Micro Noises - Issue 8
Kennett's curse continues as cagey Cats clip Clarko's commandos
Hard to believe but Hawthorn once again found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory over Geelong last Friday night. That makes it nine in a row for the Cats against the Hawks, with seven of those wins being by single-digit margins. A triple M (not the radio station) review of those nine games reveals a mean margin (that's the average) of nine points, a median margin (that's the midpoint when all margins are arranged in order) of just five and a modal margin (the mode is the most commonly occurring margin) of just two! It was the 3rd two-point margin of the nine games, perhaps fitting when one considers that the match took place on the 3rd day of the 3rd month of the 3rd season of the year.
Equal-leadership for four - and two too!
And while the number 3 might have been the flavour of the night last Friday, we shouldn't forget 2 and 4, the dominant margins of 2012. Geelong's win was the seventh 2-point margin of the season giving that margin outright leadership in the 2012 Marginal Medal. However, less than 48 hours later, the Adelaide-Essendon thriller wound up with the two sides just 4 points apart and four rejoined two in taking a share of the lead, each having come up seven times this year. The margin in the middle, 3 points, has only come up once in 2012. The next most-common margins for 2012 after 2 and 4 are 29 and 38, which have come up five times each.
1 versus 100
Another margin that's only been seen once in 2012 is one point, which was what Collingwood pipped the Bombers by on ANZAC Day. That compares rather forlornly with the eight margins of 100 or more points that have been registered in 2012.
Beating the curse
You wouldn't think that kicking 9.3 in an opening quarter, as Geelong did last Friday night, could be a bad thing. But history shows that it's almost always a portent of doom. In nearly 116 years of VFL/AFL footy, with one exception, no side that has been 9.3 at quarter time has gone on to win a flag. Even worse, with one exception, all sides that have scored 9.3 in the first quarter of a home and away match - and then gone on to make a grand final - have been beaten in that grand final by the highest or second-highest margin in grand final history to that point.
In 1980, Collingwood kicked 9.3 in the first quarter against Footscray in Round 10. They went on to win that match, only to be thumped by a then-record 81 points by Richmond on the last Saturday in September. Five years later, Hawthorn racked up 9.3 in the opening term against Richmond in Round 16. They went on to lose the 1985 Grand Final by 78 points, then the second-biggest grand final margin in history. In 1988 it was Melbourne's turn. They opened up with 9.3 (again against Richmond) in round 19 but were slaughtered by the Hawks on grand final day to the tune of 96 points, setting another new record. Finally, in 2007, Port Adelaide registered 9.3 in the first quarter of their round 16 match, once more against the Tigers. When they faced up to Geelong in that year's grand final, they succumbed by an amazing 119 points, which remains the worst losing margin in grand final history.
In the face of that evidence, Cats' fans might prefer it if Geelong DIDN'T make this year's Grand Final. But I did say there was ONE EXCEPTION. Of all the occasions a side has scored 9.3 in the opening quarter, only once before last Friday has the opposition team been Hawthorn. The team that scored 9.3 against the Hawks was Carlton, and the year they did so was 1995. The Blues made the grand final that year, and trounced Geelong by 61 points.
So for Geelong, this is not a curse but a sign of success. Had they kicked 9.3 against anyone but Hawthorn on Friday it would have pointed to nothing but disaster. But by doing it against the Hawks, they have indicated that they're ready for another flag.
First among unequals
There hasn't been much to cheer about for the Western Bulldogs' fans this season, particularly over the past seven weeks. But perhaps the Doggies can take solace from the fact that they were part of a "first" last Saturday. In losing to North Melbourne, 18.7 (115) to 8.13 (61) they became part of a game that was the first of 14,114 matches that has ended with the final score of 115-61.
Postcode of the week
How Geelong keeps pipping Hawthorn at the post each time the two sides meet remains a mystery to many and certainly to the Hawks themselves. Alastair Clarkson's men reflected this by scoring 2, 5, 4 and 6 goals in each of last Friday night's four quarters. 2546 is the postcode of MYSTERY BAY.
Ridiculous footy anagram of the week
It was only two years ago that the Port Adelaide board extended a warm welcome to Matthew Primus as coach of the Power. But in footy, relationships can turn icy very quickly, as Primus found out when he was sacked after Port's loss to GWS on Saturday. Maybe we shouldn't be surprised then, that MATTHEW PRIMUS is an anagram of TIME'S UP, WARMTH.In this article: