The AFL has decided that Lou Richards does not meet the criteria to be considered an AFL Legend in its Hall Of Fame. If Lou Richards is not considered I am not sure who is, and I am not saying that as a Collingwood supporter either. I think that Lou needs to be admitted as a Legend by the AFL. According to Wikipedia
“The Legends category is reserved for those who are deemed to have had a positive impact on the game of Australian rules. The title of Legend is intended to be bestowed on no more than 10% of the total inductees of the Hall of Fame (the actual percentage of “Legends” to total inductees is currently 10.05%). All “Legends” enshrined to date represent former players of the VFL/AFL, with the exception of Barrie Robran who played the whole of his career in the SANFL. Being named as a “Legend” of the Australian Football Hall of Fame is the highest honour which can be bestowed onto an Australian footballer. The Hall of Fame was established in 1996 with 12 initial “Legends”. These were: Ron Barassi, Haydn Bunton Senior, Roy Cazaly, John Coleman, Jack Dyer, Polly Farmer, Leigh Matthews, John Nicholls, Bob Pratt, Dick Reynolds, Bob Skilton and Ted Whitten. The following have been promoted to the status of “Legend” since 1996: Ian Stewart (1997), Gordon Coventry (1998), Peter Hudson (1999), Kevin Bartlett (2000), Barrie Robran (2001), Bill Hutchison (2003), Jock McHale (2005), Darrel Baldock (2006), Norm Smith (2007) and Alex Jesaulenko (2008).”
The AFL are arguing that Lou does not qualify as a Legend as that status is reserved solely for those who were considered the best of the best as a player or a coach and despite his 250 games with Collingwood, captaining the 1953 Premiership team who defeated Geelong, his 423 goals or his 9 games representing Victoria are just not good enough to make him a legend. They argue that Lou made his name and reputation in the media which is outside of their criteria, which cannot be changed at all.
What the AFL does not recognise is that Lou was known throughout Australia not just in Melbourne. How many people outside of South Australia really know who Barrie Robran was? Do the people in Sydney or Brisbane know who Bill Hutchison or Haydn Bunton were? Probably not, but they would undoubtedly know who Lou Richards is.
The AFL say that the Legends of the AFL have to be those who made people want to go to the football. Lou qualifies on that part, even though he was only a good, not great, player. As a media pundit he made predictions that got punters interested in the game. Some of his crazy bets where he would have to perform some outrageous task if the team he picked lost a game, which happened more often than not, had lots of followers. His football tips were dubbed the ‘kiss of death’ because of his knack of getting things wrong, with most office tipping competitions giving Lou’s tips to anyone who forgot to get their own tips in.
There was also his work for Channel 7 and latterly Channel 9. If it was not for Lou’s commentary alongside Peter Landy there would be no Rex Hunt and the Triple M commentary team would be dull and boring. If it was not for Lou along with Jack Dyer and Bob Davis on League Teams and World Of Sport there would be no Footy Show. All of these media contributors owe a great debt of gratitude to Lou, who is surely a Legend if ever there was one.