Crio’s question: should the Browlow remain in its current form?

I’ve decided to buy in early to the annual blowhard about the relative merit and process regarding the venerable Brownlow Medal. I can even make it vaguely pertinent on the grounds that this weekend is the first round in which NRL’s Dally M votes go “in camera”. Now voted by journos and with a rocky past that reflects the code, “kicker” Thurston will be the round 16 leader when vote counting resumes on their hilariously gala night.

Every year now it seems the Brownlow has its critics. “Why should the Umpires make the votes?” shout its critics. My simple response is, “Because it is their award!” “Start up one of your own if you like”.

The main whinge, I guess, is the accompanied prestige. Fantastically, the plaudits seem to be led by the same organizations who lead the opposition!

I’m still OK with an Umpires award. If you are not, ignore it. The night itself can be grating TV- last year’s Harvey tribute, even soundless from a front bar, looked tedious and indulgent. I doubt I’d want to go near it with a freebie. But the umps do have a pretty significant insight. As coach and parent I like to ask the officials about certain players’ games and their input invariably adds to what I’ve seen.

It is now just one of many awards given to individuals in what is simply a team game.

Treat it as such.


But worth preserving.


Should the Brownlow exist in its current form?


  1. uncle tony says

    It is food for thought,the brownlow by tradition belongs as an umpires award and Im happy for it to remain that way,my concerns are that it appears to be a mid fielder award and that it aclaims uncontested possession winners.

  2. Then rate it accordingly.
    It doesn’t really matter- ITS A TEAM GAME!

  3. Stainless says

    I don’t have any problems with the format of the Brownlow. We love to get stuck into the multi-coloured maggots week to week, but surely they must be given some credit for knowing a bit about the game and they do observe it from closer range than any of the other potential judges. It’s been many years since there was an “unworthy” winner of the Brownlow, so I reckon they get it right most of the time.

    My only gripe was when players like Lockett, Williams and Dipper won it. Remember it’s awarded to the “Fairest and Best”!! Champions they may have been but “fairest”??

  4. Libber?

  5. I think Uncle Tony’s concerns are valid. It would be a shame to think that players such as Riewoldt, Jonathan Brown, Scarlett and even Lake this year (though he was down this week) can’t win. I guess the question is can the field umpires gauge weight of possession over impact on the game. I would’ve thought with three umpires stationed around the ground that should be possible.

    And Stainless re-opens an old wound for me. I’m not necessarily of the thought that Dipper, Lockett and Williams shouldn’t have won Brownlows but I guarantee you if you went through the footage of Dipper’s Brownlow season, you would’ve seen him do far worse things than the one doubtful thing that Chris Grant did when he led the Brownlow count but was ineligible in ’97. Suspended after being cited by Ian Collins for an incident that the umpires neither deemed reportable during the match nor even after reviewing the footage post-game.

    A miscarriage of justice if ever there was one.

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