Opinion Leigh Matthews and that season he didn't win the Brownlow . . .

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catscollector

Premiership Player
Jun 30, 2018
3,955
5,114
AFL Club
Geelong
1977 and Leigh Matthews is halfway into a phenomenal career. Up until the conclusion of the 76 season, Matthews was already a 2 x Premiership and 4 x B&F winner.
In 1977, he would go on to average 27 disposals & 3.8 goals per game.
Hawthorn would make the finals but get bundled out in the prelim no thanks to Barry Cable and his 38 disposals & 3 goals.

For those of us who weren't born during this time, can anyone give a better understanding of just how good of a season this was and why he was not deemed good enough to be judged best player in the country on Brownlow medal night?
 

Osho

Team Captain
Jul 9, 2021
414
502
AFL Club
GWS
Well, props to the OP, a Cats fan, for writing this up on mortal enemy, Leigh Mathews, Barney to his mates, Honey Bun to his wife, the Ol' cnut to his kids.

Leigh had a powerful low centre of gravity, rarely pushed off the ball or knocked over, exquisite lateral movement, quick to change directions, twin sided for disposals, very good overhead mark, took his chances, terrified oppo. Watching on the telly it was common to see a flash go across the vision, a blur, and there would be a crumpled player on the floor. Not many slomos in those days, but if the collapsed fellow was in his back half, the likely offender was Leigh. He was explosive the first few yards.

Those who knew him best say, despite his physical prowess, his greatest attribute was his clinical lack of emotion. Now that is scary.
 

Collingwood 4 eternity

Premiership Player
Mar 16, 2009
4,936
10,049
Melbourne
AFL Club
Collingwood
Well, props to the OP, a Cats fan, for writing this up on mortal enemy, Leigh Mathews, Barney to his mates, Honey Bun to his wife, the Ol' cnut to his kids.

Leigh had a powerful low centre of gravity, rarely pushed off the ball or knocked over, exquisite lateral movement, quick to change directions, twin sided for disposals, very good overhead mark, took his chances, terrified oppo. Watching on the telly it was common to see a flash go across the vision, a blur, and there would be a crumpled player on the floor. Not many slomos in those days, but if the collapsed fellow was in his back half, the likely offender was Leigh. He was explosive the first few yards.

Those who knew him best say, despite his physical prowess, his greatest attribute was his clinical lack of emotion. Now that is scary.
Leigh when asked how he played always says , “Don’t complain, don’t explain”
 

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HairyO

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 13, 2015
27,756
29,965
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Its simply a sign that even 40 and 50 years ago the umpires were clueless when it came to voting.

In 1971 Peter Hudson averaged 8 marks a game and kicked 5 or more goals 18 times. In an era when low 20s was enough to win a Brownlow, surely he would have picked up a heap of 1s and 2s, and the times he kicked 10 or more.... 3s....
 

HTPunter

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 27, 2014
7,167
9,443
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Its simply a sign that even 40 and 50 years ago the umpires were clueless when it came to voting.

In 1971 Peter Hudson averaged 8 marks a game and kicked 5 or more goals 18 times. In an era when low 20s was enough to win a Brownlow, surely he would have picked up a heap of 1s and 2s, and the times he kicked 10 or more.... 3s....
5 and 6 goals wasn't as big a deal then. Not a definite vote like it is now.
Plus he still polled in 8 games, got 2nd. Likely polled 3 and 2 in every 9+ goal game which has always been a feat.
 

HairyO

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 13, 2015
27,756
29,965
AFL Club
Hawthorn
5 and 6 goals wasn't as big a deal then. Not a definite vote like it is now.
Plus he still polled in 8 games, got 2nd. Likely polled 3 and 2 in every 9+ goal game which has always been a feat.
3 times 10+
3 times 9
8 times 6 or 7
4 more times kicked 5.

From all of that he got 18 votes.

When Lockett won he kicked 10 once, 9 twice, a few 8s and a bunch of 5s and 6s.
 

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HairyO

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 13, 2015
27,756
29,965
AFL Club
Hawthorn
3 times 10+
3 times 9
8 times 6 or 7
4 more times kicked 5.

From all of that he got 18 votes.

When Lockett won he kicked 10 once, 9 twice, a few 8s and a bunch of 5s and 6s.
Also, in 1968 he kicked more than 120 goals. 2nd in the Coleman kicked 60. So its not like everyone kicked 5+ all the time.

Peter Hudson did. In fact, noone ever kicked as many and as often as him. Coleman himself came close.
 

Ron The Bear

Up yer arse, AFL
Jul 4, 2006
35,682
36,524
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
5 and 6 goals wasn't as big a deal then. Not a definite vote like it is now.
Year6+ goalsVotes
%
20211818
100​
202055
100​
20192121
100​
20182421
88​
20172727
100​
20161918
95​
20152525
100​
20142222
100​
20131916
84​
20122524
96​
20112925
86​
20102623
88​
20092218
82​
20085246
88​
20073422
65​
20064943
88​
20054334
79​
20045545
82​
20033730
81​
20024132
78​
20013727
73​
20005639
70​
19994837
77​
19984736
77​
19974026
65​
19968350
60​
19957035
50​
19946939
57​
199310855
51​
19929445
48​
19918044
55​
19907234
47​
19895532
58​
19885822
38​
19877939
49​
19866030
50​
19856531
48​
19846928
41​
 

Breretonisahood

Senior List
Feb 26, 2013
291
437
AFL Club
Hawthorn
1977 and Leigh Matthews is halfway into a phenomenal career. Up until the conclusion of the 76 season, Matthews was already a 2 x Premiership and 4 x B&F winner.
In 1977, he would go on to average 27 disposals & 3.8 goals per game.
Hawthorn would make the finals but get bundled out in the prelim no thanks to Barry Cable and his 38 disposals & 3 goals.

For those of us who weren't born during this time, can anyone give a better understanding of just how good of a season this was and why he was not deemed good enough to be judged best player in the country on Brownlow medal night?
In my view, 1978 was even worse. In 1977 Matthews stated that he didn’t care too much about the Brownlow and considered the various media awards he won as just as good. He averaged 26 possessions and kicked 71 goals in 1978 (about 3.1 per game) but the umps punished him for his statement by giving him only 3 votes for the entire season!
 

Mr Ripper

Pink-cheeked and robust
Dec 21, 1999
14,892
17,514
Far North Fitzroy
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Other Teams
Fitzroy FC
Yeah, the 'fairest' component in fairest and best came into play a little more back in the day. Prolly fell by the wayside when match by match voting went public in 1984. Dipper winning one was confirmation.
 

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