Almanac Teams: The best bunioned left footers on the non-preferred



Another day another footy angle. The best draft picks for the first round. The best delisted to be picked up. The best composite team of predicted big improvers. And so on. In this desert period of AFL gossip here is the real scoop!


It’s a little known fact that the best left footers have a longer second toe than their big toe. How do we know this? Well recent research conducted by the Mar A Largo digital research organisation (Malardro) – which proved beyond all doubt that the length of ones fingers has a direct correlation to the size of the male sexual organ – has now discovered that athletic skill rises in direct proportion to length of the second toe. This has provided some discomfort for right wing benefactors of Malardro who are particularly concerned that the phenomenon is far more common in the left foot. This has also proved problematic for boot makers who try as they might have not been able to prevent the occurrence of bunions on prolific left foot ball winners in AFL.


Indeed another lesser known fact is that the drop kick became outlawed because of this very phenomenon. Left footers with bunions found executing the drop on the non-preferred was simply too difficult a skill to master. Things came to a head circa 1970 in a spiteful clash between Minyip and Murtoa when the Murtoa full forward was awarded a free kick at the top of the ten yard square after the siren with his team trailing by three points. Hobbling manfully in his steel toed Jenkins on a throbbing left foot he opted for the non-preferred. In a desperate last act Minyip placed their ruckman and tallest player on the mark. The full forward lined up the goals and let fly with his favourite kick. The drop kick. The ruckman leapt skywards. The ball grubbed into the ground, dribbled beneath his feet and fell across the goal line.


This lesson was compounded the next year but not widely known until decades later when Brent Crosswell wrote of the time of a bunion related injury to Big Nick. The legendary ruckman’s boot had filled with blood. Undeterred Nick left the boot on till half time. The leather around the toe was then cut out to reveal in Crosswell’s words ‘toes as big as sausages’. And so we come to this coming year’s best bunioned left footers on the non-preferred.


Buddy – the Swans have been hiding the fact that it is a bunion that has kept the superstar off the field.
Grant Birchall – forget the tired two headed Tassie taunt. This lad has two great feet.
Dane Rampe – Dane can climb goal posts. Play with a broken hand. Dane can do whatever he prefers.
The Bont – No one sounding so mellifluous could possibly muff a kick on the non-preferred
Jeremey Cameron – Okay he is not Jezza. Never will be Jezza. Stop calling him Jezza. Sadly for GWS fans his non-preferred – is their club


That is my top five. My top left footer of all time. Mark Bayes. Did he have bunions? You will have to ask him.



The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in the coming weeks. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order right now HERE


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