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Two Decades of Triumph: Reflecting on the Brownlow Medal Winners Since 2000

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BNN Correspondents
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The Prestige of the Brownlow Medal

The Brownlow Medal, officially known as the Charles Brownlow Trophy, is a prestigious individual award in the Australian Football League (AFL). The award is given to the player deemed the 'fairest and best' in each season. The 'fairest and best' criterion emphasizes sportsmanship and fair play, ensuring that the winner represents the best of what the AFL stands for both in terms of talent and conduct.

Since its inception in 1924, the Brownlow Medal has become an integral part of the AFL's history. The medal has been awarded 108 times to 89 players in 94 counts, and the award ceremony is a significant event in the AFL season, celebrated by players and fans alike. Despite a brief intermission during World War II from 1942 to 1945, the tradition of the Brownlow Medal has remained unbroken, making it a cherished part of AFL history.

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(Read Also: Rugby Australia Stands by Dave Rennie Despite Underwhelming Performance)

Reflecting on the Past Two Decades of Winners

As we approach the 2023 count, it is an opportune time to look back on the players who have won the esteemed "Charlie" since the start of the new millennium in 2000. These past two decades have seen a variety of winners, each with their own unique story of hard work, talent, and dedication to the sport.

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Each season brings its own challenges and triumphs, and the recipient of the Brownlow Medal is often the subject of much discussion and debate. This is largely due to the subjective nature of determining the 'fairest and best' player. Nevertheless, regardless of the debates and controversies, the awarding of the Brownlow Medal remains a highlight of each AFL season.

(Read Also: Charting The Evolution of Sport in Australia: Challenges and Opportunities)

Controversies and Record-Breaking Scores

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The history of the Brownlow Medal is not without its share of controversies. The award has seen ineligible players who polled the most votes, and players retrospectively ruled ineligible due to offences. The most notable case is perhaps that of Jobe Watson, who won in 2012 but was later found guilty of breaching the anti-doping code and was ruled ineligible by the AFL Commission in November 2016.

Despite these controversies, the Brownlow Medal has also seen record-breaking scores. Over the years, the voting system for the Brownlow has changed three times, with the current system of awarding six votes per game (3 votes, 2 votes, and 1 vote) being in place since 1978. This has allowed for some remarkable tallies and close counts, adding to the excitement and anticipation of the award ceremony.

Looking Forward

As we approach the 2023 count, the AFL community eagerly awaits to see who will be the next player to join the distinguished list of Brownlow Medal winners. Regardless of who takes home the coveted award, the tradition of the Brownlow Medal serves as a reminder of the exceptional talent, sportsmanship, and dedication that defines the AFL.

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