Tom Mitchell Won Brownlow By Taking A Break From Kit Kats
Mmmm, those crispy, crunchy chocolately fingers. Those delicious crunchy hexagons with sprinkly red stuff on them...
We can safely assume that thoughts along these lines are what often went through the head of Brownlow Medallist Tom Mitchell before he gave up the junk food and took football seriously enough to claim the game's highest individual honour.
Upon winning the coveted prize for best-and-fairest player in the AFL, Mitchell told a packed Crown Palladium that his pre-game football routine once consisted of eating Barbecue Shapes and Kit Kat.
Then his girlfriend Hannah Davis set him straight.
"She is the reason that I am standing up here," Mitchell said. "She has helped me enormously and made sacrifices and she is there for the highs and lows and I can’t thank her enough for what she has done for me.”
Mitchell, 25, has had a stellar year in a Hawthorn team that exceeded most people's expectations by making the top four, before they lose both finals.
Mitchell touched the footy 100 times more this season than any other player in the AFL. It's for this reason that people call him a "ball magnet", but in a sense, that term does him no justice because it's not like, oh gee, the ball just kind of ends up in his hands somehow.
RE-LIVE THE NIGHT: Tom Mitchell Wins The 2018 Brownlow Medal
Mitchell goes and finds that ball, and when he gets it, he does something intelligent with it just about every time. This was a worthy win indeed for the former Sydney Swan who switched to the Hawks at the start of 2017.
"Honestly, I've never seen anyone be so dedicated to a particular job," his partner Hannah Davis said after the event.
"He makes me proud every day. As he said on stage, he be obsessive. I mean in a moment like this can you complain?
Davis spoke about Mitchell's renowned intensity and how he finds it hard to switch off at times.
"He has his moments and we have definitely tried to work on it this year. To be honest he has become so much better."
She said the couple would definitely have a few drinks, then head off off to Europe for a three week holiday. From the sounds of things, it seems they've both earned it.
Mitchell was a strong favourite to win the Brownlow prior to last night's count, and while Collingwood's Steele Sidebottom led the count for a large portion of the night, Mitchell cleared out from the pack and had the award wrapped up with two rounds to go.
The final leaderboard for the top five players was as follows:
28: Tom Mitchell
24: Steele Sidebottom
21 : Angus Brayshaw
20: Patrick Cripps, Max Gawn
"Steele had a tremendous season and I'm very envious of him this weekend that he gets to play in a grand final," Mitchell said of the man who finished second, which was classy of him.