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  1. #1
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    Why Bont is the best, the ‘Mr Football’ of the modern era

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    Despite his iconic status in football and long association with the ‘Big V’, I missed out on getting to know Ted Whitten.

    But no matter where you came from, or who you played for, it was impossible not to hear the stories that followed the man known as ‘Mr Football’ – a legend of the VFL/AFL and the greatest son of the west.

    Comparing eras is always dangerous, but soon he might finally have a challenger for that title. There’s been some great Bulldogs over the years: from Scotty West with his seven best-and-fairests, to Doug Hawkins, Chris Grant or Brad Johnson with 558 goals.

    In many ways, Marcus Bontempelli is the polar opposite of ‘EJ’.

    While Ted was a larger-than-life character and one of the biggest personalities in the game, ‘the Bont’ is more reserved.

    He’s proved more than capable of handling the spotlight, but he doesn’t seek it.

    Bontempelli, this week, signed a four-year extension that will ensure he remains at the Whitten Oval until he’s 30 and in that time many of Whitten’s records are in his sights.

    Whitten has five Charlie Sutton Medals to his name, including one in that famous premiership year of 1954.

    Bontempelli already has three, and, like Ted, has done it in a flag-winning campaign. Barring injury, you’d expect he’ll claim another best-and-fairest this year.

    In the modern game, there’s no doubting Dustin Martin roams in a stratosphere of his own because of his incredible finals record. We may never see another player win three North Smith Medals in our lifetimes.

    But it’s also worth noting, Dusty has ‘only’ claimed two ‘b and fs’. Outside of that Brownlow Medal year in 2017, he’s generally saved his best for when it matters.

    Bontempelli, on the other hand, has developed a ruthless consistency. It’s why he’s currently the number one player in the game.

    That consistency comes from a drive and confidence that almost feeds itself. He rarely looks flustered. He can sense the big moments and knows how to impact them.

    I’ve said before he’s about as close to Scott Pendlebury as anyone we’ve seen, with his ability to find space and float through traffic.

    ‘Pendles’ is on another level in that regard, but Bontempelli isn’t too far off him – and has a few other strings to his bow as well.

    In 2021, ‘the Bont’ has already booted 15 goals – four more than he kicked for all of last season. Like ‘Dusty’, that ability to hit the scoreboard elevates greatness to absolute superstardom.

    On Friday night, he’ll go head-to-head with the only other player currently in the conversation for the game’s top-billing.

    I’ve got no doubt Christian Petracca will want to stare down Bontempelli at some stage. Clearly winning is the most important thing, but champions are aware of those perceived to be on their level.

    It will provide both of those men with an extra per cent of motivation.

    In some respects, they’re similar, and in others, they’re very different. While Bontempelli glides, Petracca is explosive.

    He’s backed up a breakout season last year, with another incredible start to this campaign.

    Petracca is like a superhero who’s just discovered these incredible powers: he’s still getting a handle on his capabilities. He’s probably yet to reach his ceiling.

    It’s why I’ve got Bontempelli ahead of him.

    No one is the finished product – and if there’s a weakness to Bontempelli’s game, it’s hitting a team-mate on the lead – but he’s about as complete as you can get.

    He’s developed a steeliness to his game that allows him to win the footy on both the inside and the outside.

    Once upon a time, there might have been a view that you could take it up to Bontempelli physically.

    GWS and Toby Greene certainly did that during that fiery elimination final two years ago. But those moments have also been the making of him. He now knows how to respond to that type of attention.

    At 25, he’s at the peak of his powers.

    And, at the helm of this Western Bulldogs team, Bontempelli has the chance to impact the competition in a way Teddy Whitten would have loved: by sticking it right up ’em.
    FFC: Established 1877

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Why Bont is the best, the ‘Mr Football’ of the modern era

    I'm blocked from reading the details. Who wrote the article BAD?

    Please and thank you.
    Our *three* weapons are fear, and surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again

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  5. #3
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    Re: Why Bont is the best, the ‘Mr Football’ of the modern era

    With the age articles if you open them in secret/incogonito/private browsing mode it bypasses their 5 article limit.

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    Re: Why Bont is the best, the ‘Mr Football’ of the modern era

    Quote Originally Posted by Twodogs View Post
    I'm blocked from reading the details. Who wrote the article BAD?

    Please and thank you.
    Wayne Carey....no serious
    "Lets put the mouthguards in and get to work"

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    Re: Why Bont is the best, the ‘Mr Football’ of the modern era

    Quote Originally Posted by Grantysghost View Post
    With the age articles if you open them in secret/incogonito/private browsing mode it bypasses their 5 article limit.
    I've been told that if you clear your cookies that it takes you back to zero and gives you five more articles too.
    Our *three* weapons are fear, and surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again

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    Re: Why Bont is the best, the ‘Mr Football’ of the modern era

    Quote Originally Posted by Twodogs View Post
    I've been told that if you clear your cookies that it takes you back to zero and gives you five more articles too.
    Delete all internet history/ passwords etc. and it does.

  11. #7
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    Re: Why Bont is the best, the ‘Mr Football’ of the modern era

    So Wayne that's not too bad, but Petracca whilst going well doesn't have the benefit of consistent seasons piling up on each other.

    Additionally you missed the first team that tried to rattle him physically was your Bonershins and he ripped them apart, and I'm not sure anyone in the modern game would respond all that well to having their head slammed into the turf by pulled hair and face scratched given that stuff just doesn't happen anymore.

    If Bont wants to play well he plays well. The biggest difference in his game that's been developing over the years is that he now seems to always want to play well.

  12. #8
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    Re: Why Bont is the best, the ‘Mr Football’ of the modern era

    Not only Bont is hitting his prime, but those around him as well. What a great time to be able to see all these players blossom together: Libba, Macrae, Treloar, Bruce, Naughton( more to go), Duryea, B.Williams, B.Smith, Keith, Crozier, B.Dale, Lipinsky, Egnlish, the list just keeps going on and on.

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  14. #9
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    Re: Why Bont is the best, the ‘Mr Football’ of the modern era

    Quote Originally Posted by macca View Post
    Not only Bont is hitting his prime, but those around him as well. What a great time to be able to see all these players blossom together: Libba, Macrae, Treloar, Bruce, Naughton( more to go), Duryea, B.Williams, B.Smith, Keith, Crozier, B.Dale, Lipinsky, Egnlish, the list just keeps going on and on.
    It's a good point. The leader brews the brew and the brew keeps on a brewing.

  15. #10
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    Re: Why Bont is the best, the ‘Mr Football’ of the modern era

    Quote Originally Posted by Twodogs View Post
    I'm blocked from reading the details. Who wrote the article BAD?

    Please and thank you.
    If you delete your browsing history it resets the 5 articles per month.

    Edit Sorry just read the full thread. You're already onto this.

  16. #11
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    Re: Why Bont is the best, the ‘Mr Football’ of the modern era

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
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    I’ve said before he’s about as close to Scott Pendlebury as anyone we’ve seen, with his ability to find space and float through traffic.

    ‘Pendles’ is on another level in that regard, but Bontempelli isn’t too far off him – and has a few other strings to his bow as well.
    What do people make of this? I know hes played more games, and yes Pendlebury has been a great player - but my view is that Bontempelli has a bigger and more consistent impact on games and that his best is a fair bit above the best of Pendles

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  18. #12
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    Re: Why Bont is the best, the ‘Mr Football’ of the modern era

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Revolution View Post
    What do people make of this? I know hes played more games, and yes Pendlebury has been a great player - but my view is that Bontempelli has a bigger and more consistent impact on games and that his best is a fair bit above the best of Pendles
    I feel the Bont is a real match winner and a huge presence on the ground. Maybe I haven't watched Pendles all his career closely, but Bont is only 25 and seemingly getting better every match.
    FFC: Established 1877

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  19. #13
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    Re: Why Bont is the best, the ‘Mr Football’ of the modern era

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    I feel the Bont is a real match winner and a huge presence on the ground. Maybe I haven't watched Pendles all his career closely, but Bont is only 25 and seemingly getting better every match.
    Bont is at another level from where Pendles was at his best.

    He is like Pendles plus and despite the article suggesting an issues with his kicking, he has been a sublime kick always. He has better depth and accuracy on his opposite foot than anyone since Leon Cameron.
    Life is to be Enjoyed not Endured

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  21. #14
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    Re: Why Bont is the best, the ‘Mr Football’ of the modern era

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    No one is the finished product – and if there’s a weakness to Bontempelli’s game, it’s hitting a team-mate on the lead – but he’s about as complete as you can get.
    What if I told you that it isn't and he's actually really good at it? Such a strange thing to take issue with by someone who's presumably watched him play before.
    - RIP Goldstein for 2021 First - 2020-2020 -

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  23. #15
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    Re: Why Bont is the best, the ‘Mr Football’ of the modern era

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Revolution View Post
    What do people make of this? I know hes played more games, and yes Pendlebury has been a great player - but my view is that Bontempelli has a bigger and more consistent impact on games and that his best is a fair bit above the best of Pendles
    Pendlebury is an excellent player but I'm not sure I've ever seen him lift his team to victory like Bontempelli can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Days View Post
    What if I told you that it isn't and he's actually really good at it? Such a strange thing to take issue with by someone who's presumably watched him play before.
    Truly odd statement. The Bulldogs posted footage the other day of (I think) a bunch of Josh Bruce's goals and in one of them Bontempelli clears it from the centre bounce, kind of stumbles and kicks under pressure, on his right foot to the leading forward and it hits him laces out. It was chef's kiss.
    "It's over. It's all over."

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