It's a black day for sport when grown men see red over something as trivial as a yellow jersey. That said, this was always going to happen. Richmond folk were always going to blow up over their team being forced to wear canary yellow jerseys in this Saturday's AFL grand final.
Richmond will forgo its traditional black strip with a yellow sash for the reverse version. That's because it's pretty hard to distinguish against the red, gold and navy blue of their grand final opponents, the Adelaide Crows.
The series of images below makes the clash really clear. Imagine you're playing the game on the left -- and bear in mind that football decisions are made in a fraction of a second, and often rely largely on peripheral vision.
Stole this but the yellow jumper really does help. Surely you take the risk free approach in a GF? pic.twitter.com/nDiPf9blVW— Josh (@Crouchy35) 23 de setembro de 2017
Confusing, huh? But as you can see, the jerseys on the right are a little easier to distinguish from each other.
The Crows finished the regular season in first place, which is why they get to wear their normal home strip. The AFL was always going to make this decision, and when they did -- sensitive, no doubt, to the impending backlash -- they couched it in a tone of great gravity and sobriety.
"The AFL legislates that the home team has the right during the home and away season, and it was the view here that with a clash, the AFL had previously made the decision for the higher-ranked team to have its choice."
"Pffffft to all that," was pretty much the response from purists, who think Richmond's century-plus traditions means it should wear whatever the hell it likes against a team that was only created in 1991.
No one was more predictably defiant than Richmond legend and five-time premiership winner turned Melbourne radio personality Kevin Bartlett.
Richmond should and must tell the AFL to get stuffed and it will not wear its clash jumper against Adelaide. The club must not roll over. Kb— Kevin Bartlett (@KevinBartlett29) 23 de setembro de 2017
Actually, the club quite sensibly announced its intention to "roll over" before the decision was handed down.
"We'd all like to be in our traditional jumpers but the AFL decides those things. It's not us, and we'll play our best game in whatever colour we happen to be in," club president Peggy O'Neal said.
But Bartlett raged on, along with countless members of the Richmond faithful.
"Just tell them to go and get stuffed," he said. "Don't fall for that crap from hierarchy that tells Richmond they're going to run out in a canary yellow jumper with a black sash."
Our favourite response to Bartlett was the tweet below which pointed out that Richmond gets to play the grand final at its home ground the MCG.
You get to play the game at your home ground despite Adelaide finishing higher. Be grateful. Go take a nap.— 🔻 ᵃʳʷᵒⁿ 🔻 (@arwon) 23 de setembro de 2017
Indeed, the Tigers are one of four tenant clubs (alongside Collingwood, Hawthorn and Richmond) afforded this significant luxury, and boast a 54 percent win/loss ratio at the MCG compared to Adelaide's 42 percent.
It's an advantage which you have to say more than negates a minor colour change.
Meanwhile in an omen that no Richmond supporter will enjoy, the Tigers lost the VFL grand final on the weekend. As the lower ranked team in the premier state-based Australian Rules football competition in Victoria, Richmond was in the canary yellow.
And with a kick to win the premiership after the siren, they failed. Oh well. The enthralling last two minutes are here.Suggest a correction