As you are no doubt aware, things have been a little bit different across all walks of life in 2020, and the Brownlow Medal has not been spared.
Usually it’s a lavish ceremony in Melbourne, where all the game’s best and brightest gather with their partners and key AFL dignitaries to celebrate the season and name the best individual player.
This year, for reasons so obvious they need not be named, that can’t happen. But the show, in some form, must go on and the 2020 Brownlow will be one like no other before.
Here’s how it will work, how you can watch it and who is (probably) going to win it.
When is the 2020 Brownlow Medal?
Sunday night, October 18 at 7:00pm AEDT.
Yes, it’s on a Sunday night this year instead of a Monday, just to keep the changes coming.
The winner is set to be officially crowned (medalled?) at 9:30pm AEDT.
Where is it being held?
All over the country. The Brownlow this year will be a made-for-TV digital event, with socially distanced functions set to be held at six separate venues across the country.
The invited players will either be at Channel Seven studios in Melbourne or Sydney, Perth Stadium, Carrara Stadium or Adelaide Oval.
Will there be a red carpet this year?
Not as such, no, but you can bet that players and partners will be dressed to the nines for their respective events regardless.
In fact, given the change in format, players have reportedly been told they don’t need to follow a strict black tie dress code and might get a little creative with their suit options.
How can I watch the Brownlow?
It will be on Channel Seven and its affiliate channel 7Mate from 7:00pm AEDT.
You can also follow along in our live blog, which will have all the pseudo-red carpet colour and drama of the count, from 4:30pm AEDT.
Who is going to win it?
Lachie Neale, more than likely.
The Brisbane Lions midfielder has been the favourite for most of the season, and his sensational and awfully consistent play has deserved it.
Most predictors have Neale coming out on top by a good few votes, but don’t discount a run from Port Adelaide’s Travis Boak or Melbourne’s Christian Petracca.
How is the Brownlow decided?
After every home and away game, the umpires select their three best players from the match, with three votes going to the player they judge to have been the best, two to the next and so on.
Those votes are kept secret until the night of the Brownlow ceremony, where they are read out and a winner is crowned.