Gigs Stats Round 4: Time to play a little “four square”

Stats Entertainment – Round 4

by Andrew Gigacz


My mathematical mate, Peter Flynn, pointed out to me this week that Hawthorn’s three losing margins this year have all been square numbers. In round two, the Hawks suffered a 9-point loss to the Cats. Nine, of course, is three squared. Last week they fell to the Dogs by 16 points (four squared) and this week it was the Magpies turn to beat them, by 64 points (8 x 8 ).

Cursing myself for not having picked up Peter’s square observation before he did, I at least noticed that Collingwood’s three victories have also been by square margins: 36 (6 x 6) against the Dogs, 1 (1 x 1) against the Dees and, as already pointed out, 64 (8 x 8 ) against the Hawks.

So it would seem that, when Collingwood win, they do it perhaps fairly, but definitely squarely. And Hawthorn lose in the same way.


This above sequence of losses would be a real worry for Alistair Clarkson and his team. But “Clarko” might be even more worried once it’s pointed out that the Hawks’ losing margins of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds (9, 16, 64) are in fact also the 2nd, 3rd and 4th numbers in an intermediate sequence for nonisomorphic circulant undirected p^2-graphs, indexed by odd primes p. *

The worrying part becomes obvious when you actually look at the sequence, which runs as follows:

4, 9, 16, 64, 196, 1296, 3600, 35344, 1397124, 4804864, 213218404.

What does this mean? It means that, should the sequence continue, the next time Hawthorn loses it will be by 196 points. And that, even if they lose only a few more games for the year, they will have a very bad percentage

* What do you mean you’ve never heard of the “intermediate sequence for nonisomorphic circulant undirected p^2-graphs, indexed by odd primes p“? I thought everybody knew that. (If you’re as insane as I am you can check it out here: )



Now that my mathematical mind has been awakened (blame the aforementioned Mr Flynn), there’s a few other things I’ve noticed about certain teams this year.

For example, the facts from this season show that Carlton, when they win, always win by a margin that is a multiple of the number of letters in the team they are playing against. In round 1, they took on Richmond and won by 56 points. Richmond has 8 letters, 8 x 7 = 56. And this week, they returned to the winners list against Adelaide to the tune of 48 points. Adelaide – 8 letters. 8 x 6 = 48. Using this formula (F1) you can be sure that if Carlton win this week against Geelong it will be by a multiple of 7.

But there’s even more to the Blues than meets the mathematical eye. There is another formula (F2) that gives a guide to the margin of all their 2010 games, win or lose.

And that formula is Margin = (S x N) + (2 x R), where S = the number of letters in the mascot name of the opposition team, N = any whole number and R = the number of the Round the Blues are playing in.

Let’s test it out. In round 1, Carlton played the Tigers (6 letters). 6 x 9 = 54. If we add 2 x 1 (because it was round 1) to that, we get 56, the Blues’ winning margin.

Round 2 saw them play the Lions (5 letters). 5 x 3 = 15. 15 + (2 x 2) = 15 + 4 = 19, which is the margin by which Carlton went down to Brisbane.

Still not convinced? Round 3 was against the Bombers (7 letters). (7 x 2) + (2 x 3) = 14 + 6 = 20 points.

Round 4 versus the Crows (5 letters). (5 x 8 ) + (2 x 4) = 40 + 8 = 48. You guessed it. The Blues knocked off the Crows by 48.

This is a fail-safe formula.

Armed with these two formulae (F1 and F2), we can now identify the possible margins Carlton will win by, if they do in fact defeat the Cats.

F1 says the margin would have to be a multiple of 7. So that’s 7, 14, 21, 28 etc.

But rule F2 says that the margin must also be a multiple of 4 (Cats = 4 letters) PLUS 10 (Round 5, 2 x 5 = 10). So the only possible margins that satisfy that rule are those in the sequence 14, 18, 22, 26 etc.

Scanning all margins between 1 and 190 (the highest ever recorded), we see that the only margins that satisfy both rules F1 and F2 are 14, 42, 70, 98, 126, 154 and 182.

And there you have the only seven possible margins that Carlton could win by this Monday.


On the subject of margins, there were no small ones this week. In fact, the combined total of the 8 margins in Round 4 was 362, which is the highest total since a whopping 535 was recorded in Round 22, 2008.


The fairytale story of the last two weeks, especially for Cats fans, has been that of James Podsiadly. It has been suggested in the media that the surname Podsiadly is originally from Poland.

This got me thinking. If the “Pod”, as James has become affectionately known to his fans, continues to show the form he has in his first two matches, he will become part of a very strong Geelong alliance in attack. Could we therefore refer to that alliance as the “Pole Pod” regime…?



It seems the Kangaroos got a little nostalgic playing against the Swans on Saturday. Their quarter-by-quarter points tally was 4341, which just happens to be the postcode of a Queensland town called Laidley.


It’s a Fev triple-treat this week. I am happy to applaud a man who owns up to his problems and is prepared to tackle them. Well done, Fev. It was interesting to note Caro Wilson point out that Fev had never actually been suspended by Carlton in his time at Princes Park. Interesting because BRENDAN FEVOLA is an anagram BAN OF LAD? NEVER!

Fev’s always been a bit of a dill, by his own admission. But he certainly makes life interesting for those around him. Appropriately, his name is also an anagram of OAF NEVER BLAND.

And finally, to that goose of a Dogs supporter who threw his beer at Fev, you have let your fellow Footscray fans down. That sort of act requires no bravery and is just not on! You might have thought you were being bold but that sort of thing will never be seen as such by true footy fans. And Fev’s name emphasises that via the anagram A BOLD FAN? NEVER!

About Andrew Gigacz

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


  1. Andrew Fithall says

    Gigs. Your “in-text” apologies seem to becoming more frequent. And with some justification. We deserve them. On your last point, a true Footscray supporter would never waste a beer, whatever the circumstances.

    I assume he is now

    Footscray persona non grata

    Or as you would otherwise say: No. Fosters agro cannot pay!

  2. Gigs, never use Algebra in your stats. It’s a real turn off to some of the students on this website. Haha.

    Interesting to see that, according to your logic, that the next team to beat Hawthorn will be by 196 points. Who’s playing Hawthorn again this weekend?

  3. Gigs,

    without wishing to condone the behavior of one of your ‘Doggies in Arms’ I need to point out that the senario may be that he was a nervous air traveller, had waited all evening for his one and only mid strength beer that he only has late in the game and had just had his first sip.

    As it was XXXX Gold he was in shock he disposed of it instinctively and Fev who was at the fence patting children on the head signing autographs was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    If it was Tasmanian boutique Boags XXX that would have been completely different.


    (I will closely scrutinise the Blues score on Monday)

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