Rance and Dustin – Monkeys and GOATS

Vastly different debates surrounding the two best footballers I’ve seen wear the yellow and black this week.

On one hand you’ve got Dustin Martin, winning yet another medal, with his followers fending off ‘favoritism’ arguments while simultaneously pointing to the State of Origin medal as another reason to spruik his wares among the absolute greatest.  

On the other you’ve got Alex Rance promoting his new children’s book “Monkey’s Tail’ on a community funded radio station, refusing to completely rule out a return to football.

I’ll start with the acclaimed author. There’s been an almost unprecedented level of Chinese whispers getting around on this one, ranging from hideous to the ridiculous.

Let’s deal with the facts; fact number one is that all this talk of a comeback is secondary to the man’s general wellbeing. Like all Tiger fans I sincerely hope that he’s doing well. Divorces sound awful.  

As shallow as it sounds, talk of a comeback is far more interesting than talk of his wellbeing in the general public – that’s another fact. It seems unlikely, and Messiah Balme has indicated there is less than a 5% chance, yet Rance said this week on Triple R he wasn’t ruling it out. As long he doesn’t completely rule it out, there will be speculation. And for as long as there is speculation, I think it has the chance to be disruptive.

An overreaction you say? On the eve of last year’s finals Rance publicly ruled himself out of making a return from injury so as to not disrupt our finals campaign. Selfless when you consider that the only reason he had to make that call was if he believed it could unsettle the team. If it had the potential to disturb the players last year, then why wouldn’t it be the same this season?

I am in the ‘for’ column when it comes to a comeback. I am going to miss the titanic 30 metre spoils that seemed to shift a game’s momentum. I will miss seeing him line up on the opposition big guns at the opening bounce, sort of circling around them as if he were above the annoying, niggly tactics of the Scott Thompson variety. The way he hurled himself fearlessly into packs, sometimes marking the ball and sometimes not, but always causing destruction.

A comeback would have to be in the right circumstances. It must be made soon or not at all – if he hasn’t returned by halfway through the year it becomes 1.5 years out of the game, plus he’d need a mini-pre season to have him match fit. Anything after that becomes almost impossible, as the likes of Plugger, Paul Scholes and Stone Cold Steve Austin have shown us.

Daisy rates Dusty

Daisy Pearce this week mentioned she has Dusty as her GOAT (weird sentence to write but there you go). Daisy herself would be in the frame for women’s GOAT in it’s short existence thus far, given her resume prior to the formation of AFLW. Which could therefore mean this is the GOAT calling out another GOAT.

Sometimes these greatest of all-time debates seem so pointless and unnecessary, but as humans we love to rank and rate things and I’d be lying if I didn’t find myself super invested in this one.

On the face of it, two Norm Smiths and a Brownlow has him right, right up there. A State of Origin medal in (likely) his only State of Origin appearance will be a major factor in these discussions at the end of his career, even though we all know now that no-one was really trying that hard.

Not sure if he’s GOAT-worthy just yet but he’s certainly not out of place in those discussions, which places him in Matthews, Ablett x 2, Carey, Judd and Goodes company.  

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