It seems relatively easy to use a computer, whether it's a gigantic mainframe with the intelligence of an Atari 2600 or a legit modern one, to determine the probable outcome of a boxing match. After all other than reducing the amount of rounds and not letting fighters get punched to death so often (only one or two a week) the sport really changed over the years.
Footy, on the other hand, does not lend itself as well to such antics. For one thing the rules change every ten minutes, and half the players who were stars in the 1980’s would be picking cotton if they’d grown up today. So, four and a bit decades later while we still lack sophisticated (or any) methods with which to determine the winner of the following matchup I’m leaving it to you to decide. Who would win a fictional matchup, played this week, between our selected side and a team made up of all the players who have ‘gone elsewhere’ in the last decade?
Players must have appeared for MFC between Round 1, 2002 and Round 22, 2012 then moved to another club. Doesn’t matter if they were traded, delisted, free agents or scabs. This includes players who joined us from another club then returned to the original team (i.e Heffernan and nobody else).
Unless I’ve missed somebody - and no doubt I have - the ex-players team lineup is conveniently all the eligible players, so some players have been forced into positions they’re barely suited to (which should make them feel right at home). To make it fair you’re not allowed to have Scott Thompson circa now, you have to treat them as they were in their last year with us. Which is not all that good for Thompson, but a winner for the likes of Woewodin and Travis Johnstone.
Sadly for them Jeff Farmer and Troy Simmonds both miss out by virtue of only having been with us only until the end of 2001.
The match will be played under today's rules on the MCG, under Round 2 conditions at 1.10pm on a Sunday. Slight wind blowing to the right of your dial. Your field umpires are Darren Goldspink, Derek Humphrey-Smith and Ray Chamberlain (cop that). Delayed TV coverage on Channel 7 from 3.30pm and live radio broadcast by Magic 693.
So, I ask you. Who wins this match, how much by and why?
Team Discovery Channel (Round 2, 2013)
B: Gillies, Frawley, Terlich
HB: Watts, McDonald, Garland
C: Grimes (c), Viney, M. Jones
HF: Blease, Sellar, Howe
F: Sylvia, Clark, Byrnes
R: Jamar, McKenzie, Jones
I: Trengove (c), Toumpas, Nicholson, Davey (choose your own sub)
E: Pederson, Spencer, Rodan
C: Mark Neeld (Assistant – Various)
The Ex-Files (Round 1, 2002 to Round 22, 2012)
B: Cheney, Warnock, C.Johnson
HB: Buckley, Rivers, Bruce
C: Moloney, Thompson, Woewodin
HF: Maric, Miller, Armstrong
F: Petterd, Martin, Bennell
R: Jolly, Johnstone, McDonald (c)
I: McLean, Morton, Walsh, $cully (hopefully the unused sub)
E: P. Johnson, Gysberts, Heffernan
C: Neale Daniher (Assistant – Dean Bailey)
The Ex-Files team will absolutely dominate the middle of the ground, but is their forward line capable of kicking any decent score?
How many MOTY candidates will Howe take if he avoids having Rivers or Warnock against him?
Would they do as so many have against us in the past and go inside fifty so many times that they can’t possibly avoid kicking a winning score?
Is our current backline too tall considering what the old time team is chock full of small forwards?
Is a nil-all draw on the cards?
Would anybody turn up?