I have seen some wonderfully entertaining and highly applaudable football dynasties in my comparatively short lifetime. The Hawthorn sides of the 1980s, the Carlton squad of 1995 whose record of 20 wins was quickly (and gratefully) forgotten about due to the dominant Bombers of 2000 (jokes), and of course the might of the Brisbane Lions towards the start of this millennium, followed up by the consistently flying birds of the modern day Eagles and Swans. However, I have come to the conclusion that of all the teams I have seen take to an AFL/VFL football field in the past three decades, no team has had a more stupid and ridiculous set of surnames than the 2007 Adelaide Crows!

I’m completely serious about this, it is out of control. It was brought to
my attention during an off-topic chat at a recent poker game. Between
four-of-a-kinds and flopping trip aces we were discussing Porplyzias,
Jerichos and Van Berlos. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The deeper
you dig the more entrenched the convoluted idiocy becomes. One cannot
help but wonder if this has grown from an overly imaginative, oddly
prioritised recruitment team, or merely an incidental and unfortunate

Of the aforementioned sides, the teams that were
dynasty like in the way they went about their league dominance, I would
say it was the Hawks of the 1980s that were choc-ful of the most
abnormal names. So let’s assess the candidates that each team may be
able to put forth. Could a Robert DiPierdomenico be overshadowed by a
Graham Johncock in the silly stakes? The 2007 Adelaide Crows versus the
1986-ish Hawthorn Hawks, which set of names deserves the right to be
known as the most warped playing list of recent memory?!

start things off with a brief run down of some of the names we could
expect to be exposed to when watching the best team of the 1980s in
action. There’s Paul and Greg “oh” Dear, Gary Ayers “rock”, Peter
“cotton” Schwab, Chris “porn mo” Mew, Richard “really likes the ridge”
Loveridge, Ken “don’t be so quick to” Judge, Michael “nip and” Tuck,
Robert “Dipper’ll do” DiPierdomenico, Darren “open the” Jarman and
Anthony “only effective 97% of the time” Condon!

On the other
side of this comparative coin of surname silliness we witness the guys
running around in the blue, red and yellow horizontal stripes of the
pride of South Australia. James “the wine’s in the” Sellar, Nathan
“suit salesman” Van Berlo, Rhett “from the world of giants” Biglands,
Trent “potential” Hentschel, Luke “TV show” Jericho, Nathan “Fred”
Basset “hound”, Robert Shirley “you can’t be serious”, Simon “that was
a really” Goodwin, Ben “the hardest button to” Rutten, Bernie Vince
“insert surname here”, the alliterative Brett “Birdman” Burton and
Marty “Matty” Mattner, and of course the very festive, the very
“Christmassy” Kris Massie! Also I would like to add that I am of the
belief that John is probably Graham’s middle name but on the whole
things were altered to avoid red faces all around!

is a playing group from the bustling golden era of VFL footy when
Waverley was not merely a training facility amidst a housing estate,
and the other is derived from a 16-team, national competition where the
game has gotten softer than a Corrs song on volume level one. How do
these two crazy-named teams lineup against one another? It’s time to
find out, with a rating out of ten for each line based on the overall
zaniness of the three names involved.

B: Paul Dear, Chris Langford, Chris Mew (7/10)
F: Bernie Vince, Trent Hentschel, James Sellar (9/10)

HB: Peter Schwab, Gary Ayers, Richard Loveridge (9/10)
HF: Kris Massie, Nathan Bock, Luke Jericho (9/10)

C: Robert DiPierdomenico, Anthony Condon, Rodney Eade (9/10)
C: Matthew Bode, Jason Porplyzia, Marty Mattner (8/10)

HF: Gary Buckenara, Dermott Brereton, Ken Judge (9/10)
HB: Nathan Van Berlo, Nathan Basset, Brett Burton (9/10)

F: Darren Jarman, Jason Dunstall, (8/10)
B: Robert Shirley, Ben Rutten, Graham Johncock (9/10)

R: Greg Dear, Michael Tuck, John Platten (8/10)
R: Rhett Biglands, Mark Riccuito, Simon Goodwin (10/10)

Coaches: Alan Jeans (1) vs Neil Craig (0)

Team Totals: Hawthorn Hawks of 1986 (51) vs Adelaide Crows of 2007 (54)

regards to the names of the respective coaches, then the award for most
crazy of the pairing easily went to the man sharing his name with a
piece of clothing. Levi didn’t make millions with their extensive and
fashion leading pairs of craigs. Alan “Yabbie” Jeans ties in nicely
with the theme of whacky named participants of the Hawks in the mid
1980s. Neil Craig is less appropriate, actually that is interesting,
perhaps a name like Hardwick, Sumich or even Voss would be deemed
out-there enough to tie in with the current Crows. Maybe there is
something in that, maybe.

So it looks as though the edge goes to
the current time Crows, which seems about right. Especially when you
add to the mix Kurt “don’t spill it” Tippett, Nick “fish” Gill, John
Meesen “around”, Darren “Michelle” Pfeiffer, Ivan “nothing needed here”
Maric, John “door” Hinge, Rhys “apple” Archard and Greg “holding the”

I am convinced. Similar to Tiger Woods and Roger
Federer this current day Adelaide Crows lineup needs to be appreciated
for how special it is. Behold them as a present day privilege, because
who knows when another team of insanely ridiculous surnames might grace
the AFL scene. Next time you’re tuning in to a Crows match, be sure to
bask in the aural delight (or perhaps audible disaster) that is
unfolding before your 2007 ears. This playing group may well go on to
win the 2007 AFL Premiership, however I am sure you will agree they are
more likely to forever go down in history for their collective might
and dominance in the field of funny names.

Article written by Mark Franklin from oneweekatatime.com.au