Carey v Hawkins? No contest.


by Alex Wadelton

There has been a lot of discussion lately about the Global Financial Crisis. This will not add to the debate. Rather it will prove once and for all that two-time premiership centre half forward Tom Hawkins is a far superior player to that other two time premiership centre half forward Wayne Carey.

AFL players always contest that individual achievements mean nothing. It’s all about winning premierships. And performing on the biggest day is the most important measure of all. So, for the purposes of this comparison it is only fair to talk about the achievements of both players on the most important of days- Grand Final Day.

This will be outlined through a series of objective points chosen on a purely subjective basis.

It is said that opponents were defeated before Mike Tyson walked into the ring such was his intimidation. The same goes as a Power Forward. If you can get into the mind of your opponent, the battle is half won.

Now, if you wandered out and the man you were playing on was 6ft 3 and weighed 97kgs you’d be quaking. But what if he was a clear two inches taller and topped a hundred kilos? It would be brown underpants time.

Combine that with the fact that Tom Hawkins is nicknamed The Tomahawk and Wayne Carey is known as The Duck? Well, the advantage is clear.
Hawkins 1. Carey 0.

There can surely be no argument on this front.

Across the most important game of the year, Carey kicked four goals in three Grand Finals at an average of 1.33 goals.

Hawkins? Five goals, two games, 2.5 goals per game.
Hawkins 2. Carey 0.

On the biggest stage, it’s important to take your opportunities when they are presented to you. As the old saying goes: “Bad kicking is bad football.”

Just ask Geelong in 2008 (when Hawkins did not play) and North Melbourne in 1998, when Carey was profligate in front of goal, kicking 1.4 as North sputtered to a dismal 8.22.

Overall The Duck kicked 4.7 in three Grand Finals at a rate of 36.36%, whilst the Great Hulk has (so far) dobbed them like a latter day Hudson-like 62.5% whilst snaffling 5.3.
Hawkins 3. Carey 0.

If you have claims to be the greatest player of all time, as Carey does, surely you would, at the very least, be the best forward on the ground in each Grand Final you played on? Surely!

Let’s have a look.
In 1996, one Tony Lockett dominated to kick six goals for the losing Swans.
In 1998, Darren Jarman booted home five goals, winning the game almost singlehandedly off his own boot.
In 1999, whilst Carey was good, he only got into the game when moved onto the ball, having had no impact up forward early in the game.

Not exactly pleasant reading now is it Mike “Carey is the best player of all time” Sheahan?

Of course, the mighty Thomas J. Hawkins can obliterate this record to pieces.
In one of the wettest Grand Finals on record against the stingiest defence in modern history, Hawkins stood up and kicked twice as many goals as the supposed best forward of 2009 Nick Riewoldt.

And, as we’ve seen recently in the 2011 GF, Hawkins ripped the game to shreds in the second half, marking at will, tossing aside All Australian opposition, and turning an evenly matched game into a blow-out, runaway victory for the Cats. Without Hawkins, we may now be reading about the great back-to-back dynasty of Collingwood.
Hawkins 4. Carey 0.

Clutch performance.
As we have seen previously, Carey’s poor performance in front of the big sticks cost his team a premiership in 1998. However, Hawkins has stood up repeatedly when the game has been on the line. 2009 he kicked a massively important goal to start the last quarter on a wet and windy day from forty -five, something Riewoldt could not do. And we all know what he just did in 2011.

Perhaps if Carey could have learned to dish the ball off a bit more, ala Hawkins to Stevie J, the Roos might have an extra flag right now…
Hawkins 5. Carey 0.

If Carey had been able to stand up in the 1998 Grand Final and kick The Goals That Needed To Be Kicked, the Kangaroos may well have snagged three flags from three goes. As it stands, Carey won two and lost one. Hawkins, however, is perfect in Grand Finals, having won both contests he has been involved in.
Hawkins 6. Carey 0.

Hawkins has achieved all this at the tender age of 23. The last game Carey played he did his calf in a suburban league, at the age of 40. It is doubtful Carey can improve upon his performance at this stage of his career, whilst Hawkins is clearly coming into the prime of his career. At this rate, Hawkins will have won eight flags (yes, eight!) by the time he is Carey’s age.
Put that in your figurative pipe and smoke it.
Hawkins 7. Carey 0.

Possibility of an Advanced Hair endorsement deal.
The one knock on Hawkins throughout his career has been his foppish private school side-part haircut. It flaps about in the breeze like an art critic’s cape. Thus, he is far too well endowed up top to ever draw the attention of the Strand by Strand crew.

Carey, of course, is a different story. His male pattern baldness screams out for attention. Carey and Advanced Hair? Yeah yeah!

Hawkins 7. Carey 1.

By now, it is clear that Tom Hawkins is far superior to Wayne Carey if you look at the cold, hard, incredibly biased and twisted facts as outlined by a one-eyed Geelong supporter rushing to make any Geelong player appear to be a God on Earth.

Next up, why David Mensch was better than Royce Hart.


  1. Bloody hell – just what the Almanac needed. Phantom’s analytical second cousin!! Very clever, Alex.

  2. John Butler says


    Obviously been sucking on the Harms happy gas again re those Cats.

    Looking forward to the Mensch ‘rationale’. That should prove quite the challenge.

  3. Alex,

    All i can say is “ouch”

    Smokie Roo-boy.

  4. “Next up, why David Mensch was better than Royce Hart.”

    What an absolute scream! One of my favourite articles. I can see a series of these type of articles growing legs…

  5. Possibility of a Civil Lawsuit.

    Hawkins 7. Carey 2.

  6. One of the better last lines in all of Almanac history.

  7. Skip of Skipton says

    Love it. You don’t work for the IPCC do you?

  8. What about something on who Brett Spinks was better than..

  9. Very kind of you to bring that one up Les.

    The Cats have rectified that glitch in draft selection. They have worked out that by finishing in the top four each year you avoid the first pick in the draft.

    It seems to be working.

  10. Sydney Malakellis says

    I’d forgotten I’d written an open letter to Tom Hawkins a few month ago. Looks like I’m a better motivator of men than John Kennedy…

  11. Pamela Sherpa says

    This would be serious if it weren’t so funny- hilarious Alex. Looking forward to your next one.

  12. Andrew Starkie says

    Won’t even lower myself to read this piece.

    I assume it’s tongue-in-cheek.

    Can’t believe it’s been posted.


  13. Observant, piss funny and, in a sense, accurate. Did I detect just the slightest whiff of hubris?

    I reckon Hawkins must drop a couple of points because of his “Village of the Damned” eyes?


  14. Graeme Rule says

    After such a reasoned argument I could almost believe that Victoria gets too easy a run when choosing our national cricket team.

  15. Alex – the Mensch/Hart piece is awaited with bated breath. Finalising the research or polishing the prose? Do you envisage this as a fortnightly/monthly or annual series of pieces. Failing the expected arrival of the next in your series I am polishing my own “why I was a better leg spinner than Shane Warne” rejoinder.

Leave a Comment