GigStuff 59 – 1934 revisited?


by Andrew Gigacz


Sure, it was heartbreaking for the Bombers to lose by a point to their arch-enemy Collingwood. But let’s face it, they’re 4-1 and sitting pretty on the ladder with a ten-day break and a home game against Brisbane to come. The real losers from the Anzac day match were the Western Bulldogs, courtesy of the one-point margin. Why? I’ll tell you why. The year the Dogs last won the flag, 1954, was the last in which neither a one-point nor a seven-point result was recorded through the entire season. And after four rounds this year, despite the fact the Dogs had played poorly and only scrounged one win, there was HOPE! Now, thanks to Collingwood and Essendon, that hope is gone. Thanks for nothing Pies and Dons!


Like the Doggies, Richmond are sitting 1-3 having only beaten Melbourne. But the omens for the Tigers are far better. In fact, their 44-point loss to Carlton  in Round 1 was probably the best thing that’s ever happened to them. The last time Richmond lost to Carlton by that margin was in the opening round of 1943. And it was a Tiger premiership flag that flew at the end of that season.

But the good times didn’t stop there for Richmond. 24 hours later the Hawks polished off Collingwood to the tune of 22 points, exactly as they had done in Round 1, 1969 and that, too, was a Richmond premiership year. So get ready for Damien Hardwick’s boys to make a move as the season progresses.


Well it does if you’re a non-Collingwood fan. There are those who by now see that the Pies premiership chances are a little bit shaky. But to me it was obvious as far back as Round 1 that Collingwood’s flag hopes were in tatters. You see no side has ever lost a Round 1 match by 22 points (as the Magpies did) and then gone on to win the flag.


Who else can we knock out of the premiership race? Well things aren’t looking too crash hot for St Kilda. In their only premiership year, 1966, there were no two-point margins recorded. Sadly for them, there were two recorded in the first two rounds of 2012 (by Essendon over North and Geelong over Hawthorn).


Well a nice little omen appeared for the Sydney Swans in Round 1. Though many were unconvinced by their win over GWS, the 63-point winning margin in that match was exactly the same as the Swans’ opening-round winning margin in their premiership year, 2005 (against Hawthorn). And since that day John Longmire’s boys have looked as much like a premiership side as any other.


And fair enough, too. All those numbers are a bit airy-fairy (so unlike me, I know!) and we need something more concrete to give us the potential 2012 flag-winner. Well, we will get that, over a five week period from the 11th May to the 17th of June, when rounds 7 through 12 are played. Going back to the Swans drought-breaking year of 2005, the premier teams in each of those seven seasons have ALL won in rounds 7, 8 and 11. If you want your team to win a flag this year, they MUST win in rounds 7 and 8. And for those that do so, they must also win in Round 11 IF they are playing. The AFL, in their wisdom have reduced rounds 11, 12 and 13 to just six games each, giving six teams a bye in each of those weeks. Any team that wins in Round 7 and 8 but doesn’t play in Round 11, must win in Round 12 to keep their flag hopes alive. So their you have it. This year’s premier will be one of the teams which wins in rounds 7 and 8 and again the FIRST time they play after Round 10. Check back with me after the 17th of June and I’ll reveal it all to you.


Well we all know that John Harms’ handicapper giving birth is a pretty good omen of a Cats flag – I’ll have to hand you over to JTH for any news on that front. But the Cats have given another little clue in each of their last three premierships seasons. Unfortunately, that clue doesn’t come until late in the year. In each of those years (2007, 2009 and 2011), Geelong has lost the second-last home and away game of the season. In 2007, it was a 5-point loss to Port Adelaide, in 2009 a 14-point defeat at the hands of the Dogs and last year a 13-point heart-breaker against Sydney. Come Round 22 this year (the second-last round this season), if the Cats are in contention but have a shock loss to Footscray at KP, Cats fans should be feeling pretty confident.


Postcode of the week goes to Fremantle who, in honour of Ross Lyon’s first quarter of real footy in his new town, racked up a quarter-time score of 3.2.20. 3220 is the postcode of NEWTOWN.


In just his 43rd game, BEN HOWLETT picked up 20 touches and did quite a reasonable job for the Bombers in the Anzac Day clash. And there seems to be little doubt that young Ben is a scrupulously fair player too, evidenced by him winning the Peel Thunder Colts best-and-fairest award back in 2006. No cheap snipes for him then. Not surprising, I suppose, when you consider that he’s an anagram of HE WON’T BELT.

Read more ridiculous comments from me on Twitter @AndrewGigacz.

About Andrew Gigacz

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


  1. Peter Flynn says

    Great work Gigs.

    Note that the season is approximately 4.111111 rounds old.

  2. Skip of Skipton says

    There’s always something conspiring against Footscray. As Dennis Cometti said, “They win a premiership every year Adam Ant is born”.

    Interesting side-note. Newtown in the GFL wear Essendon jumpers and are called the Eagles. Brad Ottens and Max Rooke are playing there this year.

  3. Peter Flynn says

    So is R Gamble I believe.

    Newtown are 0-2.

  4. Lovely work,. I’ll grasp onto the Richmond omen for dear life! Sorry that the dogs have already been ruled out omen wise!
    On Geelong, the guy who opened the cafe over the road from us is at Cat fan who got married in 2007, his daughter was born in 2009 and has just opened his new cafe this year so is expecting big things!

    Love the anagram too!

  5. Right you are, Flynny. I should have made it clear that it was only approximately 4.111111 rounds old. In fact I should have tracked down a “recurring 1” character.

    Skip, I hadn’t heard that one of Dennis’ before – love it! They also only win flags in years my Mum and Dad get married. In fact they got married a few weeks after Footscray won the flag. I’m not sure if I should ask them to get married again or get a divorce.

    Flynny (again), Newtown have Ottens, Rooke and Gamble and are 0-2? What’s going on down there?

    Thanks John. Happy to provide Richmond fans with some hope but gee I’ll be pissed off if you win a another flag before we do!

  6. Skip of Skipton says

    Rooke will only play when his commitments to the Cats allow. I’d have Gamble midfield bombing it long to Ottens in the goal square. Despite the 0-2 start I reckon they’ll get some mojo and finish fifth, with a bullet, behind the usual suspects. Grovedale 10th.

  7. All I know is that it’s been too long since the previous edition of “Gigstuff” !!!

    …and wasn’t the previous edition #66?

  8. Thanks Smokie. The plan (and hope) is they will revert back to weekly from now on.

    Sorry, but the GigStuff numbering system is a secret that cannot be revealed until the Dogs next win a flag.

  9. Skip of Skipton says

    I wouldn’t be troubling your parents marriage when looking for a remedy or magic trick to remove the footy gods malevolence toward the ‘scray, Gigs.

    My parents were at the ’54 grand final. Dad was born and bred Footscray. Mum was from Geelong. They lived in Bunbury St at the time, just a Peter Box stab-pass from the train station.

    As an aside, Gigs, seeing you are an Footscray afficionado;
    Dick Wearmouth, FFC life member (100 games 1944-’52, 1944 Gardiner medallist at 18 years of age, Big V rep, “fastest man to pull on a boot” according to contemporary opponent Lou Richards, and father of Collingwood’s Ronny) passed away on the 5th of April. The black armbands the Bulldogs wore in their match against the Saints the other week were in honour of Dick. He would have played in Footscray’s premiership, in all probability, save for taking an offer too good to refuse; Captain-coaching Terang to great success in the Hampden League with a 9-5 job thrown in. The rest is history.
    Dick was my uncle, I almost forgot to mention. I used to help/hinder him milking his cows when I was a youngster sometimes. Cheers.

  10. Skip,
    If you we’re a race-horse, we’d be looking at your performances, because your being related to Dick makes you very well-bred.

    One of my earliest football memories is (as a primary school-age child) seeing Dick in action at the Western Oval, Colac, when Terang were the visitors. I certainly recall his being a dasher. The match had a bit of needle as Colac coach was George “Binger” McLaren, a Footscray team-mate of Dick’s. While Binger was much less of a showman, they put on a bit of an act for the crowd.

    In spite of my Carlton allegiance, I also had a soft spot for Ronnie. There was a piece in the Footy Record about him last year, which suggested that he was doing it fairly tough, so hope that he is OK. I was also aware of Richard junior who was a moderately successful coach in suburban football.

    Condolences for your personal loss.

  11. Skip of Skipton says

    Alovesupreme, cheers mate.

    A good part of the eulogising at the wake was about his arrival at Terang, his taking that team/town to the top shelf in the Hampden League, and Terang’s fierce rivalry with Colac in that day. There were quotes from the Warrnambool Standard spoken regarding the grand finals with Colac and so forth.

    I knew Dick was a gun footballler and legend at Terang, but I never expected to be struggling for oxygen
    when half the town turned up in the clubrooms for his wake.

    The story about Ronny in the Grand Final Record was about as close to the truth as you can get with him.
    He is a Mensa IQ and a massive shit-stirrer. He lives at my brothers when he’s in Melbourne.
    Richard (Dick jnr) was a pound for pound better footballer than Ron, but he broke his leg with Collingwood’s reserves in 1970/71 and was happy to return home. Hampden League legend also.

  12. Skip.

    Sorry to hear of the passing of your uncle. Could you tell me what years Dick played at Braybrook. He’s listed in Kevin Hillier’s “History of the WRFL/FDFL” as a Braybrook player and the latest edition of the Encyclopaedia of AFL footballers from Rupanyip and Braybrook (how?).

    Striking similarities of his time at the Dogs as that of the recently deceased Dennis Collins – Both played exactly 100 games for Footscray, loads of pace, links to Braybrook, both left the the Western Oval in their mid 20’s for greener pastures.

    Did your uncle ever mention that during his final year of VFL football (52) he played in the Leagues “Propaganda Round” – games played in rural Victoria, Brisbane, Sydney and North Hobart. Dogs met Saints at Yallourn. 60th anniversary of these games occurs on the Queens Birthday weekend.


  13. Just a reminder to all that I picked the flag-winner (see “OK, SO WHO CAN WIN THE FLAG?” above) on April 27th. Don’t say I didn’t tell you!

  14. Righto Gigs make a legend of yourself while you are on a roll.

    Predict the Bullies next year.

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