PART B - THE JUDGMENT
As we've just seen, the Blues can not only celebrate a treasure trove of players who represented Carlton in our 16 Premierships, but can also celebrate the brilliance of a large number of players who could not achieve "the ultimate'' despite their best efforts.
So by what metrics can we decide? Surely if we are judging 'the Greatest' we need to embody some element of personal brilliance. For example, a Brownlow (or equivalent) surely puts you in good stead. Being selected as Captain - the best leader of the time - or by the Club as a member of the Team of the Century should also be included. Perhaps points for Best & Fairests - but we would need to compensate for players (Clover, Wells) who played before 1934...
Potentially we should look at finals games or win / loss ratios as a player to highlight the relative team success. This particular writer - and this is not the Blueseum consensus! - considers that the title 'Greatest Flagless Great' presupposes that the players played in a dark time, and potentially weren't able to achieve such success. We could also look at goal kicking feats, and include the Coleman efforts of Carroll and Fevola, but clearly, this would over-compensate to the goal kickers and disadvantage our key defenders such as Collis and James.
Below we summarise the careers of the nominated players:
NB * denotes Carlton games only; # players played before a Best & Fairest award
SO WHO IS THE GREATEST?????
The drumroll beats.....
We provided points for seasons played (so as to not disadvantage players who only played 18 games or so per year), with bonus marks (5) for Brownlow wins (including Horrie's Champion of the Colony), Best & Fairest wins (5 for multiple, 4 for the one), and also for Captaincy roles (5 marks).
Horrie Clover finished marginally ahead of the greats, Bruce Comben
and John James
, as our Greatest Flagless Blue. Ansell Clarke
came in 4th, just ahead of Lance Whitnall
, owing to their long-service, B&F wins, and Captaincy roles.
Of course, all of this ignores our current crop of players, but we'll leave that to history to decide.....
So who do you think is the Greatest? And why?