The 2018 Brownlow Medal has gone to Tom Mitchell of the Hawthorn Hawks. It was the first Charlie for the reformed Swan, who worked in Sydney for the first four seasons of his AFL career.
He played 65 games for Sydney, including the 2016 Grand Final, when the Hawks went into the last game of the season as the de facto premiership winners, but for the fact that, in fact, it was the Western Bulldogs taking the flag in actual fact.
Another example of My Game, My Ball, My Rules, My Ground, if we can be excused once again for ranting about how Victoria rules the roost to such an extent that the seventh ranked team in the competition had home city support, if we can be further excused for failing to acknowledge that the Dogs play their home games at Docklands, not MCG, 3.4 kilometres to the east.
Mitchell came over to Hawthorn ahead of the 2017 season and attracted 25 Brownlow votes, a number that has won in the past, but last year belonged to Dustin Martin and his 36 votes, seconded by Patrick Dangerfield and his 33.
Mitchell received 28 votes in 2018, enough to leave him four clear of second and Steele Sidebottom’s 24. The two from last year mentioned above were not in this year’s Brownlow Medal picture.
Mitchell seemed to have the award sewn up as early as the 18th round, when he was best on ground in a match with the Carlton Blues, but even we ourselves would look good on the ground with Carlton.
Mitchell had the award in his bag following Round 21 against Geelong.
In his remarks following the announcement, Mitchell said, “The exciting thing about the Brownlow is that it’s so unpredictable.”
With an eight-vote margin over Sidebottom with one round remaining in the Toyota 2018 Premiership competition, the winner of the Brownlow Medal was completely predictable.