Toast Chris Grant - A Retrospectus

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Game #152 – Round 9, 1997 vs North Melbourne at MCG (26/5/1997)

One of our best, kicking 2.1 from 11k, 8hb in 32-point win over the Kangaroos.

The last time the Dogs and Kangas had played at the G, the Kangas won by 131 points (prompting Alan Joyce to offer his resignation only two games into the 1996 season). This time, however, the result was much different against the previous year's premiers. Granty confirmed his status as one of the competition's elite players, by performing Carey-like acrobatics on the forward line and dispatching Norm Smith medallist Glen Archer to hide in the forward pocket.

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Vanquished.
 

worbod

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Out of curiosity, can anybody identify this Fitzroy player trying to catch Chris Grant in the round 12 game from 1992? Doesn't matter if not, but I thought I'd give it a go.

1992(June6).PNG
 

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Game #151 – Round 7, 1997 vs Hawthorn at Waverley Park (10/5/1997)

BOG
, kicking 2.3 from 19k, 10hb and collecting 3 Brownlow votes in 45-point win over the Hawks.

The Game

Held by Mark Graham in the first quarter, Grant suddenly became awesome in the second. Staring down a 25-point quarter-time deficit, Grant summoned all his natural gifts and had a pronounced impact on his teammates. Several times he threw himself into the centre bounces or at packs to take important marks.

Wallace's trump card took a while to wind up, yet began hitting the packs like a man possessed. Grant made a beeline for the packs at every opportunity, forcing valuable spills that directly resulted in goals for the Bulldog crumbers.

In what was undoubtedly his best performance for the year, Grant continued to crash into the packs and take towering marks even when victory was assured in the dying stages.

The Aftermath

A seemingly innocuous incident in the first quarter was to have major repercussions for Granty.

Turtle laid a glancing blow on Nick Holland as the Hawks player ran back for a mark. In a bizarre turn of events not seen before or since, the umpires accepted elected not to make a report upon reviewing the footage after the match-- however the AFL's Director of Football Operations Ian Collins intervened and referred the matter to the AFL tribunal, which suspended Grant for one match. Granty maintained throughout that contact had been accidental.

Turtle went on to become the only player in history to lead the Brownlow vote count outright without winning the Medal. As the entry for Chris Grant on the encyclopedic australianfootball.com puts it: "Given some of the onfield acts of other Brownlow Medal winners across the years, Grant's ineligibility to win the medal in 1997 still ranks as one of football's greatest travesties in the eyes of many." (https://australianfootball.com/players/player/chris+grant/12719)

Footage of the incident and the fallout can be viewed here, courtesy of sackofballs:



Libba's face says it all.
 

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Game #150 – Round 6, 1997 vs West Coast Eagles at the WACA (2/5/1997)

BOG
, kicking 1.1 from 17k, 6hb in barnstorming 14-point win over the Eagles, collecting three Brownlow votes.

The Bulldogs stamped their bona fides under Friday night lights, leading at every change and holding off a late Weagles surge, with a towering Chris Grant mark and goal sealing the win and capping off a fine 150th game from the Turtle. Grant earned his coach's applause for the manner in which he ran forward and across attack all night.

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All go at the WACA.
 

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Game #149 – Round 5, 1997 vs Adelaide at Princes Park (26/4/1997)

Kicked 1.1 from 14k, 4hb in 50-point loss to the Crows.

Grant played mainly in defence as the Bulldogs' newfound momentum hit a speed bump in the form of a shellacking from Adelaide.

You can witness a brilliant tackle from Granty below:

 
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Game #148 – Round 4, 1997 vs Melbourne at MCG (18/4/1997)

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[?] with 3k, 7hb in 2-point win over the Dees, collecting three Brownlow votes.

The Brownlow votes are somewhat odd in this game, as Turtle had started the game at full-back on David Neitz but had conceded three goals by the time he was moved to attack.

This game is quite often shown on Fox Footy, and features a game-saving mark from Craig Ellis deep in the last quarter.

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Fossie 32

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Game #148 – Round 4, 1997 vs Melbourne at MCG (18/4/1997)

BOG
[?] with 3k, 7hb in 2-point win over the Dees, collecting three Brownlow votes.

The Brownlow votes are somewhat odd in this game, as Turtle had started the game at full-back on David Neitz but had conceded three goals by the time he was moved to attack.

This game is quite often shown on Fox Footy, and features a game-saving mark from Craig Ellis deep in the last quarter.

View attachment 784877
'Excellent decision under difficult circumstances'
 

worbod

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Game #150 – Round 6, 1997 vs West Coast Eagles at the WACA (2/5/1997)

BOG
, kicking 1.1 from 17k, 6hb in barnstorming 14-point win over the Eagles, collecting three Brownlow votes.

The Bulldogs stamped their bona fides under Friday night lights, leading at every change and holding off a late Weagles surge, with a towering Chris Grant mark and goal sealing the win and capping off a fine 150th game from the Turtle. Grant earned his coach's applause for the manner in which he ran forward and across attack all night.
I remember watching this game on telly. We had won our first game in Perth only two years earlier, so being in a winning position at the WACA was a rare experience back then. West Coast were coming back at us during the last quarter after we led by 36 points at three quarter time. I can remember the ball being kicked into our goal square late in that final term, and Bruce McAvaney's simple yet dramatic commentary: "Grant! Launches himself!"
Grant pulled down the mark and kicked the goal which ensured we would not lose.
 

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Game #147 – Round 3, 1997 vs Richmond at MCG (12/4/1997)

9k, 6hb in 19-point win over the Tigers.

Although Granty conceded 6 goals to Matthew Richardson, he was far from outpointed and stuck manfully to his task.

Personally, I dozed the afternoon away hungover from the previous night's debutante ball, and woke to to pleasing news that the Dogs had beaten the much-fancied Tiges.

The Doggies' new recruits all played well, including Matthew Dent who kicked his first goal for the club (thanks sackofballs ):

 

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Game #146 – Round 2, 1997 vs Sydney at Princes Park (5/4/1997)

BOG
, with 11k, 6hb in 7-point win over the Swans and collecting 3 Brownlow votes.

Granty was key to Dogs' win as their anchor at CHB. Turtle first beat Jason Mooney and tamed the talented Michael O'Loughlan while launching attacks. O'Loughlan had been too artful and elusive for Rohan Smith early, but Grant gave O'Loughlin a lesson in application over the course of the match, and how to lift a notch when it counts. In the final few minutes, Grant's coolness won the game for the Dogs as he took a saving mark in the goal square and launched himself in the path of Paul Kelly to deny the Swans skipper a mark.

Speaking of Kelly, this is the game where Tony Liberatore announced himself to the AFL world as an elite tagger, forcing Sydney's captain to seek refuge from Libba's close attention a number of times. Kelly went on to make unsubstantiated allegations against Libba over "questionable" tactics, refused to shake Libba's hand and called him a wog after Swans won later in the year by 15 goals, then dogged it for no impact (after having a quiet word with the umpire before the first bounce) when the Dogs creamed the Swannettes in the Qualifying Final. It's a funny old game!

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Butter wouldn't melt.
 
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Game #145 – Round 1, 1997 vs Fremantle at Princes Park (29/3/1997)

Kicked 1.1 from 8k, 7hb in 4-point loss to the Dockers.

Although well held by Shane Parker, the Bulldog champion remained active by running to provide a contest and clearing a path for running teammates.

This was an underwhelming start to a great year by the Bulldogs. My records indicate that Simon Minton-Connell, having played his first match for the Dogs, slumped at the end of the game in such a manner as to knock himself out, although I have no way of verifying.

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Danny Hargraves takes flight over Turtle and Jeff White.
 

manutd/dogs

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Game #146 – Round 2, 1997 vs Sydney at Princes Park (5/4/1997)

BOG
, with 11k, 6hb in 7-point win over the Swans and collecting 3 Brownlow votes.

Granty was key to Dogs' win as their anchor at CHB. Turtle first beat Jason Mooney and tamed the talented Michael O'Loughlan while launching attacks. O'Loughlan had been too artful and elusive for Rohan Smith early, but Grant gave O'Loughlin a lesson in application over the course of the match, and how to lift a notch when it counts. In the final few minutes, Grant's coolness won the game for the Dogs as he took a saving mark in the goal square and launched himself in the path of Paul Kelly to deny the Swans skipper a mark.

Speaking of Kelly, this is the game where Tony Liberatore announced himself to the AFL world as an elite tagger, forcing Sydney's captain to seek refuge from Libba's close attention a number of times. Kelly went on to make unsubstantiated allegations against Libba over "questionable" tactics, refused to shake Libba's hand and called him a wog after Swans won later in the year by 15 goals, then dogged it for no impact (after having a quiet word with the umpire before the first bounce) when the Dogs creamed the Swannettes in the Qualifying Final. It's a funny old game!

View attachment 794340
Butter wouldn't melt.
Man this was such a hard, at times spiteful, and grindingly tough game. Real tough, desperate footy. I was a 15 year old kid as into the game as I'd ever be, and knew we simply had to win after that heartbreaking loss to the dockers the week before. Libba more than did his part by absolutely table-clothing Kelly that day, who was such a brilliantly damaging player. Granty was indeed superb, but then he usually was. Cheers for the trip down memory lane :)
 

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Game #145 – Round 1, 1997 vs Fremantle at Princes Park (29/3/1997)

Kicked 1.1 from 8k, 7hb in 4-point loss to the Dockers.

Although well held by Shane Parker, the Bulldog champion remained active by running to provide a contest and clearing a path for running teammates.

This was an underwhelming start to a great year by the Bulldogs. My records indicate that Simon Minton-Connell, having played his first match for the Dogs, slumped at the end of the game in such a manner as to knock himself out, although I have no way of verifying.

View attachment 795941
Danny Hargraves takes flight over Turtle and Jeff White.
Jeff White can go in the team of Do Not Like players
 

worbod

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Game #224 - Round 12, 2000 vs Melbourne at Docklands (28/5/2000)

Kicked 3.2 from 9k, 1hb in 25-point win over eventual grand finallists.

Grant played well, kicking straight and marking strongly, but a combination of Anthony Ingerson's pressure and limited opportunities meant the star was unable to break open the match. Grant kicked one in the first, third and fourth quarters but was generally well held by Ingerson.
I remember listening to this game on 3AW. With just 30 seconds remaining before half time, Brad Green kicks a goal for Melbourne to put them ahead by 35 points. It was none other than Tony Leonard who claimed, “It’s all over red rover.” I realise Tony was trying to be impartial but we came back hard and won comfortably enough by 25 points.
 

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