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It's time for Port Adelaide to break out the prison bars again

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Roar Rookie
25th March, 2021
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1367 Reads

What exactly is Eddie McGuire’s problem with Port Adelaide?

In a Footy Classified episode last year McGuire waxed lyrical about a football jumper being a sacred part of the fabric of a club. As a Port Adelaide supporter my jaw fell to the floor, as all Eddie’s ever done is attack my team’s desire to wear our heritage jumper.

Port Adelaide have worn the so-called prison bars for 130 of our 150 years. We could go into the whys and wherefores of our jumper changes during the war et cetera – but we could also mention that the precursor to the Collingwood Football Club, Britannia, played in hooped jumpers similar to those worn by Geelong and hooped socks as well, so please don’t use that as an excuse.

Port Adelaide run onto the field

(Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

McGuire bangs on about copyright laws, which also confuses me, because our jumpers are nothing alike in design. If he wanted to go down that path, surely he ought to take a closer look at North Melbourne guernsey, which is almost identical in design with just a single colour changed.

On the other hand, Port Adelaide’s original guernsey and Collingwood’s modern-day one may share the colours black and white, but they are completely different in design. There’s no comparison.

Trying to copyright the colours alone seems like overreach to me. Just ask Cadbury, who has been forced to give up its trademark on the colour purple after court action from Nestle.

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Most Collingwood supporters I know and have talked to don’t actually have a problem with Port Adelaide wearing our original jumper, especially as we’re only asking to wear them in Showdowns against the Crows. I’d be interested in the views of Collingwood supporters here on The Roar. Do you care or not? To me it has always seemed more of a McGuire bandwagon issue rather than a real club-wide position.

In his return to Footy Classified this week McGuire also ranted about how many jumpers Collingwood sell and how much financial assistance his former club gives to Port Adelaide and other clubs in the league in part due to proceeds from their guernsey sales.

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How exactly McGuire thinks us wearing our heritage jumper twice a year is going to affect the club’s bottom line so badly is beyond me. When it comes to the general marketplace Port Adelaide are a small fish compared to Collingwood. If there were an effect at all, it would be tiny.

Port Adelaide isn’t asking to wear the strip every weekend and we don’t want to use the magpie logo. All we want is the chance to don the prison bars twice a year, the design we wore for 130 of our 150 years and the design we were wearing when we became the first non-Victorian football club given entry to the new national competition.

Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but the best thing Collingwood could do right now to earn some quick and easy positive PR – and even distance themselves from McGuire if that’s the desire – is to let Port Adelaide wear the guernsey in the Showdown.

It’d be a magnanimous action from Collingwood and make the Adelaide derby that much more special.

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