Melbourne onballer Angus Brayshaw cheekily thanked the AFL after his stunning third place in the Brownlow Medal.
Brayshaw was not among the five Demons players who were invited to Monday night’s black tie function.
Instead, Brayshaw watched the TV in a T-shirt as he polled 21 votes, only seven short of Hawthorn winner Tom Mitchell, while Collingwood onballer Steele Sidebottom was second on 24.
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Brayshaw then went on Instagram, posting a photo of himself kissing a fake medal.
“Thanks @AFL for mailing me my third-place Brownlow – big night for me, wearing a … t-shirt,” he wrote.
“Thanks for the support.”
Ruckman Max Gawn was a Brownlow favourite, but it was Brayshaw who ended up leading the Melbourne voting.
Brayshaw spent the first three rounds of the season in the VFL.
He roared up the leaderboard with eight votes in his last four games, including two best-afield performances in rounds 22 and 23.
They are also the first Brownlow votes in Brayshaw’s career.
Gawn polled 20 votes, finishing equal-fourth with Carlton onballer Patrick Cripps.
Earlier in the night, AFL officials were also sent scrambling when Sidebottom took the vote lead.
Notes are prepared on the Brownlow favourites for Richard Goyder’s speech when the AFL chairman toasts the winner.
League officials put together comments on nine players – but Sidebottom was initially not among them, because the expectation was that Brodie Grundy would lead the Magpies’ votes.
There was much relief among AFL staffers when media manager Patrick Keane confirmed he had done up some quick notes on Sidebottom’s career.