He Used to Hate Freo, But Docker Nat Fyfe Just Won His Second Brownlow
This year's Brownlow Medal promised to be the closest in years. And we weren't just talking about the figure-hugging frocks!
But in the end, Nat Fyfe cleared away from the field to win comfortably with 33 points. Pre-count favourite Patrick Dangerfield finished second with 27 points, while Carlton's Patrick Cripps and Brisbane's Lachie Neale were equal-third, both with 26. Geelong's Tim Kelly rounded out the top five on 24 points.
Four years after his first Brownlow, 28-year-old Fyfe earned this one as Freo captain.
"I really pride myself on my preparation, I know if I prepare as well as I can that's going to put myself in a position to impact most games," he said on stage after his win.
The likeable midfielder also talked about overcoming self doubt after he broke his leg a few years ago.
"I've always talked about being relatively confident in the plan of the universe, and here we are," he joked, before paying tribute to Freo legend Matthew Pavlich, who he said he modelled his leadership on.
While he reveres Pav, Fyfe joked about how he never loved the Freo club too much when he was a kid because "they didn't win too much".
They didn't win too much this year either, especially in the second half of the season, as they slumped to finish 13th on the ladder with nine wins and 13 losses.
But it was in the low part of the season that Fyfe picked up the bulk of his votes -- a telling point given that when he won the Brownlow in 2015 (a more successful year in which Freo made the preliminary final), he never gathered a single point in a losing cause.
But Fyfe is a mature player now. And a leader. And he plays well no matter what. Second Brownlow: richly deserved.
Scroll down for all the action this evening, from frocks to footy, as it panned out.