In a League of Its Own / Straight Through the Middle

An exhibition celebrating 140 years of the South Australian National Football League and SA Football (State Library, June – August 2017)

The Varnished Culture staff set aside partisanship and went to these twin homages to local footy. An interesting congregation of photos, video, medallions, badges, guernseys, books, scrapbooks, committee minute-books and other memorabilia, we could have done with a bit more, but it was a piquant taste nonetheless. SA clubs at every level, several long defunct, featured in rich and diverse parade.


In this winter of discontent, a little unbalanced reporting suffused with weary, wistful nostalgia for the Glenelg Tigers glory (or at least, better) days will hopefully be forgiven. We would have liked to see some film of the 1934 Grand Final of Port v Glenelg, but there was some video from 1973, 1985 and 1986. There were some great stills – Fred Phillis surrounded at Adelaide Oval after kicking his 100th goal in 1969 (main photo), or how about this photo of the 1925 team that beat the reigning premiers West Torrens, in round 1, the Tigers’ first win ever – after 4 years without a win! (see below):


There were some mementos of Peter “Super” Carey, such as this autograph book…


…and his golden trophy boot:


There were timely reminders of Sturt’s thuggish ways:


(although to be fair, John Halbert may have been cleared, and he did get the Bays into a couple of grand finals.)

There were examples where the SANFL teams put aside tribal loyalties in order to defeat foes from interstate:


And there were certificates of appreciation for players of various clubs, a reminder of the days when players gave their all for no or little coin. Here’s one to the great Mel Brock:


All in all, we liked this walk down amnesia lane. It is hoped a permanent collection might be gathered and curated eventually. But these exhibits come at a good time, what with the State and local leagues under the shadow of the AFL gallows.


[P.S. P admits that he has a problem. No matter where he floats in the world, a tiger lurks in his heart. So he might grudgingly support Detroit’s baseball team, the Bangladesh cricket team, Frisk Tigers Hockey Club, Balmain Rugby Club (he doesn’t recognise the ‘Wests Tigers’), Richmond Football Club, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Claremont Football Club, Medicine Hat Tigers Hockey team, Hobart & Longford Football Clubs, and of course, the Arewonga Football Club of the far McDonnell Ranges. (He does not support Hull soccer team, preferring, in deference both to style, nomenclature, and Lesley’s preference for claret-and-blue, Crystal Palace). Go Tigers!!]
(image by tuxyso)

(image by tuxyso)


sanfl-44 sanfl-43 sanfl-42 sanfl-41 sanfl-40 sanfl-39 sanfl-37 sanfl-36 sanfl-35 sanfl-34

1 Comment

  1. Reply

    Chris Walters

    July 10, 2017

    Real Clubs, real guts, real glory, Real Footy! Great stuff!

Leave a comment...

While your email address is required to post a comment, it will NOT be published.

Leave a Reply

© Copyright 2014 The Varnished Culture All Rights Reserved. TVC Disclaimer. Site by KWD&D.