That was a destroyation.

Brisbane’s Lachie Neale was a hot favourite to claim the 2020 Brownlow Medal, but his utterly dominant win was to a historic extent.

Here’s the best bits from Brownlow night.

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Grand Final

MORE BROWNLOW COVERAGE

IT’S A LANDSLIDE: Lion King claims first Brownlow in stunning fashion

TRACKER: See every vote from every game and the final leaderboard

TOUCHING SPEECH: Partner in tears as Neale pays tribute to ‘amazing human being’

CLUB BY CLUB: Leading Brownlow vote-getters for every AFL team

RED CARPET PICS: Looking DANGERous! Stars and partners dazzle pre-Brownlow

GOAL OF THE YEAR: ‘Call the cops’ as Magpie beats all-time classic to win crown

MARK OF THE YEAR: The winner was ‘courage personified’, but was it the best?

Lachie's emotional thanks

Lachie’s emotional thanks

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THE GREATEST SEASON EVER

On a per-game Brownlow vote basis, no-one has ever had a better season than Lachie Neale just produced.

The midfielder polled 31 votes in 17 matches, for 1.82 votes per game. That’s better than every winner ever, pipping Dick Reynolds (1937) and Colin Watson (1925) who polled 1.8 votes per game.

The modern record previously belonged to his ex-Fremantle teammate Nat Fyfe, who averaged 1.72 votes in his 2015 campaign.

Extrapolated out to a full season, Neale would have polled 40 votes, smashing the record of 36 set by Dustin Martin in 2017.

Neale wins the Brownlow Medal

Neale wins the Brownlow Medal

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…SO MUCH BETTER THAN EVERY OTHER PLAYER

Neale sealed the Brownlow in Round 16, only extending his lead in the final rounds of the count.

He finished 10 votes ahead of runner-up Travis Boak, which equalled the biggest gap between first and second in Brownlow history.

It equalled Richmond’s Roy Wright, who in 1954 finished on 29 votes, from Collingwood’s Neil Mann on 19 votes.

Neale was best on ground 10 times, which only Dustin Martin has beaten (11 three-vote games in 2017).

Lachie Neale: 31 votes. Every Adelaide Crows player combined: 20 votes. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Lachie Neale: 31 votes. Every Adelaide Crows player combined: 20 votes. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

…AND SO MUCH BETTER THAN SOME ENTIRE TEAMS

Neale became the eighth player in the AFL era to outpoll an entire opposing team. In fact, he outpolled two of them.

Adelaide polled 20 votes as a collective in its three-game season, while North Melbourne was slightly more impressive with 27 votes – but again, behind Neale’s 31 votes.

The other teams that have been outpolled are Fitzroy (1996), Hawthorn (2004), Port Adelaide (2011), both GWS and Melbourne (both 2012 and 2013), Brisbane (2016) and Gold Coast (2019).

BUT WHERE WAS NIC NAT?

As always, a few players polled fewer votes than expected, but it’s hard to explain the result at West Coast.

Nic Naitanui was easily one of the Eagles’ best players this season, romping his way into the All-Australian ruck spot and dominating games.

Yet he polled just five votes – putting him equal-seventh on the team.

No-one is saying Tim Kelly (11 votes), Dom Sheed (11), Andrew Gaff (8), Elliot Yeo (8), Josh Kennedy (6), Luke Shuey (6) and Oscar Allen (5) aren’t great players – but surely Naitanui was more important to West Coast this year than most if not all of them?

Naitanui polled on three occasions – one vote in Round 5 v Sydney, two votes in Round 9 v Geelong and two votes in Round 17 v St Kilda.

How did Nic Naitanui not poll more votes? (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
How did Nic Naitanui not poll more votes? (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

THE TOTAL SNUBS

Perhaps the umpires need to have a chat with the coaches about what to look for in games.

Remarkably, nine players were declared best on ground this season in the coaches’ votes but didn’t even poll a single Brownlow vote.

Dane Rampe (Round 8), Dom Sheed (R11), Zach Merrett (R11), Ed Curnow (R12), Tom Barrass (R12), Liam Ryan (R15), Nat Fyfe (R15), Nick Haynes (R15) and Tom Rockliff (R17) all polled the maximum 10 coaches’ votes in those rounds.

AND PERHAPS THE WEIRDEST BIT OF THEM ALL

It’s always fun when Gill has to rush through the count at the end when we know who won. But even he seemed to be getting a bit bored with it this year.

In Hawthorn’s Round 18 game against Gold Coast, the AFL CEO happily declared “the son of Ray and Mandy” had polled two votes.

That’d be Jack Gunston (and his parents), for all those playing at home.

We’re guessing Gill just won a bet. Which is fitting for Brownlow night.

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