Away jerseys are getting out of control.
In a more sensible world, the sixteen NRL clubs would all have jerseys that are dissimilar enough that none of them could be foolishly mistaken for each other. But this is not a more sensible world—and apparently the jersey designers don’t have much belief in the rugby league faithful.
What is the end result of this? The Canberra Raiders will be dressed in yellow for half of season 2015. Yes, that’s right, the mighty Green Machine will have to be referred to as ‘The Yellow Machine’ whenever the club is away from home. That yellow blip on the radar from round 11 last year is to be a permanent fixture.
It’s bad enough that Canberra has been running around in white for the past few seasons … but yellow? I know it’s one of the club’s secondary emblem colours, but it's just that—secondary. Before too long, this will be the club’s theme song…
Away jerseys have become a bit of a joke. It’s almost as if someone arbitrarily decided that the referees—who are paid to have the keenest eye on the field—wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between dark blue and light blue; or the fans would start forgetting which clubs they’ve supported their whole lives.
Imagine the embarrassment for a St George fan who starts cheering a Bulldogs player because he or she thought the red ‘V’ was blue for a split second.
[quote]clubs need [an away jersey] ... but it shouldn't be to the degree we currently have, nor at the expense of club history or good taste. [/quote]
Away jerseys are a necessary evil in small doses. There are always going to be a few jerseys that are just a bit too similar on game day. If that’s the case then obviously the home team should get to wear its traditional jersey, and the visiting team wears something similar enough to its original jersey, but different enough to avoid confusion.
Case-in-point: The Canberra Raiders only need a different away jersey once a year—against the Rabbitohs. Other clubs need one more frequently, but it shouldn't be to the degree we currently have, nor at the expense of club history or good taste.
You could take the cynical avenue and conclude that maybe all these different jerseys are tweaked just enough every year as a cash-grab. But in all seriousness, how many Canberra fans are going to spend well over a hundred bucks on a yellow Raiders jersey? It’s almost financially counter-productive if you ask me.
The clubs are able to have some fun with jersey design through the themed rounds that have been a great success over the past few years. The Raiders have already released the designs for the 2015 ANZAC jerseys and Indigenous jerseys; they look both fantastic—and green!
To some this may all seem like a moot point, but with so much of the game being ruled by big business these days, there are certain aspects that need to remain sacred. Hands off the green jersey!
Do the constantly changing jerseys bother you?