Celebrating 25 Years with the USAFL
As a Founding Club of the USAFL , the Nashville Kangaroos have been kicking the footy since the USAFL's inaugural season in 1998. Now, here we are 25 years later, so, together with the USAFL your Nashville Kangaroos are celebrating our own Silver Anniversary of 25 Years!
As part of the USAFL Silver Anniversary celebration taking place in 2022, Nashville is taking time to reflect on the past twenty-five years, including naming of its 25th Silver Anniversary Team. Because the Roos have been around for the entirety of the USAFL existence, it's too difficult to just name one team… there have been too many deserving Roos. Therefore, both a Senior and a Reserves team have been named. When you take a look at the names, you will undoubtedly recognize some right away, as well as some others that will cause you to say, “Oh yeah, I remember!”
On Saturday August 27, 2022 the Nashville Kangaroos will host the Columbus Jackaroos at Elmington Park. This game has been designated as the 25th Silver Anniversary Game and is when the final list of all honorees will be released, including what position everyone has earned.
However, a club is much more than the players on the field. You can’t have an administrative structure without people in the administration. You can’t play the game without an officiating crew. The game would be much more arduous without your water and message runners. And it certainly would be less entertaining without live commentary. So in appreciation of all those who have contributed to help make the games happen, the 25th Silver Anniversary Team includes an ‘off field’ team as well.
25th Silver Anniversary Team
When contemplating whom to include, it was felt that this recognition should be more, much more, than simply who is “the best”. Therefore, the following ‘criteria’ were used for inclusion, with no order of importance assigned.
Talent – The commitment to excellence on the field can’t be ignored of course. This can be measured in different ways, including best-and-fairest awards, being named captain of the team, being selected for the national representative team (Revolution for the men and Freedom for the women), etc. In addition, players show different capacities and capabilities at different positions, so the position one is placed is also reflective of where they demonstrated the most skill.
Teaching – It is not possible to grow the sport of Australian Rules Football without getting more people to see the sport, without teaching it to those who have never experienced it, and without supporting those who are learning it through trial and error. This would not be possible without the commitment of the ‘senior’ players helping the newbies and the Aussies helping the Americans learn and grow as they pursue their pathways in Aussie Rules. This can also be thought of as ‘giving back.’
Tenure – The length of time a player is able to play this full contact, no pad sport cannot be ignored. Given how difficult it is to continue to be a part of a grassroots organization with as many curveballs as life throws at everyone, the ability to keep coming back is also trait being recognized.
Travel – Part of the commitment to being a Kangaroo is to travel to the away games and tournaments. This requires a commitment of time and money, which not everyone is able to make. At the same time, road trips are where some of the deepest friendships are made and some of the best stories are created, leading to the phrase, “Never miss a road trip!”
Team Success – It is one thing to be good at something. It is another to raise the team around you to success. Some of the Kangaroos teams have had tremendous success, measured in terms of national rankings, tournament championships, and National championships. Thus, one of the factors considered was the success of the team each player played on.
Accolades – It is difficult to ignore recognition of player accomplishments, whether bestowed by teammates, the club, or external organizations. Therefore, part of the review process included teammate recognition such as best and fairest awards, club recognition such as leading goal kicker awards and best clubman/utility player awards, and external awards such as the best and fairest and the most consistent medals at nationals, and the highest honor, being selected for the national teams.
In the meantime, here is a few of the names that will be included. Keeping in mind that these names are listed in alphabetical order, feel free to speculate as to where each will end up on August 27th.