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Throwback Thursday – The Showdowns

This year both the South Australian AFL teams are pitching success stories, so this could result in two things: a) grumpy Victorians during finals and b) some awesome ‘Showdowns’.

This year both the South Australian AFL teams are pitching success stories, so this could result in two things: a) grumpy Victorians during finals and b) some awesome ‘Showdowns’.

The most famous or perhaps infamous Showdown was of course that pub brawl in 2002 between opposition players after way too many sherbets. These days with cameras and umpires everywhere the chance of someone getting glassed on the field is pretty slim. Instead we’ll investigate some of the big hits on stats in previous meetings between these ferocious rivals, because if we were just counting punches this’d be called ‘Game Of Throwns’ and everyone would get suspended… so let’s sit back, have a responsibly moderate cider and settle for a good honest war of numbers. And then beat the sh*t out of each other.

So far this year Taylor ‘Tex’ Walker has averaged an impressive 101 Dreamteam points (108 Supercoach) but neither he nor his Crow-eating cohorts were “the pride of South Australia” last week. Pity, because the big ‘Texan’ is Adelaide’s most popular goalkicking oddball since Tony Modra in the 1990s. ‘Mods’ had a freakish ability for multiple speckies in the goal square to win matches off his own boot with a flick of the hair and according to my sister he looked much, much better than Warwick Capper in tight shorts, although unfortunately this has absolutely no influence on our Supercoach scores. Then again, we see some pretty weird results in SC, so who knows? Prior to the Showdowns and Port’s introduction to AFL in 1997, Modra peaked back in ‘93 when he bagged 99 goals including a not-too-shabby 183 DT points against Richmond (23k, 1hb, 9G). Freak.

With both The Crows and Tex himself improving under his own leadership – and him being the first captain outside their midfield – I want to explore the historic influence of each club’s respective captains in these Showdowns. Who were the midfield-generals, the key position kingpins, the Captain Crunches?

One immediately considers Mark Ricciuto. ‘Roo’ won three Showdown Medals, the last two when he was Captain, but it’s worth noting he didn’t always perform well in these games. Mark Bickley was a two-time premiership captain but barely ever reached 100 DT points against Port, but it was Simon Goodwin who literally led the way with a succession of tonnes in his tenure.

For Port Adelaide, Warren Tredrea saw some good and bad times as a forward and despite a Premiership & Showdown Medal in 2004 (21P, 11M, 4G, 127 DT) and still being the highest goal kicker, his output vs Adelaide was also oft maligned. Much celebrated champions Gavin Wanganeen and Matthew Primus didn’t exactly set the Showdown scorebook on fire, whilst Dom Cassisi often went from gun to bum in successive games. But in 2010 his Showdown Medal came with 12 tackles for 124 DT pts (146 SC) and a clean sweep of wins for Port that year. As a new captain in 2013 Travis Boak received the Medal and is perhaps the most consistent Showdowner, both before and after his appointment.

So the outcome is this:  if you’re considering selecting your Fantasy captain based purely on Showdown captaincy, you better Tredrea carefully.

Finally, before you scope the team sheets this weekend and compare the market I will quickly now compare The Cornes, namely Chad and younger brother Kane. Who is / was the Showdown specialist?

Position – Chad: DEF/FWD vs Kane: MID

Showdowns – Chad: 25 vs Kane: 27

Avg. Kicks – Chad: 13 vs Kane: 12

Avg. Marks – Chad: 7 vs Kane: 5

Avg. Goals – Chad: 1 vs Kane: 0

Avg. DT scores – Chad: 79 vs Kane: 82

The overall winner is The Chad, but only just!

May you all have a headache-free Showdown this week and some thumping results from your captains.

Next week: ‘The Gold Coast SANS’… which Suns players shine without Gaz? And more…

by Matt James





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