2020 Brownlow Recap
Congratulations to Lachie Neale winning his first Brownlow medal smashing the rest of the field. It was no surprise as his year was incredibly dominant in a top 2 side which are ingredients for a winner. I’ve managed to crunch my numbers and made a small profit, with the elusive big multi’s losing by single legs. I keep telling myself 1 year I’ll get it right across the board. I’ll recap my thoughts on each team and what I can try to adjust for next season.
Overall I feel my count was pretty close to what actually happened. I did over poll the stars of the game (or did the umps under poll) with Fyfe and Danger not picking up the usual cheap votes here and there. I picked 8 of the top 10, order not correct, but not far off either.
Adelaide Crows My top 5: Laird (9), M. Crouch (9), O’Brien (2), B. Crouch (2), Smith (1) Actual: Laird (4), O’Brien (4), M. Crouch (3), Sholl (3), Sloane (3) Not sure what to think here, it’s always tough to pick where the bottom side polls and I seemed to give the Crows a bit too many. Sloane with 3 out of nowhere shows how subjective the award is, and is quite frustrating when trying to fine tune a system that can’t be perfected. Brisbane Lions My top 5: Neale (28), Lyons (10), Zorko (8), McCluggage (5), Berry (5) Actual: Neale (31), Lyons (9), Berry (8), Andrews (4), McCluggage (4) Nothing too surprising except for Zorko with 0 votes, he stands out when he has big games, but no love this year. In comparison to the Crows it shows that a top side with consistent wins can be estimated a bit better. Carlton Blues My top 5: Walsh (14), Cripps (11), Curnow (6), Docherty (5), Martin (3) Actual: Cripps (10), Walsh (8), Curnow (5), Gibbons (4), Martin (4) This was a multi buster with Cripps finishing ahead of Walsh. No matter how bad Cripps plays he always seems to poll, if Carlton ever finish in the top 8 then Cripps is in the prime position to win a medal. Collingwood Magpies My top 5: Grundy (11), Adams (11), Pendlebury (8), Treloar (8), Sidebottom (7) Actual: Pendlebury (13), Adams (11), Grundy (6), Moore (6), Sidebottom (6) I over polled Grundy here in what was a quiet year by his standards. Old reliable Pendlebury, or Dependlebury taking the Pies count with Moore the surprise vote getter. Adams not as high as the media talked him up. Essendon Bombers My top 5: Merrett (18), Shiel (7), McGrath (7), Zaharakis (3), Stringer (3) Actual: Merrett (13), McGrath (7), Shiel (6), Zaharakis (4), Tipungwuti (2) Not much different here apart from over polling Merrett, most likely giving him votes in losses. Fremantle Dockers My top 5: Fyfe (15), Brayshaw (9), Walters (8), Ryan (5), Mundy (5) Actual: Fyfe (10), Brayshaw (9), Walters (8), Ryan (3), Mundy (3) Got this one right, just gave extra votes to Fyfe due to well, him being Fyfe. With a lot more help this season Fyfe didn’t need to do all the heavy lifting. Geelong Cats My top 5: Danger (20), Guthrie (11), Hawkins (10), Menegola (10), Duncan (7) Actual: Danger (15), Guthrie (14), Hawkins (11), Duncan (5), Menegola (5) I backed Danger hard in most markets and it paid off just pipping Guthrie in the final round. The top 5 went to plan. Gold Coast Suns My top 5: Rowell (9), Greenwood (7), Miller (6), Weller (4), Swallow (2) Actual: Greenwood (11), Rowell (9), Lukosius (3), Miller (3), Ainsworth (2) I was very close to putting a few bets on Greenwood here as his value was so good, but I chickened out. His contested possession numbers are huge and means he’s right under the umps nose. My gut was right, I’ll have to make sure I listen to it in the future. GWS Giants My top 5: Greene (10), Whitfield (8), Perryman (7), Kelly (6), Coniglio (4) Actual: Greene (12), Kelly (8), Coniglio (4), Haynes (4), Whitfield (4) This was a nice value one I got with Greene leading the count for the Giants, when he dominates and kicks goals he almost always gets 3 votes. Whitfield was the favourite and nowhere near it, take note of outside players not polling well unless they get huge disposal numbers. Hawthorn Hawks My top 5: Mitchell (12), Wingard (7), Smith (3), Gunston (3), O’Meara (2) Actual: Mitchell (10), Wingard (6), Gunston (5), O’Meara (3), Smith (3) Mitchell got me home in the last round here in a forgetful year for the Hawks. Melbourne Demons My top 5: Petracca (24), Oliver (14), Gawn (11), Viney (5), Brayshaw (4) Actual: Petracca (20), Oliver (14), Gawn (13), Viney (6), May (4) I love Melbourne in terms of the Brownlow vote, they had 4-5 studs who you just know will get the bulk of the votes so it’s fairly easy to pick who gets them. The shorter qtr’s helped Petracca this year, but Oliver has all the makings of a Brownlow winner when the game goes back to full length qtrs and if Demons can put it together to finish in the top 8/top 4. North Melbourne Kangaroos My top 5: Simpkin (7), Higgins (6), Goldstein (4), Anderson (4), Cunnington (3) Actual: Simpkin (8), Goldstein (5), Anderson (3), Cunnington (3), Higgins (2) I was right on the money here with Simpkin, in hindsight I should’ve gone harder on this market, but history told me you can’t trust a team like North. Higgins usually leads North each year, but he was ignored by the umps this season. Port Adelaide Power My top 5: Boak (21), Rockliff (16), Wines (8), Dixon (6), Gray (5) Actual: Boak (21), Rockliff (10), Wines (10), Dixon (9), Gray (5) Not far off perfect here for Port, over polled Rocky and under polled Wines/Dixon to even that out. Richmond Tigers My top 5: Dusty (19), Cotchin (6), Lambert (4), Houli (3), Prestia (3) Actual: Dusty (15), Bolton (9), Lambert (6), Cotchin (5), Prestia (3) Another tick with Dusty on top, but I gave no respecxt to Bolton who squashed some of my multi’s. St Kilda Saints My top 5: Steele (19), Billings (13), Jones (9), Marshall (8), Ross (5) Actual: Steele (20), Butler (8), Marshall (8), Jones (7), Gresham (5) Tick, but the rest of the team was a mess for me, Billings going by undetected and Butler’s 2-3 goals getting him votes. Sydney Swans My top 5: Parker (17), Lloyd (10), Papley (5), Kennedy (5), Heeney (4) Actual: Parker (15), Papley (6), Heeney (5), Kennedy (4), Lloyd (3) Parker had this market locked with no help in the middle due to injury interrupted seasons for Heeney and Kennedy. Lloyd shown no respect for his seagulling efforts much like other outside players who tend to poll more. Constant losses don’t help either. West Coast Eagles My top 5: Sheed (12), Gaff (10), Kennedy (8), Naitanui (8), Kelly (8) Actual: Sheed (11), Kelly (11), Gaff (8), Yeo (8), Kennedy (6) Another nice value hit with Sheed, pity he tied with Kelly. Again the count shows ruckmen don’t always poll well with Nic Nat barely making a blip on the radar. Yeo at 8 votes in an injury plagued year shows what he’s capable of. Western Bulldogs My top 5: Macrae (19), Bontempelli (14), English (6), Hunter (6), Dunkley (5) Actual: Macrae (15), Bontempelli (10), Smith (7), English (6), Hunter (6) Another tick, every year Macrae gets overlooked for Bontempelli and Macrae comes out on top (last year Bont was heavy favourite for Dogs, but tied with Macrae on 22). Notes · 15/18 of the team vote leaders picked, my best effort yet · Outside players tend to poll under their predictions (Whitfield, Duncan, Menegola) · Will there be hubs next year? · Gut runners and accumulators had less impact this season due to the shorter quarters, this disadvantaged players like Gaff, Macrae, Mitchell, and Oliver and will impact next season depending on whether this is a permanent change Once the dust has settled from this year’s Brownlow, I will assess next year’s market’s. Thanks for joining me this year and continue to look out for my blogs and follow me on Twitter. :)