Brownlow Medal: Has there been a bigger favourite than Dusty?

Dustin Martin is the overwhelming favourite to win the 2017 Brownlow Medal after an incredible season with Richmond. The second favourite and last year’s winner Patrick Dangerfield is ineligible because of suspension, it is extremely difficult to see anyone shocking the footy world.


I, like most fans, am used to close counts with at least 2 or 3 players in with a genuine chance at winning the medal. This year has been an extremely dominant one for Dusty and with Richmond’s success, he is bound to get votes in the majority of Richmond’s wins.


My question is this: Has there been a bigger and clearer favourite than Dusty in a Brownlow Medal count?


Join the Almanac Brownlow Medal competition HERE.


About Matthew Naqvi

Matthew Naqvi is a writer, editor, and writing group facilitator. He is the Web Editor of The Footy Almanac. He has written for numerous sports organisations and teams including Melbourne Victory, AFC (Australian Fighting Championship) and Football Federation Victoria. He loves North Melbourne.


  1. The Little Master, of course, for both of his, but you’re spot on Matthew, Dusty is as hot a favourite as there’s been for some time. The interest should be on the record number of votes & the margin.

    But hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Hungary – aka KB – scooped the pool in the media awards the year of Keith Greig’s 2nd Charlie – 1974 – and Greig didn’t poll in the top 10 of the B&F voting at North Melbourne that year.

  2. He will win by the length of Punt Road, Matthew.

    And if – for some ridiculous reason – he does not, expect the umpires to be stripped of the right to award votes.

  3. I’ve noticed a trend in the Brownlow. Every year the favourite seems to be the biggest favourite of all time:
    2017 Dusty
    2016 Danger
    2015 Fyfe (despite missing the last few games)
    2014 was different, but don’t forget Ablett was raging hot favourite before being laid low by a Macaffer tackle in Round 15 (by then he already had 22 votes).
    2013 Ablett
    2012 Watson (despite fading in the 2nd half – I think he had 20 votes by Round 11).

    And the vote tallies seem to be getting higher & higher – it’s as if the umpires only vote for a few players now – I remember the days when 22 votes was enough to take Charlie home.

  4. Joe De Petro says

    The collective votes of the top ten in the count has been growing year on year for at least a decade now. I’m sure the umpires just automatically give three votes to whichever star happens to have been running around in front of them that weekend.

    Three umpires, three opinions, who wants to spend ten minutes after the game debating who should get the votes? Easier to just give the votes to the big name player.

  5. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Good question Matt,
    Ablett Jnr in 2013 for sure.
    Robert Harvey in 1998 was a very warm favourite

  6. By the comments of everyone it seems the mystique of the Brownlow is long gone let alone it being a VICTORIAN trophy.
    What do Knackers think of a new trophy and keep the Brownlow for the highest polling Victorian.

    The system needs to change as only on-ballers have a chance of winning.
    JDP – perhaps the three umpires could be allotted certain parts of the ground – eg backline, centres, forwards and give seperate votes.

  7. The Wrap – I did not know HUNGARY was in the hunt for the Brownlow ! Did you mean a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics ?

  8. In the olden days there were probably just 2 or 3 media awards, made 3 or 4 – and one of those was the Sporting Globe. There were a few turn ups. The year the press were camped around at Ken Fraser’s house a little fancied Carlton CHB took out the Coveted award. The Bluebaggers finished 10th in a 12 horse race that year. (Bonus points for naming him and the colour of his hair) The Brownlow was all about being the Fairest & Best. No one, least of all Ronald Dale himself, expected Barassi to poll well in the voting. Likewise Big Nick, but they were their respective club’s MVPs. (That all went out the door when they gave medals to Diesel & Dipper Wrap – Ed) And The Game has been the loser for it Oh Enlightened One.

    But I digress; is Dusty the hottest favourite ever? No. Is he the hot favourite in 2017? Yes. Does the hot favourite always get up? No. Ask Hungry. I’m sure the Combover would melt down his statue in exchange for just one little bronze disc. And Ken Fraser for that matter. They’re just a couple that stick in my mind.

    Do umpires emotions influence the outcome? There’s a story about Hayden Bunton’s “fourth medal” if you want to look it up. And Hungry’s free kick ruse — where he’d bounce the ball as soon as he felt the tackler’s hot breath, slow down half a step, then throw his arms up for the free when the tackle held — wouldn’t have gone down well at Maggot Central.

  9. Thanks Citrus,. I’ve got a sensitive keyboard, auto correct and a waning attention span.

  10. This thread had me surfing the internet — now you haven’t heard that for a while, have you? — and it’s been well worth waxing the keyboard. (Wrap! This is the last time I’m going to tell you; you’re not paid to be clever; not that you are – Ed) Take a goosey gander at this link and follow up on a few them. Apparently Ross Smith was more than a lukewarm favourite to take out the Charlie in 1971. His ex-teammate, Ian Stewart, playing at Tigerland, took the chocolates that year.

    One thing I took from going over the list was that playing for a lower finishing club was an advantage if you were a standout player. The theory ran that there were few players to take votes away from you. Col Austin (Hawthorn) Fred Goldsmith (Sth Melb) and Neil Roberts (St Kilda) jumped off the list going back to the 40s & 50s. And The Chimp’s three Medals he earned at The Lakeside Oval were hardly stellar years for The Emerald Hill Swans.

    Evolution is assured as each generation is betrayed by the next, eh?

Leave a Comment