SEN’s David Schwarz and Scott Lucas have questioned Leigh Matthews’ claim that Richmond superstar Dustin Martin has played the greatest season in the history of the game.
Debate has sparked in the wake of comments by Hall of Famer Matthews, who rates Martin’s 2017 season as the best the game has seen.
“No player has ever had a good a year I suspect as Dustin Martin,” Matthews told 5AA radio in Adelaide.
“Last year Paddy Dangerfield got 35 votes in the Brownlow Medal and if you go on the media awards then Martin could be getting towards 40 votes.”
While rating Martin’s heroics as brilliant, Schwarz and Lucas said others were also worthy of being in the discussion.
“When I think about that I think about three or four standout years by individuals,” Schwarz told SEN's The Run Home.
“Last year Paddy Dangerfield was unbelievable. The year before Nat Fyfe was enormous. Gary Ablett in 2010 kicked 44 goals and had mid-700 disposals. Lance Franklin in 2008 with 113 goals. You can go on.”
The 26-year-old Tiger averages 30 possessions and has kicked 32 goals this season.
While Martin was a runaway winner of the AFLMVP, Lucas believes there is little between Martin and Dangerfield in 2017.
“I actually think there is very little in Dusty’s season and Dangerfield,” he said.
“That’s just my personal view. You can look at effectiveness on the games but statistically they are very close and Paddy has kicked a few more goals.
The Essendon premiership star said Martin stood out in a Tiger team full or very effective role players.
“Richmond plays a very unselfish brand of football that has a high level of role players so therefore the brilliance of Dusty stands out when it’s compared to those around him,” he said.
History books suggest pinning Martin’s year to the label as best ever is a surprise call given the deeds of players over the years.
Matthews himself could lay claim to the tag after kicking 91 goals and averaging 27 disposals in a 1977 season when every possession was earned.
Gary Ablett, senior and junior, put together unbelievable years, as did Anthony Koutoufides and Lance Franklin. Below is a list of season’s worthy of claiming the best ever title.
SINGLE SEASON STUNNERS
1977 – Leigh Matthews – 91 goals, averaged 27 disposals
1993 - Gary Ablett Snr – 124 goals from 17 games
1996 – Wayne Carey - averaged 19 touches, kicked 82 goals
1998 - Wayne Carey – averaged 20 touches, kicked 80 goals
2000 - Anthony Koutoufides – 36 goals, 55 contested marks, averaged 26 disposals
2008 - Lance Franklin - kicked 113.88
2010 - Gary Ablett – averaged 31 disposals, kicked 44 goals
2015 - Nat Fyfe - averaged 29 disposals, kicked 24 goals (missed four games)
2016 - Patrick Dangerfield – averaged 32 disposals, kicked 24 goals
2017 - Dustin Martin - avearges 30 disposals, kicked 32 goals