In the most glamorous night of the AFL season, Carlton captain Patrick Cripps was metaphorically bathed in glory and physically awarded the Brownlow Medal.
As you’d expect, the contest was pretty tight, particularly between Cripps, Brisbane Lions’ Lachie Neale, Fremantle’s Andrew Brayshaw and Gold Coast’s Touk Miller.
At one point Neale and Cripps tied for top spot while later, Neale and Brayshaw were tied. Then Cripps went to number one while Miller overtook Neale and Brayshaw. The nail biting finish was akin to the Sydney Swans’ one-point victory over Collingwood on Saturday evening.
I was absolutely sweating bullets as the players battled it out for the top spot and I’m sure they were too. Ultimately Cripps came out with 29 points to Neale’s 28, while Miller had 27. Brayshaw and Melbourne’s Clayton Oliver tied at 25 points and Christian Petracca scored 24.
Cripps’ acceptance speech was incredibly wholesome.
“I loved footy growing up as a kid, and I still remember being at boarding school back in WA… I used to always ask my mum, ‘Make sure you sign me out, gimme leave on Brownlow night,” he said in his acceptance speech.
“My older brother Daniel used to sign me out and we always used to watch it together.
“I can’t put it into words at the moment but it’s a massive honour and I’m absolutely pumped.”
Of course, that wasn’t the only award of the night.
Geelong’s Joel Selwood took out the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award while Port Adelaide’s Mitch Georgiades was awarded Mark of the Year. Personally Mark Ruffalo is my Mark of the year every year, but I understand he’s not a footy player.
Plus Essendon player Sam Draper won Goal of the Year. Alright, I’m impressed.
— Essendon FC (@essendonfc) September 18, 2022
In case ya missed it, the Brownlow Medal was originally scheduled for Monday September 19, but it was changed to the Sunday ‘cos it clashed with the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
It was also the first time since the beginning of the pandemic that players came from interstate to Melbs for the event. Aw!
And on that note, cya next year!