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Crows to wear SA state jumper in first Showdown

South Australia players pose for a team photo after winning the 1996 AFL State of Origin match between South Australia and Western Australia.
South Australia celebrates a State of Origin win over Western Australia in 1996

ADELAIDE has stoked the fires of the state's fiercest sporting rivalry with its decision to wear a version of the South Australian state guernsey against Port Adelaide in round two.

The Crows announced on Tuesday that they would don a version of the famous red jumper with a blue and yellow yoke as the away team in the Showdown at Adelaide Oval on March 29, but the Power aren't pleased.

Adelaide chief operating officer Nigel Smart said the move was motivated by the Crows' desire to honour the proud history of SA football.

Port Adelaide has played a key role in that heritage but when asked what the Power would make of the Crows wearing a state-themed jumper, Smart couldn't have been clearer.

"I don't care," Smart said.

"We're not worried about Port Adelaide, we're just worried about what the Adelaide Football Club is going to do on the first game at Adelaide Oval.

"It will create a lot of discussion, it will create a lot of stories and it will create a lot of debate.

"The Adelaide Football Club was created by the South Australian National Football League as a team for all South Australians in 1990. In 2014, we are still that team."

Just as Smart predicted, the announcement drew immediate debate, not least from Port Adelaide chairman David Koch, who labelled the move an "insult".

"It caught us completely by surprise," Koch told 3AW.

"We had no idea about it. Remember the SANFL approved this as well. It just cheapens it.

"I'm a bit of a traditionalist. There are a lot of Port Adelaide legends who sweated blood for that guernsey and for us to go out and play against it at the opening of Adelaide Oval I think is a bit of an insult to us."

The jumper also saw criticism on Twitter from Port Adelaide fans, including Power great Warren Tredrea.

"A South Australian state guernsey is something that is earned ... not given away in a PR stunt!" Tredrea tweeted, before following up with: "State guernseys should be kept for state games .... can't imagine a Melb based AFL club being given permission to wear the Big V!"

But although the new look was deemed disrespectful by Power fans, inaugural Crows coach and South Australian State of Origin coach of eight years Graham Cornes saw things differently.

"Magnificent Crows. Nothing represents the heritage of the Adelaide Football Club better than that state jumper. Deal with it Port fans," he tweeted.

The Power released a statement late on Wednesday expressing their disappointment that the Crows would wear such a jumper.
 
The club denied the debate was about "club versus club", but that it considered the South Australian state guernsey was something earned, not worn as a tribute.
 
"The state guernsey rises well above both our football clubs," the statement said.
 
"It is a guernsey that is sacred and most significantly has always been earned by only the best representative players in our proud football state.
 
"The Crows have stated they are wearing the guernsey “to celebrate South Australian football”. Port Adelaide finds this reasoning peculiar given that wearing it in a Showdown will actually divide the state.
 
"This guernsey is a symbol of South Australian football unification, not division."

AGAINST

Hitaf Rasheed (@HitafRasheed) "Media release reads 'Adelaide will honour…' Should read dishonour. State guernsey should be earned not given away. Shame."

Luke Evennett (@LukeyDTD) - "This is a disgrace! So everyone that loves the state jumper likes the Crows do they?"

Dean Franke (@blueszulu) - "How do the Crows get away with wearing the state jumper??? Just not right"

Travis Levi - (@tttravisty) - "The Crows wearing the state jumper in a showdown, let alone any game, what a disgrace!"

Adrian Terrace (@tce71) - "Love the Crows but this jumper is wrong. This belongs to SA, not the club."

Rob Murdoch (@RobMurdoch77) - Massive Crows supporter here and the Crows wearing the state jumper is wrong, wrong, wrong… Just opens up the club to ridicule"

Gavin (@mugpuntsg) - New Crows guernsey looks great, now just need Port to don the prison bar jumper!"

FOR

Crow Crap Podcast (@crowcrap) - "The Crows were formed from the SANFL and have every right to wear the SANFL state jumper."

Kane McKay (@KaneMcKay) - "…I have no issue with the Adelaide Crows wearing the SA State guernsey in Round 2, 2014. They are entitled to wear it."

Ryan Kitchen (@kitchdog87) - "LOVE the Crows decision to wear that guernsey. The pride of South Australia you beauty!!"