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Brownlow Medal Tips, Previews & Predictions
The Brownlow Medal is an award for the best and fairest Australian Football League (AFL) player during the regular season. It is the most prestigious award an AFL player can achieve and widely acknowledged as the highest individual honour in Australian Rules football.
Officially known as the Charles Brownlow Trophy, the Brownlow Medal was first awarded by the Victorian Football League (VFL). It was created and named in 1924 in honour of Charles Brownlow, a former Geelong footballer, club secretary and VFL president who passed away that year.
The medal has been awarded every year since 1924 with the exception of 1942–1945 due to World War II. As of 2017, the Brownlow Medal has been awarded 104 times to 86 different players.
The emphasis of the award is on sportsmanship and fair play instead of personal achievement, with votes cast by the field umpires after each game. The three field umpires award 3 votes, 2 votes and 1 vote to the players they regard as best.
The votes from each match are tallied on the Brownlow Medal ceremony awards night with the player or players gaining the highest number of votes awarded the medal. If two or more players score the equal highest number of votes, each player wins a Brownlow Medal.
The fairest element of the Brownlow Medal is done by making and player ineligible if they are suspended by the AFL Tribunal during the regular season. The players have tallied the highest number of Brownlow votes but ruled ineligible due to suspension.
The voting system has been criticised for favouring midfield players, with few key-position and defensive players ever winning the medal. The tradition of having umpires cast votes has also been publicly criticised by high profile coaches including Kevin Sheedy and Leigh Matthews.
The Brownlow Medal award ceremony is a key event in the Australian Rules calendar, with the ceremony held at Crown Casino in Melbourne on the Monday five days before the AFL Grand Final.
The fashion and gossip surrounding players and their dates is almost as important as the award itself. During the event, votes for each match are announced in succession by the CEO of the AFL with retrospective highlights from each round.
Votes during the season are tightly held and not opened until they are announced on the award night. This preserves the drama when the result can come down to the final round of votes.
Many bookmakers offer odds on the Brownlow Medal winner. With betting plunges in the past attributed to inside information, the AFL constantly upgrades its security measures to ensure the votes are kept secret until the award ceremony.
Four players have won the Brownlow Medal three times including Haydn Bunton Sr, Dick Reynolds, Bob Skilton and Ian Stewart. Understandably, some of the legends of the game won the Brownlow Medal including Malcolm Blight, Robert DiPierdomenico, Tony Lockett, Gerard Healy, Jim Stynes, Paul Kelly, James Hird, Robert Harvey, Chris Judd, Adam Goodes and Gary Ablett Jr.
Recent Brownlow Medal Winners and Club
|2017||Dustin Martin||Richmond Tigers|
|2016||Patrick Dangerfield||Geelong Cats|
|2015||Nathan Fyfe||Freemantle Dockers|
|2014||Matt Priddis||West Coast Eagles|
|2013||Gary Ablett Jr.||Goald Coast Suns|
|2012||Sam Mitchell||Hawthorn Hawks|
|2011||Dane Swan||Collingwood Magpies|
|2010||Chris Judd||Carlton Blues|
|2009||Gary Ablett Jr.||Geelong Cats|
|2008||Adam Cooney||Western Bulldogs|
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