Round 18, 2017

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Being appreciative of warm clothing for Melbourne’s cold conditions, and also being quite fond of SOS’s long sleeves, we noticed a number of Carlton players donning long sleeves last Sunday. The Herald Sun asked if there were too many Carlton players wearing long sleeves and ‘suggesting they didn’t like the cold?’  At 8 players, yes was their answer (Scott Gullan, Herald Sun July 16, 2017). 

The issue of sleeves doesn’t end there. In the very same game Bulldogs’ Lewis Young (at 18 the youngest player in the AFL) made his debut wearing a long sleeved top under his sleeveless one. Young was also noticeable for taking a third quarter spectacular mark (footage at point 4). We wondered if Young wanted to double layer his guernseys for ‘fashion’ reasons, or did someone neglect to put his number on the back of a long-sleeved top? The necessity of the numbers on the back of the jumpers harks back to 1912, when the VFL instituted rules that required all players in all games to have numbers, in regulation size, on their guernseys.

 So to Round 18 of the Football Record of 1912 we head. The record was in its first year of publication, and the exclusive right of the Record to publish player numbers was noted by both columnists “Wikeawake” and “Chatterer” (pp 3, 28).

 “Wikeawake” was reflecting on the crucial question of the emotions of football losses ­– one which readers might have considered themselves. “Wikeawake” felt that it was a good thing ‘that one does not know what is ahead’, as if one knew the outcome of a game before it was played (in this instance referring to the previous week when St Kilda had ‘wiped the floor with the Dons’), Essendon supporters would ‘have had to endure feelings of misery and disappointment for a longer period than is otherwise the case’. (p3) We’re not sure how long was usual then, or now, for misery and disappointment – but we continue to hope that we won’t be the ones suffering this weekend.

Enjoy the games this weekend,
Mary & Jordy

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