Gigs’ Stats Round 2: Dial N for ‘No chance’

Stats Entertainment – Round 2

by Andrew Gigacz


Two weeks into the season and a clear trend is already emerging. And that trend revolves around a single letter of the alphabet. That letter is ‘N’. Disparage if you will, but the facts speak for themselves.

Firstly, let’s look at the only AFL team that start’s with the letter ‘N’. Last week, North Melbourne didn’t turn up until the second half against Port Adelaide. This week against the Saints, one could be forgiven for believing they didn’t show up at all. Two games. Two losses. And alarm bells ringing.

But that’s only one team over two weeks, I hear you cry. That’s true, so let’s delve a little deeper. Along with North, there are several other teams that have not yet registered a win, including Melbourne, Essendon, West Coast and Richmond. And there is a common thread that runs through those four sides.

For Melbourne, Michael Newton was a member of the side that fell agonisingly short against Collingwood. And last week Essendon’s loss against Geelong was by a team that included Jay Neagle. Nic Naitanui and Mark Nicoski have figured in both of West Coast’s losses. And then there’s Richmond. While the Eagles, the Bombers and even Melbourne have threatened at times, Richmond have not looked like it at any stage. And who are some of the players in their team? Well, let’s see, there’s Chris Newman, Robin Nahas and that young bloke, what’s his name? That’s it, Ben Nason.

See the trend? These winless teams have all played blokes whose surnames begin with N.

Still not convinced? Well allow me to point out that the losses these teams sustained were against sides that contained NO players with ‘N’ surnames. And let me further point out that in the 16 games that have been completed so far, EVERY SINGLE WINNING SIDE has been one that contained NO players with a surname beginning with ‘N’.

So to Bombers fans eager to see Jay Neagle back in the side, to Power fans keen to see how Jay Nash stacks up, and to Eagles fans who think Tony Notte deserves another go, I say: maybe it’s time to look at some of the other players on your lists.


Speaking of emerging trends, there appears to be one developing for the Doggies. A loss followed by a win and a first-round margin of 36 followed by a second-round margin of 2 x 36 (72).

This points to two possible paths of extrapolation: one in which the margin in Footscray games will increase by 36 points each week, the other in which the margin will double each week.

To cover both possibilities, punters are advised to back Hawthorn against the Dogs this week by margins of both 108 points AND 144 points.

Continuing the extrapolations, expect the Bulldogs to beat Essendon in Round 22 by either 792 points or 75,497,472 points.

You heard it here first folks!


Well, after 13 teams were ruled out of flag contention last week, how did the three remaining chances survive Round 2? Pretty well, as it happens. St Kilda followed up their first-round eight-point win with a comfortable win in Round 2, just as last year’s premier’s Geelong did. Collingwood backed up from their even six-goal win with a thrilling win at the MCG where the margin was less than a goal – as it was at the MCG for Hawthorn in Round 2, 1986. And just as Collingwood followed a 14-point win in Round 1, 1930, with a hard-fought close victory in Round 2, so too did Port Adelaide this week.

The Saints, the Pies and the Power all live to fight another day.

1 v 100

Funny how history has a habit of repeating itself. The first one-point and first 100+ point games of this season both occurred this week, and the one-point game was a Collingwood victory. In 2009, the first one-point and first 100+ point margin of the year were also recorded in the same round. And the one-point winner was – you guessed it – Collingwood. The big difference between this season and last is that it was Round 15 in 2009 before we got either of those margins. And while there were two further one-point margins last year, Adelaide’s 117-point drubbing of Fremantle was the only 100+ point margin of the entire 2009 season.

For now, in what is rumoured to be Eddie McGuire’s favourite Gigs Stat competition (1 versus 100) SCORES ARE LEVEL!


If there’s one thing I wanted the Blues to do on Thursday night against the Brisbane Lions, it was to kick badly at goal. And they did. But they still stuffed it up. Seeing that they had reached a score of 2.6 at quarter time, I thought, great, at some point in the first term they would have been on 1.4. But no, they had to go and score two goals before even registering their second behind. What’s wrong with that? I’ll tell you what’s wrong with that! Finally, after years of waiting we got a footy match that was played on a date that was a footy score (1.4.10). And all Carlton had to do was stop at 1.4.10 on the way to their quarter time score of 2.6.18. But they couldn’t. Damn you Bluebaggers!

Now we have to wait until the First of May next year for the next possible score-date alignment.


Eight different margins in the eight games this week, none of them the same as any of last week’s. That means that 56, which registered three times in round 1, stays way out in front as the most common margin of the year.


Things are much tighter in this competition. 96 and 82 popped up twice last week and this week proved that the 8os really are back with 85, 86 (twice), 88 and 89 all getting a run. With 88 also being racked up by Sydney last week, it becomes one of four joint leaders: 82, 86, 88 and 96 are all on two.


1. The Swans, a low-scoring team by reputation, registered the third-highest score this week: 118.

The game was played on Sunday at Footy Park and the vanquished team was Adelaide.

118 was only registered once for the whole of 2009. It was recorded by the Dogs in their Round 7 win.

The game was played on a Sunday at Footy Park and the vanquished team was Adelaide.

2. A close home and away game between Hawthorn and Geelong – did that feel a bit familiar? Here’s why. Since 2007, home and away games between these two sides have yielded the following results:

2007 Round 4: Hawthorn 76 Geelong 72

2008 Round 17: Hawthorn 77 Geelong 88

2009 Round 1: Hawthorn 103 Geelong 111

2009 Round 17: Geelong 99 Hawthorn 98


Port Adelaide made a big play for this week’s award, scoring 4, 3, 0 and 6 goals over the four-quarters. The Power just got over the line against the Eagles and to get there, they had to DIG DEEP. And do you know what you find when you dig deep? 4306 is the postcode of a placed called BLACKSOIL.

But the Power were trumped by the wayward Blues who took out this week’s award. Their quarter-by-quarter goal tally was 2,1,7,2. According to Australia Post, 2172 is the postcode of three separate localities: Pleasure Point, Sandy Point and Voyager Point. And that’s just what Carlton’s trouble was on Thursday – too many POINTS.


And because Carlton annoyed me so much by not reaching 1.4.10 at any stage, I’m going to give them another blast. 16 points they scored, against just 12 goals. Such was their inaccuracy, you could say they lacked “lineal oomph”. The 16 points were divided over four quarters via the sequence 6-5-3-2. It so happens that 6532 is the postcode of Hamelin Pool in Queensland. And it just so happens that Hamelin Pool is an anagram of LINEAL OOMPH.


Actually that one above is pretty ridiculous in itself but for this week’s official anagram we couldn’t go past the one-point loss suffered by the brave Demons. The brazen efforts of the Melbourne boys were to culminate in heartbreak. Perhaps fitting then, that DEES LOSE BY A POINT is an anagram of SO BOLD, YET SEE PAIN.

About Andrew Gigacz

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


  1. johnharms says


    So much food for thought here.

    Usually there are two footy score dates in each year, but that won’t be the case until 2013.

    What a drought between 2000-06 as well.

    But my question: how long since the 6 top sides played each other in Round 3?


  2. Peter Flynn says


    Good work using arithmetic and geometric sequences (extreme extrapolation section).

    Another question that you may have considered previously.

    What footy scores correspond to the product of two numbers?

    Why are there only five solutions (including the trivial solution 0.0.0)?

  3. JTH: Yes, it’s been a long drought. Glad to have the score-dates back! And will be even better in 2013 when we go back to two a year. We might need to extend the season to be able to incorporate two in a year to actually be on playing days, though. From memory, we’ve never had a final score that matched the date the game was played on. But we came OH SO CLOSE in 1998. On Saturday the 15th August that year, Collingwood were playing Essendon and the day before I boldly predicted to my mate Rob that the match would end in a draw with both sides locked on 15.8.98. As it turned out, I wasn’t even close in that match. BUT, over at Waverley, the Swans and the Dogs were fighting out a cracker. With about a minute left, The Dogs were ahead 15.8.98 to 15.7.97. I was torn between wanting the Dogs to hold on and letting the Swans get a point to draw the match. In fact, there WAS one more point scored – by Footscray. Final score 15.9.99 to 15.7.97. If that last point had been kicked by Sydney rather than Footscray my ultimate mathematical footy dream would’ve been realised.

    FLYNNY: I picked up on the scores corresponding to the product of the goals and behinds when I was a kid. I instinctively thought there were only four solutions (not including 0.0.0) but was unable to prove it until many years later. When I say I instinctively thought, it was because I looked at the sequence of the occurrences:


    Observing that, as the goal total rose the behind total fell, I somehow reasoned in my mind that with 7.7 being the point of intersection there could be no more solutions beyond that (because somehow I also sub-conciously worked out, perhaps erroneously, that there would be no solutions where the goal tally was higher than the behind tally. Can’t remember if I found a pattern to support that or it was just a guess).

    It wasn’t until 2005 that one of my work-mates and I sat down and worked through the proof. I think I still have that piece of paper somewhere. I have to admit it was my work-mate Melissa who did most of the proof. She’s also a fellow (can you use that word for a female?) Doggies fan. Gee, we’re a smart bunch!

  4. A plethora of interesting facts this week, Gigs.
    How you manage to dig up this gold astounds me – especially the post code section. Brilliant stuff.
    You should sell your brain to a sporting museum.

  5. Thanks Susie. Do you reckon it might go well next to Phar Lap’s heart? (Apparently Phar Lap’s heart is drying up and crumbling. I fear my brain is not far behind.)

  6. Danielle says

    nice stuff Gigs! :)
    i agree with Susie, although if u want to make a bit of money put it on Ebay and see how that goes! lol
    Clever anagram of the week!
    im still waiting one one to do with Superman!

    Danni :)

  7. Nice work Gigs, nice to see 36 was mentioned a bit, what a great number that is.

  8. Steve Healy says

    Gigs, brilliant stuff yet again, especially that “N” thing, amazing.

    However, what is going on with score wars? there are 6 joint leaders, 120 was scored this week by the Dogs, by Carlton last week and 118 was scored last week by Freo and this week by Sydney

  9. Just testing you out Steve. ;-)

    Thanks for the correction.

    I gotta stop doing these things at 1 in the morning…

  10. Steve Healy says

    hahaha ok Gigs, I keep a piece of paper with all the scores and margins for the year.

    Just a couple of observations- Michael Barlow, 67 possessions in first two games,officially the most possessions in the first two matches in AFL/VFL history. And 29.8, the joint score of St.Kilda V North Melbourne, makes it the second most accurate game in history (78.4%), behind the Essendon V Adelaide game last year

  11. Gigs, that is totally insane. How did you come up with the phenomenon about the N surnames?

    75,497,472 points? HAHAHAHA, that will be a percentage booster!

  12. I think the Dogs can beat the Dons by that much. Hall to kick a lazy haul of 87, with 29 in the first quarter.

    Nice work again Gigs.

  13. Good pick up, Steve. I’m really gonna have to be on my toes this year.

    Thanks Adam. In answer to your question, I have no idea.

    Thanks Josh. I’ll be happy with the scenario you described.

    Thanks Danni. The Superman anagram is coming – sometime this season! ;-)

  14. Damian Watson says

    Great read Gigs,

    Sorry the Blues couldn’t match your score-date alignment.

  15. 12: Hey Josh, I’m just going to be a bit pedantic here:

    Lets say the Dogs beat Essendon 75,497,472 to 0. That means the Dogs score up to 12 million goals. That equates to slightly over half a million per player, which makes BBBBBBB’s 87 goals seem like a score more appropriate for a full back who is on the field for 10 seconds!


  16. This is what I love to see. A serious dicussion about how many goals a good full-forward should kick in a side that scores 12 million goals.

    You can’t say that we don’t tackle the important stuff here at the Footy Almanac.

  17. Adam, we both know how much the Dogs like to share around the goals. Hall would kick 87, Hahn would kick a bag of 56, Johnson and Akermanis both with 53, Murphy, Higgins and Hill all kick 52 goals, Lake would have a day out with 49 majors and the list goes on.

  18. I think in a side that scores 12 million goals, Hall’s haul (no pun intended) would be about 1 million, 2 million on a good day, while Hahn, Hill, Johnno, Aker, Murphy, Higgins, Cooney, etc would pop up for contributions of around half to three quarters of a million each.

    Which begs another question: In a match with four 3 million goal quarter, how long would time-on extend for?

  19. Danielle says

    heres a great comment on the Ben Cousins Story HS website

    DanniPresidentofJonRalphsfanclub Posted at 10:30 PM April 06, 2010
    going out with you shirt off is a crime now? gee i think if all guys had a body like Ben’s no one would wear shirts!

    Comment 2 of 40

  20. BTW, Danni. I walked past your Herald-Sun boyfriend at the ‘G on Sunday. Dunno what you see in him…

  21. Danielle says

    20- *GASP**
    YOU SAW…RALPHYYY!!!!!!!!!
    OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Danielle says

    PLEASE!!! :)

  23. I waved at him.

  24. Is the Almanac’s time still an hour forward?

  25. Josh, it just confirms our reputation that we here at the Almanac of being people who are ahead of our time.

  26. Peter Flynn says


    Well done re comment 3. Correct solution and pretty good explanation.

    Has any VFL/AFL game had any two of those four non-trivial solutions as a final score?

  27. Danielle says

    Gigs keep at the French accent! lol
    can’t wait to hear it :)

    tell me more about RALPHY!!

  28. Ladder of Chill says


    My analyst at work had a chuckle at your N factor. However being a proper nerd fully aufait with excell spreadsheets and all things stats had the temerity to suggest that your arguement;
    “Well allow me to point out that the losses these teams sustained were against sides that contained NO players with ‘N’ surnames. And let me further point out that in the 16 games that have been completed so far, EVERY SINGLE WINNING SIDE has been one that contained NO players with a surname beginning with ‘N’.”
    is saying the same thing. His point was something like the two statements are mirror images. He went on to say that if he had done the same in his reports to me that I would have smacked him. He probably has a point but I smacked him anyway. He barracks for Geelong (I suppose he has to as he lives there) and that in itself is deserving of corporal discipline. In addition I did point out to him that you are a scragger and we don’t take kindly to boofheads from sleepy hollow casting aspertions on our fellow scraggers. He will be sending you an appology in the mail.
    Catch you tonight.

  29. Ladder of Chill, in regards to the “mirror image” statement:

    “Well allow me to point out that the losses these teams sustained were against sides that contained NO players with ‘N’ surnames.” – refers to only the Round 2 matches.

    “And let me further point out that in the 16 games that have been completed so far, EVERY SINGLE WINNING SIDE has been one that contained NO players with a surname beginning with ‘N’.” – refers to every match so far this year (every Round 1 & 2 match, that is).

    So not exactly redundant ;-)

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