This week the AFL unveiled their Hall of Fame nominees for 2016 and it was a mixed bag for dedicated statistical types who measure their champions by the impact they make on the game by the number of games and/or goals achieved over their VFL/AFL career.
Two of the nominees made their names in their home state rather than the VFL/AFL so do not feature in our stats at all!
Of the other 4, Adelaide’s Ben Hart is a standout as he remains the 4th greatest game player and 51st greatest goal kicker for his club up until the present day.
Nigel Lappin (who features in the top 25 in both games and goals for the Brisbane Bears) was also a standout at the Brisbane Lions where he is 5th in the club’s most games played list and 12th in the most goals kicked.
Verdun Howell who played at both full forward and full back for the Saints, has a more modest record, playing the 44th most games and kicking the 100th most goals for the club. Although he is under no immediate threat to drop of the Top 100 list, he is obviously in the ‘death seat’ with his goal kicking and will one day need to rely on his secure game playing record to continue to get an invite to the Top 100 party!
Maurice Rioli (Richmond) is in an even less exalted position in the club’s Top 100 of all time. He already sits outside the Top 100 game players (in 101st position) and is currently 90th on the club’s goal kicking list. Unfortunately Maurice is no longer with us, and his family seem likely to be able to dine out on his Top 100 goal kicking for quite a number of years yet.
All the Hall of Fame players are worthy recipients of the honour and it does show that ability, poise and grace on the field will sometimes out trump a long and distinguished career.