Gigs’ Stats Round 17: The final word on Aker


by Andrew Gigacz


If anyone out there, who considers themselves a knowledgeable person on footy, had any doubt that Friday night’s match between the Hawks and the Saints was always going to be a draw, let me tell you, they were kidding themselves. There were so many pointers to these two sides ending up level at the end of the game that even a casual AFL observer should have picked up on the inevitability of it.

The first pointers were the games each side had against the Western Bulldogs earlier in the year. Both matches were played on a Friday night and both ended up in a 3-point victory over the Dogs. Clearly, if those two victors were to meet on a Friday night, as they did, they were going to end up level.

Secondly, both sides had earlier in the season beaten Adelaide on a Saturday by 47 points.

Thirdly, both sides had won six of their last seven games.

Even more glaringly, each side lined up with one Ben, one Clinton, one Michael and one Stephen on their team.

But without a doubt the most obvious sign (the one that no self-respecting footy expert should have missed) that last Friday’s game would end in a tie, was that each team’s list of players’ surnames had the letter ‘S’ appearing 9 times.

For Hawthorn: Stratton, Sewell, GibSon, Skipper, LewiS. ElliS, OSborne and WhitecroSS.

For St Kilda: FiSher, DawSon, Steven, Dal Santo, DempSter. Schneider, HayeS, KoSchitzke and JoneS.

I’ll bet you’re wondering how you could’ve missed something so obvious, aren’t you?


The 2.2 hoodoo continues, with Richmond being the latest team to succumb to its powers. The Tigers were 2.2 (14) at quarter time and were subsequently walloped by those July champs, Collingwood.

The last twelve times a side has been 2.2 at quarter-time, even when they’ve been leading at that point, they have gone on to lose the match.


We all know how Danni feels about drawn games (if you missed it, click here ) but for stats geeks like me (and remember, “geek” is the new black) they are manna from heaven. I hate any season where there are no draws and always hope to get two or more in any given year. Hawthorn and the Saints granted that wish for me last week and there’s time for more draws still. I say “bring ‘em on”!

Actually, in recent seasons fans of the draw have been blessed. There have been at least two each year since 2006. But I yearn for the glory days of the draw, like 1977 when we had four, including the Grand Final. And 1914, 1935 and 1944, when we also had four. Or how about 1921? There were a record FIVE drawn games in that season!

And I’d love to relive that wonderful May Saturday back in 1977 when we had two draws in the one day! On that day Essendon, with some 15-year-old kid named Watson making his debut, drew with Richmond at some stadium called VFL Park, and some team called South Melbourne drew with St Kilda at some ground called Moorabbin. That was the fifth, and thus far last, occasion we’ve had two draws in a single round. (The others were in Round 2, 1911, Round 1, 1914, Round 5, 1921, and Round 6, 1944.) Let’s hope we get another round like that soon.


Still on the draw, one of the amazing things about last Friday night’s game was that the margin at each change was never more than a point. The Hawks led by a point at the first change, the Saints by the same margin at half-time, and the scores were level at three-quarter time and, of course at the end. Is that some kind of record? Let me get back to you on that.


After the release of last week’s Gigs Stats column, one of my fellow Almanackers, Collingwood supporter Andrew Fithall (whose surname just happens to be an anagram of “La Filth” – and I’m not suggesting there’s a link between that fact and him being a Magpie fan) expressed hope that I would one day produce a ladder that didn’t have Collingwood at or near the bottom of my ladder. Well, never let it be said that I don’t listen to my audience. For Andrew, and for all the Collingwood supporters out there, this week’s ladder is one that not only has Collingwood nowhere near the bottom of the ladder, it has them way out in front at the TOP of the ladder.

Here, then, is a ladder based on the number of Grand Finals each team has LOST:









Melbourne 5

North Melbourne 5

St Kilda 5

West Coast 2

Brisbane 1

Footscray 1

Port Adelaide 1

Adelaide 0

Fremantle 0

What does that ladder tell us? I’m not sure but gee it’s good to know I’ll be keeping all those Collingwood supporters happy this week.


Well he was big news last week but after the Dogs demolished the Dockers, Jason Akermanis is man who is rapidly slipping from the headlines. Is he a flawed genius? Or just an idiot? I don’t profess to be in a position to make such a judgement, but perhaps his name holds a clue:

J AKERMANIS is an anagram of MAN IS A JERK.

About Andrew Gigacz

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


  1. Andrew Fithall says


    Thanks for the ladder. I thought you might have scored Collingwood 25.5

    Was reading the letters in The Age yesterday and thought that someone was stealing your work. Then realised it was your work. Pleased to see your scope not limited to football. For anyone who missed it:

    HOW long can Martin Pakula last? Surely his end is nigh given recent events – and that his name is an anagram of ”railman kaput”?

  2. Andrew Fithall says

    And Footscray supporters need to be careful what they wish for. If they make the Grand Final and lose, they will have a worse Grand Final win-loss ratio than Collingwood.

  3. Dave Nadel says

    Every cloud has a silver lining. A ladder based on number of Grand Final appearances would also have Collingwood on top – and Footscray last amongst the Victorian Clubs (second last if you include Fitzroy, South Melbourne and University – Footscray have actually played in two more Grand Finals than University and they have only been in the VFL/AFL twelve times as long as University)

  4. Andrew, thanks for the “Age” plug.

    Re comment #2, I’m counting on that win-loss ratio deficiency being resolved next time the Dogs make the GF. I just hope it’s within my lifetime!

  5. Dave, stop trying to use meaningful statistics to spoil my delusional fun. As a Doggies supporter whose entire life has been marked by an absence of Bulldog Grand Final appearances, it’s all I have.

    :'( (Can someone please pass me a tissue?)

  6. Aah Gigs, I see,

    you have just come out as a closet Economist with your ‘obviousness’ of last Friday night’s draw.

    It has been said that

    ‘an economist can never predict what is going to happen’

    but will

    ‘always be able to explain what has happened’

    Love the ladder. The Pies may well get the two to one ratio ahead of the Dogs if they play them in the GF because I am predicting that IF the Dogs make the GF they will S . . . (to do with foot wear) it in.


  7. Further explaination;

    we all know that there is only one spot available in this year’s GF as Collingwood already have one spot secured.

    Just ask them.

  8. Steve Healy says

    Great work as always Gigs :)

  9. Danielle says

    :) Yayyyy!!
    Great work Gigs!
    as Crawf would say: “that’s what i’m talking bout!”
    this ladder is loveable! :)


  10. Gigs, you may really be onto something with the 2.2 thing here.

    Next time Geelong is on 2.1 towards the end of the first quarter, and Mooney is going for goal, I’ll throw an apple core ;-)

    And the ladder is brilliant. I don’t think that’s a ladder anyone should be exceptionally proud of topping, but Pies fans will take it (case-in-point, Danni’s beloved number 9 comment) :p

  11. Great stuff Gigs, can’t believe I didn’t see the ‘obvious’ factors pointing to a draw last Friday night.

    Round 5 2008, Round 6 2008, we saw consecutive draws (Richmond v Bulldogs, North Melbourne v Sydney respectively), has this ever happened before that occasion?

  12. Loving the anagram gigs. As a doggies fan, I agree wholeheartedly with that!!!

  13. Thanks Josh

    Yes, there have been several previous occurrences of draws in consecutive weeks, although the one in 2008 was the first for 40 years.

    Rounds 7 and 8, 1967, Rounds 15 and 16, 1964, Round 14 and 15, 1956, Rounds 11 and 12, 1952, Rounds 4 and 5, 1921, Rounds 1 and 2, 1911.

    In 1977 we did have three draws registered in three weeks, but rather than on each of those weeks, there was one in Round 5 and then two in Round 7. There has never been a case of three draws on three consecutive rounds.

    Other interesting facts from the results above:

    * Carlton drew in both rounds 1 and 2 in 1911 and AGAIN in Round 4 and 5 of 1921. They remaain the only side in history to have drawn consecutive matches and they’ve done it TWICE!

    * In both the 1911 and 1921 cases, the first week draw was followed by two draws the following week.

    * Until the 2008 pair of consecutive draws, Carlton had been involved in at least one of the draws in each of the pairs above.

  14. Thanks also to Steve, Danni, Tom and Susie for their kind words.

    Susie, if you’re online now, GET ON THE DEMONS!! Brisbane were 2.2 at quarter time!

  15. Steve Healy says

    and the demons won! go dees!

  16. Gigs’ theory remains true! SELL IT TO THE CLUBS, GIGS! Make your fortune!

  17. Gigs, almost! North Melbourne’s scoreline today:

    3.3–6.6–8.8–10.12.72. It was 10.10 late in the game but it was ruined.

    Well done with your win too..

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