Gigs’ Stats Round 1: It’s a three-horse race

Stats Entertainment – Round 1

by Andrew Gigacz



It was only three months or so ago that the festive season was here and many were singing “Deck the Halls”. And now here we are in footy season and 49,000 people turned up to Doglands to see if anyone would be “Decked by Hall”. Thankfully, no-one was but the good news for Doggies fans ended there. Collingwood gave them a six-goal hiding and staked their flag claims early.

For those who think the footy season is too long, history says you might be be right. In fact, history is telling us emphatically that there are actually only three teams that can win this year’s flag. Who are they? And how can I make such a ludicrous claim? Well the second question is easy to answer – it’s what people expect of me. For the answer to the first question, read on…



A 56 point win to the Blues, a 56 point win to the Hawks and a 56 point win to the Dockers. Those three teams would have to feel happy with opening their seasons that way, wouldn’t they? Well, they shouldn’t. As good as their wins may have been, they perhaps wouldn’t have realised that, in achieving them, they were effectively eliminating themselves as premiership chances. In fact the weight of evidence suggests that the race to win the 2010 flag is already down to just three teams: St Kilda, Collingwood and Port Adelaide.

Why? Well, it’s really quite simple. None of the previous teams to record a Round 1 victory with a margin of 56 points has made it beyond the Preliminary Final. So that knocks Hawthorn, Carlton and Freo out of premiership contention. And while teams to have recorded first round victories of margins of 31 or 32 points have made Grand Finals, none have won the ultimate prize. With Geelong and Brisbane respectively recording those two margins, they have also effectively eliminated themselves from the flag race.

For the weekend’s other three winning sides, history does given them hope. St Kilda need look back only 12 months for a side coming off a Grand Final loss and winning their following Round 1 game by 8 points. Yep, that’s exactly what Geelong did last year before going on to take the ’09 flag. Port Adelaide need to go slightly further back in time for their historical omen, It was Collingwood who in Round 1, 1930, defeated Geelong by 14 points before going on to win a fourth successive premiership.

And what of the Pies and their even six-goal win over the Dogs? Well it wasn’t that long ago – 1997 – that the Crows knocked off the Lions by that very margin in round 1 before going to win their first flag. And 11 years before that, Hawthorn did the same to Carlton before beating them again in the ’86 Grand Final.

For this weekend’s losers the omens are not good. No side has won a flag after a round 1 loss by any of this week’s margins. History does say that the Dogs and Swans could MAKE the last day in September, but will not win.

So here then are this year’s possible Grand Finals:

St Kilda v Collingwood

St Kilda v Port Adelaide

Collingwood v Port Adelaide.

A victory to either side is possible in each of the above scenarios.

The other twelve GF possibilities are:

St Kilda d Western Bulldogs

St Kilda d Sydney

St Kilda d Brisbane

St Kilda d Geelong

Collingwood d Western Bulldogs

Collingwood d Sydney

Collingwood d Brisbane

Collingwood d Geelong

Port Adelaide d Western Bulldogs

Port Adelaide d Sydney

Port Adelaide d Brisbane

Port Adelaide d Geelong

Section 56(b)

56 of course has 7 as a factor and it was seven years ago in Round 1 that Adelaide had a home-state 56 point win over the Dockers. In 2010, they met again but this time it was the Dockers at home and reversing the result – right down to the same margin. The Dockers did go on to make the finals in 2003, despite their loss. And they finished – 7th. The Crows also made it to the top 8 that year defeating West Coast in the first week of the finals by… 56 points.

Section 56(b) sub-paragraph (i)

56 is undoubtedly the number of the moment. As well as being the number of days remaining (as I type this) to Queen Victoria’s 191st birthday, it also apparently this week’s PWM (Preferred Winning Margin). Having been recorded just once last year, it has burst out the blocks in 2010, with an amazing three of this week’s games decided by that margin. The challenge has definitely been laid down in this year’s Marginal Medal.


82 looks determined to atone for last year’s poor showing (only three appearances), having been clocked up twice in Round 1 by West Coast and North in their losses. It just goes to show that even a losing score can be a winner in this race.

The Saints and Port both scored 96, giving a share of the lead to the number once so popular that they named a TV show after it.

Last year’s winner, 94, is already on the board. And 129 ended a year-long sabbatical, registering for the first time since 2008.



So poor was North Melbourne’s performance prior to 3/4 time against Port Adelaide, one could have been forgiven for thinking they’d been nobbled. A half time score of 4.2 was not much better by the last change, when the Kangaroos had limped to 7.5 – and herein could be the clue: 4275 is in fact the postcode of a little place up the road from the Gold Coast called BENOBBLE.

Meanwhile for the Tigers, nothing’s really changed since 1982. No flags, no grand finals and not much light at the end of the tunnel. When you think about it, it’s a bit similar to how Argentina must feel. The six-week conflict in 1982 in the Falkland Islands didn’t achieve the outcome they’d hoped for and nothing’s changed since. Funny, then, how Richmond’s quarter-by-quarter behinds tallies reads 2422, which just happens to be the postcode of Faulkland in NSW.

At the other end of the scale are the Saints. After the heartbreak of last year can they climb the mountain again and go one better? Their quarter- time (5.0) and half-time (9.0) scores suggest they believe they can. 5090 takes the postie to Hope Valley…


When I came up with the footy anagram concept last year, I thought it would just be more evidence for people who know me to confirm their belief that I am a complete lunatic. And while I am confident that was indeed the case, I could not in my wildest dreams have imagined that people would start submitting them to me. Last year my fellow footy fruitcake, Steve Healy, came up with a couple of beauties. And recently, newly inducted Almanacker Adam Bulman sent me this little nugget:

“You may have heard that Roo Levi Greenwood recently broke his toe in a bizarre way. He tripped whilst putting on a pair of trackpants whilst travelling down a flight of stairs. It is slightly ironic then that LEVI GREENWOOD is an anagram of NEW ROO LEG DIVE.”

Nice to have another wacky wordsmith on board, Adam.

For myself, as a Doggies fan my mind has been occupied for much of the summer by that man Barry. Should I forgive him for sins past? Did he deserve a new chance at the club I love? It wasn’t his looks or his size that worried me. It was those flailing arms. Could he learn to keep them in check? I sought, and found, the answer in the power of the anagram:


About Andrew Gigacz

Well, here we are. The Bulldogs have won a flag. What do I do now?


  1. Josh Barnstable says

    Bigger and better in 2010 Gigs, I look forward to the next 25-odd weeks reading the ridiculous stats you come up ;)

    Yes I was impressed with Adam when he told me that anagram of Levi Greenwood, I just hope he bought himself a copy of Matt Campbell’s DVD of ‘How to put on Trackies’

  2. Josh Barnstable says

    You come up with*

  3. Thanks Josh. Hopefully better in 2010 but maybe not bigger. I’m 8kg down on my March 2009 weight and had I not used my ankle to stop the cricket ball which got smashed back at my bowling in our semi-final, I’d be in training for footy right now. :)

  4. Steve Healy says

    speaking of Gary Ablett leaving to the gold coast, I dont think its true, I reckon that Gold Coast are after players such as Mooney, Scarlett and Milburn, no wonder GOLD COAST is an anagram of “OLD CATS GO”

  5. Steve, you shoulda saved that for next week!

    Incidentally, Josh Barnstable is an anagram of “blasts her banjo” and also of “Herb’s last banjo”.

    Josh, who is Herb and what have you done with his one remaining five-stringed instrument?

  6. Steve Healy says

    I’ve got another Gold Coast one up my sleeve too Gigs, even though im wearing a short sleeved t shirt at the moment

  7. They can take Dasher, by all means. Might question why as this is likely his last year, but if that’s their goal, I fully support the GC :-D

    Nice work, Gigs. Yours truly is a unique mind … and I mean that in the kindest way :-D

  8. Josh Barnstable says

    What can I say, i’ve always wanted to learn how to play the banjo.

  9. That’s good Steve. It must look a bit like a pack of cigarettes up there. When I was your age, that’s where the tough kids put their smokes!

  10. Very clever Steve. If only they were going to be around for their premiership window…

    Gigs, that is some hardcore statage. That Barry Hall anagram is first class. And I should say that should any of those Grand final possibilities come into fruition, you will look very smart.

  11. Adam, re your last comment (“you will look very smart”): that’d be a first!

  12. And I love the phrase “hardcore statage”.

  13. Josh Barnstable says

    As smart as when Gigs broke his nose doing a sudoku?

  14. That comment is uncalled for and offensive, Josh. It was a cryptic crossword…!

  15. Damian Watson says

    Good opener Gigs,

    Enjoyed the Barry Hall anagram, very clever.

    I just found an unusual statistic that I can’t quite solve: In Round 22 1988 Footscray needed to defeat the Eagles by 10 goals in order to make the finals, anything lower and the tables would turn which seems fairly basic, however if the Dogs won by 41-48 points Essendon would reach the finals.

    Ignore my ignorance but how is that possible?

  16. I’m keen to hear this story, Gigs. How the hell did you break your nose doing a cryptic crossword?

  17. It was the Friday cryptic crossword. They’re usually the hardest.

  18. Josh Barnstable says

    C’mon Gigs, explain the story. I’m in need of a laugh.

  19. That would be embarrassing to explain, haha.

  20. Damian Watson says

    15- Gigs, assuming that you are the only man on the face of the earth who could match Col Hutchinson’s statistical ability, how does that scenario occur?

  21. As for Damo’s query:

    West Coast’s % after Round 22: 111.9%
    Essendon’s: 108.4%
    Footscray’s: 104.3% (GOLD FM)

    Just say you could add points to Footscray’s score in their match against West Coast in round 22. The Dogs’ % would increase, while West Coast’s would decrease, both closing in on Essendon’s percentage.

    But one would reach Essendon before the other – West Coast would fall below Essendon’s percentage while Geelong was still climbing towards it. This is the 41-48 point bracket, where Essendon has the highest percentage. If Geelong’s score exceeded West Coast by more than that, they would have the highest percentage.

  22. Damian Watson says

    Thanks Adam, that makes sense.

  23. 21: What the hell…Where it says Geelong, I meant to say Footscray. Sorry, just wanted to clear that up.

  24. Well come on! What do you want? The crossword story or the answer to Damian’s conundrum?

    Damo (if you get called that), the Dogs v Eagles game was on a Sunday. Essendon had played the day before and their % was set in stone at around 108. A big win to the Dogs would have taken their % to higher than 108 and left the Eagles with a % of lower than 108 (withall teams on equal wins). But a not-so-big win would have taken the Eagles % below 108 but also left the Dogs with a % of just below 108 with all three teams on 12 wins. And so the Bombers would have made it.

    But the stupid Eagles won anyway. Funnily enough I was living in Perth at the time.

  25. After spending all that time I could have just typed “Yeah. What Adam said.”

  26. Sorry Gigs. Pretty low scoring game, it seems.

  27. Damian Watson says

    Thanks Gigs, yeah the Eagles were victorious by 4 goals.

    And yes ‘Damo’ is my nickname.

  28. Steve Healy says

    Gigs, did you get my Richmond V Carlton piece? Is JB putting the pieces up at the moment?

  29. It was so hard to work that out I thought my nose was under threat again…

  30. Josh Barnstable says

    ^ What Healy said, and about my Fremantle v Adelaide piece..

  31. I’m doing the posting – or I would be if some smart-*rse kids would stop disturbing me.

    Steve, we’ve had a plethora of Blues-Tiges pieces. Yours is coming.

    And Josh, what I said to Healy ^. It’s comin’!

  32. HI GIGS!! :)
    i like these odds, i’ll take the Collingwood defeating Western Bulldogs option, extra chocolate please! :)


  33. Hi Danni.

    Well, at least I’d see my team make a GF that way. But losing to Collingwood…? I don’t know if I could handle it. ;-)

  34. 33- PLEASEEE!!! PRETTY PLEASE!! lol
    FOR ME!!!
    Come on Gigs i cried enough during our gf losses to Brisbane to end the drought for ever! Give me that final, PLEASEE! :)

  35. Josh Barnstable says

    A Grand Final loss to the Western Bulldogs would be an absolute travesty.

  36. You’ve got a point Danni, maybe you are more deserving of a flag than Gigs. Actually, nah.

  37. 36- am so! :(
    i locked myself in my room and cried all day because of those Lions!!! :(
    i need some sort of happy Collingwood moment besides beating the Crows and then losing to the Cats right after!!

  38. STOP PRESS: I didn’t follow my own logic and left out six possible GF’s. This has now been rectified (to include Geelong and Brisbane as losers).

  39. John Butler says


    I’m just wondering if you’re intending to make BBBBBBBB Hall personally aware of your anagram?

  40. John B. It would certainly be a good test of his temperament. But I might let him know by email rather than in person – just in case!

  41. Lucas Garth says

    Would be happy with a win for the Pies over the Cats. Lock it in Eddie…

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