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  1. #1
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    Mike Sheahan Ready to Put Bontempelli on E.J's Level at the Western Bulldogs

    https://www.sen.com.au/news/2024/06/...tern-bulldogs/

    Veteran Australian football journalist Mike Sheahan is ready to put Marcus Bontempelli in the same category as E.J Whitten, ranking them as equals when discussing the greatest Bulldog of all-time.

    Whitten played 321 games for the Dogs between 1951 and 1970, winning five best and fairests, leading the club?s goal kicking four times and captaining the club for over a decade.

    Sheahan, who has followed the game since the 1950s, believes their resumes are becoming eerily similar.

    ?Is it heresy to say somebody has matched E.J for impact at the Whitten Oval?? Sheahan told SEN Breakfast.

    ?Are we at the point where we have to say Bontempelli now sits with E.J for having had the greatest impact at the Western Bulldogs.

    ?E.J is an exalted figure and rightly so, but sometimes the evidence is irrefutable and the symmetry between these two is remarkable.

    ?Five best and fairests each, best and fairests in premiership years and in Grand Final years.

    ?A family friend of mine played seven seasons with the Bulldogs and with E.J and I used to carry his bags to the footy. I was young, I was in my teens, and I think Bontempelli in the modern version, he has the same impact at the Western Bulldogs that Wayne Carey had at North Melbourne.

    ?They can?t win an important game of footy, the Doggies, unless Bontempelli has a big game.?

    Bontempelli has served as Dogs skipper since 2020 and made the All-Australian side in 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2023.

    He would be well on track to win his sixth blazer and his sixth Charles Sutton Medal in 2024.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Mike Sheahan Ready to Put Bontempelli on E.J's Level at the Western Bulldogs

    Friends who knows how much I love the doggies ask me this a fair bit. "Is Bont your greatest player of all time?"

    My answer is always the same. "I never saw EJ play. I can't answer that. All I can tell you is he's easily the best I've ever seen.

    Now someone who DID see EJ play, and is one of the most respected names on the football media, thinks Bont may have caught him.

    I would love to get everyone's thoughts on this.

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  5. #3
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    Re: Mike Sheahan Ready to Put Bontempelli on E.J's Level at the Western Bulldogs

    Chris Grant had the yips but kicked 550 goals in half a career, coming second in the Brownlow as a CHB and polling the most votes as a CHF. Criminally underrated, unfortunately playing for a team that didn't get as much coverage as we might have liked.

    Bont in his career to date is level with Grant as the best I've seen. He'll have him covered by the time it wraps up.

    EJ was the defining player of his era, I struggle to wrap my head around how Bont can be considered better than him in lieu of him not being considered in the top five of his.

    Does Bont have more competition than EJ did?
    RIP John Setka. Someone check on EW.

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  7. #4
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    Re: Mike Sheahan Ready to Put Bontempelli on E.J's Level at the Western Bulldogs

    I think Doug Hawkins pre knee in 86 was one of those once in a generation types. He gets missed in some of these conversations and I wonder if it is a bit about the court jester role he played on The Footy Show.

    When he did his knee that day at the MCG everyone was traumatised. There was no guarantee of a return in those days and I think we all thought there goes our chance at a flag after 85.

    Bont and Grant, I now have Bont on a par with Grant, with Hawk just behind. Bont will pass him barring something horrid.

    I mean maybe we forget Chris could well be a 2 x brownlow medalist and premiership player, only cruelled by the barest of margins on all 3, and all respect to midfielders he was a CHF/CHB.

    Bont - present
    Grant - 90s
    Hawk - 80s

    As others have said I never saw EJ so can't comment.

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  9. #5
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    Re: Mike Sheahan Ready to Put Bontempelli on E.J's Level at the Western Bulldogs

    Ditto. =Grant
    Rocket Science: the epitaph for the Beveridge era - whenever it ends - reading 'Here lies a team that could beat anyone on its day, but seldom did when it mattered most'. 15/7/2023

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    Re: Mike Sheahan Ready to Put Bontempelli on E.J's Level at the Western Bulldogs

    Is it a bit hard to judge because football has changed so much over the decades.
    Could EJ play the this day and age? EJ was a little bit before my time so hard to say.
    Could the Bont play back in the 50's no doubt if he was getting on top in a game I'm sure someone would have given him a belt to put him back in his place.
    I think you can only judge players over their careers against their peers with may be a few years either side for a bit of over lap.
    Were does Dougie sit as a footballer or Templeton. It would have been a lot harder back when EJ played purely on the physical side both aerobically and the roughness but on the other hand todays game is faster and you have to be fitter but cleaner in your less likely to get a belt behind the ear.
    Bonts up there no doubt but only when he retires can you take full account of his career.
    Don't piss off old people
    The older we get the less "LIFE IN PRISON" is a deterrent...

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  12. #7
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    Re: Mike Sheahan Ready to Put Bontempelli on E.J's Level at the Western Bulldogs

    Quote Originally Posted by Hotdog60 View Post
    Is it a bit hard to judge because football has changed so much over the decades.
    Could EJ play the this day and age? EJ was a little bit before my time so hard to say.
    Could the Bont play back in the 50's no doubt if he was getting on top in a game I'm sure someone would have given him a belt to put him back in his place.
    I think you can only judge players over their careers against their peers with may be a few years either side for a bit of over lap.
    Were does Dougie sit as a footballer or Templeton. It would have been a lot harder back when EJ played purely on the physical side both aerobically and the roughness but on the other hand todays game is faster and you have to be fitter but cleaner in your less likely to get a belt behind the ear.
    Bonts up there no doubt but only when he retires can you take full account of his career.
    EJ also played 300+, captained 200+ and coached too. Plus his SOO career. I agree, it’s a discussion for the end of Bonts career. But if he could add in a premiership as captain, maybe a Brownlow, a few more AA and B&Fs, then his accolades will mount up. If he can keep the club growing and build his aura, then let’s see.
    Rocket Science: the epitaph for the Beveridge era - whenever it ends - reading 'Here lies a team that could beat anyone on its day, but seldom did when it mattered most'. 15/7/2023

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    Re: Mike Sheahan Ready to Put Bontempelli on E.J's Level at the Western Bulldogs

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    Chris Grant had the yips but kicked 550 goals in half a career, coming second in the Brownlow as a CHB and polling the most votes as a CHF. Criminally underrated, unfortunately playing for a team that didn't get as much coverage as we might have liked.

    Bont in his career to date is level with Grant as the best I've seen. He'll have him covered by the time it wraps up.

    EJ was the defining player of his era, I struggle to wrap my head around how Bont can be considered better than him in lieu of him not being considered in the top five of his.

    Does Bont have more competition than EJ did?
    Bont isn't considered in the top 5 of his era? Who is ahead aside from, I assume, Dusty?

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  15. #9
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    Re: Mike Sheahan Ready to Put Bontempelli on E.J's Level at the Western Bulldogs

    Quote Originally Posted by hujsh View Post
    Bont isn't considered in the top 5 of his era? Who is ahead aside from, I assume, Dusty?
    How long is an Era?

    I have GAJ, Dangerfield, Martin, Franklin and Pavlich as how other people would probably see it. You could argue for Fyfe to be in there as well. And Happy Days will die on a hill for Ollie Wines to be included.

    But those same people will tell you Jonathan Brown is better than Chris Grant so what the **** would they know.

    In Bont's direct timeline I guess I put Martin and Dangerfield ahead of him. But that's mainly because I'm told I have to by Ch7.
    RIP John Setka. Someone check on EW.

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  17. #10
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    Re: Mike Sheahan Ready to Put Bontempelli on E.J's Level at the Western Bulldogs

    Quote Originally Posted by hujsh View Post
    Bont isn't considered in the top 5 of his era? Who is ahead aside from, I assume, Dusty?
    I was surprised by that comment too...it probably depends a bit on the definition of 'his era'.

    Buddy.
    Dusty.
    Dangerfield.
    ?Ablett (most of his career pre Bont)
    ?Fyfe (brownlows but no durability/longevity)

    Even though they've won Brownlows I have Cripps, Neale a rung below.

    By the end of his career I think Bont will be seen universally as a defining player of his generation.

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    Re: Mike Sheahan Ready to Put Bontempelli on E.J's Level at the Western Bulldogs

    For those of you that haven?t been lucky enough to see the clip, Sheahan says that he has an ongoing text chat with Kane Cornes. He said that they?re on opposite ends of the spectrum about the Dogs - that Kane is too harsh on Beveridge and, and that Sheahan thinks we?re a one man team.

    You ever seen two guys take opposing arguments and both be wrong?
    - I'm a visionary - Only here to confirm my biases -

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  20. #12
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    Re: Mike Sheahan Ready to Put Bontempelli on E.J's Level at the Western Bulldogs

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    How long is an Era?

    I have GAJ, Dangerfield, Martin, Franklin and Pavlich as how other people would probably see it. You could argue for Fyfe to be in there as well. And Happy Days will die on a hill for Ollie Wines to be included.

    But those same people will tell you Jonathan Brown is better than Chris Grant so what the **** would they know.

    In Bont's direct timeline I guess I put Martin and Dangerfield ahead of him. But that's mainly because I'm told I have to by Ch7.
    Pav was 2000-2016 so very little crossover with Bont's career.

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    Re: Mike Sheahan Ready to Put Bontempelli on E.J's Level at the Western Bulldogs

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    How long is an Era?

    I have GAJ, Dangerfield, Martin, Franklin and Pavlich as how other people would probably see it. You could argue for Fyfe to be in there as well. And Happy Days will die on a hill for Ollie Wines to be included.

    But those same people will tell you Jonathan Brown is better than Chris Grant so what the **** would they know.

    In Bont's direct timeline I guess I put Martin and Dangerfield ahead of him. But that's mainly because I'm told I have to by Ch7.
    Two of those guys are better than Bont. Maybe three but at some point Martin being kinda pretty shit for half of his career and only turning up for all of one home and away season has to count against him.
    - I'm a visionary - Only here to confirm my biases -

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    Re: Mike Sheahan Ready to Put Bontempelli on E.J's Level at the Western Bulldogs

    I can see arguments for Franklin, Martin and GAj (though would probably have him in an era before Bont) but not Danger. No one else deserves a mention for me though I'm sure people are mounting a case for Daicos as we speak

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    Re: Mike Sheahan Ready to Put Bontempelli on E.J's Level at the Western Bulldogs

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzadogs View Post
    Pav was 2000-2016 so very little crossover with Bont's career.
    That's why I asked how long an era is. But thanks for keeping me honest JD.
    RIP John Setka. Someone check on EW.

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