Preview The Western Bulldogs Brownlow Thread 2019

dogwatch

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As season 2019 fizzles out to a disappointing end the last AFL event of the year where we can still make a splash is the Brownlow Medal tomorrow night 23rd September. Let's hope it's a decent old splash we make and not a ker-plink.

When I was a teenager I listened to the radio broadcast from VFL HQ mausoleum (then known as Harrison House) where they solemnly read out the 3-2-1 votes. If I remember correctly we never knew which game the votes came from. I think they used to read out all the ONE votes first, then all the TWO votes and then the THREE votes. This was in the days of only one central field umpire so perhaps they didn't want their umps to come under too much unfavourable scrutiny for not giving a BoG to whoever was the Brownlow favourite when he umpired that game.

Then when the winner was officially declared the journos got on their telephones or rushed out in their cars to interview the winner who never seemed to be at any sort of club gathering. They were always at home with their wife and kids and invited the photographers in to take the photos for the front page of the Sun the next day.

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Historically we did well in the Brownlow. For a while there we were winning one every fifth year and it was a big deal. However there were whispers that we celebrated the individual achievements too much and never got the big TEAM achievement, the flag. Who knows? Maybe that was so but when you were starved of success you had to celebrate what small achievements your club could manage along the way ... a Reserves flag, an U-19 flag, a Coleman, a Brownlow.

Our first Brownlow winner was ruckman Norm Ware in the war years 1941. The record books however show that Allan Hopkins (175cm) won one in 1930 when he was Captain-Coach of the club at the age of 26. So he did, but it was in a piece of AFL revisionism when they decided in 1989 to award Brownlows retrospectively to any player who had tied but lost on a countback since the medal was first struck in 1924. The AFL had abolished the countback system after the 1980 Brownlow but it took another 9 years to decide that it was unfair to past countback losers. The year that Hopkins lost (then won) the Brownlow he polled 4 votes - the lowest ever winning tally. This was because in those days they only gave a BoG vote, not the 3-2-1 of later years. He tied with Stan Judkins (Rich) and Harry Collier (Coll) but Judkins had only played 12 games to Hopkins' 15 and Collier's 18 so quite reasonably they gave it to Judkins. Anyway, Hopkins was one of our first VFL star players. He polled well in most Brownlow counts and in fact got 25 votes the following year (1931) when they changed it to 3-2-1 votes. He lost by one vote to the great Haydn Bunton. Oddly enough he only won one club B&F and that was in 1931, not 1930. Fortunately Allan was still alive when the AFL awarded his retrospective Brownlow (he died in 2001 aged 97!) I can't recall whether there was any fanfare over it - perhaps Vinegar Mess has some press cuttings?

Norm Ware (193cm) was 30 when he won his Brownlow but he never polled another vote. This was because the award was suspended from 1942-45 because of WWII. He did play a season in 1946 before retiring aged 35. He kicked 33 goals that year but didn't poll a vote. He died in 2003 aged 92.

Our next winner was - like Hopkins - a centreman, Peter Box. Box (180cm) was a member of the first Bulldog side to win a flag in the VFL/AFL in 1954 but he left top level football aged only 25 after the 1957 season. Like Hopkins he failed to win the club B&F the year he won the Brownlow. It went to Don Ross in 1956. He did however win a B&F in 1955. Box died only last year, aged 86.

John Schultz (1960) was the first Brownlow medal winner I can remember watching in his playing days. He was a ruckman (191cm) and he polled 20 votes. He was always a gentlemen - as those who shared the premiership presentation stage with him in 2016 can testify - he no doubt benefited from the "fairest" aspect of the Brownlow. However he was a genuinely good player throughout his career polling 111 votes from 188 games.

In 1975 another iconic ruckman Gary Dempsey (197cm) won a Brownlow. He polled a staggering 246 votes from his 329 AFL games. My Gary Dempsey memories are mostly of him taking mark after mark a kick behind the play in defence but he was a great tap ruckman as well. He won 6 club B&Fs, the last five in a row. He crossed to North Melbourne at the age of 30 and played another 6 seasons.

Kelvin Templeton (1980, 191cm) was a rare beast in Brownlow annals. He won it as a key forward. Until Malcolm Blight in 1978 no forward had won a Brownlow. Both Blight and Templeton won Coleman Medals as well, but not in the same year as their Brownlow. The only player to achieve the double in the same year has been Tony Lockett in 1987.

Another five years down the track and Brad Hardie (181cm) won the Brownlow playing as a small defender in his first season as a VFL footballer. Not something that's likely to happen these days - Wanganeen in 1993 was the last small defender to win it. Hardie only played two seasons for us before playing five with Brisbane and then a couple of games for Collingwood.

Another five years elapsed before we had another Brownlow in 1990, this time from Tony Liberatore, the only player to win the league's B&F medal in all three grades (U-19, Reserves, Seniors). That's a feat that will never be repeated because two of those grades have been abolished. Like his slightly taller modern day counterpart Caleb Daniel, Libba Sr (163cm) had to overcome people constantly telling him he was too short to make it. Determination and unshakeable self-belief can take you a long way.

Scott Wynd (201cm) won a Brownlow 2 years later in 1992 - but the age of the Brownlow winning ruckman was coming to an end. The only ruckman to win in over a quarter of a century since then has been Adam Goodes and some would say even he wasn't a genuine modern ruckman at only 191cm. Nat Fyfe is taller than Goodes.

Any discussion of Western Bulldogs Brownlows must include a special mention of Chris Grant who came desperately close to winning two Brownlows in the 1990s. He was the first player to poll the outright most votes in a season but be disqualified because of a suspension. His suspension was controversial and perhaps unprecedented because the umpires of the match didn't think it was a reportable offence but Ian Collins the AFL Director of Football Operations overrode them and Grant was rubbed out for one match.

Our last Brownlow medallist was Adam Cooney (187cm). He had a brilliant 2008 season and had already polled all 24 of his Brownlow votes when he cracked his knee cap in the first final we played that September. Sadly he was never the same player after that. Despite playing another 138 games the biggest tally of votes he got in any season after 2008 was 8. Like previous winners Dempsey, Templeton and Hardie, Adam Cooney didn't see out his playing days with the Bulldogs. He played a couple of seasons with Essendon before retiring.

One interesting piece of WB Brownlow trivia is that of our 10 Brownlow medal winners only 5 won the club B&F the same year (and Norm Ware only just scraped in there - he tied for B&F in 1941). Most of them did win a Footscray/WB B&F at some stage in their career. Oddly enough the only player to have won a Brownlow for the Dogs but never a club B&F was Adam Cooney.

YEARBROWNLOW MEDALLISTCLUB BEST & FAIREST
1930Allan HopkinsIvan McAlpine
1941Norm WareNorm Ware / Arthur Olliver (tied)
1956Peter BoxDon Ross
1960John SchultzJohn Schultz
1975Gary DempseyGary Dempsey
1980Kelvin TempletonKelvin Templeton
1985Brad HardieDoug Hawkins
1990Tony LiberatorePeter Foster
1992Scott WyndScott Wynd
2008Adam CooneyDaniel Cross
 
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dogwatch

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WB BROWNLOW FORM GUIDE

Everybody dishes out their best player awards and Marcus Bontempelli has already won a few of them. Cripps won the AFLPA (players' player) award while Bont won the AFLCA (coaches) award.

Bont is not the only WB player with a chance of featuring highly. On past form Jackson Macrae could be up there and so could Josh Dunkley who has had his best year yet. However it would be a major shock if it wasn't one of the names that have been bandied around so often - Dangerfield, Bont, Cripps, Fyfe etc.

So if you want to follow it round by round I've highlighted where Bont has done well. For the form guide I've taken the AFLCA voting and our own "Ching" votes.

Here are the Ching votes (H&A only) listed by player:

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And here is a list of the games we played showing who got Ching votes and who got AFLCA votes. Opposition players are highlighted in yellow, WB in blue. The asterisk in the Ching votes means these players were equal in that round.

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There are some interesting discrepancies as can be expected. In Rd 3 the coaches gave Bont a clear 10/10 but we had him as only our 5th best. In Rd 10 we had him as best player for the Dogs but he didn't rate a mention from the coaches (admittedly North won that game but they still gave votes to Dunkley and Lloyd).

I'll probably follow the count on line but can't stand the way it gets dragged out on TV. Borderline unwatchable. And I've lost some of my regard for the Brownlow since the mid-90s - for reasons I've discussed a few times in the past. Nonetheless it'll still be a small bright spot for the club at the end of a frustrating season if Bont can take home the Brownlow.
 
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dogwatch

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Further to the form guide above ...

If you convert the coaches' top 3 in each round to a 3-2-1 allocation (and adjust for equal votes with other players in Rds 14, 19 and 22) Bont would have come out on 28 votes. That number of votes would have been enough to win outright or share the Brownlow in 12 of the last 20 years.
 

dogwatch

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The money seems to be mostly on Dangerfield with only 3 others rated as a serious chance.

$2.50 - Dangerfield
$5.50 - Neale
$6.00 - Bontempelli
$6.50 - Fyfe
$13.00 - Cripps
$16.00 - Grundy

$20+ any others


Gamble responsibly, preferably not at all.
 

mcgleereturns

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Re: Chris Grant

Not only did the umps not deem his action to be a reportable offence, they also awarded him the 3 votes for fairest and best player on the day.
I know one of the umpires who umpired the last round and whether he was talking crap or not, he told me that year that they debated giving Grant votes in the last round. It was down to no to avoid ruining Grants night by making him win but miss out or yes to shoving it up AFLs arse for going against the umpires opinions that Grant shouldn’t have been suspended. They chose yes, gave him two votes and the rest is unwanted history. It also made me question whether the umpires talk about the votes during the year but he avoided discussing that.


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Libba39

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Got a feeling about Fyfe. While Freo didn't make the finals he had very little internal competition for votes.

For us I think Bont will just be ahead of Dunkley and Macrae and the story of the night will be how Dunkley could have won it had he played the entire year in the midfield.
 

Werewolf

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mcgleereturns

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Does anyone remember this game and (with all due respect) how did Grant get 3 votes??? o_O

I think we moved him on to David Neitz who was killing us and the umpires in a rare vote for defenders must have noticed. I vaguely remember this being a talking point post Brownlow during the annual “how the hell did player X get votes for that” media frenzy.


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gangsta deluxe

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How long does this go for tonight?

Really don’t like staying up past 10:30 on a weeknight. I heard they were shortening it - my sincere hope is that they ******* do.
 

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Norm De Guerre

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The Brownlow as a television broadcast is right up there with a Royal wedding when it comes to degrees of interminability. I have no idea how anybody can actually sit through anything beyond the last couple of rounds and even then I'd only subject myself to it if a dogs player is genuinely a chance to win it.

Having Hamish McLaclan host it would have me pining for the days of Andrew Demetriou's mumbling his way through an evening of speed reading practice live on national television.

A hard pass.
 
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X_box_X

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FWIW, I did Brownlow votes this year for every game involving the Bulldogs only. These are my results.

Round 1
3. Bont (3)
2. Libba (2)
1. Jones

Round 2
3. Macrae (3)
2. JOM
1. Daniel (1)

Round 3
3. Libba (5)
2. Fiorini
1. Bont (4)

Round 4
3. Grundy
2. Bont (6)
1. Phillips

Round 5
NA

Round 6
3. Fyfe
2. Mundy
1. Daniel (2)

Round 7
3. Bont (9)
2. Naughton (2)
1. Dunkley (1)

Round 8
3. Dunkley (4)
2. Zorko
1. Macrae (4)

Round 9
3. Duncan
2. Kelly
1. Wallis (1)

Round 10
3. Goldstein
2. Higgins
1. Bont (10)

Round 11
N/A

Round 12
BYE

Round 13
3. Dunkley (7)
2. C Curnow
1. Macrae (5)

Round 14
3. Grundy
2. Macrae (7)
1. Treloar

Round 15
3. Bont (13)
2. Macrae (9)
1. Boak

Round 16
3. Bont (16)
2. Macrae (11)
1. Naughton (3)

Round 17
3. Dunkley (10)
2. Dureya (2)
1. Viney

Round 18
N/A

Round 19
3. Bont (19)
2. Macrae (13)
1. Fyfe

Round 20
3. Bont (22)
2. Macrae (15)
1. Robinson

Round 21
3. Dunkley (13)
2. Macrae (17)
1. Hunter (1)

Round 22
3. Dunkley (16)
2. Macrae (19)
1. Lipinski (1)

Round 23
3. Bont (24)
2. M Crouch
1. Macrae (20)

1. Bont - 24
2. Macrae - 20
3. Dunkley - 16
4. Libba - 5
5. Naughton - 3
6. Dureya - 2
6. Daniel - 2
8. Wallis - 1
8. Lipinski - 1
8. Hunter - 1

TOTAL - 75
 

Snarls Barkley

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When we play well, all three of Bont, Dunkley and Macrae seem to play well which usually leads to a lot of vote sharing/stealing. However Bontempelli is easily the most eye catching of the three and can still see him getting enough 3s and 2s to win the whole thing. It’s the one voters that kill you, hopefully Dunkley and Macrae share those.
 

Dogsman16

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Chucked a sneaky 100 on this multi at $5.41

Dunkley to get 15+ votes
Grundy to get 15+ votes
Cripps to get 15+ votes
Neale to get 20+ votes
Gawn to get 15+ votes

Brownlow predictor has Gawn on 23 votes, surely they can’t get it wrong by more than 8.

Dunkleys favourite to poll 3 votes in 5 games and I have him on 16-18 votes in total.

The other 3 should get there.
 

Bont2Bruce

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I haven't made a bet since our GF win (which I pocketed $60 after backing us to win). Popped my "hard earned" on Bonti to win the Brownlow a couple of weeks ago at $7.00.

Go you good thing!
 

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