A magnificent individual season by Dustin Martin was recognised on Monday night with the Richmond star the run away winner of the 2017 Brownlow Medal. It was a record breaking haul for the Tigers star, setting records with his haul of 11 best-on-grounds, 36 total votes and most neck tattoos on a Brownlow winner. With memories of the red carpet and Bruce McAvaney’s fawning speech fading, all attention turns to Saturday afternoon’s Grand Final between Dusty’s Richmond and the Adelaide Crows. With this in mind The Sportress has trawled through the history books to answer the question what becomes of the reigning Brownlow Medallists team on Grand Final day?
For the purpose of the exercise we have included those players who received their medal retrospectively, not because we discount their achievement, but for the purpose of this exercise they did not take the field on Grand Final day as Brownlow Medallist. For this reason neither Harry Collier or Sam Mitchell’s Brownlow Medals in Grand Final years have been counted in our tally. Taking all this into mind we crunched the numbers and it doesn’t appear to bode well for the Tigers on Saturday afternoon:
Brownlow Winners have not had great success in also getting their hands on premiership medals in the same season. Since the awards inception they have tasted defeat more frequently than victory and even more so in the last twenty years. Dusty’s Tigers finished 3rd this year and will take on the minor premiers the Adelaide Crows, this situation has occurred 4 other times with only Ivor Warne-Smith, back in 1926, walking off the MCG with a premiership medal on Grand Final Day.
It will be the first time that Richmond will have that season’s Brownlow Winner on their team on Grand Final day, but they have competed in three others that the winner was amongst the opposition numbers. Having won 1, lost 2 of these deciders they will be hoping that they can turn this stat around too on Saturday.
History would appear to be against Dusty and his Tigers, but many would argue that Grand Finals are won on the pages of history books. What do you think will Richmond become yet another side to fall to the Brownlow’s curse or will their long premiership drought finally come to an end.