The AFL’s most distinguished individual honour, the Charles Brownlow Medal, has always been shrouded in a layer of secrecy. This humble hard hitting sports journo wishes to educate the public about the machinations behind this award so that there is no longer consternation about any future winners.
This medal, theoretically awarded to the best and fairest player of the regular season, seems to follow a straight forward system: In each match, at the conclusion of the game, the three officiating umpires will decide who the three best players were and subsequently award three votes to the best player, two votes to the second best player and one vote to the third best player. These votes are then sealed in an envelope and sent to a safe in AFL house, where it is locked away, not to be opened until the conclusion of the regular season.
While this may seem a perfectly reasonable way of determining the best performed player in any given season, eyebrows have been raised when unheralded players win the coveted prize such as Scott Wynd, Shane Woewodin, and most recently, Matt Priddis. While you might see these results as ludicrous, this hard hitting sports journo submits that this is an unfair, overly simplistic view. If one questions the worthiness of these players to win the Brownlow, then it betrays in them a fundamental lack of understanding of the sophisticated nuances of our great game.