Discussion Wacky 1993 Season

footyfan78

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Not sure people realize how strange a season 1993 season was.

As a Carlton supporter I remember we had not been in finals for four seasons. We improved in 1992 but were not a finals team. But fast forward to Grand Final week of 1993 and all of a sudden we were in the Grand Final. I distinctly remember thinking gee, we are not really what I consider a grand final level team but here we were in the Grand Final. Essendon was the other team. I also did not think they were anything special but we were both in it and someone had to win the flag. It was when the league was 15 teams. Eagles, Brisbane and Crows were the expansion sides and we had a final six series. I recall it being the most even season I'd seen. Hence why maybe I did not consider my team or Essendon anything special but we were both playing off for the premiership.

Have a look at the ladder at end of round 22. As there were 15 teams there were byes involved and each club only played 20 games in home and away season. Check out the 10th team on ladder. Percentage of 112.2%...lol
The 12th team has won half their games with 10 wins and only 3 and a half wins between 1st and 12 on ladder. Compare that to two seasons later when 1st had 4 wins more than 2nd team.
What an odd season 1993 was. Three clubs at bottom of Swan, Tigers and Brisbane and crap but the rest all very even.

1 Essendon 20 13 1 6 119.1% 54
2 Carlton 20 13 1 6 117.6% 54
3 North Melbourne 20 13 7 6 120.8% 52
4 Hawthorn 20 13 7 116.6% 52
5 Adelaide 20 12 8 117.8% 48
6 West Coast 20 12 8 115.8% 48
-----------------------------------------------

7 Geelong 20 12 8 111.6% 48
8 Collingwood 20 11 9 101.3% 44
9 Footscray 20 11 9 99.0% 44
10 Melbourne 20 10 10 112.2% 40
11 Fitzroy 20 10 10 99.5% 40
12 St Kilda 20 10 10 94.2% 40
13 Brisbane Bears 20 4 16 75.3% 16
14 Richmond 20 4 16 70.7% 16
15 Sydney 20 1 19 63.3% 4

It only gets more odd when the finals series starts.
For first time in league history a night final is fixtured.
The finals series works as week one 1 v2 in the Qualifying Final and the other 4 teams from 3rd to 6th play in two Elimination Finals.
3 v 6 and 4 v 5

So on Saturday arvo North play Eagles at Waverley Park as 3rd v 6th. Wayne Carey plays actually.
Elimination Final
West Coast 5.3, 9.10, 11.12, 17.18, (120) Sat 04-Sep-1993 2:30 PM Att:29,147 Venue: Waverley Park
North Melbourne 3.1, 5.2, 8.3, 11.3, (69) West Coast won by 51 pts


So 3rd get eliminated in the first final.
Now this is where it gets really whacky.
1st v 2nd has winner rewarded with a double chance to reach the Grand Final.
4th v 5th has winner rewarded with double chance to reach the Grand Final.

That's right, 1st and 2nd have to play each other but 4th on ladder only needs to beat 5th team to get similar reward of top team on ladder beating 2nd....lol

So Carlton and Essendon play the first night final at the G on the Saturday night. I remember being at it. Was a corker of a match.
Qualifying Final
Carlton 4.3, 7.6, 12.7, 15.10, (100) Sat 04-Sep-1993 7:45 PM Att:79,739 Venue: M.C.G.
Essendon 3.4, 7.6, 11.7, 14.14, (98) Carlton won by 2 pts

We won by 2 points and a result we moved onto the next weeks Second Semi-Final match where we earn a week off in Preliminary Final week if we win the 2nd Semi and advance to Grand Final.

On the Sunday was the other Elimination Final of week one of Hawthorn v Adelaide. Fourth v Fifth on ladder.

Elimination Final
Adelaide 3.4, 10.6, 12.7, 16.14, (110) Sun 05-Sep-1993 2:30 PM Att:55,287 Venue: M.C.G.
Hawthorn 3.4, 6.6, 10.12, 13.17, (95) Adelaide won by 15 pts

So Adelaide now leap frog 2nd team on ladder without needing to beat them to earn a new ranking. I love how absurd it worked out.
It showed how floored it was as a finals series that they forced first and second to play each other straight away and the loser of them essentially gets dumped to 3rd ranking for no logical reason.
Then next season the league changed it to a final 8 series and we had a final 8 ever since with two preliminary finals.

1993 season was last year of one preliminary final. Lucky this season was so even that it probably did not matter what happened in week one of finals series. As it turned out the second week Carlton and Adelaide played a final out at Waverley Park with the winner advancing to Grand Final and getting the third week off. Carlton beating Crows in front of 59,223 crowd and comical moment of Harry Madden kicking a bounce and running goal.
At the G on the Sunday Essendon beat the Eagles and the famous moment of Sheedy waving his jacket I think might have been born.

The 3rd week Essendon played Crows at the G in prelim final for right to meet Carlton in Grand Final the following week.
Crows were up by 42 points at half time. They managed to lose an epic by 11 points and the Baby Bombers with veteran Tim Watson were in the Grand Final.

The Grand Final I went to I remember thinking why are Carlton leaving out young Kouta and Peter Dean and playing hacks but honest triers like Athorn and Tim Powell ahead of them? No!!! please no.
I never got an answer and looked on in horror at first bounce with Mark Athorn matched up on match winner Michael Long.
The rest is history. The Bombers won it and Long was a big reason why.

But I will forever remember this season for the whacky way the first week of finals worked, the first time a final had been played at night and the amazing final round ladder where only 3 and a half wins separated 1st from 12th on ladder. Tenth team with a percentage of 112%. It was the year the premiership was more open than ever. No club stood out but the same prize on offer. Last time I think we will ever see only 20 home and away rounds in a season.
Just a whacky but entertaining season all round.
Two years later and the 2nd team on ladder was not as close to top team as the 12th team was in 1993. Amazing!!!
 
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Max Baker

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The jacket waving match was rd 16. We won a tight one and got back in the six. But a great OP. Was a weird season. North were a very good side that year. They just appointed Pagan as coach during pre season if i can remember correctly. Geelong steamrolling towards the end of the season to try and make the finals was another season highlight, not to mention G. Abletts season.
 

footyfan78

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oh, that is right. North were thrashed by 147 points in pre-season cup game in late February and Schimmelbusch got sacked and Pagan got the gig. In round 6 North get 35 goals in the match against Swans. Quite a turn around from 25 goal loss only two months earlier.
Adrian McAdam kicked 10 goals in round 6, Longmire 9 goals and Wayne Carey 3.

In round 10 they thrashed Collingwood by 83 points at Victoria Park after boths teams were 1 and 2 on ladder before the match. Adrian McAdam kicked 9 goals that day. Carey 3.
They were on top of ladder after it and Carlton were 10th.

Yep, Whacky season indeed. Carlton end up in Grand Final and North finish 6th for season.
 
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footyfan78

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The jacket waving match was rd 16. We won a tight one and got back in the six. But a great OP. Was a weird season.
Just looking up round 16, yeah, Essendon was outside the top six before it. Amazing.

The same round Carlton were playing Fitzroy at Princes Park on the Saturday. I remember being at it and we are 16 points down at half time looking in trouble. Silvagni has been moved up to full forward. We kick 20 goals in second half and win by 86 points. SOS kicks 10 goals himself. Kernahan was missing from team that day for some reason.
 

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Don't want to derail the thread but the best thing from memory from that year. Long's infamous goal a close second ...

 

footyfan78

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Dean Wallis certainly had some interesting ups and downs both on and off field.
Will forever remember him for the 1999 prelim final when Fraser Brown got him and knew that was game over!!! 1993 was one of his more fond moments for sure.
 

footyfan78

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Another wacky thing. Look at North percentage in 3rd spot. Better than Essendon and Carlton. If blues and bombers had not had draw earlier in season North would have been on 2nd spot and avoided Elimination in first final.
 

35Daicos

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What was with the 20 round season?
The OP did mention "As there were 15 teams there were byes involved and each club only played 20 games in home and away season." There were still 22 rounds. According to the book Every Game Ever Played "22 Rounds were played this year. The season started a week later, while a week was set aside for the State of Origin carnival."
 

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The OP did mention "As there were 15 teams there were byes involved and each club only played 20 games in home and away season." There were still 22 rounds. According to the book Every Game Ever Played "22 Rounds were played this year. The season started a week later, while a week was set aside for the State of Origin carnival."
Yeah but they had SOO every year back then. But 1993 was the only season with only 20 H & A games. I presume it was a one-off because Channel 7 did their nut, I'm just amazed it happened at all.
 

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1993 was probably the last year that the great Hawthorn 1980s / early 90's side was a legit chance of winning the flag. From what I remember we were clear favourites to get over the Crows but played a pretty lacklustre game and were bundled out of the finals (despite being in the top 3 for most of the year) in one of the biggest upsets in recent memory.

Of course the winner of that game played Carlton in the Major Semi and were at least guaranteed a Preliminary Final birth...talk about a high stakes game, win and you are a very strong chance of making the GF, lose and you're out!

From memory Geelong was the most destructive force for the season and if not for poor coaching should have won the flag decisively...their attack was just ridiculous. Look no further than their dominant position on Final Siren squiggle for 1993:

http://maxbarry.com/squiggle/1993.html

1991, 1992 and 1993 were probably the Cats best opportunities to jag a flag in that 1989-1997 period
 

footyfan78

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What was with the 20 round season?
I honestly struggle to remember exactly why. With 15 teams there were going to be byes and was the Cricket World Cup at start of 1993 or 1992 ? Cannot recall off top of my head. But whatever the reason it was another strange part of that season. I think every club had two byes , hence the 20 games over 22 rounds.
 

35Daicos

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Yeah but they had SOO every year back then. But 1993 was the only season with only 20 H & A games. I presume it was a one-off because Channel 7 did their nut, I'm just amazed it happened at all.
Taking a weekend off from playing AFL football to have a couple of SoO games that drew about 41,000 in total (there were 2 more games played earlier in the week but attendances were also poor), when the weeks before and after the break saw AFL attendances of about 174,000 and 219,000 respectively, just never did add up.

It looks like it was an experiment that failed, and wasn't repeated.
 

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I honestly struggle to remember exactly why. With 15 teams there were going to be byes and was the Cricket World Cup at start of 1993 or 1992 ? Cannot recall off top of my head. But whatever the reason it was another strange part of that season. I think every club had two byes , hence the 20 games over 22 rounds.
Before then it was a 22 round season.
SO they kept it at 22 with that extra team meaning a bye?
 

footyfan78

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Before then it was a 22 round season.
SO they kept it at 22 with that extra team meaning a bye?
1991 they had 24 rounds. Each club played 22 matches with 2 byes each to make 24 rounds.

1992 they had 24 rounds. Each club played 22 matches with 2 byes each to make 24 rounds.

1993 they had 22 rounds. Each club played 20 matches with 2 byes each to make 22 rounds.
There was also a whole weekend off for State of Origin in middle of the season.
I remember Vic team still had lots of top players missing with dodgy excuses from clubs as to player not made available. I think that week off was part of reason they tried 20 games instead of normal 22.

1994 they had 24 rounds. Each club played 22 matches with 2 byes each to make 24 rounds.

These were the seasons there was odd number of clubs in the league. 15
1991 to 1993 there was a final six series.
They adjusted the Elimination Final match ups after 1991.
In 1994 we moved to a final eight series. We've had two preliminary finals since every season since. Was also the first time a final went into extra time. North v Hawks.

In 1995 Fremantle got added to the league to make it a nice round 16 teams. No more need for byes. 22 rounds.
 

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I seem to recall the State of Origin Carnival consisting of Victoria vs. NSW/ACT at the MCG on a Tuesday night, followed by SA vs. WA at Football Park on a Wednesday night, and then Victoria vs. South Australia at the MCG on Saturday afternoon, and finally Tasmania vs. Queensland at Bellerive on Sunday.
 
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benji2

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Geelong were very stiff ... if they'd had 22 rounds or the final 8 that year they would have won the flag, the way they were playing. The Cricket World Cup was at the start of 1992 not 1993 so not sure why there was only 20 rounds that year.
 

footyfan78

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I seem to recall the State of Origin Carnival consisting of Victoria vs. NSW/ACT at the MCG on a Tuesday night, followed by SA vs. WA at Football Park on a Wednesday night, and then Victoria vs. South Australia at the MCG on Saturday afternoon,
It was something like that because I remember being at the G for a night game v South Australia and being underwhelmed at how the Big V side was missing so many of our best players. The clubs had really put an end to state of origin during the season at that point as far as I was concerned. I had been at the G when it was at virtual full strength in 1989 with Lockett and Ablett playing together. Was only time I felt we took it seriously. For the AFL to take a full week off in mid season and the clubs to essentially kill it off was horrible.

Anyway that seems to be main reason it was a 20 round season.
 

35Daicos

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It was something like that because I remember being at the G for a night game v South Australia and being underwhelmed at how the Big V side was missing so many of our best players. The clubs had really put an end to state of origin during the season at that point as far as I was concerned. I had been at the G when it was at virtual full strength in 1989 with Lockett and Ablett playing together. Was only time I felt we took it seriously. For the AFL to take a full week off in mid season and the clubs to essentially kill it off was horrible.

Anyway that seems to be main reason it was a 20 round season.
I agree with you that 1989 was one of the very few times Victoria ever took those games seriously, the same applied with the "Ted Whitten farewell" game. Ablett didn't play in 1989, though. It was Lockett and Dunstall leading the forward line, with the likes of Brereton and Daniher around the place as well.
 
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footyfan78

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I agree with you that 1989 was one of the very few times Victoria ever took those games seriously, the same applied with the "Ted Whitten farewell" game. Ablett didn't play in 1989, though. It was Lockett and Dunstall leading the forward line, with the likes of Brereton and Daniher around the place as well.
I'll have to check back about the Ablett one. I swear he was there too. Maybe my memory playing tricks on me. Anyway regarding the "Ted Whitten farewell" game. Mate, even that was still less than full strength team. I was at that game. I remember the Ted Whitten moment more than the game itself. Of the 1989, 93 and 96 games only the 89 was really something like a team picked without clubs playing funny buggers to stop the Big V fielding full strength team. It was the only time the Melbourne crowd sensed it too which is why it was such a big crowd. I cannot speak of games from late 70's as was never at any of them.
 
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35Daicos

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I'll have to check back about the Ablett one. I swear he was there too. Maybe my memory playing tricks on me. Anyway regarding the "Ted Whitten farewell" game. Mate, even that was still less than full strength team. I was at that game. I remember the Ted Whitten moment more than the game itself. Of the 1989, 93 and 96 games only the 89 was really something like a team picked without clubs playing funny buggers to stop the Big V fielding full strength team. It was the only time the crowd sensed it too which is why it was such a big crowd. I cannot speak of games from late 70's and was never at any of them.
Yeah, I meant more in terms of the attitude of the Victorian team for the Ted Whitten game. I don't have the lineup in front of me but I'm sure there were lots of stars missing. Those playing at least would have been more desperate to win than normal, I'd say.

Ablett must have been injured for the 1989 game. I remember thinking it was a real pity he wasn't there. The Victorian lineup, especially the forward line, was still an absolute "freak show". Barry Stoneham and Garry Lyon were there as well, though I'm not sure if Daniher played forward or down back.
 

benji2

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Yeah, I meant more in terms of the attitude of the Victorian team for the Ted Whitten game. I don't have the lineup in front of me but I'm sure there were lots of stars missing. Those playing at least would have been more desperate to win than normal, I'd say.

Ablett must have been injured for the 1989 game. I remember thinking it was a real pity he wasn't there. The Victorian lineup, especially the forward line, was still an absolute "freak show". Barry Stoneham and Garry Lyon were there as well, though I'm not sure if Daniher played forward or down back.
Ablett, spurred on by God, admitted to striking someone in a game just before the 1989 SOO and was suspended.
 

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I'm buggered if I know why the season was shortened to 20 games. The State of Origin Championship would appear to be the obvious reason (four matches over six days during an AFL general bye week) but not a lot has been written about this, the effect on the season proper, the position of the players etc.

I do know that the AFL was engaged in a dispute with the AFLPA in early 1993 so I'd be interested to see what effect that had on the decision to shorten the season to 20 matches and effectively award the players three byes (two club byes as well as the general SOO bye week).
 

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most memorable (good and bad aspects) AFL season from a neutral perspective, for me at least

Adelaide: rise of Modra from out of nowhere, bags the century, qualify for their first final, almost made the GF
Brisbane: move to the Gabba, Brisbane actually are playing in Brisbane for once
Carlton: GF after missing finals the year before
Collingwood: Vic Park racism and hoo doo afterwards
Essendon: baby bombers, slow start, but charged into the finals as minor premier, overcome prelim defecit, won the flag... sheedy jacket waving, brownlow for wanganeen, long's run in the GF
Fitzroy: had a few scalps and a few near misses
Footscray: dropped after the upstart 92 season
Geelong: overcame injuries, just missed the finals when they were red hot
Hawthorn: the old guard still manages to make finals
Melbourne: Alan Jakovich flash in the pan
North: gets flogged in the pre-season, Schwimma gets the sack, enter Pagan, North awaken
Richmond: surprising outfit in the pre-season
St.Kilda: Nikki Winmar's stand at Vic Park
Sydney: Buckenara gets the sack, enter Barassi that begins a culture change at the Swans
West Coast: defending champs still fly high


yeah, the finals system was a joke though... how could 5th place Adelaide go from a cut throat final to the 2nd Semi with a GF berth on the line and get a double chance when they lost?
 
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