The Statscrunch Very Early Brownlow Preview!!!

Here we are, previewing the Chas Brownlow Trophy. I’ve never understood why it’s called the Trophy when it’s actually a medal, but anyway…

Here we are, previewing the Brownlow and illuminating you with interesting facts. I have to do this on Tuesday because I’ll be away on Brownlow Monday.

Here we go!

Who is it named after?

Chas Brownlow (his actual name was Charles) was a football administrator for the Geelong Football Club. He captained them to a VFA premiership in 1883, and he was the Geelong delegate to the Australiasian Football Council for the next 20 years. He died in January 1924, and so the VFL decided to name an award after him, to be given to the fairest and best player for 1924. That went to Edward ‘Carji’ Greeves, who played for (funnily enough) Geelong.

Who has won the Brownlow?

A lot of players. If you want the whole list, then I’d advise you to go to AFL Tables. I’ll only give you the players who’ve won multiple times.

  • Hadyn Bunton (Fitzroy) 1931, 1932, 1935
  • Ian Stewart (St Kilda) 1965, 1966, (Richmond) 1971
  • Dick Reynolds (Essendon) 1934, 1937, 1938
  • Bob Skilton (South Melbourne), 1959, 1963, 1968
  • Greg Williams (Sydney) 1986, (Carlton) 1994
  • Robert Harvey (St Kilda) 1997, 1998
  • Adam Goodes (Sydney) 2003, 2006
  • Gary Ablett (Geelong) 2009, (Gold Coast) 2013
  • Chris Judd (West Coast) 2004, (Carlton) 2010
  • Keith Greig (North Melbourne) 1973, 1974
  • Bill Hutchison (Essendon) 1952, 1953
  • Peter Moore (Collingwood) 1979, (Melbourne) 1984
  • Ivor Warne-Smith (Melbourne) 1926, 1928
  • Roy Wright (Richmond) 1952, 1954

Which club has won it the most times?

Sydney/St Kilda has won the Brownlow 14 times. Funnily, they’ve won 11 more Brownlows in the past 70 years than they have premierships.

Who has the most votes of all time?

Gary Dempsey, of Footscray and North Melbourne, has been awarded 218.5 adjusted votes in his career. Robert Harvey is 2nd (215) and Gary Ablett and Chris Judd are tied for third (209).

How are the winners decided?

Each game, the umpires congregate, and they award 3-2-1 votes: 3 votes to the best player, 2 to the second best, and 1 to the third best. Whoever gets the most votes wins for the season, if they didn’t get suspended during the year.

Who are the contenders this year?

The overwhelming favourite is Nat Fyfe (Fremantle), who’s had one of the most dominant seasons of all time. The only one I can remember that would’ve been better was Gary Ablett’s insane performance for the first half of 2014. There’s no doubt about it, Fyfe will get 20 votes easy, at least 25. The only problem is that he’s been in trouble frequently, without getting suspended, and so the umpires might dock him votes for that.

One of the contenders is Todd Goldstein (North Melbourne). He became the first ruckman in history to get 1,000 hitouts for a season, and is surely one of North’s driving forces throughout the year. He may not poll, however.

Other contenders are last year’s champion Matt Priddis (West Coast), Sydney superstars Josh Kennedy and Daniel Hannebery, Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn), and departing Adelaide player Patrick Dangerfield.

Who do you think will win, with how many votes?

My top 3:

  1. Nat Fyfe (Fremantle), 28 votes
  2. Todd Goldstein (North Melbourne), 27 votes
  3. Josh Kennedy (Sydney), 19 votes

Whew, there’s 15 minutes of hard work.


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