrayal’ in 1990. For all intents and purposes, it was to be a fresh start.

    This announcement doesn’t aid in unification, instead showing that there is still an unhealthy Machiavellian mentality afoot in South Australian football.

    It threatens to go against everything that this once promising change in the South Australian sporting landscape is supposed to be about, which gives credence to the notion that the South Australian guernsey should be left alone.

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    The Crowd Says (89)

    • February 6th 2014 @ 6:16am
      Kasey said | February 6th 2014 @ 6:16am | ! Report

      Hilarious the butthurt of Port fans. Its also exactly the same jumper as Port wears, just with Crows colours;) I’ve had banter with Melbourne Victory fans and Port fans and Port fans are by far the easiest to fire up, their arrogance is astounding as is their inferiority complex towards all things Crows. I’ve long since ceased giving my money to the ‘VFL’, but even I’d consider buying one of these if they weren’t so darned expensive

      • February 6th 2014 @ 8:59am
        deebhoy said | February 6th 2014 @ 8:59am | ! Report


        winding up the port fans is fine and being a Victorian ive got no particular love for their club although I do prefer them to the crows and I do agree with this article.rep jumpers shouldn’t be worn by club sides
        but you couldn’t have been much of a crows fan to start off with if youre willing to turn your back on the club just because you don’t like the league administration?
        as far as I know football fans support their club,not the AFL

        • February 6th 2014 @ 5:42pm
          Kasey said | February 6th 2014 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

          My footy money goes where my heart is, the Norwood Football club in the SANFL.

          • February 6th 2014 @ 9:28pm
            deebhoy said | February 6th 2014 @ 9:28pm | ! Report

            fair enough mate,i like to see the old state clubs getting support but I was under the impression you were a one time crows member who dosent support them anymore due to your bitterness towards the AFL?

      • February 6th 2014 @ 6:38pm
        Faz said | February 6th 2014 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

        Yep Kasey, the jumpers are almost identical except for the colours and the body that overseas the SA competition has said ‘yes’ for ONE match. But just how offended are Port? Both jumpers are ‘in your face’ on the Power website. They’re milking it for all its worth.

        The guernsey would be ‘sacrosanct’ if there was a remote prospect of a SoO revival but that’s not on the horizon, so this replica (it’s not the original, it’s a REPLICA) pays a fitting tribute.

    • February 6th 2014 @ 6:54am
      Shmick said | February 6th 2014 @ 6:54am | ! Report

      I’m a Victorian footy fan with no allegiances to either of the SA clubs.

      That being said, I completely agree with this article and I’d be pissed if I was a Port fan.

      It’s basically a deliberate obnoxious slap in the face to Port Adelaide – a club with a much richer heritage than the Crows – by claiming that the Adelaide FC is the only footy club in SA of any relevance.

      It would be like West Coast wearing the WA guernsey against Freo.

      Unbelievable that the AFL has signed off on it.

      • February 6th 2014 @ 10:15am
        Ric said | February 6th 2014 @ 10:15am | ! Report

        It has already happen in 2007 the West Coast Eagles wore the state jumper in round 14 against Brisbane, regardless of who a team plays they should not be able to wear the state colours, as this jumper was a honour to be worn by a selected few to represent their state, I find it now and back in 2007 when it happened disrespectful and insulting to those who earned that honour. We must keep some traditions of the game alone so they maintain their meaning

      • February 6th 2014 @ 2:27pm
        Brian said | February 6th 2014 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

        The AFL didnt just agree they’ve advertised it and are basically using it to get publicity around the clash.

        • February 6th 2014 @ 2:44pm
          Gyfox said | February 6th 2014 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

          The Crowvertiser reports that the jumper was approved by a “junior AFL official” who had no idea of the cultural significance. That adds further insult to it all. Ted Whitten would be rolling in his grave!

        • February 6th 2014 @ 2:46pm
          Franko said | February 6th 2014 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

          Might be more to come out about that Brian…

          “The Advertiser understands a junior league official approved the use of the state jumper because it posed no direct clash to the black Port Adelaide guernsey. However, this AFL staffer was not aware of the cultural significance of the jumper design delivered by the Crows to AFL House.”

    • February 6th 2014 @ 8:14am
      Franko said | February 6th 2014 @ 8:14am | ! Report

      Well written Rodney. Honestly I find it laughable that the franchise is so bereft of ideas they have latched themselves to anything resembling history, even if it is not theirs.
      I really don’t mind them wearing the jumper, although I find it embarrassing for them. To sum up your points and add in a couple:

      1. The State jumper represents the best 21 Aussie Rules Footballers from South Australia – The Camrys are a long way from that.
      2. The State jumper is a representative jumper, the crows are a club
      3. State of Origin was about bringing the state together – This does the opposite
      4. Port have arguably been the biggest contributors of any club to state football in SA, Fos Williams, for example holds the record for most games played in the jumper. Then throw in the contributions of guys like Williams (X3), Eberts, Obsts, Bradley, Cahill, Phillips etc.
      5. We have current players that have been chosen to represent SA – Wingard, Hartlett, Polec etc. That will now be playing against the jumper of their own state.

      • February 6th 2014 @ 10:12am
        Dan Ced said | February 6th 2014 @ 10:12am | ! Report

        “We” yep, stopped reading as soon as you revelead the lightning bolt on your sleeve 🙂

        It’s a pretty arrogant move by the Crows, I hope this season they can actually back it up… and I don’t mean in a half assed Port way (winning first 5 games then doing bugger all for the rest of the season, flailing over the line into the finals)

        Take me a while to care about footy season though, even though I’ve been a Crows member since 1996. I’m fully in Cricket mode, and looking forward to the F1 season starting. It won’t be until I there at Adelaide oval for the first Crows home game that I start getting into the groove.

        P.S. Crows are probably wearing the state guernsey as an FU for not being given the first home game of the year.. so Port can have a half empty stadium in round 1.

    • Roar Guru

      February 6th 2014 @ 8:52am
      Will Taylor said | February 6th 2014 @ 8:52am | ! Report

      Gotta love the rivalry between the two SA teams. As a Gold Coast supporter living in SA, I can’t wait for the showdown at Adelaide Oval just to see the intensity and rivalry between the two clubs.

      • February 6th 2014 @ 2:07pm
        JohnD said | February 6th 2014 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

        Five weeks out from the start of the season.
        Port and the Crows at each others throats.
        And the AFL smiles quietly to itself.

    • February 6th 2014 @ 8:52am
      MattQ said | February 6th 2014 @ 8:52am | ! Report

      guernsy is such a lame description

      • February 6th 2014 @ 12:35pm
        MRL said | February 6th 2014 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

        Yes. How can it also be a jumper. It has no sleeves. It is a singlet.

        • February 6th 2014 @ 12:41pm
          Penster said | February 6th 2014 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

          It’s not a singlet in the Chesty Bond wife beater tradition. It’s a vest.

          • February 6th 2014 @ 12:53pm
            MRL said | February 6th 2014 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

            Either way, Nigel Smart seems to like it judging from the still image (I assume he is looking at the vest).

      • February 7th 2014 @ 12:39pm
        me, I like football said | February 7th 2014 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

        No more lame than Jersey, you have your cow/channel Island. Let us have our cow/channel island

    • February 6th 2014 @ 9:03am
      Timber Tim said | February 6th 2014 @ 9:03am | ! Report

      The South Australian state team is the True team for all South Australians. Not the crows frauds who claim to represent the state because their name says Adelaide.

      By that theory then does the Melbourne Demons claim to represent all of Victoria since they represent Melbourne. Seriously crows and Port supporters have many fans that are not from SA. Its club football not state football which people in the crows admin have trouble getting through that concept.

      Similarly their is a big percentage of SA footy fans that support other AFL clubs outside the State but come state of origin time will be behind South Australia. Don’t recall SA greats like Ebert, Kernihan, Platton, Bradley, Kelly, Viney, Champion etc ever playing for the crows so how can they represent them.

      If they want to truly represent their heritage wear their original round 1 1991 jumper and come out onto the ground to Here we go Here we go Camry Crow. Their original club song.

      Lastly I wonder what Patrick Dangerfield and other Non-SA born players would feel wearing that jumper that they would never ever earn the right to play in and having crows supporters say to him to KICK A VIC.

      Bad move Crows bad bad move.

      • February 6th 2014 @ 10:33am
        Lazza said | February 6th 2014 @ 10:33am | ! Report

        The State Jumper is dead from an AFL perspective since we’re never going to see State of Origin again. At least one of the clubs can keep the legacy alive occasionally.

        • February 6th 2014 @ 10:41am
          Franko said | February 6th 2014 @ 10:41am | ! Report

          Great, looking forward to seeing Hawthorn pull on the Big V against Collingwood this year…

          Gotta ‘keep the legacy alive’ right?

        • February 6th 2014 @ 2:33pm
          vocans said | February 6th 2014 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

          I don’t think the jumper is dead from an SA and SANFL perspective, particularly the history that belongs to all Croweaters.

          • February 6th 2014 @ 3:29pm
            Lazza said | February 6th 2014 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

            Yes it is dead because we’ll never see it used again in State of Origin. It’s just a historical relic now which most of the younger AFL fans have never seen.

            The only time you’ll see a State guernsy is in other sports, not the AFL.

            • Roar Pro

              February 6th 2014 @ 5:22pm
              MFairPlay said | February 6th 2014 @ 5:22pm | ! Report

              What about under 18s?

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