Published by Josh Gabelich, 22 September 2018 on Foxsports.com.au
FOOTY’S most prestigious prize will be awarded on Monday night.
Hawthorn midfielder Tom Mitchell is the red-hot favourite to win his first Brownlow Medal, but we’ve seen major boilovers at the count plenty of times.
Reigning Brownlow medallist Dustin Martin hasn’t reached the ridiculous heights he climbed last year, but he has still been brilliant, just like star ruckmen Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy.
Here’s your ultimate guide to football’s night of nights.
WHEN IS THE BROWNLOW MEDAL?
Monday September 24.
WHERE IS IT HELD?
It will be held at the Crown Palladium in Melbourne.
HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE COUNT?
Foxfooty.com.au will have full coverage of the count all night, from the red carpet to the morning after. You can also watch it on Channel 7 from 8:15pm.
HOW IS IT DECIDED?
The Brownlow Medal honours the fairest and best player in the competition. Umpires vote on the award on a 3-2-1 basis after every match, with the player who receives the most votes at the end of the home-and-away season crowned the champion.
Multiple winners are crowned if two or more players receive the most votes. Players who have been suspended throughout the season are ineligible to win the Brownlow.
WHO ARE THE FAVOURITES?
Hawthorn ball magnet Tom Mitchell is the clear favourite after producing a phenomenal season where he averaged 35.3 disposals and amassed 40+ touches on 11 occasions in 2018.
All-Australian ruckman Max Gawn and reigning Brownlow medallist Dustin Martin are two of the main contenders to cause an upset, while Carlton bull Patrick Cripps is firmly in the mix, despite the Blues winning just two games this season.
Collingwood ruckman Brodie Grundy and Melbourne young gun Clayton Oliver should also finish in the top handful following dominant seasons, while Brisbane midfielder Dayne Beams and Bulldog Jackson Macrae are solid chances to be shock winners.
BROWNLOW MEDAL ODDS
Tom Mitchell (HAW) $1.57
Dustin Martin (RIC) $8
Max Gawn (MEL) $9
Patrick Cripps (CAR) $14
Brodie Grundy (COL) $16
Clayton Oliver (MEL) $21
Jackson Macrae (WB) $21
Dayne Beams (BL) $21
Correct as of 7pm Sunday AEST, via Sportsbet
WHO ARE THE PREVIOUS WINNERS?
Geelong champion Gary Ablett Jr. is the only active player who has won the game’s most prestigious individual accolade more than once, but it would seem unlikely he will become the fifth player to win the Brownlow three times.
Only Haydn Bunton Sr, Dick Reynolds, Bob Skilton and Ian Stewart have achieved that feat, while eight others have won the coveted prize twice.
A year after Geelong midfielder Patrick Dangerfield broke the record for most votes in a count, Richmond superstar Dustin Martin went one better by polling 36 votes.
2008: Adam Cooney (Western Bulldogs)
2009: Gary Ablett (Geelong)
2010: Chris Judd (Carlton)
2011: Dane Swan (Collingwood)
2012: Trent Cotchin (Richmond) and Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn)
2013: Gary Ablett (Gold Coast)
2014: Matt Priddis (West Coast)
2015: Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)
2016: Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong)
2017: Dustin Martin (Richmond)
BROWNLOW MEDAL FACTS
— South Melbourne/Sydney has the most Brownlow Medal victories by a single club. They have won the award on 14 different occasions, most recently in 2006.
— Patrick Dangerfield broke the record for most votes in a single count, recording 35 votes on his way to the Brownlow Medal last year.
— Gary Dempsey has technically recorded the most votes in his career, polling 246 votes from his 329 games with both Footscray and North Melbourne. However he played in 1976 and 1977 when double the votes were cast. When adjusted for era, he has polled 218.5 votes, with Gary Ablett Jr. then first on 235 votes.
— Dick Reynolds is the youngest Brownlow Medal winner, doing so at 19 years and 91 days.
— Barry Round is the oldest Brownlow Medal winner, doing so at 31 years and 238 days.
— Port Adelaide and GWS Giants are the only two clubs in the AFL yet to have one of their players win a Brownlow Medal.
WHO WILL WIN THE 2018 BROWNLOW MEDAL?
It’s hard to go past Tom Mitchell, given he has the two traits of recent winners; massive disposal counts, and playing for a team that won plenty of games.
Hawthorn won 15 games in the home and away season, and averaged 35.3 disposals. Sounds like Charlie to us.