If footy history was a subject at high school, I could’ve earned a Rhodes Scholarship.
Inspired by this classic thread on BigFooty, here’s a few classic coincedences in footy history, since I have no other content to offer on a Thursday.
Chris Scott and Brad Scott were born on the same day
I think they could be twins, but I’ve been wrong before.
Doug Wade won 4 Coleman Medals in his career, was the 2nd player in history to kick 1000 goals (The first Post-World War II), and was once hit by an apple thrown by a South fan during a shot at goal in 1970- The Cats lost and missed the finals.
During his career he played in 4 Grand Finals, which is where this coincidence is found.
At Geelong, he played in 2 deciders; in 1963, the Cats defeated Hawthorn, and in 1967 the Cats lost to Richmond.
Then in 1973, Wade took advantage of the short-lived ’10-Year Rule’ and joined North Melbourne, and would play in 2 more Grand Finals to finish off his career; 1974 was a loss to Richmond, and in 1975 the Roos won their first flag, defeating Hawthorn.
Wade could be the only player in history to defeat the same team in a Grand Final at 2 different clubs, and also lose to the same team in a Grand Final at 2 different clubs.
Boomer Harvey’s Milestone Games
Brent ‘Boomer’ Harvey played in a record 432 AFL games, and amazingly, in every milestone he played in, ranging from his debut to the record 427th game, North Melbourne won EVERY. SINGLE. GAME.
The proof is in the pudding!
We’ll curiously overlook that last game.
Kangaroos and Bears, Oh my!
The Brisbane Bears made their league debut in Round 1, 1987 against North Melbourne at the MCG (Which they won in an upset).
The Bears’ last game before the merger with Fitzroy was the 1996 Preliminary Final at the MCG, which they lost to the eventual premiers, none other than… North Melbourne!
Essendon and the Titanic
Essendon won the 1912 Premiership, the same year the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic, causing the-then worst maritime disaster in history.
When the famous wreck was finally discovered in 1985, which team happened to win the VFL premiership that year? Essendon.
Grand Finals 100 Years Apart
This was some superb 5 minute research- The results of the Grand Finals at the start of the new millennium were reversed from last century.
1900: Melbourne wins the Grand Final, 2000: Melbourne loses the Grand Final
1901: Essendon wins the Grand Final, 2001: Essendon loses Grand Final
1902: Collingwood wins Grand Final, 2002: Collingwood loses Grand Final
1903: Collingwood wins Grand Final, 2003: Collingwood loses Grand Final (Ironically, both of these were against Fitzroy/Brisbane)
1904: Fitzroy wins Grand Final, 2004: The merged Brisbane Lions lose the Grand Final.
I could also throw in Collingwood losing the 1918 Grand Final and the 2018 Grand Final… on both occasions by 5 points.
The Septembers of 1997-98
The years where the repeat was the norm!
In September of 1997; Pat Rafter won the US Open, Robert Harvey won the Brownlow, the Crows won the Premiership and Andrew McLeod won the Norm Smith Medal.
In September of 1998; Pat Rafter won the US Open, Robert Harvey won the Brownlow, the Crows won the Premiership and Andrew McLeod won the Norm Smith Medal.
Brownlow Medalists play Geelong in Round 21 and poll 3 votes
1999: Shane Crawford (Hawthorn) plays Geelong in Round 21. The Hawks win, and Crawf polls 3 votes.
2000: Shane Woewodin (Melbourne) plays Geelong in Round 21. The Demons win, and Woey polls 3 votes.
2001: Jason Akermanis (Brisbane) plays Geelong in Round 21. The Lions win, and Aker polls 3 votes.
2002: Simon Black (Brisbane) plays Geelong in Round 21. The Lions win, and Blacky polls 3 votes.
Leap Year Premiers
In the past 5 leap years (2000,04,08,12,16), the team that sits on top of the ladder after Round 1 has won the Premiership!
2000: Essendon defeats Port Adelaide by 94 points, wins flag
2004: Port Adelaide defeats Essendon by 96 points, wins flag
2008: Hawthorn defeated Melbourne by 104 points, wins flag
2012: Sydney defeats GWS by 63 points, wins flag
2016: The Western Bulldogs defeat Fremantle by 65 points, win the flag
Look out in 2020!
Hawthorn drafting Mitchell Lewis
At the end of 2016, Hawthorn traded away two club stalwarts in Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis.
Mitchell wore #5, and Lewis wore #3.
In the 2016 Draft, the Hawks selected Mitchell Lewis, and to top off the hilarity, Lewis’ TAC Cup number was… 53!
2004: Same scores on the same day
There have only been 2 games in league history which have finished with a scoreline of 154-80 (That we know of).
Amazingly, they both occurred on June 5, 2004.
In Round 11, Essendon defeated Hawthorn 24.10-154 to 12.8-80, in a game best remembered for the “Line in the Sand” brawl that brought back memories of their 1980s fights.
What also gets forgotten is that the Athens Olympic Torch also went around the ‘G that day.
That evening, North Melbourne defeated Richmond 24.10-154 to 12.8-80.
It’s the only example in living memory of two different games having the exact same scoreline, and the exact same goals & behinds tally ON THE SAME DAY!
A similar feat almost occurred in Round 20 of last season on August 4, when Hawthorn (16.11-107) defeated Essendon (16.7-103) at the MCG, while at the Gabba, North Melbourne (16.11-107) defeated Brisbane (16.8-104).
Only a late behind by Brisbane’s Cam Rayner prevented it from happening.
2005-06: West Coast and Sydney
The Eagles-Swans rivalry of the mid-2000s was pretty short lived, but the incredible number of close games made sure it was damn memorable.
In the 2005 Qualifying Final, West Coast defeated Sydney by 4 points at Subiaco (69-65).
In the Grand Final, Sydney defeated West Coast by a grand total of 4 points (58-54).
The epic rivalry continued the next year, and Sydney won an epic Qualifying Final at Subiaco, 85 to 84.
In the Grand Final, West Coast won, and the final score? 85 to 84.
Amazingly, it wasn’t the only pair of 1 point results in 2006- Geelong and the Western Bulldogs in Round 3 (98-97 Dogs) and Round 16 (90-89 Cats) exchanged wins by the barest of margins.
Who’d have thought the sequel would be just as good as the original?
Eagles-Crows Final Round Scorelines
Round 23, 2016: West Coast defeats Adelaide 100-71
Round 23, 2017: West Coast defeats Adelaide 100-71
Adding to the margin coincidence, in their prior meeting in Round 12, 2016, the Crows won by 29 points.
I think I hear the X-Files theme playing in the background….
2018: 5 goal turnaround to start and end the season
In the first and last game of the season, the team that conceded the first 5 goals won the game!
Richmond in Round 1 vs Carlton conceded the first 5 goals, but came back to win 121-95.
Of course more famously than that, West Coast in the Grand Final against Collingwood conceded the first 5 goals, but came back to win it 78-73.
I think this is where Mark LeCras comes in and says, “Let me set the scene here…”
And One More To Annoy The Pies Fans
In the famous 1979 Grand Final against Carlton, Collingwood kicked the first 5 goals, but ultimately lost by 5 points as both teams kicked 11 goals for the game.
In the 2018 Grand Final against the Eagles, Collingwood kicked the first 5 goals, but ultimately lost by 5 points as both teams kicked 11 goals for the game.
Say, is that Wayne Harmes sliding into history again?