Now of course when any sporting competition is run, it is to find the best team/individual. We have compared our ranked teams over the decades against the competitions best this week, at this blog post.
We could also, for the very cheap thrills that they are, now look at the other end of the spectrum. The teams at the bottom.
Again, this is counter the reason we rank teams this way, but the table below shows just who finished at the foot of the rankings after each VFL/AFL season.
While our rankings of the BEST teams aligned with the seasons Premiers in just under 60% of the time, there is a stronger correlation between the worst teams.
Over 117 seasons, our worst ranked team has won the wooden spoon 2 out of every 3 years (67% of the time).
As per the Premiers post, the above is a very big and busy table. What we need to do is boil it down to a total over the whole period of VFL/AFL football history.
The table at right does just that, and from this we can see St Kilda have been far and away the worst team in VFL/AFL history.
We also rank the worst teams under St Kilda slightly differently to the wooden spooners of years past.
We have the teams trailing the Saints as North Melbourne, Hawthorn and Fitzroy, whereas the most spoons after St Kilda are North Melbourne, Melbourne, Hawthorn and South Melbourne / Sydney.
...And for the sake of splitting the teams, the table was sorted by our rankings totals first, then by total number of premierships.
A few anomalies in the table...
1) Geelong have escaped more spoons as we ranked them worst on 9 occasions.
So too the Brisbane Bears, who should have had a few more pieces of wood-ware
2) South Melbourne / Sydney have suffered worse, collecting more wooden spoons than deserved.
So too University and Melbourne, who we think were not as bad as the record suggests.
3) Footscray / Western Bulldogs have been unlucky. We have never ranked them as the worst for the year, but they have 4 wooden spoons to their name (from 1959, 1967, 1982 and, 2003)
And a similar story too for Collingwood, with 2 spoons in 1976 and 1999.
4) The only teams to not have won a wooden spoon are both based out of South Australia.
5) We also ranked St Kilda worst in 6 consecutive years (1897 - 1902).
The only time a team has got close to that streak?
St Kilda - 5 times between 1982 and 1986.
After that 4 straight seasons to: Hawthorn (1925-28), St Kilda (1952-55) and Fitzroy (1962-66).