Almanac Footy: Screw the Brownlow





‘For the love of GOD!! Somebody, please…!


These last few days have put the old in this Old Dog! You try and be modern, love the modern game, but all the bullshit around it… And the herd mentality of so many of its followers!


1. A premiership medal for everyone who played a game for the team that year? Just because poster boy Bob never got one? So touchy, gropey Bruce can get one? Seriously!? Thousands of players who only got a handful of games mid season to see if they were up to it, but weren’t, or to fill in for injuries, would get the bling! Why not Bobby Skilton? Or Richo? They’re popular! Never played in a Grand Final, but, feh. The waterboy? They say he was a part of the team in their speeches. Wives, girlfriends? That soccer fan who went to Marvel Stadium on the wrong day!? Me!?


Plastic medals for everyone!!


I’ve been first emergency in a Grand Final before. We won. If someone had given me a medal I’d have heaved the bastard!


You play in the winning team, you get a medal. That’s what makes them so special!!!


Seriously, are they serious!? Spare me!


2. The Brownlow. I have never cared less. It has never meant less. It has become nothing more than a circle jerk for midfielders. Everybody is harping on about how high the winner’s votes were this year. As if that’s a unique fete. Of course they were!


Jesus wept! Shit, poo, fuck, you simple drongos! Remember when umpires gave votes according to influence, not stats-slash-who the media influence them to? Notice there are no forwards or ruckmen getting votes, even though they win games? And backmen, how they’re just being pissed on?

That’s where the extra gongs are coming from.


I have a half-baked idea. Most key midfielders have taggers these days. They don’t play on each other. So, umps, pit them against each other, anyway. If Bont and Ollie both played well, give the votes to neither.

If a defender clearly BEAT HIS OPPONENT, or forward the same, consider them.


Beat your man. Beat. Your. Man!


Charlie? Rodent’s bottom.


3. Naming the premiership cup. Eddie says the Matthews/Barassi Cup. Well, first, Matthews was a thug, so, no. Two, how about calling it, THE PREMIERSHIP bloody CUP!? Why, somebody, anybody, tell me, why are we so determined to be American? Who are these fans? Officials, media? Why can’t we be Australian?


Please, it’s so important, to be Aussie. To remember we’re Aussies. That we hate fake hype and bullshit. That not everything has to have a label. That we can still take pride in, find strength in, not fucking with things! In keeping them simple.


Cup naming? Up ya bum!


4. Thanks to Covid, the AFL has finally gotten what it’s being gagging for, for decades: a night Grand Final. Peak ratings. Who cares if most of us hate the idea, if we can’t build a social day around it, if little kids can’t enjoy it, if the skills will be less? They’ll make a fortune with pay-per view. That’s what matters. There are few things more important, on a day of celebration of the single best game in the world, to remind us it is just a commodity, and we are not rabid, passionate fans, but, rather, consumers. And that the AFL is a brand, not Aussie Rules footy.


But the fireworks will look better! But the half time entertainment…

Sorry, we’re not like gridiron, etc, all… our game is a meat pie. One tasty enough to not have to drown in a sea of tomato sauce to hide the lack of flavour.


The frills are fine for little tackers and the simple sort who get spellbound by shiny objects, but I tune in to watch players, teams, coaches, our great game, enter mythology.


The half time act should be that three piece punk band of 16 year olds from the local high school. Now THAT would be Aussie!


And, sorry kids, but WE shouldn’t even see it. We should be outside – by the barbie, or playing kick-to-kick. The old, the young, fat, skinny, women, men, boys, girls, all of us, hopeless and hurting and laughing, right until the game starts again.


That’s Aussie.


That’s community.


But we can’t.


It’s a %$&@$ing night final!


I hope this week goes fast. What is it with the bye before the GF now, anyways? Damn, I can’t wait until the game starts, and everything becomes football!



Read more from Old Dog HERE



And while we’re on a roll check out The Muse on AFL TV commentary HERE.




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  1. The Brownlow is a very narrow award.
    The total votes polled by the leading players are starting to approach Graham Moss levels.
    How often does the 3 votes go to a player from the losing team? That’s a question and I can’t be arsed digging to find the answer.
    You can leave me out of the Brownlow.
    I largely agree with the comments made in this piece

  2. A nice rant, Old Dog.
    And one with which I largely agree.
    1. Let’s just keep winners’ medals to the players who play on the day.
    2. Hats off to Ollie Wines, but defenders have no hope of winning the Brownlow – defenders are largely ignored by the umpires; it is more than ever a midfielders award.
    3. I pay no attention to what Eddie says.
    4. Day-time every time for me.

  3. Stone Cold Steve Baker says

    Hard to disagree with anything Old Dog’s on about here.

    AFL’s all about the sizzle and doesn’t give a hoot about the sausage.

    It’s a fantastic individual acheivement and kudos to the winners, but I can’t recall the last time I genuinely cared who won the Brownlow, nor can I recall the last time I sat down to watch the count.

    As for a night Grand Final, you can leave me out. Last year’s night GF was of interest just to see the difference, but give me a day GF any day.

  4. Has anyone crunched the numbers comparing coaches’ votes with Brownlow?

  5. Old Dog – Why don’t we have the KFC medal awarded during the Telstra half time break in the Toyota Grand Final which will be played at night so the Commonwealth Bank fireworks can light up the sky before the NAB Players Association members undertake participation in the Harvey Norman Cup game? Sound good?

    I’ve always liked the Brownlow. It has a great history. But sadly its been flattened out. Reduced. Homogenised. Tom Stewart hardly featuring was a bad look. There would be others.

    Wines is a very good player and seems like a ripper bloke. But the medal isn’t a intelligent indication of footy. Perhaps we just need to take it as it is.

  6. Good point, John. Barassi told me that under him, each line got a vote. Backline, mids, forwards. That was why a lot of great backmen got credit in his teams’ B&Fs.

  7. Sorry, one other – the “participation medal” for those involved, even remotely, in a premiership??? Horse shit. I agree with you.

  8. Andrew Fithall says

    A quote from me last evening while watching:
    20 votes after 11 rounds? The mid-field bias of votes is becoming worse each year.

    So I think I agree with you on that one Matt.


  9. Dips, I’m with you on the history. So, yet again, it comes down to how the Brownlow is playing out in this highly commercialised footy world. What ends are being served.

    Stats are easy to measure, but what rubbish. The concept of metrics and cause and effect and associations and all those other statistical concepts are interesting, but for me they can never be explainers.

    It’s interesting to be at local footy where there is no commentary and you have to trust your eye. I’ve done the BOG for Peter Argent here in the Barossa a couple of times. No stats. No collection of analysts to bounce things off. Just you asking yourself,”Who influenced the game the most?” And trust your eye.

    I remember the Blight commentary days well. Sometimes he’d include a preamble: “I don’t know what the stats say but, crikey, Freddie Footballer is having a say in the outcome of this match.”

  10. Sorry, Dog, I respect your right as a middle-aged man to rail against change, but, really, I doubt that — Brownlow-wise — there has been much change.

    We can name a few defenders and, especially, ruckmen who’ve won the Brownlow over the years, but mostly they’ve been won by blokes who play at ground level in the middle of the ground. Because that’s where the best players often play. And given that their job is to follow the ball all over the ground, they have a greater chance of getting it,

    Even if you consider ruckmen, there’s three midfielders compared to one big bloke who taps it down to them. Or at least propels the ball away from the aerial part of the contest. It’s just a fact that there are more midfielders than ruckmen.

    I, too, am taken aback by the concentration of votes in the hands of the leading players. Yes, it’s driven by stats. And media attention on those players. But, once again, they are the best players.

    I am not keen on naming the cup after two legends, or even one.

    I actually like the idea of a twilight grand final.

    What I hate is the endless interviews by smarmy television types during the Brownlow telecast. I miss the days when they played the highlights of each round, then gave the votes for that round.

    Then went on to the next round

  11. Look you ancient curmudgeon the winning team in the NFL Super Bowl gets to decide how many Championship Rings it wants and can give them to whoever it chooses. Injured players, coaches, owners, general managers, water boys, cheer leaders…
    So we should celebrate the contribution bit players can make to a GF win. I still remember the Daniel Chick fumble and goal off his shin in the 2006 Eagles flag.
    So its the Chick Magnet for all winning participants for me. Dimma could even have gotten two for the 2020 flag. One for the missus and one for the marketing lass. Would have saved a lot of legal fees and unpleasantness.
    As for the Premiership Cup why not also have a runners up trophy? The Bob Rose Vase has a nice ring to it.

  12. Old Dog I only have 1 disagreement I have always believed in medals for everyone on the squad – you don’t train and end up winning without,EVERYONE on the list contributing.The Brownlow – it is insanity as a maggot that it is the most prestigious award in the game is voted by the umpires there are games where coming off the ground I have had NFI ( it should be the players,MVP a big name organising his whole club to vote a certain player as most courageous as a joke hurt big time ) Must be a day gf ruins the whole fabric of the day played at night

  13. In relation to PB above,I HATE it how the runners up are treated it’s like murder pails in to insignificance it’s farcical thank you

  14. Mark Poustie says

    I dont mind a punt on the horses, but our family watching the Brownlow coverage on 7 was subjected to a betting extravaganza. The multiple crosses to Sportsbet and Nathan Brown every few rounds for revised odds or new betting offers (eg most votes in last 5 rounds) was infuriating. Sometimes we got double bangers : Nathan and another Sportsbet ad during the same break,. Give me a break, if you need to make new Brownlow bets while the counts in progress that doesnt sound like ” responsible gambling ” ( an oxymoron if ever I’ve seen one ) to me. Just trying to encourage poor bastards to lose more $$ that they can ill afford to part with.

  15. I’m genuinely torn two ways about premiership medals for those outside the playing squad – but all the spray-on outrage and the ‘the game’s tuff and so am I’ chest-thumping and the straw man rubbish about ‘participation medals’ from the SBM/talkback noise is fast committing me the other way.

    The Brownlow will never be the season’s most tedious night while they insist on televising The Draft, but it’s having a damn good try.

  16. Great rant Matt

    Agree with Marks comments too many gambling adds during the telecast

    1. Not fussed either way but can see a reason for guys like Josh Bruce, Modra 97 injured in a prelim, Presti. In 2010 to get one but maybe at Best. & Fairest night not Grand Final day. Though they are still not a premiership player, and will never be called that.

    2. All award and even top ten are midfielders, umps receive the stats now will always help that, they don’t look at match ups so a defender is going to struggle. Coaches award (outside of best & fairest) is best award to recognise defenders.

    3. Leave as is

    4 Prefer day if anything maybe twilight but for the best interests of children and older people game should finish by 8pm

  17. Daff, sorry mate, I respect your middle aged right as a middle aged man painting someone else as middle aged because they disagree with you, especially as you’re a middle aged man who helped form this middle aged page, it is your middle aged right to think this way!
    Phew, out of breath. (middle aged, apparently.)
    But I have also posted this elsewhere, where, not being old at heart, I have, through still playing, and coaching juniors, and bench coaching seniors, a broad range of people to get opinions from. From 16 to 60, they agreed. The game is better than ever! Sensational! A dream! And keeps getting better. I’ve said it time and time again. But, as for the Brownlow, sorry, mate, really? None of them enjoy it anymore. Almost everything has changed.
    Up to 20-something years ago, back pockets from Col Austen, Bernie Smith, John James, to Wilson, Hardie, to Wanga, won it. Key backs from Collier, Denis Ryan, Deacon, Goldsmith, Roberts, Howell, Collis, Glendinning… As you said, ruckmen used to win it, and regularly. Herbie Matthews, Ware, Cordner, Bill Morris, Noel Teasdale, brown suit Teasdale, Round, Moore (twice), Wynd, Dempsey, Wright, Gleeson, Schultz, Thompson, Moss, Stynes, so on. Forwards won it, from Clegg to Templeton to Superboot to Lockett. And almost every other year a backman, ruck, or forward finished in the top 3.
    Yes, a heap of on-ballers took home a Charlie, and oh, some of them were the greatest! But heaps of times they didn’t. And the game had other greats.
    The on-ballers are the best players in a team and always were? Tell that to a North with Carey. A St Kilda with Lockett. A Giants with Greene. A Geelong with Abblett Snr. A Collingwood with Ragan, a Fitzroy with Roos, before that, the great Bulldog Murray. A Geelong with Polly Farmer. Carlton Doull, Nichols, Hands. Name your generation. The Dogs, Whitten, Sutton, Murphy. Nic Nat is STILL the best player at the Eagles. Doesn’t get the most votes. Goldstein at the Roos. Nankervis gets bugger all votes despite his influence at Richmond. Most of their on-ballers (Dusty aside) are interchangeable. What they have is an amazing process. A great coach. Yet a dominant ruckman is rare and gold. They turn games through force of will. Merely propellers of the ball from sky to ground? Come on, don’t be old! Haha. Yes, due to the incredible, breathtaking advances in defensive work, and accountability, they will no longer get 15 marks a game, even though, somehow, we’ve evolved back to kicking it down the line, but… The good ones throw their body in, blocking, clearing paths, tackling, all for the on ballers. They wear packs in the back, time and again throughout a match, standing their ground in the hot spot, helping out the backline, stopping run-ons. Take key contested marks at key moments. All things beyond stats. All things, along with genuine hit outs, that will make them clearly in the best on ground, for influence. Gawn hits it, time and again, into Oliver’s path, if not fingers. Time and again! It automatically puts Melbourne’s opponents on the defensive, even when Oliver is swamped.
    Yes, the game has evolved beyond the 100-a-year goal kickers for now, but the Betts’ and Greenes and Kennedys still do what on-ballers can not do! And win games doing it. They deserve more votes. With ten touches and a few turnovers at the right times, they can turn a game.
    And name an on baller who can do what May or Lever do? Or what Wanga did, or Southby, or the mighty Scarlett. There isn’t a single one. Players like that always used to poll well. Yet now, they’re lucky to get five votes. When Sydney won a premiership built around their defence, it was notable that their entire defensive unit only got three Brownlow votes. With the individuals they had on that backline, and the individual games they played that year, well, that’s just wrong. A backman can destroy a match-winning key forward, even when it’s evens in the middle, or the ball is coming in like a laser all day, while launching counter-attack after counter-attack, being the difference. Lake was the king of it. They often have the most influence, yet, now, never get votes for doing so. They deserve more, too.
    On ballers are the best at getting the ball the most. That does not, however, make them the most influential player in a game. Being on the ball the most, they SHOULD get it the most. That is their job. And, often they are the best on the day, if not overall, but not nearly as much as the current Brownlow suggests.
    As for comparing the amount of on-ballers there are to the amount of ruckmen?! It’s an individual award. Compare Oliver’s season to Max’s, sure. But Harms, Oliver, Petracca and Viney to Gawn? It’s the AMOUNT of votes ruckmen get these days that is short sighted, not the number of them getting votes.
    Before the age of stats, when umpires were NOT given a stats sheet after a game, other players than on-ballers were acknowledged far more for their influence. Wanga won it from the back pocket averaging only 18 touches. Go back over your top three Brownlow place getters over the decades, and compare the shift of a well rounded game, to places 1-2-3 on-ballers, when the rise in stats obsession started.
    Now, off to the skatepark for me! Haha!

  18. Daryl Schramm says

    Good heartfelt, knowledgeable, thought provoking rant Matt.
    For me;
    1. Fully agree.
    2. Partially agree.
    3. Fully agree, particularly your comment on LM.
    4. Agree.
    I think there is a direct correlation between the midfielders medal and introduction of interchange, and the subsequent increase thereof. Two interchange and two reserves is something I feel strongly about for the benefit and fairness of the game. It might contribute to a redress of imbalance here as well.
    I also think it’s a minor miracle that the grannies for the last two years have gone ahead. Yes, it’s given the opportunity for experimenting with times. I am hoping this ‘stealth’ doesn’t become permanent.
    Some great comments also, especially the gambling issue and the broadcasters self promotion.

  19. Paul Mitchell says

    Thank Dog for the old God. He gives me hope.

  20. Dog, the skatepark! You are indeed young at heart. I tried to go surfing two months ago and was forced to head back to shore after the first abandoned wave because of crippling pain in my back. I’ve resumed running in recent times, only to have my swiftness curtailed by the same ailing lumber region. I’m back on track now, but only because I do a round of morning exercises that I once would have thought of as a ridiculous waste of time. Age is rarely kind. It is certainly not my friend at the moment.
    Yes, I am middle-aged. I do resist change, although not consciously.
    In footy terms, I just can’t see the point. I must admit I’m getting sick of blokes my age pining for the old days. For their youth. Just get on with it!
    The game changes, as it should. I have far less interest in watching footy than I once did, but that’s my problem. Like you, I like being involved. I like the surge of adrenaline and the connection of souls. I’m coaching junior footy at the moment. Midfield rotations are a major consideration!
    And that is partly my point. In most matches at all levels, seven or eight players would get a run in the midfield. The best players will spend the most time in the middle. Umpires are too caught up trying to administer the rules to spend much energy trying to recognise the nuances of a great defensive effort. They understandably give the votes to the blokes who get the ball most often.
    Yes, great defenders and forwards have won the Brownlow. but they’ve always been those who most catch the eye. And therefore do not place huge demand on the umpires’ attention.
    Ruckmen (hello Gary Dempsey) have won the Brownlow by dropping a kick behind play and taking mop-up marks. One of my greatest modern annoyances is big blokes who can’t mark. Such non-marking types seem to thrive now because no one plays a kick behind, and it’s all about contested efforts at the coalface.
    So be it. But bullocking lugs are unlikely to win many votes from the umpires.
    All the players you’ve mentioned were great footballers. I love one-out battles between key-position players. It just happens less and less in these days of team defence and (ahem) role-playing forwards. My main interest this week will be watching to see if Aaron Naughton can touch the sun. Unless he does. I don’t think the umps will take much notice.
    You could argue that the Brownlow should be taken out of the umpires’ hands but I think that would be downright stupid and if it happens I will come and watch you play old-man’s footy rather than look at an AFL game. It is the umpires’ award. The umps never asked for their award to be the most important. It just happened that way. Place greater emphasis on the coaches’ votes, if you like. I’m actually quite interested in whom the control freaks choose as their best players.
    I could go on. I can always go on! But I must attend to my back. Bye for now.

  21. Paddy Grindlay says

    I reckon this is the first time I’ve ever not been in step with your views, Old Dog.
    Reckon that the contributions by all players on a Premiership-winning list deserves some reward. Maybe not a medal. But a materialistic token would make sense – not just for players who don’t make it to the day, but to coaches, support staff. It takes a tribe. Especially during COVID.
    I reckon Aliir, for instance, was one of the comp’s greatest this year, but Bontempelli, Wines, Steele, Parish, Walsh all comfortably ahead of him. The game has changed to favour midfielders as the most influential, most of the time. I reckon it’s bloody hard for umps to be able to measure the outcomes of all one-on-ones on the game when they’re also trying to control the game. I would rate a change to allow a Norm Smith-style voting panel for the Brownlow, game by game. That way, you’ll get a more measured, even way of telling the best players. I think it works, but is it worth changing?
    Interesting to watch how in the early rounds of the season, the ruckmen started strongly in the count, only to be beaten roundly by the mids as the year continued on. Gawn was the best ruckman and got a good amount of votes. I’d like to do some stats deep-diving to measure objective influence.
    Although points 3 and 4…yep, back in step. Although I’d love to see a MCG twilight Granny. The 2017 prelim remains one of my very favourite games that I’ve attended. Spilling out of the game in time for a late celebratory dinner, starting in sunshine and ending in late twilight…went OK.

  22. Andrew Starkie says

    What’s wrong with Kiss Cam at 3/4 time in the Granny?

    You blokes have lost your romance.

    But seriously, the AFL lost faith in its product way back. Remember when it abandoned the supporters and started courting the theatre goers when Docklands opened?

    Shortening quarters? Spare me.

    The Brownlow lost me years ago. Give me 1990 when Libba won it with 19 votes and missed the last three games with injury.

    I sense even the players sense it.

    The GF is a fire sale. Everything is up for grabs. My big gripe every year is that the ground is crowded with people – musicians, dancers, roadies in black t-shirts, ch7 – when the umps and players enter. They seriously get lost in the crowd. The playing field should be empty of everyone for two minutes after the prematch stuff. Focus is placed back on the game, the GF. Footy. Restlessness and tension build. Then the umps arrive, ball is lifted. Then the teams. It’s on. It’s about the footy.

  23. Daff, good one. A lovely chat. (middle aged phrase). May I retort (come back at ya!). Most of what you said I’ve been writing here for years mate, so yeah, I’d agree. Things you can affect, etc, and especially, stop grumbling about how bad the game is now, fair chance you’re more pining for your youth.
    Where as I agree the back pockets that won the Brownlow did so because they played an eye catching style. (still not mid-fielders, my point) And that style was ATTACK! Bernie Smith was the first back pocket to play modern footy, back in the 40s and 50s, it’s why he stood out so much. Then, everybody told us Hardie was the first truely attacking back pocket. Then they said Wanga was. There have always been, only, now, they all are.
    (I would be curious to see how many goals the Brownlow back pockets had kicked against them in their Brownlow years.)
    Yet, on-ballers/wingers are often the same. Greig with those stupid 2ft long wrist bands, Moore, the way he ran in a circle with the ball before kicking it, the lope of Goodes, Woowoden’s shocking blond hair. These things caught the eye.
    And… here’s where we go opposites again! Ruckmen have traditionally played that kick behind the game game, obviously. Yet, as with the back pockets, it was often the ones who did not fit that mould who won Charlies. Brain Gleeson was about 32 when he won one by running with the ball, unheard of. Skinny, athletic, up against dinosaurs, running off them, it made him stand out. He was set to revolutionise the ruckman’s roll in footy, but did his knee the next year and never played again. Then, in the 70s, big Len Thompson won a Brownlow by being “the first ruckman to run with the ball”. Again with the short memories. But Len, who was a friend of mine, was obsessed with running, and playing a Barassi inspired game of playing on. If every you get the chance, watch the ’77 draw. Len played that day, and played on every chance he got. He did what most vote getters do – carried the ball. Peter Moore was more of a ruck rover than ruckman. Not a great tap, but that running is what got him the gong. Not his marking. Harry Madden couldn’t mark to save himself, but his height and brains made his tap work so damn good he came a close second from memory. That was what made him stand out. And one of the all-time best, Cox, was great for the way he landed running, and knew how to spread, for the switch, out of defence. Went for marks like a ruckman filling the gap, then ran like an awkward rover. But by then, the stats game had come in.
    There are modern ruckman who can take a mark. Gawn, Nic Nat, Nank, a few more. As said, they are gold! With full ground, full team accountability, the bomb down the line is back, as well as the bomb to the forward hot spot, triple so when a game is close. Ruckmen do once more drop back to fill the hole. They don’t take as many because forwards now leap for anything, and backmen leap with them. They are so damn good at spoiling. Off planet! An advance in skill no-one seems to be crediting. And, simply, these days, everybody is much fitter, faster, more able to make it to the contest, and hit it at full pace. Two or three pack marks in those situations is like ten of yor. And in between, they are stopping the forwards marking it time and time again.
    Look at Nank’s game re ’20 GF vs Geelong. The Cats got if forward what seemed like 1,000 times, big bomb after big bomb, no science required, and no-one could knock big Nank off the spoil. Add a few actual pack marks, or, in Gawn’s case, goals, a tackle or two, and yes, it is very noticeable, and very vote-worthy. As it used to be. But, again, the problem, I believe, is, these days, the umps go how the media want them to – they look at the stats, not the effect. The good modern ruckmen, and forwards, and backs, are so much better than they were. And noticeable. The umps want to be one the big stage, they should look at less stats, and have a better feel for the game. There are three of them! They should get a second to figure it out. Giving on-ballers 1-2-3 is a bit of a cop out. Not very modern thinking! Haha.

    Say not to stats, umps!

    Onya again, mate.

  24. Matt Stevic on SEN today was unequivocal, the umps do not get the stats or use them to influence their votes. Further, he said there is often strenuous discussion between them to decide where the votes go. Sadly, I don’t think he was asked why he thought so many midfielders win the medal now. The history is compelling that other positional players used to win it, but, we have to factor in the massive change in game style in the modern era. Midfield is a misnomer. Players roam all over the ground. It’s common to see all 36 in one 50m arc. The game is congested and pressured like never before. In these circumstances, “midfielders” are at every contest, every ball-up and throw-in. They are everywhere and in everything. It stands to reason they will catch the umpires’ attention. The only way I see that changing is through rule changes that force players to play in positions more. Bartlett has pushed the barrow for reduced interchange for years and I’m a convert, it makes sense. Tire players out, don’t give them as much rest and the game will open up and forwards/backs will engage in more one on one duels rather than all the blocking and zoning and getting numbers behind the ball that are so prevalent now. I think the game is in good shape but it can be better. People who complain about rule changes or harp on about “leave the bloody game alone” fail to recognise that the majority of rule changes have improved the game eg. the centre square and the the 6 on 6 rule. There are a few that haven’t worked to make the game better eg. nominating ruckman/no 3rd man up.
    Re. who votes for the Brownlow? I think the umps are well-placed to cast the votes especially when you consider that the other awards go predominantly to midfielders as well. The coaches association MVP ought to be a better indicator of valuing players all over the ground, yet, since 2003, I can only identify three winners who weren’t midfielders, Barry Hall, Warren Tredrea and Max Gawn.

    At the risk of Almanac ostracism, I loved the night Grand Final last year and am very much looking forward to it this year. I think the perfect compromise is a twilight start. Whether you like it or not, there is no argument that the half time entertainment is a much better spectacle at night. It doesn’t have to be OTT like the Super Bowl, but the combination of lights and a band on the stage is way better at night. Ask yourself if you’d rather watch (insert favourite band here) at night or during the day? You may not like the half time show, fair enough, but it’s better at night. The game itself? We play the prelims at night every year and they are usually fantastic. Sadly they were fizzes this year but most players and fans agree prelim final weekend is where the best games of the season are played and they are played at night. Why shouldn’t the Grannie follow suit? Tradition? Traditions aren’t set in concrete, The world has changed. The game has changed. I love footy and I embrace change.

  25. Daryl Schramm says

    Gee Whiz. Some great comments and insights folks. Can we now at least put the issue of whether the umpires use the stats or not to bed? The broadcaster has turned the award into an event, not the umpires. Let’s keep the coaches votes hidden and reveal them at the end of the year instead. Oh, that wouldn’t be any good for the gambling interests. Much more difficult to put a lid on it!

    Glad to see another convert to the reduced interchange options Marcus. It makes sense to have only two players for rotating and two subs or reserves for injury replacements. Less chance of a club to be disadvantaged on matchday with this approach I reckon.

  26. With you all the way Old Dog and much enjoy your writing style, for what that’s worth. In particular:

    1.Medals for everybody? No way HoseA. Some of the blokes who might get a gong under this rule could be de-listed by the next Saturday. There are always hard luck stories, blokes get hurt, rubbed out, not quite good enough etc. Reminds me of the Pommy cricket team some years ago who won the Ashes and Her Maj gave everybody an MBE or somesuch. One bloke played one game and scored about 5 runs…Short answer – No.

    2.If it’s not the VFL, why are we giving out a Brownlow Medal? Lost interest many years ago, could not care who wins even when a Port bloke does. Agree leave it with the umpires, enough other pointless media awards with talking heads getting too much say.

    3.What part of NO do you not understand? Agree Matthews was a thug so his name no good. Care factor for McGuire has sunk below zero, so stick with Premiership Cup. Was bad enough of late to read about the “Therabody” All Australian Team, now we have the “Continental Tyres” trade period or something, wot happens when Sally’s Knock Shop has enough money to sponsor something?

    4.Afternoon GF best, play Up There Cazaly as national anthem and no other noise allowed all day. A very tiny minority may go to see the half time or pre-match, most prefer to talk with mates/neighbours, get food or attend ablutions. I have wondered why the clubs don’t oppose the night GF as their after match shows must be good money spinners, especially for the winners. As said above, we do not have to slavishly follow other countries or codes, be unique.

  27. Thanks OD

    Medals are for those who played. I think it will be bizarre to see a med sub who didn’t get on the field get one this year, let alone thinking of one for the full list and every player, And to be honest, I think if you gave Josh Bruce or Nathan Jones one if either side gets up they’ll think it hollow anyway, just a constant reminder they didn’t play. Premierships are hard to win and even harder to get into the 22(3) so just that lot, sorry for others.

    Day GF for mine

    Brownlow winners seem to match the Coaches votes and Players MVP which also seem to go to (untagged) mids these days

    Keep it up


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