Oh how quickly we forget.

There has been much speculation and opinion from various social media channels over the past few months that the Fremantle Dockers are a better side without Aaron Sandilands.

The same Aaron Sandilands that has not once, not twice but three times been deemed worthy by a panel of AFL experts to wear the coveted All-Australian jumper.

The same Aaron Sandilands who won the 2009 Doig Medal and finished runner-up in 2010.

The same Aaron Sandilands who people not long ago believed the team could not win a game of footy without.

The stats are there to back this claim.

Between Sandilands’ first All-Australian year of 2008, right up until mid 2011, the club played seven games without him and lost them all by an average of 54 points.

That Freo has learnt to win without him now, beginning with a round 12 win over Essendon in 2011, is fantastic for the club.

Jon Griffin has been the main instigator of that and has done a terrific job, but to say that Freo is better without Sandilands is asinine.

Even in 2012, the club was 5-4 in games with him in the line-up before he was injured in round 11.

Star midfielders David Mundy and Michael Barlow will be the first to admit they were still building fitness early in the season and were not at the top of their games, rendering Sandilands’ hitout dominance less effective than usual.

Yes he is almost 30, and yes he has had his fair share of injuries in the past two seasons. But he is also 211cm and won’t be getting any shorter.

Any club, at any point in history of this great game would have been better for having a man as dominant as Sandilands ruck.

Rather than forget and make egregious comments about this giant of the game, perhaps it would be wiser and more respectful to give thanks that this club has had the privilege of witnessing one of the greatest players ever in his position wear the Fremantle Dockers jumper.

Don’t forget that.

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