Watched the Brownlow Medal last night. Such a mixture of an event. Trying to be up to date while maintaining tradition, elegance and formality. In the context of footy players who try to beat each other up every week…

All the awards are actually very nice, especially the awards for community service, Mark of the Year, Goal of the Year, recognition of retiring players and so on. And everyone now looks great and behaves pretty well.

And this year they even had WOMEN involved. Wow! Two great women players were invited to present awards. At least the event also showed some highlight pictures of these women playing footy. But really, to come closer to the current time period, they will have to have women actually RECEIVING awards from playing in a women’s competition. To be fair, that is now set for 2017, so catching up to the current time period is not so far away.

Two aspects of the night still really grate with me. The first is the extremely elongated counting process. What other award system actually presents the counting of the votes, match by match, judge by judge, for 200 games?? Surely it could be truncated, changed, moved, summarised, made entertaining.

But what really makes this event old fashioned is the language at the end. Who else still uses the words ‘Be upstanding and charge your glasses’?? Why not, ‘Please stand and drink a toast to …’ or something that is understandable?

I know. It’s a small thing really. But it is indicative of a language and culture from 50 years ago. It’s one of the remaining barriers to this function being up to date and even a pleasure to watch. And then there’s the counting process…


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