Richmond bad boy Dustin Martin and Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield might be likened to chalk and cheese off the footy ground.
As far as the general public knows about it anyway.
‘Dusty’ Martin doesn’t care much about revealing to the wider world what it is that actually makes him tick.
In the wild, he’s often described as aloof, arrogant and perhaps a little bit caught up in his own opinion of himself.
He has good reason to think that way of course.
‘Danger’ is the polar opposite.
The Cat superstar has participated in endless interviews for television, radio and newspapers this season.
The AFL Grand Final on Saturday is shaping as the Dusty versus Danger show, with the hopes of their respective teams and their countless fans resting on their shoulders.
Patrick Dangerfield poses with his kids Felicity and George during a Geelong Cats AFL media opportunity at GMHBA Stadium last year
Dustin Martin cuts a fine figure off the field
Dustin Martin celebrates a goal during the 2019 AFL Grand Final between the Richmond Tigers and the GWS Giants at the MCG
Patrick Dangerfield in action during the 2020 AFL Second Preliminary Final match between the Brisbane Lions and the Geelong Cats
While both undisputed champions, their lives are worlds apart.
Dangerfield takes little issue in casting wife Mardi and kids George and Felicity into the public spotlight.
Dangerfield is easy going, friendly and comfortable engaging with journalists and fans alike.
Reporters have practically given up on even trying to get Martin to attend a press conference.
Apart from the interviews he’s given when adding to his trophy cabinet, Martin’s recent attempts at press engagement have been newsworthy for no other reason than how badly they went.
About this time last year Martin made headlines after he was asked what his girlfriend thought about the undies he was spruiking.
He was saved by his manager Ralph Carr who shoved the reporter in the back.
It was a similar scenario in 2017, while promoting an actual football, Martin took offence at being asked about ongoing contract negotiations.
Dustin Martin and manager Ralph Carr after Dusty won the 2017 Brownlow Medal
Dustin Martin did not wish to discuss his personal life during a press conference for Bonds
A bloody Patrick Dangerfield during the AFL First Qualifying Final match between the Port Adelaide Power and Geelong Cats
AT A GLANCE
Martin: 187cm tall and weighs 93kgs
Dangerfield: 189 cm tall and weighs 92kg
Martin : aged 29
Dangerfield aged 30
Martin averages 25 disposals, 1.10 goals and 4.76 inside 50s a game
Dangerfield averages 23.99 disposals, 1.12 goals and 4.82 inside 50s a game
But Martin doesn’t really need to engage with the media to do what he does best.
He not only has two Brownlow medals, but a couple of Norm Smith medals for best on ground in Richmond’s 2017 and 2019 premiership wins.
‘That is what you play footy for. That is why I play a team sport,’ Martin told reporters in a rare interview.
Those that know the Tiger personally appear to agree Martin is extremely shy, which might explain some of his behaviour in public.
He has been linked to a bevvy of beauties over the years, but has not yet settled on one yet – well, not that he would talk about it anyway.
Martin’s relationship with the public and media could stem back to the very public battles of his own father Shane.
The former Rebels bikie has been deported back to New Zealand twice and will again be forced to watch his son play in the Grand Final from abroad.
It’s a tragedy for Martin no matter what you think of his dad.
Dustin Martin and his dad Shane, who was sent back to New Zealand
Martin has been previously linked to food blogger and Sydney physiotherapist Tania Acitelli
Last year it was reported Martin was dating glamour model Chontelle Berryman.
Martin’s fans couldn’t care less about what he does off the field.
As long as he keeps turning up on the weekend and bringing home Tiger premierships he can do practically what he wants.
Down the highway, in Geelong, Dangerfield plays a different game.
He has schoolboy looks, charm and not a single tattoo in sight.
Dangerfield loves the great outdoors and comes across as the kind of bloke you’d love nothing more than to sit by the river with and enjoy a few cans while listening to the footy on the radio.
Dangerfield actually hosts his own fishing and outdoor adventure radio show.
Statistically, the pair aren’t too far apart on the field.
DANGER V DUSTY BY THE NUMBERS
Games: 268. Finals: 19 (8 wins, 11 losses)
Disposals average: 23.99
Goals average: 1.12
Goal assists average: 0.65
Clearances average: 5.42
Inside 50s average: 4.82
Brownlow medal: 2016
All Australian: 8 times
Club champion: 4 times
Games: 243 games. Finals: 14 (9 wins, 5 losses)
Disposals average: 25
Goals average: 1.10
Goal assists average: 0.73
Clearances average: 4.13
Inside 50s average: 4.76
Brownlow medal: 2017
Norm Smith medal: 2017, 2019
All Australian: 4 times
Club champion: 2 times
Dustin Martin signs autographs during the Richmond Tigers AFL Family Day in 2014
Patrick Dangerfield hams it up at the Cats’ post AFL season celebrations at the Cremorne Hotel last year
Dangerfield’s son George mucks about as his dad gives a press conference
Patrick Dangerfield conducts another video call with journalists while in lockdown this year
They are both Brownlow medallists and together have won six AFL best and fairest awards, two Norm Smith medals and been in the All-Australian team 12 times.
They’re similar in height and weight, almost the same age and their on-field statistics are near identical.
The more playful Dangerfield appears to have had more fun doing it, despite his failure to secure a premiership medallion.
In 2017, Dangerfield attended a press conference with his head taped, arm in a sling and on crutches in a hysterical response to criticism that he made too much of injuries.
When not surfing or fishing off Moggs Creek, just off the Great Ocean Road, he keeps football fans in stitches with his comments and impersonation skills.
Before his first child was born, Dangerfield and his wife made a video where they discussed baby names, noise cancelling headphones and family plans.
Dangerfield said his first child could choose whatever future it likes ‘as long as it’s football’.
Come Saturday night, only one feline will be leaving the GABBA with a smile on his face.
Patrick Dangerfield and wife Mardi arrive during the 2020 Brownlow Medal Count at Metricon Stadium
Dangerfield and Cats coach Chris Scott during the 2020 AFL Second Preliminary Final match against the Brisbane Lions
Dustin Martin is at ease among friends and family
Dustin Martin (right) mucks about with former Magpie champ Dane Swan
At ease: Dustin Martin (left) is at ease when he is among mates and on the footy field
Source: Daily Mail AU