Most awkward mistake at the Brownlow Medal
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.
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.
Not everyone overlooked Brayshaw at least.
CLARKO BUSTED ON LIVE TV
SO, had Clarko nodded off?
As star Hawthorn midfielder Tom Mitchell made his Brownlow Medal acceptance speech, his first thank you was to the club.
The camera duly cut to Alastair Clarkson, who either had his head down looking at the floor as he listened to his star midfielder - or the night had gone a bit late for him.
It certainly looked like Clarkson was having a quick nap and the image quickly went viral on social media.
The rest of the audience laughed and that startled the Hawks coach, who had a sheepish grin.
"That's the last time I'm going to give him a mention," Mitchell said. The Hawks midfielder later was unsure what had happened.
"I don't know what he was doing - what was he doing?," Mitchell said. "It looked like it (he was asleep), maybe he wasn't too interested, who knows?" But Clarkson had been very alert a few minutes earlier, while the count was still going.
He was one of the first to congratulate Mitchell, giving him a big hug when he took an unbeatable lead with a couple of rounds of voting left. "He's played a huge role - he just said he was very proud and hard work pays off," Mitchell said of Clarkson.
"It's not the reason we play, we don't play the game for individual accolades, although they're very nice when they come along.
"Our main goal at Hawthorn is to win a premiership, so I'm hoping I can be a part of that next campaign." Mitchell is the second Hawk to win a Brownlow in Clarkson's legendary reign at Hawthorn.
Sam Mitchell and Richmond's Trent Cotchin were awarded the 2012 Brownlow retrospectively.