Great question, another angle on the longevity argument I've made for Geelong.Thanks for that thoughtful post. I enjoyed reading it. You make a lot of considered points, especially about some of the tactical elements. It's true, as you note, that Brisbane and Hawthorn had a similarly extended period of success to Geelong. My point is that if we agree that that extended period is important to take into account, then we need to take into account the failures of Brisbane and Hawthorn in that extended period, just like we note Geelong's failures. If, as you say, Geelong's 'failure to win in 2008 and 2010... strengthens the case for Brisbane and Hawthorn', why doesn't Brisbane's failure to win in 2000 and 2004, and Hawthorn's in 2011 and 2012 similarly strengthen the case for Geelong?
If it counts against Geelong that they failed to back up in 08 and 10, why doesn't it count against Hawthorn that they took so long to become good enough to win a flag?
(From elimination final in 2010 to flag in 2013).
Geelong went from zero to hero in one season, allowing them to stay up long enough to still be winning flags in 2011. Hawthorn took longer, and dropped off faster. That doesn't make Hawthorn greater. Both situations provide unique challenges.
Your question is similar to the thought experiment I did quite a few pages ago now. If Hawthorn had won the tight 2011 prelim- and gone on to beat Geelong in 2011- and then lost the tight 2014 prelim instead, would Hawthorn's team be any less impressive?
If they won 2011 instead of 2014, arguably they'd be greater because they beat two teams who were 39-5, 163% (Coll and Gee) instead of 2 teams who were 31-13 and 136% (Port and Syd).
I don't understand why beating two lesser teams makes Hawthorn greater, simply because they won a flag the year before in 2013. That's what people who make the "3 peat is greater" argument are essentially saying.
1.[/] Essentially Hawthorn and Geelong both had opportunities to beat certain teams over a 5 year period as their playing group peaked. Both Hawthorn and Geelong emerged from their 5 year era with 3 flags each.
2. Geelong faced the unique challenge of winning one early then staying up, and successfully returned to the top against all odds. Hawthorn took longer to finally win one, but when they did they had to back up, and did, successfully winning 3 flags and matching Geelong before their era was done.
3.But surely the tie breaker questions are: Who did they beat? And how easily did they win?
Geelong played opponents that are universally recognised as collectively tougher. And they did it more easily.
Tie breaker to Geelong. Geelong wins.
edit: Oops, not sure what's going on with all the bold! Will try to fix later when I'm on a computer.