September 23, 2003


Hugh Mackay warned earlier this year of the dark and damaging neuroses lurking in Australian sport. What the hell would he know? Last night’s Brownlow Medal count delivered AFL's highest individual award to three of the least neurotic, most undamaged players in Australian Rules football: Sydney ruckman Adam Goodes, Adelaide hard man Mark Ricciuto, and Collingwood hero Nathan Buckley. Their speeches were brilliant:

Goodes: “I can’t believe I’m standing here with Nathan Buckley and Mark Ricciuto.” Believe it, Adam. Out of the three, he was possibly most deserving this year of a solo medal.

Ricciuto: “I don’t put myself in that category.” He was talking about players like Voss, McLeod, Buckley, and Wanganeen, all of whom he thought were more deserving. None are.

Buckley: “I’ve always been a big fan of [Ricciuto], and Adam Goodes epitomises everything in the modern game.” Damn straight. So does Buckley, whose victory champagne went unsipped (he plays in this weekend’s Grand Final) as he accepted his medal.

Check the ratings later this week for the Brownlow telecast. Expect big numbers, which might startle Sydney Morning Herald television writer Henry Everingham, who wrote: “This annual award is truly a most tortuously dull event ... This is bingo for the comatose.”

All who watched will disagree.

UPDATE. The ratings are in.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 23, 2003 06:05 AM

The first triple dead heat for 73 years.

Richmond's Stan Judkins, Allan Hopkins of Footscray and Collingwood's Harry Collier scored equal Brownlow points in 1930, back in those innocent, carefree times before a dark event shook the world ... the birth of Hugh Mackay.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 23, 2003 at 12:28 PM

What a log jam of champions there at the end. This Port supporter would have liked to see Peter Bell on stage too, although Wanganeen's season was deserving.

Posted by: Observa at September 23, 2003 at 01:04 PM

All great acceptance speeches.

You gotta feel sorry for Nigel Lappin. He was at the top of the leaderboard after round 15, at which point he injured himself and missed the next 4 games, effectively ending his brownlow medal hopes. A brownlow for each of the "fab four" would have been cool.

And now he could miss the grand final because of injury caused by one of his own teammates(not mentioning any names, Shaun Hart!).

Posted by: Cruddrick at September 23, 2003 at 01:23 PM

Great TV. Drama, tension, eye-candy...

It would have been nice to see Peter Bell up there - as with Ricciuto that will probably be his last chance. Wanganeen and Voss already have one so I didn't feel too disappointed for them.

Posted by: Pig Head Sucker at September 23, 2003 at 01:24 PM

What about Hird? He missed 6 games, went off in the first quarter of another two and still managed to get 19!

Posted by: Pig Head Sucker at September 23, 2003 at 02:05 PM

Beats me how Buckley managed only two best-on-fields.

Posted by: tim at September 23, 2003 at 03:14 PM

I watched and I agree.

Posted by: alf at September 23, 2003 at 03:57 PM

In my opinion, the last round votes were definantly a bit warped. How buckly didnt get best on ground was beyond me and Ricciuto didn't really do anything special against Port. I thought he was extremely lucky to pick up a vote.

But alls well that ends well. At least all 3 winners were South Australian.

Posted by: Swift at September 23, 2003 at 04:23 PM

The Brownlow was the closest EVER.....Everingham was unlucky to make that call this year. There have been some tedious Brownlow nights.

In any case, it will undoubtedly be more entertaining than this weeks Grand Final.

AFL football as a spectacle has reached a nadir....of course most supporters are so one eyes they wouldn't know it.

It took the likes of David Parkin to state that "The Emperor has no clothes!!!"

Posted by: Savvas at September 23, 2003 at 05:01 PM

As a Crows fan I was feeling very embarrassed that Andrew McLeod led for almost the whole night in one of his weakest ever seasons, and very relieved when he was overtaken by the pack.

Mind you, I thought Eddie was going to lose it when they called Buckley up. Thursday night's Footy Show is going to be tragic - so tragic that it is almost compelling me to watch it!!

Posted by: John at September 23, 2003 at 05:10 PM