Roast "The Brownlow is just a midfielder's award"

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Bunk Moreland

Hall of Famer
Sep 22, 2011
36,892
76,574
Your girlfriend's dreams
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... say the Brownlow haters.

Has anybody told the players and coaches?

AFLPA Most Valuable Player

1176 Marcus Bontempelli
426 Sam Walsh
411 Touk Miller
328 Christian Petracca
261 Jack Steele

Previous winners:

2020 Lachie Neale
2019 Patrick Cripps
2018 Tom Mitchell
2017 Dustin Martin
2016 Patrick Dangerfield
2015 Nat Fyfe
2014 Nat Fyfe
2013 Gary Ablett Jr
2012 Gary Ablett Jr
2011 Chris Judd

AFLCA Champion Player of the Year

114 Clayton Oliver
101 Marcus Bontempelli
101 Ollie Wines
100 Jack Steele
97 Touk Miller
92 Samuel Walsh
91 Zach Merrett
86 Christian Petracca
81 Darcy Parish
74 Rory Laird

Previous winners:

2020 Lachie Neale
2019 Marcus Bontempelli
2018 Max Gawn
2017 Dustin Martin
2016 Patrick Dangerfield
2015 Daniel Hannebery
2014 Robbie Gray
2013 Scott Pendlebury
2012 Trent Cotchin
2011 Marc Murphy
 

00Stinger

Dual Group 1 winner
May 8, 2007
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How good must Max Gawn have been in 2018
 

master bate

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 13, 2006
14,215
12,841
Melbourne
AFL Club
Melbourne
It will be interesting to see if the rise of analytics makes an impact on how we rate players.

Nic Nat is the number 1 player in the game according to the AFL player ratings.

Intercept defenders have risen hugely in the game over the last decade. Mostly because someone started calling them intercept defenders! But also with the freedom to zone and attack the ball they are vital players. There was a time in 2017 that Rance was probably the only competitor to Dusty as the games best player IMO.

Superstar key forwards are always rated highly by fans and clubs but they haven't been the true stars of the game since the 90's. But someone like Tom Hawkins over the last few years has a case to be Geelong's best player and one of the most valuable in the game.

When you have 70 stoppages a game that allow the mids to compete every time - even if each side has 6 of them around the ball - you've probably got a lot more opportunity to influence a game compared with forward and backs who deal with less inside 50's at each end and aren't always involved in each transition of play.

If I had to make a prediction it would be that there's 3 types of players who could one day break the midfield dominance and consistently win Brownlow's, coaches votes, MVP etc:

1.The perfect intercept defender who can just dominate games. Tom Stewart with more size, an even better kick, even more speed etc.

2. A truly do it all ruckman. Goldstein is the most well rounded ruck currently but he doesn't have Nic Nat's leap, Gawn's marking or Grundy's follow up. Dean Cox is the best I've seen in the modern era, but there's probably another level above that. A ruck who is a genuine midfielder and does more as well can clearly dethrone the mids.

3. A genuine key forward/midfielder. Pavlich and Goodes were the best I've seen who could play CHF or on ball. Dusty has been a forward as much as a mid in recent seasons but that even bigger forward who can still attend stoppages would be a huge threat. Without being able to come up the ground to stoppages or win the ball all over the ground it's hard to see how a pure forward can put themselves above the midfielders.
 

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La Dispute

La Dispute
Jul 14, 2005
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1.The perfect intercept defender who can just dominate games. Tom Stewart with more size, an even better kick, even more speed etc.
Think it is just a matter of time before this happens.

The wheel started to turn when Weitering went Pick 1, and he's glacially slow and occasionally suspect 1-on-1, but basically conceptualising Allir Allir with elite kicking skills and the general offensive ability of an outside mid.

There's starting to be more recognition for the combined package of an intercepting defender. Sam Docherty was vastly underrated in his prime, and I think Jake Lever is the prototype these days, but there will be better future variations.
 

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master bate

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 13, 2006
14,215
12,841
Melbourne
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Melbourne
The point is, once the Brownlow is awarded, people immediately start sooking that it’s only a midfielder’s medal and nobody else can win it.

The umps get it right. The players and coaches have exactly the same take.
Or the players are conditioned to vote for the mids. Or 3/2/1 or 5/4/3/2/1 voting systems reward midfielders who might be best on ground more than other positions but not as consistently important as players who get less votes.

Club best and fairest have gone to defenders in super teams. Corey Enright at Geelong, Jayden Short at Richmond last year. So coaches aren't always voting for mids.

I think you can make a serious case that the player who added the most value to his side in 2020 was Tom Hawkins.

Midfielders have such a huge opportunity to influence games by always being around the ball, but I do think as we get smarter ways to assess players performance rather than purely looking at disposal stats there will be more of a case for certain non mids.
 

conrad_437

Club Legend
Jun 26, 2016
2,315
4,183
Melbourne
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Unless you're tall, the best players as juniors are mostly conditioned to be midfielders. Unless you exhibit certain traits, such as elite kicking, pace, or crumbling, most of the best players will end up being a midfielder, which is reflected in these awards. Players like Bont, Dangerfield, Petracca, Oliver, Martin etc would be elite forwards if they trained to play those positions.
 

Belnakor

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 10, 2005
22,640
13,921
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AFL Club
Fremantle
Club best and fairest have gone to defenders in super teams. Corey Enright at Geelong, Jayden Short at Richmond last year. So coaches aren't always voting for mids.
you should look into the scoring systems for club's B&F they are all radically different which leads to KPP getting more votes.
 

Belnakor

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 10, 2005
22,640
13,921
Perth
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Fremantle
The point is, once the Brownlow is awarded, people immediately start sooking that it’s only a midfielder’s medal and nobody else can win it.

The umps get it right. The players and coaches have exactly the same take.
People who call for another system simply need to look at the Norm Smith for an award that is done by the media and frankly gets it right about 50% of the time.

If you look at past brownlow medalists i can think of only 2-3 in the past 20 years where you can point to the result as clearly wrong (Woewodin, Priddis). And frankly woewodin had a ripper and most likely chemically enhanced year.
 

HTPunter

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 27, 2014
7,181
9,489
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Really the main people who lead the calls for changes into voting systems for these awards are media flogs trying to stay relevant. The fans then listen to 1 point and ride with it.

Take today, Garry Lyon "just asking questions" about the AFLPA MVP, wondering if it is losing status because the players might not be "such students of the game" or some sh*t. Like who gives a fu**? The players association, members of which are players, decide to give an award voted on by players.
The coaches association, members of which are coaches, decide to give an award voted on by coaches.
The AFL gives out the Brownlow and Rising Star, with some objective criteria dished out, and some people want to draw the line elsewhere. "10 games isn't enough" ok fine make it ******* 16. "should be first year players" "should allow to be suspended" "shouldn't be voted on by umps". Honestly, it's all just shithouse, the way some people argue that an award would be better by moving the goalposts, and you end up with a new set of goalposts that still aren't objectively any better and are still flawed.

Wish the whinges about awards would stop. No award is going to be not flawed in some way. As you rightly point out, the vast majority of top players these days are mids,it's just the way it Is.
 

Bunk Moreland

Hall of Famer
Sep 22, 2011
36,892
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Your girlfriend's dreams
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Or the players are conditioned to vote for the mids. Or 3/2/1 or 5/4/3/2/1 voting systems reward midfielders who might be best on ground more than other positions but not as consistently important as players who get less votes.

Club best and fairest have gone to defenders in super teams. Corey Enright at Geelong, Jayden Short at Richmond last year. So coaches aren't always voting for mids.

I think you can make a serious case that the player who added the most value to his side in 2020 was Tom Hawkins.

Midfielders have such a huge opportunity to influence games by always being around the ball, but I do think as we get smarter ways to assess players performance rather than purely looking at disposal stats there will be more of a case for certain non mids.
B&F awards have very different voting systems. For example at some clubs, all 22 players every week get a rating out of 5 or 10 for how well they did their job.

They’re generally voted on by the same people who are setting them their roles and tasks (ie coaches) so it’s much fairer across positions. But it could never be done by people outside the club as they have no real insight into what the players are meant to be doing, beyond the obvious.
 

SBD Gonzalez

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 5, 2012
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Sydney
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Kidding, right?
To me, the concern about who wins the Brownlow is of a far lower order than who decides the Brownlow.

Do people get all excited about the Brownlow because they feel so bad for abusing the umpires all season?

Sorry, I have never been able to fathom the interest in this award. Happy for Paul Kelly and Goodesy when they won it, but meh.
 

Lego23

Premium Gold
Aug 9, 2017
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AFL Club
Hawthorn
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Hurricanes, Panthers
To me, the concern about who wins the Brownlow is of a far lower order than who decides the Brownlow.

Do people get all excited about the Brownlow because they feel so bad for abusing the umpires all season?

Sorry, I have never been able to fathom the interest in this award. Happy for Paul Kelly and Goodesy when they won it, but meh.
Eh history shows more often than not they get it right, why are umps such bad judges?

They are in the middle seeing everything close up, clearly know the game. I have no issue with it.
 

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