Greatest Dynasty of the 21st century - Lions vs Cats vs Hawks vs Tigers

Which dynasty is the greatest?


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Pessimistic

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Absolutely I do rate B2b

I just don't rate the Hawks and Lions 3-peats as great as Geelongs 3 flags for all the reasons I've spent 40 pages discussing

Its all context dependent and every situation is different.

Were 90s Adelaide any greater than 90s North or West Coast?

Imagine Sydney went b2b in 06 then beat Hawthorn in 2014. Would the 05-06 team be any greater than the 12-14 team?
‘well the hawks 83-89 and 91 was greater, but they never managed b2b2b, but these are real scenarios not what ifs. The comparison you were looking for is right there
 
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Roby

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Because Hawthorn won 4 in an 8 year stretch. Geelong’s best 8 year stretch only netted 3 flags. So 4 > 3

If we want to talk fractions, we can also say...
During Geelong's best 8 year period vs Hawthorn's best 8 year period:

Geelong won 10% more games.
Hawthorn won 33% more premierships.

If we stretch out to nine years then...

Geelong won 6% more games
Hawthorn won 33% more premierships
 

Fadge

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If we want to talk fractions, we can also say...
During Geelong's best 8 year period vs Hawthorn's best 8 year period:

Geelong won 10% more games.
Hawthorn won 33% more premierships.

If we stretch out to nine years then...

Geelong won 6% more games
Hawthorn won 33% more premierships
What about 124 years?
 

PhatBoy

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I really enjoy your posts, PJays - but you're not going to be surprised that I respectfully disagree on a few of your points.

1. Firstly, your claim about the lack of competitors for Hawthorn during its premiership era. I agree there weren't teams quite as strong as St Kilda in 09 and Collingwood in 2010-2011 - no arguments there. But I think you're underestimating the teams that were in the mix, perhaps because they weren't, for the most part, Victorian?

We've already agreed to disagree on the merits of Freo - you've pointed to their lack of potency, which is true, but I think sometimes in assessing the value of players/teams we focus too much on weaknesses - i.e what's not there - as distinct from what is. And Freo had some strengths that would have made them a threat in any era - pressure that was every bit as good as Collingwood's in 10-11, great defensive organisation, quality key defenders and small forwards, and one of the most physically imposing midfields the game has ever seen: a dominant, 6'11 ruckman in Sandilands, a starting midfield that was all over 190cm - Mundy, Fyfe and Barlow - and the best, most annoying tagger in the game in Crowley. They were bloody tough to beat, aside from when Lyon would pull his annual trick of resting half his team in the final round. I rate Hawthorn's prelim victory over them at Subiaco in 2015 as one of our best wins, as Freo threw everything into a game they knew would define their legacy. Plus the crowd was absolutely feral.

But Sydney was our main rival, and I feel they're an underappreciated team due to probably falling one flag short of what they should have achieved - a win in 2016, for instance, would have made a big difference to their legacy. That Sydney side had the distinction of making the second week of the finals or better eight seasons in a row, from 2010 to 2017. That's a level of consistency that none of the other successful teams in this century have come close to matching - Geelong's best has been five years in a row, Hawthorn six, Brisbane six, Collingwood six, Essendon six (starting from 99) Richmond four (and counting), Port four, St Kilda three, WCE three. And I think it's fair to say Sydney were a serious contender for five seasons - 2012 to 2016 - although they struggled in the finals, largely due to injuries, in 2013 and 2015.

The Swans were a slightly better version of Freo, imo - great pressure and organisation (of course Longmire, like Lyon, came from the Roos coaching school), but with more individual brilliance in the front half. They tackled Hawthorn to death in the 2012 grand final - their pressure dipped for about a 20-minute period either side of three-quarter time when we slammed on 7 goals, but aside from that they had us under the thumb, despite us having a lot more inside 50s and contested ball. We got revenge of sorts in 2013 when we beat them 3 times, including in the qualifying final. And then came Buddy.

You've made a few references to how well Geelong coped with Ablett's departure, PJays, but he joined a new franchise that posed no immediate threat to Geelong's premiership ambitions. Buddy, arguably the best player in the league at the time, left the reigning premier to join another top four team - I can't think of a comparable situation in my time following footy. By all rights, we shouldn't have been able to go back-to-back in 2014, with Buddy playing for our main premiership rival and with all of the long-term injuries we suffered. But we held it together and got our players back in time, with Rioli the final piece of the puzzle for the grand final. And the game was over by about the 10-minute mark of the second quarter.

But I'll challenge anyone who doesn't regard the Swans of 2012-16 as being a good team. They were skilful, tough and very well coached, and stayed near the top for longer than Geelong's main rivals (Saints and Pies), even if their best wasn't quite as good.

2. Secondly, your comments on Richmond and Geelong's records against Hawthorn. Richmond did match up well against Hawthorn, although I'd put a slight asterix against the thrashing they gave us in 2012, as it was before we'd fully got into our groove that season. That loss was sort of akin to Geelong's loss to North at KP in R5 2007, in that it caused some internal soul-searching and set us off on a terrific run of form over the next couple of years. We won 40 of our next 45 - not quite as good as the 42 from 44 the Cats won leading into the 08 grand final, but pretty close.

Richmond's wins in 2013 and 15 involved a tactical blueprint that, ironically, is completely different to how they play now. They used a slow, possession game that was designed to keep the ball out of the hands of our elite kickers - and not give Lake, Gibson etc a chance to intercept mark - and it worked. It would have been interesting if we had played them in the finals, although I think we had another gear to go to if needed. And anyway, it's not unusual for top teams to have one or two lesser teams who give them problems. Carlton under Ratten matched up well against the Cats in 2009-11, for instance, winning two and losing two (with the Cats win in 2011 being thanks to Hampson? missing from directly in front in the dying seconds). Carlton certainly weren't in the same class as Geelong, but they worried their midfield and defence with their leg speed. I've always thought a 2011 prelim between Geelong and Carlton would have been far more entertaining than the Cats-Eagles one we got.

Re. Geelong and the Kennett Curse, I divide those 11 consecutive Geelong wins into two parts. Part 1 was 2009-11, when Geelong was clearly a better team and Hawthorn (especially in 2009-10) raised their level to make the games as close as they were. Part 2 was 2012-13, when Hawthorn was a better team relative to the rest of the competition - but continued losing thrillers to Geelong. The two things, imo, that led to Geelong winning those games were a) Scott used to do a really good job of stopping Hawthorn kicking through the corridor, instead forcing them wide and long, and b) with Hawkins and Podsiadly, they were uniquely well placed to expose our one weakness at the time, which was the lack of a quality key defender. Lake solved that second issue and was probably the main reason we broke the curse - in the six games he played against Geelong while at Hawthorn, we won five. He was injured for the Easter Monday games in 13 and 14, which Geelong both won.

Hawthorn actually had a 5-3 record against the Cats in our threepeat years, which admittedly is more of a reflection on how Geelong dropped off in late 2014 and 2015. The two sides who we had a losing record against were Richmond (2-1) and Port (3-2) - Port beat us twice in 2015, even though they missed the finals.

3. Thirdly, at no point have I discounted Geelong's greatness. I have repeatedly said they were a wonderful side, and I rate their 2011 team just after Essendon 2000 as the best premiership team this century. But this thread is all about comparing four great dynasties, and I happen to rate Brisbane and Hawthorn's a little bit higher - not because they were better teams, but because I feel they achieved more.

See this I can cop because it’s considered, analytical, deep, and explores the topic from a different angle. Much better analysis than your fellow Hawk fan even if I disagree a little with the conclusion drawn
 

PhatBoy

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Give it up Cats fans. 4 is a bigger number than 3.

You won 3/5. Hawks won 4/8. The only reason you’re not remembered as the greatest team of all time is because the Cats, when they were at the absolute peak of their powers, sh*t the bed against a weaker version of the dynasty Hawks.

And yes, the Hawks going 19-3 in 2013 and then 17-5 in 2014 despite being crueled by injuries are dominant seasons and just as impressive as what Geelong did.
The original poster who asked the question wasn’t considering 08 in the equation, and again for the 50th time, if all these sides played one another, the outcome wouldn’t be determined because hawthorn won a flag in 2008.

Rafael Nadal didn’t spend years losing to Roger Federer even though for almost all of it Federer had won more grand slams
 

BuddyHawk

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I’ve barely commented on Richmond in this thread, because I’ve spent most of my time explaining why I consider Geelong easily the greatest of the 4.

Richmond will best be discussed in 5 years, once they’ve stopped winning flags.

2 points on Richmond that seem apparent:


1. They've been the most consistent finals team of the 4 dynasties.

My knock on Richmond has been the quality of their opponents. However you can only beat whoever's in front of you and they've done a mighty fine job of that.

Their finals record 2017-20 is 10-2 with 8 wins by over 5 goals.

Each dynasty played 6 or 7 sudden death finals across their 3 flag seasons. Richmond, Hawthorn and Brisbane played 3 GFs, 3 prelims and 1 semi final each. Geelong only played 6, because they never lost a qualifying final and had to play a semi final.

Brisbane had 2 close calls- a GF and a prelim. Geelong likewise. Hawthorn had 2 tight prelims.

Richmond only had 1 close call- 2020 prelim vs Port.

Yes they were losing in the 2019 prelim, but the result wasn't in doubt in the last few minutes. Unlike all these other games.

So only once have they survived by a whisker. Each other dynasty came perilously close to losing on 2 occasions.


2. I think their 2020 flag is their greatest achievement.

Yes, 17 games and short quarters.

But Richmond had unique challenges- with the top 2 teams staying home all year, Richmond was travelling.

Anyone who has kids or partners will appreciate that those players faced a tough decision. Either A. Don’t see your kids for months (or in some cases, wives and girlfriends) or B. Uproot your family from their entire existence.

When Australia goes to England and wins The Ashes, part of the reason it’s special is because they’re travelling for months. Richmond’s 2020 flag was a little like winning the Ashes, compared to their previous flags won at home.

A super effort by Richmond. And a super effort by Geelong to get within a quarter too. Both won away prelims after being in hubs for 3 months.
The Tigers have definitely mastered the art of peaking at the right time (2018 aside - which, ironically, was their best home and away season). Their H&A record from 2017-20 is a long way behind the Geelong dynasty (nor as good as Hawthorn's in their era), but their performances in finals have been comparable.

In that respect they have more in common with the Brisbane dynasty than the other two, doing enough in the H&A season to give themselves a chance at winning a flag - without dominating the competition (again, 2018 aside) - before exploding in the finals.

I find it hard to see them not making it 4 in 5 next year, too, as no side seems to have an answer when they raise their intensity to the level they showed in the second half of this year's grand final. It's not a precision game, but it's incredibly effective, and they have the elite talent to score quickly when they need to.

That being said, the end can come quickly for even the best teams - the average age of this year's GF side was a touch over 27 years, which is only slightly younger than the Cats in 2011 and Hawks in 2015. Time will tell.
 

Roby

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The original poster who asked the question wasn’t considering 08 in the equation, and again for the 50th time, if all these sides played one another, the outcome wouldn’t be determined because hawthorn won a flag in 2008.

Rafael Nadal didn’t spend years losing to Roger Federer even though for almost all of it Federer had won more grand slams
Your Nadal-Federer anology doesn't make sense.

Secondly, nobody has claimed what you said in your first paragraph. Your either misunderstanding, misrepresenting or have no idea what you are talking about.
 

PhatBoy

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Your Nadal-Federer anology doesn't make sense.

Secondly, nobody has claimed what you said in your first paragraph. Your either misunderstanding, misrepresenting or have no idea what you are talking about.

Yes it does make sense. Just because you don’t get it doesn’t mean other people don’t.

There is an ongoing discussion about which team is the best. Part of that is also about which team ACHIEVED the best but also which team was actually the best football side.

The notion that in a fantasy world, they all play off, and somehow Geelong can’t beat Hawthorn because they won 1 less premiership is literally akin to putting 20 slam Roger Federer into a fantasy competition against pre-20 slam Rafael Nadal, and saying ‘well Federer has more slams so he would win.’

That’s what, 504738 times I’ve explained this in increasingly simple terms that you’re still unable to grasp?

We will hit a million before it sinks in I’m guessing.
 

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RichLeMonde

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How about 16/124?

Winning 16 flags is better than winning 4.

Beat that!

Essendon and Carlton win this thread.
To be fair, even though the OP in an early post referred to Hawks/Tiges/Lions/Cats winning 3 flags each for the purposes of this discussion, a reasonable argument can be made that the 08 Hawks form part of the same dynasty as the 13-15 Hawks, though are not the same team, whereas no one could reasonably consider flags won decades apart part of the same dynasty. Does come down to the semantics of how we choose to define 'dynasty', which is always going to be a bit arbitrary, since the literal definition of the word is only loosely analagous to what successful sports teams/organisations do.
 

PhatBoy

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Stopped reading... elaborate Nadal-Federer or don't make sense, your choice.
With respect, you not getting it is probably the best possible endorsement I can get, as it means anyone who understands logic, linear arguments, analogous conclusions and the difference between comparison and metaphor probably will get it.

So thank you.
 

Pessimistic

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With respect, you not getting it is probably the best possible endorsement I can get, as it means anyone who understands logic, linear arguments, analogous conclusions and the difference between comparison and metaphor probably will get it.

So thank you.
‘well according to the poll, 58 people at least ‘get it’
 

PJays

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To be fair, even though the OP in an early post referred to Hawks/Tiges/Lions/Cats winning 3 flags each for the purposes of this discussion, a reasonable argument can be made that the 08 Hawks form part of the same dynasty as the 13-15 Hawks, though are not the same team, whereas no one could reasonably consider flags won decades apart part of the same dynasty. Does come down to the semantics of how we choose to define 'dynasty', which is always going to be a bit arbitrary, since the literal definition of the word is only loosely analagous to what successful sports teams/organisations do.
Yeah, fair point

The whole concept of dynasty is difficult to apply in the AFL environment, with all the equalisation measures. All the successful power clubs have had long stints lacking success, cos that's just how the AFL works

Look at all the AFL's traditional power clubs and recent successful ones.

- Hawthorn missed finals 5 years straight 2002-2006. Even in their subsequent successful era, over a 2 year period they were 21 wins, 1 draw and 23 losses (2009 and 2010). Haven't won a final since 2015.

Over the last 29 years since 1992, there's only been 9 seasons where Hawthorn actually won a finals game.

Yes, they won the flag in 4 of those years, but my point is they haven't been a consistently successful club over the past 3 decades at all.

They've basically had a successful 10 year period- split into 2 parts, the 07-08 young Hawks and the 2011-16 mature team after adding a bunch of players. On either side of that successful decade was years of mediocrity (and still going).

- Geelong missed finals 5 out of 6 years 1998 to 2003.

From 1996 to 2003 went 8 straight years without winning a single finals game.

Apart from one brief era 2007 to 2011, haven't won a flag since 1963.

- Sydneymissed finals 8 years straight 1988 to 1995.

Until 2003 Sydney/South Melbourne only won 3 finals games since 1945. 2 wins in 96 and 1 in 98. So from 1946 to 1995, 50 straight years without winning a finals game.


- Collingwood missed finals 7 years in a row 1995 to 2001. 4 straight years 2014 to 2017. 5 straight years without winning a final 2013 to 2017. In between in 2004 and 2005 they were 13 wins, 31 losses.

- Richmond made finals twice in 30 years from 1983 to 2012.

- Carlton had 2 periods without a finals appearance for 7 years straight 2002-2008 and 2014-2020. Have won 2 finals games since 2001.

Essendon similar to Carlton with lack of success since 2001.

Etc etc

In my view, the most impressive club over the long term is West Coast. They consistently put themselves in premiership contention, and have never dropped down for long in their entire history.

In their 34 year history they've made finals 25 times.

Their longest period of successively missing finals was 3 years straight from 2008 to 2010. That was bookended by 6 straight finals campaigns 2002 to 2007, and afterwards a prelim final in 2011 and a semi final in 2012.

When they entered the AFL, the power clubs were adding to their trophy cabinets while paying players with brown paper bags.

(Hawthorn, Essendon, Collingwood and Carlton all won flags in the 80's and 90's while cheating the salary cap. North Melbourne in 96 also).

West Coast stepped into the comp and have consistently put themselves in premiership contention over their 34 years.

They've had 3 eras with different coaches and teams that all resulted in a flag, multiple grand finals and consistent finals appearances- the Malthouse era of the 90s, the Worsfold era in the 00's and the Simpson era.

In my view they are the closest thing to a truly long term dynasty club, in the context of the AFL environment.

If we're going to use a definition that includes successive generations and consistent success over a long period, they'd be my number one.
 
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TJASTA

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They win :)
 

RichLeMonde

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Yeah, fair point

The whole concept of dynasty is difficult to apply in the AFL environment, with all the equalisation measures. All the successful power clubs have had long stints lacking success, cos that's just how the AFL works

Look at all the AFL's traditional power clubs and recent successful ones.

- Hawthorn missed finals 5 years straight 2002-2006. Even in their subsequent successful era, over a 2 year period they were 21 wins, 1 draw and 23 losses (2009 and 2010). Haven't won a final since 2015.

Over the last 29 years since 1992, there's only been 9 seasons where Hawthorn actually won a finals game.

Yes, they won the flag in 4 of those years, but my point is they haven't been a consistently successful club over the past 3 decades at all.

They've basically had a successful 10 year period- split into 2 parts, the 07-08 young Hawks and the 2011-16 mature team after adding a bunch of players. On either side of that successful decade was years of mediocrity (and still going).

- Geelong missed finals 5 out of 6 years 1998 to 2003.

From 1996 to 2003 went 8 straight years without winning a single finals game.

Apart from one brief era 2007 to 2011, haven't won a flag since 1963.

- Sydneymissed finals 8 years straight 1988 to 1995.

Until 2003 Sydney/South Melbourne only won 3 finals games since 1945. 2 wins in 96 and 1 in 98. So from 1946 to 1995, 50 straight years without winning a finals game.


- Collingwood missed finals 7 years in a row 1995 to 2001. 4 straight years 2014 to 2017. 5 straight years without winning a final 2013 to 2017. In between in 2004 and 2005 they were 13 wins, 31 losses.

- Richmond made finals twice in 30 years from 1983 to 2012.

- Carlton had 2 periods without a finals appearance for 7 years straight 2002-2008 and 2014-2020. Have won 2 finals games since 2001.

Essendon similar to Carlton with lack of success since 2001.

Etc etc

In my view, the most impressive club over the long term is West Coast. They consistently put themselves in premiership contention, and have never dropped down for long in their entire history.

In their 34 year history they've made finals 25 times.

Their longest period of successively missing finals was 3 years straight from 2008 to 2010. That was bookended by 6 straight finals campaigns 2002 to 2007, and afterwards a prelim final in 2011 and a semi final in 2012.

When they entered the AFL, the power clubs were adding to their trophy cabinets while paying players with brown paper bags.

(Hawthorn, Essendon, Collingwood and Carlton all won flags in the 80's and 90's while cheating the salary cap. North Melbourne in 96 also).

West Coast stepped into the comp and have consistently put themselves in premiership contention over their 34 years.

They've had 3 eras with different coaches and teams that all resulted in a flag, multiple grand finals and consistent finals appearances- the Malthouse era of the 90s, the Worsfold era in the 00's and the Simpson era.

In my view they are the closest thing to a truly long term dynasty club, in the context of the AFL environment.

If we're going to use a definition that includes successive generations and consistent success over a long period, they'd be my number one.
Yeah, I'm not pretending it's any technically correct definition, but in my mind 'dynasty' connotes to success at the highest level (premierships) with continuity between generations.

I agree WC have been the best performed club in the 21st century, but I think the > 10 year periods separaring their 3 flag eras is not quite 'dynastic', at least according to how I think of a dynasty. Hawthorn winning flags 8 years apart (and 6 and 7 years apart) fits the bill, to my definition, for a mini dynasty, since, like a literal dynasty, there was a good combination of continuity and generational change. Geelong winning 5 years apart is also on the way, given that they had a bit of player turnover in that time.

I actually think that type of success is harder, and rarer, than building an awesome team that remains in serious contention for a relatively short window. Geelong's continuity of being a contender from the mid 2000s up to today is remarkable, and very much fits part of the bill of dynasty, except that it doesn't include the ultimate success in this decade, and so, to my mind, can't quite be given that title.
 

PJays

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Yeah, I'm not pretending it's any technically correct definition, but in my mind 'dynasty' connotes to success at the highest level (premierships) with continuity between generations.

I agree WC have been the best performed club in the 21st century, but I think the > 10 year periods separaring their 3 flag eras is not quite 'dynastic', at least according to how I think of a dynasty. Hawthorn winning flags 8 years apart (and 6 and 7 years apart) fits the bill, to my definition, for a mini dynasty, since, like a literal dynasty, there was a good combination of continuity and generational change. Geelong winning 5 years apart is also on the way, given that they had a bit of player turnover in that time.

I actually think that type of success is harder, and rarer, than building an awesome team that remains in serious contention for a relatively short window. Geelong's continuity of being a contender from the mid 2000s up to today is remarkable, and very much fits part of the bill of dynasty, except that it doesn't include the ultimate success in this decade, and so, to my mind, can't quite be given that title.
A good question is: When does a dynasty stop? What's the marker?

Cos Haw was 21 win, 1 draw 23 losses in 09 and 10

So the dynasty started with a premiership, then they were mediocre for 2 years, then they became good again, and a few years later they won a 3peat.

That's an odd kind of "dynasty", isn't it?

I'm not that fussed. Good discussions can be had, as long as we all define our own terms and then remain consistent

I can totally understand why you think Hawthorn 08-15 was a great "dynasty"

I do think it makes no sense to say "Hawthorn 08-15 was a great team" or a great "group", because there's 22 players selected and typically 25 or 26 in the broader selection mix. So 6 players doesn't make a "team" or a "group". But yeah, I totally get it can reasonably be called a dynasty
 

Pessimistic

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It's a good hypothetical you pose, with the Hawks winning '11 but falling short in '14. So it would have meant that:

- 2011 - won the 2011 flag unexpectedly, similarly to 2008
- 2012 - lost a close GF against the Swans
- 2013 - won a tight-ish GF against Freo
- 2014 - lost a close prelim against Port
- 2015 - won the GF easily against WCE

My thoughts are that while the 2011 premiership would have assumed legendary status for Hawks' fan - knocking off two powerhouse teams in Collingwood and Geelong in the finals - the sequence isn't quite as impressive as what actually occurred. It would have meant that our two attempts at back-to-back (leaving aside 2016) would have ended us with us losing two knock-out finals we were favoured to win - against the Swans as minor premier, and against a Port side we finished 3 games ahead of in the h&a season. As a fan and a footy observer, I feel that would have left me feeling we'd under-achieved a touch, even if the net result - 3 flags - was the same.

As it transpired, the loss to the Swans in '12 - painful as it was at the time - helped the side build huge amounts of resolve, when there was a feeling across 11-12 that they lacked a bit of composure and resilience in close games (eg pretty much every time we played Geelong, the '11 prelim against the Pies and of course the '12 GF). That resolve definitely helped us in the nail-biting 2013 and 14 prelims.

This probably all sounds like I'm splitting hairs, tbh - but when we're comparing great teams across different eras it's kind of hard not to.
From 2008 to 2015 there is clear progression each year a bit better, the 2021 to 2029 is just beginning
 

Pessimistic

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Yeah, fair point

The whole concept of dynasty is difficult to apply in the AFL environment, with all the equalisation measures. All the successful power clubs have had long stints lacking success, cos that's just how the AFL works

Look at all the AFL's traditional power clubs and recent successful ones.

- Hawthorn missed finals 5 years straight 2002-2006. Even in their subsequent successful era, over a 2 year period they were 21 wins, 1 draw and 23 losses (2009 and 2010). Haven't won a final since 2015.

Over the last 29 years since 1992, there's only been 9 seasons where Hawthorn actually won a finals game.

Yes, they won the flag in 4 of those years, but my point is they haven't been a consistently successful club over the past 3 decades at all.

They've basically had a successful 10 year period- split into 2 parts, the 07-08 young Hawks and the 2011-16 mature team after adding a bunch of players. On either side of that successful decade was years of mediocrity (and still going).

- Geelong missed finals 5 out of 6 years 1998 to 2003.

From 1996 to 2003 went 8 straight years without winning a single finals game.

Apart from one brief era 2007 to 2011, haven't won a flag since 1963.

- Sydneymissed finals 8 years straight 1988 to 1995.

Until 2003 Sydney/South Melbourne only won 3 finals games since 1945. 2 wins in 96 and 1 in 98. So from 1946 to 1995, 50 straight years without winning a finals game.


- Collingwood missed finals 7 years in a row 1995 to 2001. 4 straight years 2014 to 2017. 5 straight years without winning a final 2013 to 2017. In between in 2004 and 2005 they were 13 wins, 31 losses.

- Richmond made finals twice in 30 years from 1983 to 2012.

- Carlton had 2 periods without a finals appearance for 7 years straight 2002-2008 and 2014-2020. Have won 2 finals games since 2001.

Essendon similar to Carlton with lack of success since 2001.

Etc etc

In my view, the most impressive club over the long term is West Coast. They consistently put themselves in premiership contention, and have never dropped down for long in their entire history.

In their 34 year history they've made finals 25 times.

Their longest period of successively missing finals was 3 years straight from 2008 to 2010. That was bookended by 6 straight finals campaigns 2002 to 2007, and afterwards a prelim final in 2011 and a semi final in 2012.

When they entered the AFL, the power clubs were adding to their trophy cabinets while paying players with brown paper bags.

(Hawthorn, Essendon, Collingwood and Carlton all won flags in the 80's and 90's while cheating the salary cap. North Melbourne in 96 also).

West Coast stepped into the comp and have consistently put themselves in premiership contention over their 34 years.

They've had 3 eras with different coaches and teams that all resulted in a flag, multiple grand finals and consistent finals appearances- the Malthouse era of the 90s, the Worsfold era in the 00's and the Simpson era.

In my view they are the closest thing to a truly long term dynasty club, in the context of the AFL environment.

If we're going to use a definition that includes successive generations and consistent success over a long period, they'd be my number one.
Id say Hawthorns years in the wilderness 1992 (where you start from) to 2008 were 'bookended' by quite successful years too, 9 flags successful

so in the 4 decades mentioned, Hawthorns worst finals losses:
2018 lost to Richmond MCG QF
2108 lost to Melbourne MCG SF
2015 lost by 32 to WCE QF Subiaco
2010 lost by 32 to Fremantle EF Subiaco
2007 lost by 33 to Kangaroos SF MCG
1985 lost by -40 and -78 Essendon, MCG QF and GF

7 bad losses out of 21 finals losses (and 35 wins)
 

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