HAWTHORN champion Michael Tuck believes the Hawks of 2013-15 could overtake the 1988-89 premiership sides if they deliver the first three-peat in the club's history.
Tuck, who is the AFL's games record holder, said he believed those champion teams of the late 1980s would beat today's Hawks if the sides were matched up in their prime.
But if Alastair Clarkson's team could win its third consecutive premiership then the argument would be settled and the modern-day Hawks would be the club's greatest.
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"If they've won three in a row, you've got to say they're better than us I suppose, the facts and figures prove that," he said on Tuesday.
"It's very hard to judge because I feel the 1988-89 sides would beat anyone playing today.
"You've got to put them on a scale of same age against same age, and we'd be as fit as these blokes if we had to be, some of us probably were."
Tuck, who played 426 games from 1972-91 as one of the game's great ruck-rovers, said the premiership race should not be declared over after the Hawks' recent wins against challengers Fremantle and the Sydney Swans.
He said their clear advantage on the rest of the competition had more to do with administration than natural talent.
"You can get a good footballer, but if he doesn't fit into the club and causes more drama than what he's worth, is he worth having?" Tuck said.
"So you've got to choose the right player for the club to make the club tick.
"A champion team will beat a team of champions.
"They're in a very good spot this year, but anything can happen on the day."
Tuck was speaking as North Melbourne champion Brent Harvey prepared to play his 400th game, joining Richmond great Kevin Bartlett, Essendon veteran Dustin Fletcher and Tuck in the four-man 400 club.
Tuck said he would welcome Harvey or Fletcher, who have not declared their intentions for 2016, breaking his record.
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"With fitness coaches and special coaches, [players are] in six days a week, but we had to work all day," he said.
"But these guys turn up and have a bit of a sauna, a spa and a run around and go home.
"I always said records are made to be broken, you only hold them for a short time because people seem to improve."