Should Norm Smith Medals be retrospectively awarded for pre-'79 GF BOGs ?

Should Norm Smith Medals be retrospectively awarded?

  • Yes, it's only fair

    Votes: 18 40.0%
  • No. Let the past die.

    Votes: 27 60.0%

  • Total voters
    45

Dazzler10

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 30, 2015
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Prior to 1979, my understanding is that someone was named Best On Ground in VFL Grand Finals, but received no formal award. Robert Dipierdomenico was the last player named BOG prior to the striking of the Norm Smith Medal in 1979.

My question is, should the AFL go back through the record books and retrospectively award Smith Medals to the players named BOG in every GF where someone was named as such?

Arguments for:
- It's only fair that these players receive due recognition as recipients of one of the game's highest (if not THE highest) individual honours.
- There are two precedents - Brownlows were awarded retrospectively when the countback system was abandoned if there was a tie; and also in 2001 when the Jock McHale Medal came in, it was retrospectively awarded to premiership coaches going back to 1950.

Arguments against:
- The system for awarding BOG back in the day may not have been as rigorous as now (any footy historians help with this one?)
- What difference does it make, BOG in a pre-79 GF is just as good as a Smith Medal.

Personally, I think it would be a nice touch to do it. Thoughts?

Off topic, but when googling, I came across the fact that Chapman and Gram actually tied for the Smith Medal in 2009. I did not know that -

There is no chance of a tie for the medal; if two players are tied for votes, the following countbacks will apply in order:

  • the player with the higher number of three-votes;
  • the player with the higher number of two-votes;
  • the player deemed best by the panel chair.
Paul Chapman is the only player to win on a countback, after he and Jason Gram tied with nine votes apiece in 2009.
 

wagstaff

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 28, 2001
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The AFL Record had an issue many years ago where a group of experts watched the pre-79 GF that were fully televised (prob back to 1965) and did the equivalent of Norm Smith voting for them.

Think it's a good idea that could be implemented. Sure, watching on TV isn't the same as being at the ground but I still think it's justifiable to do.
 

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Demonic Ascent

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 21, 2006
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Is that why the medal is named in his honour? If so it needs to be renamed the Gary Ablett medal
No, that's not why it's named in his honour.

Smith and McHale the two most successful coaches of all time. Smith medal goes to best player McHale medal goes to winning coach.

Smith played in 4 premieriships and coached 6 premierships for the Demons. He also died a few years before the introduction of the Norm Smith medal so I guess it was a kind of honorary thing as well. Those of a certain vintage might be able to provide more insight if they were VFL supporters in the 70s
 

emuboy

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Dec 17, 2006
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Could they also award retrospective Leon Davis Medals from prior to 2002?

Mark Bairstow (Geelong 1994), Gary Ablett Snr (Geelong 1995), Jamie Shanahan (St. Kilda 1997) and James Hird (Essendon 2001) all come to mind as winners for those years. For other years there are players who got 0-0-0 like Geoff Miles for Geelong in 1992 and Ben Beams for Melbourne in 2000, but I'm not sure how much playing time they had or if they might have been injured. Likewise Kangaroo Cameron Mooney had a zero possession game in North Melbourne's 1999 Grand Final win over Carlton and might be a rare player to win a Leon Davis Medal in a winning team, but again I don't recall how much time he had on the field, nor indeed much of this Grand Final after more than 20 years.
 

Dazzler10

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 30, 2015
5,170
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The AFL Record had an issue many years ago where a group of experts watched the pre-79 GF that were fully televised (prob back to 1965) and did the equivalent of Norm Smith voting for them.

Think it's a good idea that could be implemented. Sure, watching on TV isn't the same as being at the ground but I still think it's justifiable to do.
But wasn't a player named BOG at the time? I'm sure I've read that Dipper was in 1978.
 

Rusty Brookes

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 9, 2001
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Preston
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So for games where we have footage (say the 1961 Grand Final where Brendan Edwards was a clear BOG), you could feasibly do it.

But how the hell would you do it for the games where there is no footage? The best you might have is newspaper reports and they will differ on who they named as BOG.
 

Rusty Brookes

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 9, 2001
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But wasn't a player named BOG at the time? I'm sure I've read that Dipper was in 1978.
Different papers had Matthews as BOG - others had Dipper. Dipper played out of his skin that day and it was the catalyst for him turning from a fringe player into a genuine top line talent but IMHO Matthews was the clear dominant player on the ground.
 

Dazzler10

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 30, 2015
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Different papers had Matthews as BOG - others had Dipper. Dipper played out of his skin that day and it was the catalyst for him turning from a fringe player into a genuine top line talent but IMHO Matthews was the clear dominant player on the ground.
Ah, ok. Now it makes sense why it's never been done. End thread
 

Demonic Ascent

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So for games where we have footage (say the 1961 Grand Final where Brendan Edwards was a clear BOG), you could feasibly do it.

But how the hell would you do it for the games where there is no footage? The best you might have is newspaper reports and they will differ on who they named as BOG.
Even the current voters differ as to who they name BOG - I guess you could collate multiple sources and take a consensus approach.
 

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footyfan78

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 27, 2014
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there are no other teams worthy
I doubt there was any standard voting system for best on ground in grand final before 1979.
Maybe if found copies of newspapers of those times with an Alf Brown, Lou Richards and others at the game if they gave a 3, 2, 1 we can find, you could replicate how they do it now. Harry Bietzel votes, Jack Dyer votes, Lou Richards votes and Alf Brown would be enough to work them out I guess. They would have all been at those grand finals I guess. Funny, you say Dipper 78. Was only second grand final year I watched live and I thought Peter Knights starred. I do not even remember Dipper before the 80's.

Interestingly the first year it was awarded a relative of the Norm Smith family won it. The woman that awarded the medal to Wayne Harmes I think was Norm Smith's wife and somehow Wayne Harmes auntie. I vaguely recall some weird circumstances like that for first time the medal was given out.
 

Rusty Brookes

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 9, 2001
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Preston
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Hawthorn
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I doubt there was any standard voting system for best on ground in grand final before 1979.
Maybe if found copies of newspapers of those times with an Alf Brown, Lou Richards and others at the game if they gave a 3, 2, 1 we can find, you could replicate how they do it now. Harry Bietzel votes, Jack Dyer votes, Lou Richards votes and Alf Brown would be enough to work them out I guess. They would have all been at those grand finals I guess. Funny, you say Dipper 78. Was only second grand final year I watched live and I thought Peter Knights starred. I do not even remember Dipper before the 80's.

Interestingly the first year it was awarded a relative of the Norm Smith family won it. The woman that awarded the medal to Wayne Harmes I think was Norm Smith's wife and somehow Wayne Harmes auntie. I vaguely recall some weird circumstances like that for first time the medal was given out.
Dipper's game was so remarkable because up to that point he'd been a borderline battler. He was given the task of manning up Arnold Briedis who had dominated the 1977 replay (kicked five goals) and held him to two goals as well as giving some great drive off the half back line. It was more of a case of "where the hell did that game come from" not realising that he'd turn into a bona fide superstar in the 1980s. Knights was knocked out but came back and took two huge marks which he converted for goals - a great cameo but I still reckon Matthews and his four goals was the difference.

I guess this shows that the Norm Smith itself doesn't necessarily mean the "best" player gets the gong. Often there's a number of players who had great games. I always thought Jim Buckley played a cracker in the 1979 GF but the tap back from Harmes and the romance of the family connection may have swayed the vote.
 

footyfan78

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 27, 2014
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there are no other teams worthy
Dipper's game was so remarkable because up to that point he'd been a borderline battler. He was given the task of manning up Arnold Briedis who had dominated the 1977 replay (kicked five goals) and held him to two goals as well as giving some great drive off the half back line. It was more of a case of "where the hell did that game come from" not realising that he'd turn into a bona fide superstar in the 1980s. Knights was knocked out but came back and took two huge marks which he converted for goals - a great cameo but I still reckon Matthews and his four goals was the difference.

I guess this shows that the Norm Smith itself doesn't necessarily mean the "best" player gets the gong. Often there's a number of players who had great games. I always thought Jim Buckley played a cracker in the 1979 GF but the tap back from Harmes and the romance of the family connection may have swayed the vote.
Indeed. I remember number 47 for us could well have been our best in 79 grand final. Peter Francis. I actually thought Harmesy played a better grand final in 1981. No Normy that day for him but both mark and goal of the day via World of Sport for that grand final. Bruce Doull got it in 1981.
 

Rusty Brookes

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 9, 2001
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Great thread. Instead of finishing up work for the week I'm looking up footy stats. A quick look at the three Hawthorn premierships for which I could get stats and matching it up to who was nominally BOG (going off the back of the DVDs).

1971 - Don Scott. 22 touches (2nd most for Hawthorn), 20 hit outs (most on the ground), important goal in the last quarter. No problems - Norm Smith worthy. Worth noting Matthews with 21 (third for Hawthorn) and a massive 55 metre torp for goal in the last which got the Hawks going.

1976 - Peter Knights. 20 touches (Leigh Matthews and Rawlings for Hawthorn the most with 21 with Matthews nailing a goal). No goals for Knights. Did take some great marks under real pressure. No real standout. John Hendrie is the interesting one. Dominated at CHF, took 11 marks. However kicked a wayward 2.8. Make it 4 goals 4 and he was best on ground.

1978 - Robert Dipierdomenico. 21 touches and a great stopping job on Arnold Breidis. Leigh Matthews with 28 touches and four goals. That's Norm Smith and then some.
 

Scotland

TheBrownDog
May 5, 2006
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When the Bog medal for the Derby was renamed the Rosso Allen medal last year they went back and awarded it to all the players from 1995-2000 bfore there was a medal given which i found weired.
I'm all for retrospective medals being awarded if an award changes name. Our club B&F was called the WC Club Champion Award until 2013 when it became the John Worsfold Medal after he was a dual premiership captain, premiership coach etc. For a new comp/club it makes sense to have generic awards to start with. But it's not like we came up with a B&F for the first time in 2013 and then awarded it for the previous 25 years. Seems unnecessary to present a Glen-All Medal for 1995-2000 when no BOG was awarded.
 

Belnakor

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 10, 2005
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I guess this shows that the Norm Smith itself doesn't necessarily mean the "best" player gets the gong. Often there's a number of players who had great games. I always thought Jim Buckley played a cracker in the 1979 GF but the tap back from Harmes and the romance of the family connection may have swayed the vote.
they can't even get it right 100% in the past 10 years, going back 50 years will be a total crap shoot.
 

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