AFL 2020 Grand Final Round Table Will Dusty end his career as the AFL’s GOAT?

Our experts debate all the hot topics and burning questions after Richmond secured a third premiership in four years.

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Did the night Grand Final work? Should the AFL persist with it in 2021?

Niall Seewang: I’m torn on this one. Plenty worked on the night but the build-up left me pretty frustrated and it just didn’t ‘feel’ like Grand Final day (although the fact it was in Brisbane not Melbourne could be a major reason for that). The AFL will pore over the broadcast figures and I fear, if the numbers are strong, we’ll never see a day GF again. Maybe a twilight decider could be the best of both worlds? It’d be worth taking a look at that option before deciding one way or another.

Jake Michaels: There were so many unusual factors contributing to the 2020 Grand Final, so I don’t think you can solely judge the viability of a night decider on just this. But for what it’s worth, I like it. I don’t get the criticism that it’s too long to wait. It’s a night game. What do you expect!? The entertainment was probably a step up and the game was exciting, not sure what more fans want. Victorians, when things are back to normal and the game is at the MCG, you’ll love a night Grand Final.

Matt Walsh: I’ll keep it pretty simple – yes, it did work, but no, they shouldn’t persist with it. This was an extraordinary year that was only possible due to the extraordinary circumstances. There’s something magical about a 2.30pm bounce at the MCG – the shorter build-up that’s still just long enough. The ability to revel in the result and still make an evening of things afterwards is also underrated. If you’re more focused on the half time or pre-game entertainment, then I’ve got some advice for you; there are these wonderful things called ‘gigs’, where you can see artists perform sets up to two hours’ long! Let’s not pander only to the broadcasters chasing what would be maybe a few thousand more eyeballs on TVs. We’ve got something great (and unique!) in a day-time decider. I used to think a night Grand Final was the way forward but not anymore

Will Dustin Martin end his career as the AFL’s GOAT?

NS: It’s getting hard to ignore the argument now. I think he can lay claim to be the all-time greatest finals player, if not the greatest (although Leigh Matthews has to be in the conversation) but he’s still not quite up there with Wayne Carey and Co. yet. I mark modern-day midfielders a bit harder than key forwards though, as they rarely cop a tag and can run around freely, even on Grand Final day!

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If there were an Electoral College to choose the NBA’s GOAT, the incumbent might be in trouble

If you think you’ve seen or heard every aspect of the GOAT debate between incumbent Michael Jordan and challenger LeBron James, hold on, we might have an element to top it all.

In this contentious election year, we bring you: the GOAT Electoral College.

No, we are not making this up.

OK, we kind of are, but the information we are using to conjure this fantasy is legitimate. The folks at compiled the data by examining geotagged Twitter data in the week since James earned his fourth NBA championship ring when the Lakers won the 2020 NBA Finals over the Heat.

MORE: LeBron vs. Jordan: Key stats to know

Video: LeBron vs. Jordan: Does the debate sway after another title for James? (SMG)

LeBron vs. Jordan: Does the debate sway after another title for James?



They looked at tweets favoring James or Jordan throughout the United States and determined which player had the most support in each state.

Sporting News, using the Electoral College formula in place for the presidential election, determined James to be a runaway winner, 345 electoral votes to 193. LeBron carried 29 states, MJ had 21 and the District of Columbia.

map: LeBron-MJ-Electoral-BetOnline.png

© Provided by Sporting News

Jordan dominated in the mid-Atlantic region as well as the Midwest, reflecting his popularity in his home state of North Carolina as well as in Illinois, where he played the majority of his stellar NBA career and won six championships with the Chicago Bulls.

Perhaps it is to James’ advantage that he “campaigned” in Ohio, Florida and California — winning titles with the Cavaliers, the Heat and the Lakers. Those states together are worth a whopping 102 votes, more than a third of what is necessary for election to the office — of GOAT.

The decisive state might have been New York, which carries 29 electoral votes and went for James despite his quite obvious rejection of the Knicks’ attempts to sign him as a free agent. But lingering bitterness of Knicks fans over the Bulls’ success against their team during New York’s last great era might have been a factor. The Bulls eliminated the Knicks in four of their six title runs, compiling a 15-6 record in those series.

One might think this is a loopy way of annointing the greatest player in the history of basketball, but hey, that’s sort of how we are going to determine who runs the country for the next four years.

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