WHY wasn't Matthew Pavlich picked? How could Jack Riewoldt have been overlooked after winning the Coleman? How dare they leave out Drew Petrie?
Debate raged before, during and after the 2012 AFL All-Australian event on who should have made the team, and who shouldn't have.
There's never a civil outcome where everyone is happy. There will always be conjecture and head-scratching.
I'm obviously just messing around with that last one (Drew Petrie being left out), but there are some valid questions being posed. I suppose it's important to remember there are always going to be some unlucky players who miss out. You just can't squeeze them all in. With 15 first-time players making the All Australian team, the selectors seem to have ignored previous theories on how they would select the team and just choose a 22 on the merits of that season. I like it! If you dominated in 2012 then you should be in and that's what happened.
For North, Andrew Swallow and I made the 40-man squad, which is an honour in itself. I found out about a week before the official announcement that I had not made the team. Our football manager, Donald McDonald told me but I wasn't at all surprised. I had already decided I wasn't going to make it due to the fact that I was contending with the likes of Lance Franklin, Tom Hawkins and Dean Cox for the tall forward spot. Even with Franklin missing six weeks, he still deserves to be in the team having almost won the Coleman medal on 59 goals. Franklin averaged seven shots on goal per game. Do the math and it works out he would have had 42 more shots and was a shoo-in to have won the Coleman.
Every cloud has a silver lining and the benefit of missing out meant I didn't have to sit through another boring awards night made specifically for television. That might sound harsh, but when you've been to as many as I have, the novelty wears off. There are times when you're not allowed to get up from your table because of the broadcast and you feel like everything you do is being watched. It's not the nicest way to spend an evening. Then there's the program itself which feels as if it's been stretched out in order to make for a lengthy show in prime time for ratings.
A trend I did pick up with the All-Australian team was that players who play in tandem within their own teams have frequented the side. Take Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui who play ruck and in the forward line for the Eagles. The combination of these two provides headaches for opponents all year. There was some criticism about Nic Nat being the number one ruckman. I don't think he was the number one ruckman in the competition, but I do think that he and Cox are the best ruck combination in the land. So in that light, I have no problem with the selection.
Next up, it's the Brownlow Medal and with it comes more debate and conjecture regarding the potential winner. Many suggest Gary Ablett will win the award again with Jobe Watson, Trent Cotchin, Patrick Dangerfield, Scott Thompson (Adelaide) and Sam Mitchell also in the frame.
For me, I'm backing Jobe. I just think he's had a remarkable year with the Bombers and he stood up while all his teammates were falling down around him - literally. While Bombers had a horror second half of the season, their start was as good as any. But even in their losses, Jobe was a standout. In our 24-point win against Essendon in round 20, he played almost a lone hand with 32 possessions and a goal.
The fact they missed finals and only won 11 games might go against him, but the same can be said for Gary Ablett. The Suns won just three games yet Gaz is favourite to win his second Brownlow.
It's that time of year when you see those viral emails go around with people's calculations, round by round breakdowns and predictions. They make me laugh. You can't simply apply a formula to the Brownlow Medal and come out with the winner.
The bottom line is that it's all based on umpire opinion.
I still don't understand how they can possibly know who the best players were when they've got so much on their plates during the game like new rules and interpretations, video referral systems, dodging midfielder collisions, sprinting for several kilometres, copping the occasional spray from players or the crowd, trying to bounce an oval ball, wearing an earpiece and fluoro pyjamas, running backwards without tripping over, watching off the ball incidents and explaining decisions.
That's not a knock on them, just an opinion.
There should be a selection panel because I don't feel the umpires can properly give credit to all roles occurring in a match. Defenders are always neglected and there's a reason so many midfielders get votes - they're under the umpires noses all the time and in their line of sight more than any other player in any other position.
While I call for change, I don't hold any hope of anything changing because it's tradition and I get that.
But just because something has been done a particular way for years and years, doesn't make it right.