IT ain’t easy being Greene, particularly when you kick 0.5 and essentially cost your team the game.
But Toby Greene’s inaccuracy on Sunday against the Blues wasn’t even close to the worst performance in front of goal in the modern era let alone in Aussie Rules history.
Buddy Franklin famously kicked 2.11 for the Hawks in Round 21, 2007, against the Bulldogs – a game Hawthorn won by a staggering 84 points despite their spearhead’s shanks and hooks.
Franklin, at the very least, managed to snag two majors, but the following players hold the dubious record of being the least accurate kicks in front of the big sticks without managing to score a goal in the process.
STUART SPENCER (Melbourne): 0 goals, 11 behinds, Round 5, 1956 v Geelong
TWO time Demons best and fairest Stuart Spencer was an integral part of Norm Smith’s all-conquering Melbourne team.
Having tried out for Reg Hickey’s Cats squad in 1949 and subsequently moved on, Spencer landed in the red and blue in 1950 as a small defender, before master coach Smith told him “Stuey, there’s time for you to go back to back pocket when you’re 35”, and pushed him into the midfield.
What Smith didn’t count on was that Spencer kicked like a defender, and although he was accurate enough to lead the club goalkicking in 1955, his 0.11 still stands as the equal worst performance in front of goal in league history.
TOM ALLEN (Richmond): 0 goals, 11 behinds, Round 14, 1949 v North Melbourne
THAT record had been held solely by Richmond’s Tom Allen for seven years, but we’re pretty sure he would have been happy to share it.
Allen’s nightmare kicking may have been because of a serious case of nerves, as it came in his very first VFL game, in Round 14, 1949.
A 180cm medium forward, Allen would end up playing just 22 games and kicking 8 goals for the Tigers, before going on to coach successfully at the local level.
MICHAEL BYRNE (Hawthorn): 0 goals, 8 behinds, Round 13, 1985 v Melbourne
IT was a matter of extremes for ruckman Michael Byrne.
In his debut for the Hawks after crossing over from Melbourne in 1982, Byrne kicked 8 straight goals against Footscray and somehow managed to inflate the already bursting egos of Hawthorn fans.
Three years later, he kicked 8 straight behinds against Melbourne and was duly shipped off to Sydney to finish his VFL career with 167 games and 150 goals.
Byrne is currently the skills coach for the Wallabies in rugby union, because nobody gives a fuck where you spray the ball in that sport.
BILL FINDLAY (North Melbourne): 0 goals, 7 behinds, Round 7, 1937 v Melbourne
NAMED rover in Port Melbourne’s Team of the Century, Findlay played 173 games of VFL, mostly for North Melbourne
Resting forward like Gary Ablett Jr will do at Geelong next season, Findlay led North’s goalkicking in 1943, 1944 and 1945, presumably while the opposition was distracted by a world war.
A J.J. Liston Trophy winner and the butt of a tasteless joke about enlistment in a shitty football blog 20 years after his death, Findlay played his final two matches as a 41-year-old for Coburg, setting aside his coaching hat to pull on the boots during an injury crisis.
NORM SMITH (Melbourne): 0 goals, 7 behinds, Round 10, 1937 v Fitzroy
THERE’S every chance Stuart Spencer wasn’t much of a kick because his coach wasn’t either.
Legendary Demons leader Norm Smith had a knack for poor kicking during his playing career. Although he finished with 572 goals from 227 games for Melbourne and Fitzroy, he also managed to kick 7 straight behinds in 1937, and a staggering 4 goals, 11 behinds against North Melbourne in 1940.
Thankfully, his wonky boot wasn’t his legacy, and ‘The Red Fox’ is now known mostly as the man who lends his name to the medal for best on field in the Grand Final.
DICK REYNOLDS (Essendon): 0 goals, 7 behinds, Round 14, 1934 v South Melbourne
BEING a great player doesn’t always mean being a great kick.
One of only four players to win three Brownlow medals, Essendon legend Dick Reynolds frustrated fans at Windy Hill on more than one occasion with his inaccuracy.
His 0.7 in 1934 is notable for his inability to score a goal, but his 1.8 against Collingwood in 1938 was just as bad. And he’s not the only big name to have some pretty wretched accuracy records against his name.
Leigh Matthews kicked 3.8 twice. Collingwood spearhead Peter McKenna has scores of 1.10 and 3.8 to his name. Even goalkicking legend Bob Pratt notched 1.8 and 3.8 twice each.
But at the very least these blokes had the excuse of playing in horrible conditions on suburban grounds…
JUSTIN LONGMUIR (Fremantle): 0 goals, 7 behinds, Round 20, 2003 v Western Bulldogs
WHICH is not an excuse Justin Longmuir can use.
The Dockers tall forward was playing at sunny Subiaco in 2003 when he kicked 0.7, the worst goal kicking effort since Mick Byrne’s dick-footed performance in 1985.
Now an assistant coach at West Coast, Longmuir finished his career with 139 games, 166 goals, a winning-goal after the siren and this pointless article on his bad kicking.