Toast Chris Grant - A Retrospectus

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So anyway, Chris Grant is my favourite footballer of all time.

Recruited at pick 105 in the 1988 VFL Draft, Grant went on to play 341 games, kick 554 goals and take his place among the pantheon of all-time greats the Western Bulldogs/Footscray Football Club.

The purpose of this thread is to recap every game he played for the Bulldogs, starting at his retirement and working back.

Chris was an incredible footballer - he could basically do it all, at either end of the ground. Just as importantly, he was a great bloke, humble and gracious. After retiring, Chris made one last gesture as a player, and that's why this thread starts with a match that was played some 9 months after his last game for the Western Bulldogs.

CHFL Round 6 - Daylesford vs Bungaree (31/5/08)


Following his retirement from AFL football, Chris went back and played one last game for his local club Daylesford as a thankyou for giving him his start in footy.

He kicked 10 goals in front of a packed crowd at the ground where it all started. From the Sunday Age:

"Grant's effort to drag his creaking body onto the field one last time, to pay tribute to the grassroots club that taught him the game, was a grand gesture. It is something Daylesford will remember forever."

If every AFL player went back and played one last game for their local club, the world would be a better place.

There's a thread with some great photos here: http://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/chris-grant-daylesford-match.449743/

And various reports on the match here:

http://www.journey.com.au/journey-articles/2008/6/8/a-loyal-dog-comes-home/
http://m.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/afl/old-dog-same-tricks/story-e6frey10-1111116511911
http://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/afl...or-retired-grant/story-e6frf3cc-1111115539156
 

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who_let_the_dogs_out

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Was my idol growing up, along with Michael Jordan. Had mostly NBA posters on the wall with the exception of Granty, and a footy card which he autographed for me after a game was on the wall too, probably mid 90s.

Met him and his kids after the Richmond game at Etihad last year, kind of a surreal moment. Great bloke.
 
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My favorite of all time too. He was just awesome to watch, absolute quality in everything he did on the footy field. Whether it was taking screamers in the forward line, bringing other players into the game, or acting as general of the backline when he moved into defense. My personal favorite highlight was his left foot snap from the pocket in 2000 to win the game against Essendon, can't ever watch that enough.

He was so courageous and I reckon all those hits on his body ended up taking their toll, otherwise he could have kept playing on. Missed a year because of a knee reco IIRC, and then there was that AFL insurance rubbish that kept him out of the game for a while...

Always felt he was never given the recognition that he deserved from non-Dogs supporters.
 

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He was so courageous and I reckon all those hits on his body ended up taking their toll, otherwise he could have kept playing on. Missed a year because of a knee reco IIRC, and then there was that AFL insurance rubbish that kept him out of the game for a while...

Always felt he was never given the recognition that he deserved from non-Dogs supporters.
Wow, the things you forget. What was the deal with that again?
 

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Game #341 - Round 22, 2007 vs North Melbourne at Docklands (2/9/07)

2007 turned out to be a terrible year for the Western Bulldogs.

After the excitement of making the finals in 2006 and trouncing Collingwood in front of 80,000 at the MCG, the Doggies started off ok only to go winless for the last 7 rounds without giving a yelp, and ultimately finished 13th. I always thought that the last part of that season was so dismal that when we did start winning again in 2008, fans were skeptical to get back on board, because 2007 had been so disappointing (and I reckon a similar thing happened in 2015).

Chris Grant played his last game in Round 22 against North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium (probably then known as Telstra Dome).

Chris had missed the first 12 games of 2007 with injury, playing only 5 games for the season. I never saw this game, and I'd always thought the Dogs lost by 20-odd goals, however it was 64 points.

Certainly not a big game from Chris, and his stats reflect the toll that the game had taken on his body: 4 kicks, 2 handballs, 1 goal and, surprisingly, 3 frees against. Here is the last goal he kicked in the AFL courtesy of sackofballs


He then went on to announce his retirement at the B&F. I recall an article where he'd offered to play about 10 games in 2008, however Rocket declined. I can't recall him doing a farewell lap, but others may.

From the Age: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/afl/grant-stood-tall-for-dogs/2007/10/02/1191091145601.html
 
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Game #339 - Round 18, 2007 vs St Kilda at Docklands (3/8/07)

When I looked up this game, I struggled to recall Bulldogs and St Kilda playing a draw. Then I thought a bit harder, and realised I was actually there.

In what you might call his last good game for the club, Chris collected 13k, 5hb, 10m. He also kicked 1.0. Although, according to the Brisbane Times, "Bulldogs veteran Chris Grant had a shot for goal on the three-quarter time siren and it was ruled as no score, although it looked as though the ball might have hit the post for a behind."

Robbed, and not for the last time in this Retrospectus methinks.

As the game unfolded, Nick Riewoldt kicked a point after the final siren to tie the scores. A rather comical moment occurred when Fraser Gehrig, held to no possessions by Brian Harris, lined up for goal with his only touch of the night, only to have the goal disallowed because of a free kick given away by a teammate elsewhere. Teehee.

Some highlights here:


 
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Game #338 - Round 14, 2007 vs Port Adelaide at Docklands (7/7/07)

In his last great game for the Club, Grant kicked 1.0 and had 13k, 7 hb storming of the half-back line with power, vision and poise as the Doggies defeated the eventual runners-up. Here's the goal:


This game was notable for the Dogs wearing silly red shorts and Aker kicking two crucial goals in trademark style. "He'll fit in well," I thought.

 
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I just wanted to quote this to like it again


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I beg to differ..... I almost knew when he was lined up with a kick on more than 20deg outside 40metres he was going to miss...... He had me pulling my hair more than any other forward Ive seen don the red whit and blue.
 
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I beg to differ..... I almost knew when he was lined up with a kick on more than 20deg outside 40metres he was going to miss...... He had me pulling my hair more than any other forward Ive seen don the red whit and blue.
Doesn't matter that he had the yips in front for a few seasons. His overall game was so good that anything else was secondary. Never ever spat the dummy went to CHB and was just as good. Knocked back the big $$$ to stay. Great role model and today's players should know his story if they don't already. A man of immense integrity.
 

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Game #337 - Round 13, 2007 vs North Melbourne at MCG (1/7/07)

Grant kicked 1.2 from 6k, 1 hb in his first game for the year, a 26-point loss to the team then known simply as "the Kangaroos". The goal came from a clever mark:


Notable facts about this game:
  • Glen Archer's 300th
  • Drew Petrie kicked 6 in the first quarter
  • A Bulldogs fan sitting in front of me instructed his wife to watch Scott West being scragged off the ball rather than watch the actual play
 
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Game #336 - Semi Final, 2006 vs West Coast at Subiaco (16/9/06)

2006 was an enjoyable year at the Doggies. Coached by Rodney Eade, the team combined a handful of favourite-son veterans with a platoon of emerging talent who took on and beat ladder leaders Adelaide and West Coast at different points throughout the season.

Granty had an excellent year, kicking 28 goals while also doing the job down back when required. He played 24 games for the season and eclipsed Doug Hawkins' record of 329 games for the Doggies.

The ride came to a juddering halt when the boys got smacked over in the West by the eventual premiers. Playing forward after spending the previous week in defence, Chris kicked 1.1 from 8k, 2hb but was exploited on the rebound by young bogan Adam Hunter. You can watch the goal, and the full game, below:


 
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Game #337 - Round 13, 2007 vs North Melbourne at MCG (1/7/07)

Grant kicked 1.2 from 6k, 1 hb in his first game for the year, a 26-point loss to the team then known simply as "the Kangaroos".

Notable facts about this game:

  • Glen Archer's 300th
  • Drew Petrie kicked 6 in the first quarter
  • A Bulldogs fan sitting in front of me instructed his wife to watch Scott West being scragged off the ball rather than watch the actual play
This why there needs to be a dislike button.

I hated this game.
 

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Game #335 - Elimination Final, 2006 vs Collingwood at MCG (10/9/06)

What a day. What a great day for the Bulldogs.

In front of 84,000 people at the MCG, the mighty Bulldogs punished the higher-placed Magpies in barnstorming style. The match featured the heroics of Brett Montgomery and a pack of young Dogs such as Cross, Cooney and Griffen running amok. Chris Grant blanketed simian power forward Anthony Rocca while picking up 10k, 3hb.

One of the top 5 most enjoyable days I've ever had at the footy. The whole game is here courtesy of BRG93 - I suggest you sit on your left hand for 10 mins, relax and enjoy:

 
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Game #334 - Round 22, 2006 vs Essendon at Docklands (1/9/06)

6k, 2hb in a 2-goal win against the Bombers which happened to be Channel 9's last Friday night game. As Essendon mounted a comeback, a Bombers supporter sitting nearby kept saying "well ring-a-ding-ding" which I found quite annoying.
 
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