Discussion The real reason behind Collingwood's 2001 guernsey change

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Gibbsy

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MELBOURNE

Pre-2001



Clash rating:
2/10 – Really nice match-up this, it's a shame we haven't seen it over 15 years now. The white looks really great as a contraster to the navy and red.


Post-2001



Clash rating:
7.5/10 – The culprit is the black back once more, again there's two teams with white numbers on a dark base and it provides so little differentiation compared to its predecessor.


NORTH MELBOURNE

Pre-2001



Clash rating:
9/10 – Only slightly more tolerable than the Geelong clash. People love to use this match-up as the main reason why clash jumpers were brought in. These teams rarely wore home jumpers against each other from the mid-90s onwards, in fact they often both wore alternate jumpers against each other.


Post-2001



Clash rating:
5.5/10 – There really isn't a whole lot of problems particularly in 2015 when these two sides meet. The black back in this case helped the differentiation dramatically and North's royal blue is vivid enough that both teams can wear their home jumpers without any issues. It's still not an ideal contrast given the stripe similarities, but definitely more optimal than the previous situation.


PORT ADELAIDE

Pre-2001



Clash rating:
4/10 – Again, Port's myriad of away jumpers means that finding these two in a traditional outfit would be difficult, not until 2008 did I locate one on AFL Photos. The white vs black base works well here, but loses (or should I say gains) points for the Power's number panel which means that both teams feature black numbers on a white background.


Post-2001



Clash rating:
7/10 – Bad, but in my opinion, not as bad as what it was made out to be. The black base actually works in Collingwood's favour in terms of the numbers contrasting, but the lop-sided nice of the Port design meant the black base was never truly going to work. The training jumper debacle the next year should never have happened, though.


RICHMOND

Pre-2001



Clash rating:
2.5/10 – Gets the same rating as the corresponding Essendon match-up given the Tigers and Dons' guernsey similarities. The Pies always wore their away strip against the Tigers in the late 90s hence this was the best picture I could find.


Post-2001



Clash rating:
8/10 – Another shocker, it really didn't help that at the time the Tigers had an all-black back (with metallic gold numbers!) which meant that the view from behind was difficult to decipher. I would have given it an 8.5 if not for those gold numbers; a worse clash than Essendon at the time in my opinion. Nowadays I would have them about the same.


ST KILDA

Pre-2001



Clash rating:
3/10 – The Saints' home 'crusader' strip of the time provided few worries against Collingwood's white guernsey, given the former's black and red back and the fact that you could call it a predominantly red jumper. The only similarities are that middle black and white front of the guernsey which pushes it up from a 2.5 to a 3 for mine. From a wide angle there were no issues here.


Post-2001



Clash rating:
7/10 – The Pies are actually wearing their 'swooping magpie' strip in this 2001 Ansett Cup game but being a side-on shot you can't tell the difference anyway (bar the cuffs). The move to the black back works against Collingwood's favour as again there are now two sides with a white number on a dark base; the only saving grace being that the bottom half of the Saints' back is red. There is still plenty of black and white on the front of St Kilda's jumper but the majority red makes it tolerable hence this match-up only gets a 7. It was St Kilda's revert back to their traditional tri-panel the following season that made the clash even worse, with its all-black back. I give that particular match-up an 8.5 clash rating. People do seem to forget (until Mero raised it) that St Kilda wore the crusader/'hot cross bun' at the time of Collingwood adopting the darker kit, and the clash was not as prominent.


SYDNEY

Pre-2001



Clash rating:
6/10 – A bit of a lesser-known clash, this one, as there is just way too much white going on for an optimal contrast. The backs of the guernseys are fine, but this shot in particular highlights the inefficiencies of the matchup. Thankfully the AFL usually always had the Swans in red shorts to try and avoid making any clashes even worse.


Post-2001



Clash rating:
2/10 – One of the few instances where the dark jumper actually improved the spectacle. Yes, both teams now had white numbers, but black and red are so far apart as colours that the contrast between them just looked really nice. This is a matchup I love seeing every year.


WEST COAST

Pre-2001



Clash rating:
2.5/10 – The Eagles had just moved to the controversial new tripanel design at the turn of the millennium, but never once got to wear that in a match against the Pies (but there was white vs ochre on two occasions!) Hence this is the best picture to describe a potential match-up, from a game in 2012. Similar to the matchup with white vs navy wings (which we should be seeing again in 2016, after a 17-year absence), the Pies' light strip stands out well against the Eagles' navy and the added yellow provides good contrast.


Post-2001



Clash rating:
6/10 – The yellow still provided plenty of differentiation, but the two dark backs coupled with lots of white on the front of each guernsey meant that the dark-based Collingwood home jumper again created more of a clash than its predecessor.


WESTERN BULLDOGS

Pre-2001



Clash rating:
1/10 – Heaps of differentiation here with the predominantly royal blue base and the splashes of red; it's a pretty awesome match-up actually and comes equal first out of this entire study as to the guernseys I find the most contrasting. The blue being particularly bright compared to say, Melbourne's navy, means that there is never any confusion.


Post-2001



Clash rating:
2/10 – Still a great matchup, the only change in rating being to the fact that both teams now have white numbers on a dark(er) base. I think this proves that the Bulldogs – with or without 'Robodog' – have a great versatile uniform that looks superb against most sides.
 

Gibbsy

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So, there it is. You probably didn't need statistics to tell you so, but it's now quantifiably true that Collingwood's introduction of a black-based home jumper in 2001 created a much-worse clash situation across the entire league whenever the Pies played. That their 'away/clash' guernsey worn from 2002–04 was so similar to their home guernsey did not make matters easier, and would not have eradicated any clashes that weren't already there.

The dark home jumper improved only four matchup scenarios – Geelong, Hawthorn, North, and Sydney – and in the case of the Hawks was negligible anyway.

The ratings breakdown is as below:

Team | White | Black
\Adelaide|2|7
\Brisbane|2|3
\Carlton|3|8.5
\Essendon|2.5|7.5
\Fremantle|3|5
\Geelong|9.5|6
\Hawthorn|2|1
\Melbourne|2|7.5
\North Melb|9|5.5
\Port Adel|4|7
\Richmond|2.5|8
\St Kilda|3|7
\Sydney|6|2
\West Coast|2.5|6
\W. Bulldogs|1|2
\ TOTAL |54|83

Thanks for reading!
 

CollarJazzKnee

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There is no clash between Collingwood and Sydney pre 2001. That's like saying the swans clash with Geelong or north now. Yes there is a bit of white, but it's very easy to distinguish the two teams.
Other than that, great work! I think that this shows they should go back to the predominantly white jumper. Or they could choose either given the matchup?
 

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Jack Foster

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There is only one!
So we can finally, finally put to bed the old "Collingwood wore white with black stripes for 100 years until Eddie changed it"

Gibbsy, you are my hero.
True but can we say that Collingwood wore a predominantly white guernsey for 100 years until Eddie changed it?
 

SJ

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Next task for you Gibbsy is to investigate the Collingwood's adoption and scrapping of the circular logo (almost identical to the then-Port Adelaide logo) in the mid-1990s:

Mero,

From browsing old footy records it looks as if Collingwood used the 'magpie in a circle' logo (very similar to Port Adelaide Magpies) in 1995-6. This is not on your website.

What I believe it should read:
-1994: shield logo
1995-6: circle logo
1997-: emblem with Australian flag on right
Yeah, I had included that at one point.
I even still have the vector file I made.
However I took it down because I found they used that at the same time as also using the oval/flag one, which came in in 1991 after the premiership.
Yes, the Footy Record used it, but there have been a few cases where the Footy Record did not adopt a logo the club had.
What defines what the official logo is then?

Geelong was using a GFC shield years before you have it listed as official. To me this seems like a similar thing. Clearly Collingwood was still using the standard Marbold shield up until the end of 1994.
I try to use whatever the club was using to identify themselves.
The logo with the flag (on the wrong side) came out straight after the 1990 premiership to capitalise on merchandise sales.
As far as the Geelong logo, I don't think they were using it an official capacity until 2000. Before then it was a merchandise logo, like the horrible lion one Fitzroy had.
Mero, I would make the case that in 1995 the circular logo was used by Collingwood officially.

Going through 1995 football cards, basically every time I find the Collingwood logo, that one is used (but never in 1994). Examples:

View attachment 56720 View attachment 56721 View attachment 56722
 

CollarJazzKnee

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Next task for you Gibbsy is to investigate the Collingwood's adoption and scrapping of the circular logo (almost identical to the then-Port Adelaide logo) in the mid-1990s:
Will Collingwood ever change their logo? I'd say it's here to stay. Although the backwards Australian flag has always annoyed me.
 

Silent Alarm

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Still not 100% sold this was some altruistic history lesson from Eddie and Collingwood.

Also, I don't believe Collingwood went the inverse design to simply please Adidas. Are Adidas really going to reject a sponsorship? And how much is one really going to be worth in the late 1990s?

Collingwood for the vast majority of their history wore white jumpers with black stripes. If I've read this rightly, the argument is that it's based on the Pies wearing this for three flags – most of which are not in anyone's living memories. The majority of Collingwood's games, wins, losses, Grand Finals, and flags, have been played in a white jumper with black stripes. For all intents and purposes, that is their historical jumper. It's like saying Arsenal historically wear dark red shirts... they might've for a few years early on, but really, their classic, historical, main jumper is their red shirt with white sleeves.

The way of showing the 'black' jumper requires recolouring.

It might have had a black 'base' but the majority of the jumper was still white. You have to recolour the 'stuck on' elements to make it appear more black than white. To the average person, the jumper was mainly white.

And when you've got black and white stripes, as well as 130-odd years of history with it, you have to realise that... yes... sometimes the jumpers will be mostly black with white. This is what happens over history and what especially happens when jumpers were made one by one, sometimes by family members. Of course there'll be the odd mainly black jumper, or years where most jumpers were sort-of-kinda-half black.

I don't know, it just seems that Eddie and co. wanted a mainly black design and worked their narrative around it. I highly doubt the big bong smoker from Broadie even ever looked at photos from the 1910s himself. They would've looked for an excuse to ease the change and that's that. It's barely akin to the Bulldogs going to their hoops, or the Lions and the Fitzroy lion. I mean, it's like Carlton wanting this and saying it's their 'classic' design because it's older


When really, deep down, every image and every memory serves to say that this is the classic, majority-worn monogram


I know this'll be an unpopular post, but I'm just saying.
 

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Gibbsy

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Still not 100% sold this was some altruistic history lesson from Eddie and Collingwood.

Also, I don't believe Collingwood went the inverse design to simply please Adidas. Are Adidas really going to reject a sponsorship? And how much is one really going to be worth in the late 1990s?

Collingwood for the vast majority of their history wore white jumpers with black stripes. If I've read this rightly, the argument is that it's based on the Pies wearing this for three flags – most of which are not in anyone's living memories. The majority of Collingwood's games, wins, losses, Grand Finals, and flags, have been played in a white jumper with black stripes. For all intents and purposes, that is their historical jumper. It's like saying Arsenal historically wear dark red shirts... they might've for a few years early on, but really, their classic, historical, main jumper is their red shirt with white sleeves.

The way of showing the 'black' jumper requires recolouring.

It might have had a black 'base' but the majority of the jumper was still white. You have to recolour the 'stuck on' elements to make it appear more black than white. To the average person, the jumper was mainly white.

And when you've got black and white stripes, as well as 130-odd years of history with it, you have to realise that... yes... sometimes the jumpers will be mostly black with white. This is what happens over history and what especially happens when jumpers were made one by one, sometimes by family members. Of course there'll be the odd mainly black jumper, or years where most jumpers were sort-of-kinda-half black.

I don't know, it just seems that Eddie and co. wanted a mainly black design and worked their narrative around it. I highly doubt the big bong smoker from Broadie even ever looked at photos from the 1910s himself. They would've looked for an excuse to ease the change and that's that. It's barely akin to the Bulldogs going to their hoops, or the Lions and the Fitzroy lion. I mean, it's like Carlton wanting this and saying it's their 'classic' design because it's older


When really, deep down, every image and every memory serves to say that this is the classic, majority-worn monogram


I know this'll be an unpopular post, but I'm just saying.
Not unpopular at all – in fact I totally agree. I definitely think that the club had a new design in mind and then once they'd finalised it, got their historians to check and see if there was any way possible they could tenuously link it to the past.

The post wasn't necessarily to say it was the concrete truth that Collingwood wore that design 80 years ago – rather to discover why the club changed and how they justified it (which I never knew of, and I'm guessing many others here too) and then probably the most interesting point, how they got to that justification.
 

wing it

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Loved your OP Gibbsy. Great read. I wonder though, were the jumpers back in those days more truly black & white stripes (evenly spaced), and like SA said, sometimes they look more black, sometimes they look more white. That is, there was neither a white nor a black base, but the makers were trying to achieve evenly spaced stripes?
 

NM_Mitchell

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Further to my post above, this appears to my eyes to be neither a brown nor yellow base, but rather, evenly spaced stripes.

Am I making sense to anyone?
yeah, but one would have to be the base, and with yellow sides, that'd be my guess.
Though the collar, first arm stripe and cuffs make that harder to justify.

How were the jumpers made in that time? would the stripes have been stitched on, or the kits made alternating in the colour of material used, because they would have been man-made?
 

Gibbsy

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Further to my post above, this appears to my eyes to be neither a brown nor yellow base, but rather, evenly spaced stripes.

Am I making sense to anyone?
Yeah I was thinking the same thing here, that it even could have been a yellow base with four thin brown stripes.

The only reason I second-guessed is because Mero's site shows a distinct change in stripe order from one season to the next (a.k.a. a 'base' reversal)
 

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