The infamous 'chicken-wing' incident featuring Chris Judd.

The infamous 'chicken-wing' incident featuring Chris Judd. Photo: Lachlan Cunningham

 

  • It wasn't hard to notice that Chris Judd was playing against North Melbourne in round 16. That was the day the Carlton captain grabbed at Leigh Adams' arm as the North Melbourne midfielder lay face down on the Etihad Stadium turf, briefly dislodging his sore shoulder and creating much talk of 'chicken wings'. Judd was suspended for four matches after a tribunal hearing the next week, but did not let the incident unsettle him: he racked up 36 possessions and kicked three goals in the Blues' loss to the Roos, picking up two votes on his way out.

 

  • It must never be easy for parents forced to watch their sons play against each other. No doubt, Mr and Mrs Swallow went to see Gold Coast play North Melbourne in round five hoping to see both their boys, Andrew and David, do well. They got their wish; North's new captain Andrew collected the three votes in the Roos' 34-point, but little brother David picked up one vote for his 23-possession, one goal, four tackle match.

 

  • Jason Blake starred against Sydney in round six, compiling 31 hitouts and 13 possessions when thrust into the ruck in the absence of Ben McEvoy, Rhys Stanley and anyone else in the St Kilda side who knows how to play there. Surely, the football world decided, he would score his first Brownlow votes in a 12-year career. Um, no.... again, Blake missed out, with teammates Leigh Montagna (25 possessions), Lenny Hayes (27 possessions, five tackles) and David Armitage (29 possessions) picking up the votes. But then, a twist: after 194 games, Blake scored the famous first two votes against Gold Coast in round 10. Or did he? Chief executive Andrew Demetriou mucked up his big moment, calling him James instead of Jason.

 

  • The Brownlow votes, it is said, usually go to the winning team. But Gary Ablett rises above tradition. Ablett’s three-vote efforts in rounds one, two and three came in games in which his Gold Coast team lost by 69 points to Adelaide, 92 points St Kilda and 17 points to Essendon. Ablett also polled three for his record-equalling 53 disposal game against Collingwood in round 10, when the Magpies won by 97 points. There was a debate at the time over Ablett’s game, for his opponent Dale Thomas was adjudged best-afield by most media observers for his 32 disposals and three goals. Ablett, the 2009 winner, polled 24 votes this year to finish sixth.

 

  • If you want to win the Brownlow Medal, don’t be a defender or a forward. The top 10 in the so-called 'Midfielders' Medal' were on-ball players. Of the key forwards, Matthew Pavlich (15) and Lance Franklin (12) polled well, and of the rucks Nic Naitanui (10) was the only prominent player. But the interesting thing was the all-Australian defenders, who polled a grand total of eight votes. Darren Glass, the all-Australian full-back, did not register a vote. Ted Richards, the centre half-back, polled one, as did half-back Grant Birchall. Fremantle’s Luke McPharlin did not bother the scorers, Sean Dempster polled two and Beau Waters four. In round five when Sydney toppled Hawthorn at Launceston, Richards kept Franklin goalless. He did not extract a vote for that game.