1977 - What did lethal have to do?

Discussion in 'Hawthorn' started by grizzlym, Apr 27, 2012.

Put it out there
  1. grizzlym

    grizzlym Admin

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    So, been musing with the ol' man via email about Lethal. And generally what a great player he was. The best. And we all have a whinge about players who were stiff. Or deserved better. Or those who lucked out against worthier opponents.

    So how about this - Lethal was equal fourth in the Brownlow in 1977. He polled 34 votes, 25 votes behind the winner, Graham Teasdale.

    But check out Leigh's season:

    In 1977 Leigh Matthews went from being from one of best players in league to one of best of all time, with what was among the greatest individual seasons by any player in history. Matthews posted career highs in kicks, marks, handballs and goals, averaging 27.1 disposals per game and kicking 91 goals at 3.8 per game. He had a career high 41 disposals in round 10 against Melbourne, but the peak of Matthews’ form came during the last eight games of the home and away season, during which he averaged 29.8 disposals and 5.1 goals. He kicked 7 goals and had 30-plus disposals three times in seven weeks and finished the season with another 30 disposals and 6 goals against Essendon in round 22. He won Hawthorn’s best and fairest for the fifth time. Matthews 91 goals that year was a record for goals kicked by a non-full forward, until it was broken in 1990 by Collingwood's Peter Daicos (where Matthews was then coaching).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leigh_Matthews

    He averaged almost 30 possessions a week and kicked 91 goals....

    You talk about injustice in this world. Imagine that sort of season today.

    Anyone recall him playing that year?

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  2. Bosk

    Bosk Essendon = Cheats

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    Hodgepodge will be all over this. :D


    '77 was before my time sadly, but it sounds like he had one of the greatest seasons of any player in history.
    Further proof that the men in white have utterly no idea what they're doing when it comes to choosing Brownlow votes? (and everything else) You betcha!
  3. Roughie

    Roughie Club Legend

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    Umpires shouldn't have called the brownlow then, and shouldn't call it now.

    A non biased subcommittee should be brought together. A team of 18 well respected members of the AFL community whether they are ex players, coaches or media people should be brought in to watch and vote their best players for the game they are delegated. Every week 2 members will be given a game to watch and vote upon, obviously kept in secrecy and they should in-turn have an even spread of teams they watch and vote upon to stop perverting the course of the vote distribution.

    So then a committee watches all teams all year, and vote on a game to game basis with out over loading them with commitments of games to watch. Keep it secret, random, and focused, leading to votes given to other position players (defenders, taggers, leading goal kickers) but ultimately I think you will see more low disposal yet more efficient midfielders win brownlows rather then stat padders who I think have been given far to much credit in years passed. They say umpires don't get stat sheets is bullshit. They have to much to worry about then brownlow votes, they are given a stat sheet to help them out every week. There is a reason teams tag pendles over swan, he may rack them up but I dont believe they are as damaging week in and out as Pendles (despite the Anzac game where swann was incredible)
  4. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith BigFooty Oracle

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    Kinda reminds me of the joke: Why wasn't Jesus born in Ireland? Because they couldn't find a virgin or 3 wise men.

    18 well respected members of the AFL community? Hahahahaha. Seriously? I dare anyone to find me 5 above reproach. I'll give you Billy Brownless... he seems to have no bias. :p Maybe Eddie Maguire and Luke Darcy, there's no bias there in their MMM morning program... Kevin Bartlett - he commands all kinds of respect. :D Fishing for a fifth but no one comes to mind.

    Umpires are not seen to be connected in any way, shape or form with any club, so their decisions cannot be questioned as such. You could leave the decision to John Kennedy Snr, a man of the greatest integrity, but just imagine the outcry if/when a Hawthorn player wins. My point is, you can't have anyone making the decision who has ever been directly connected in any way with a football club. And if that means our learned senior journos from the well respected HUN and Age get the gig, then god help us all.
  5. grizzlym

    grizzlym Admin

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    The Brownlow is the award the umpires confer... But after such a stellar season how he wasn't 'noticed' more is beyond comprehension. I know he was a 'tough' player, but even so, it just defies belief.

    I still maintain that Leigh is the best player I've seen. I would love to have seen that year unfold now. Just amazing.
  6. Brishawk

    Brishawk Club Legend

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    Agreed. You can add the media to that group as well. The media have a vested interest in the outcome of awards in that they favour voting for the 'story' they want to tell not the most deserving. You only need to look at Alan boarder medal votes to see the disparity between voting by the players and by the media. Umpires are the best choice at this stage.

    Would love them to change the format of the AFL players association medal so that the players involved in each game vote straight after the game rather than have an end of season popularity contest.

    Back on Lethal, sounds like his season was unbelievable! Anyway to look at the round by round voting in that year and try to discern how he lost it?
  7. grizzlym

    grizzlym Admin

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  8. Number 24

    Number 24 Team Captain

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    I agree that Leigh was the best I have seen in 60 years of active following of football. But he was in the same catagory as Teddy Whitten in that he was brilliant and could play in a number of positions and win games from any of them, but the Brownlow is awarded to the player whom the umpires believe to have been the FAIREST and Best over the season.

    Like Whitten, Weiderman, Tuddenham and a lot more, Leigh was not considered amongst the fairest. In 1977, Teasdale was a "pretty boy" footballer who caught the eye, but did not "get his hands dirty".
  9. Great 2008

    Great 2008 All Australian

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    N24 is on the money, back then and even into the 80's 'fairest' was a big component of the award. Now 'fairest' means not being rubbed out/sanctioned by the MRP pretty much. Lethal played a lot of his footy tough and hard and walked a fine line hence (back then) if you were judged as unfair (wether warranted or not) you were pretty much ineligible.
  10. grizzlym

    grizzlym Admin

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    So, today fairest, presumably, means not suspended, otherwise it's business as usual. Did they actively mark a player down if they perceived them to be dirty? So a player like Leigh would need to kick 10 a game and notch 40 possessions to win 'Charlie'? What a handicap system.
  11. Brishawk

    Brishawk Club Legend

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    Did they used to vote on the Brownlow differently? I can't fathom Teasdale getting 17 best on grounds in 21 matches. Especially when he had 3 2 votes and 2 1 votes (totalling 22) :eek:

    http://stats.rleague.com/afl/stats/players/G/Graham_Teasdale.html#197716

    That is the link to Teasdales stats. I honestly can't see it!

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  12. Great 2008

    Great 2008 All Australian

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    That seems to be the case. It is the only way I can see as to why Matthews did not win it. I certainly recall awards nights at local clubs growing up where certain players were being talked about as 'unfair or dirty' and therefore unlikely to win best and fairest awards.

    Sam Mitchell is a case in point. I doubt any person in the footy community would class his 2011 season as unfair/dirty. One clumsy/crude attack on the ball almost cost him.
  13. langers1971

    langers1971 Team Captain

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    Maybe Lethal should have worn "that" brown jacket to the brownlow?

    Seriously, what did Teasedale do after season 1977? South Melb loved him sooo much, they traded him to Collingwood at the end of 1981, talk about a one hit wonder!

    One of the softest brownlow medalists ever!!!
  14. Bosk

    Bosk Essendon = Cheats

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    Simple answer grizzlym, the umpires are human like us and have their favorite players and... not so favorite players. Most probably aren't professional enough to see past their personal feelings towards who they like and who they don't.
  15. savagelunchbox

    savagelunchbox I'm being followed by a moonshadow.

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    You can also argue the same question in 1992 as to how Dunstall didn't win the Brownlow? 145 goals including a game of 17. Came 2nd to, and hold your laughter, Scott Wynd.
  16. TimmehJC"

    TimmehJC" Team Captain

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    Two umpire system. Both umpires gave 3-2-1.
  17. Changa10

    Changa10 Team Captain

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    Thing is he didn't even come Runner Up, but 4th on a countback no the less!! (I'm assuming that the 9 three votes would get him to the top of the 34 vote getters list.)

    59 Brownlow votes, is that the highest total for a year?
  18. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith BigFooty Oracle

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    This pretty much says it all. I'm certainly not comparing Knightsy to the pretty boy Teasdale, but Peter Knights had a reputation of playing the ball and not the man so he clocked up heaps of votes. Pity he couldn't stay injury free otherwise he'd be a multiple Brownlow winner.

    Matthews was a different kettle of fish though and played it tough and hard. Lou Richards didn't help his cause by giving him the 'Lethal' monicker, which would have stuck in the ump's minds when giving out votes. Sort of along the lines of being labelled 'unsociable' (which I think ppl still try putting on the Hawks to give us the rough end of the stick), the perception of players will deem how umpires react to them.
  19. grizzlym

    grizzlym Admin

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    But what a dominant season. So far ahead of anyone else that year it 'aint funny. Truly extraordinary.

    Imagine looking back if you were an umpire and trying to rationalise that you applied some sort of subjective handicap to awarding votes to how Leigh played that year, even though he was so far in front of the rest it didn't matter. It's kind of embarrassing looking back on it now.
  20. Brishawk

    Brishawk Club Legend

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    At the end of the day, I am sure glad we had Lethal and not Tease. Premiership cups are more precious than Charlies!
  21. grizzlym

    grizzlym Admin

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    Undoubtedly. Initially, i was intrigued enough by my Ol' Man talking about Leigh's greatness to dig some info out to confirm both my early memories and my father's reverent assessment. My jaw just dropped when I saw he stats - just breathtaking. That stands in black and white, unalterable, without any question, as testimony to the man's greatness. The Brownlow thing came later - and is more bemusement thn anything else.
  22. Books

    Books Club Legend

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    Imagine what Lethal's Dreamteam price would have been in 1978???
  23. Brishawk

    Brishawk Club Legend

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    haha yes, my friends and I were lamenting we couldn't trade 1977 him in for Ablett!