Best On Ground: 50 years of history on winless Crows' side

50 years of history on winless Crows' side

Not much is going right for Adelaide in 2020 but it has history on its side.

The winless Crows are hoping to avoid a long-standing VFL-AFL record.

The last team to go through a season winless was Fitzroy in 1964.

Adelaide, which played in a grand final four years ago, has dropped its first 11 games under new coach Matthew Nicks and has just six more opportunities, given the shortened coronavirus-impacted season, to sing the song.

Garry Lyon is one commentator who believes victory will elude the Crows.

"It's a 17-game season - if it was a 22-game season, and they had another crack at say a Kangaroos or one of the other teams that gets to the end of the season and is just puttering out - but you only get one shot (this year)," he told Fox Footy's On the Couch.

The Crows' current form does little to suggest they can break through.

They're struggling to hit the scoreboard, having averaged a competition-low 44 points per game. Defensively they're leaky, conceding a competition-worst 79 points a match.

Overall the club is bereft of confidence.

Its seasoned-performers are making basic mistakes (Matt Crouch's costly handball late in the third term against Collingwood on Tuesday night a case in point).

Captain Rory Sloane is sidelined and stand-in skipper Tom Doedee, one of the competition's emerging defenders, has battled injury setbacks and hurt his hamstring against the Pies.

All in all it's been a bleak campaign for a proud, well-supported club not used to finding itself in the doldrums.

But, as sport proves time and time again, there is hope.

Fitzroy won one game in its farewell season of 1996.

Fremantle (2001) and GWS Giants (2012) lost 17 consecutive games in those seasons before belting out the song.

The numbers, too, are in the Crows' favour.

Only 13 teams have recorded winless seasons since the VFL-AFL started in 1897. Of those, only six have been in the past 94 years.

The ball is in Adelaide's court.

This week's edition of Best On Ground was written by Warrnambool Standard journalist Justine McCullagh-Beasy



Sydney v GWS Giants, Optus Stadium, 8.10pm


Geelong v Port Adelaide, Metricon Stadium, 7.50pm


North Melbourne v Brisbane Lions, Metricon Stadium, 2.35pm

Melbourne v Collingwood, Gabba, 5.10pm

Fremantle v Carlton, Optus Stadium, 8.10pm


Western Bulldogs v Adelaide, Metricon Stadium, 1.05pm

St Kilda v Essendon, Gabba, 3.35pm

West Coast v Hawthorn, Optus Stadium, 6.10pm


Richmond v Gold Coast, Gabba, 7.10pm

  • All times are AEST
This story 50 years of history on winless Crows' side first appeared on The Standard.