The Showdown Medal is awarded to the player adjudged best afield in the Showdown, but some pages are missing in the medal’s esteemed history.
Seven Showdowns went without a medallist named. No award was presented in the first six games between Adelaide and Port Adelaide between 1997-1999, while the 2005 Semi-Final, which remains the only final in Showdown history, also had no post-match formalities.
Who would’ve claimed the accolade if we turned back time?
It’s extremely rare that a Showdown Medal is won by a player from the losing side. The award has only been earned by a member of the defeated team twice in Showdown history (Graham Johncock in Round Five, 2003 and Shaun Burgoyne as a joint winner with Simon Goodwin in Round 20, 2005).
Based on that pattern, it’s only fair that our ‘retrospective’ winners come from the Club’s four Showdown victories which were without a Showdown Medallist.
Recap the Showdowns in question below and cast your vote on who you think deserved the medal on each occasion.
Over to you, Crows fans!
Showdown II – Round 19, 1997
Adelaide fought back from the brink to claim its first Showdown win in wet and windy conditions at Football Back.
The Crows managed just one behind in the opening term while Port piled on five goals and held a handy 23-point buffer at the final change.
Skilful forward Peter Vardy made light of the atrocious conditions with two goals, including an incredible snap from deep in the forward pocket to seal victory, as Adelaide ran over the top of the Power by seven points.
Andrew McLeod also stepped up in the final term with a team-lifting goal out of a stoppage, while Brett James and captain Mark Bickley finished as Adelaide’s top ball winners with 25 possessions apiece.
Ruckman Shaun Rehn was immense and Darren Jarman also showed his class with two goals from 18 touches, including a monster major from well beyond the arc.
Interestingly, 1995 Crows Club Champion Matthew Connell was the only Crow to earn Brownlow Medal votes for his 23-disposal performance.
PORT ADELAIDE: 5.1 7.1 9.4 9.4 (58)
ADELAIDE: 0.1 4.3 5.5 9.11 (65)
Port Adelaide: Cummings 3, Squire 2,Brown 2, Daniels, Lade
Adelaide: Bond 2, Vardy 2, D Jarman 2, McLeod, Caven, Modra
Port Adelaide: Wanganeen 27, Heuskes 24, Wilson 19, R James 17, Francou 17
Adelaide: B James 25, Bickley 25, Connell 23, Ricciuto 20, Jarman 18
Brownlow Medal voting: (PA) Wanganeen 3, (PA) Lade 2, (AFC) Connell 1
Showdown IV – Round 19, 1998
Adelaide squared up the head-to-head ledger against the Power with a then-record 74-point thrashing in the fourth Showdown.
The result would stand for a further seven years as the biggest winning margin in Showdown history as the Crows put the Power to the sword from the opening bounce.
Five goals in the opening term set up the win, but an eight-goal avalanche in the third quarter put the result beyond any doubt.
Peter Vardy stole the show again with a career-best seven goals and could’ve had an even bigger haul. The crafty forward finished with 7.5 next to his name.
A 23-year-old Mark Ricciuto earned three Brownlow votes for his game-high 34-possession performance which included six clearances and six inside 50ms.
Darren Jarman chimed in with four majors, while Matthew Connell again starred on the Showdown stage with 33 disposals and an equal-game high nine clearances.
ADELAIDE: 5.0 7.5 15.8 22.12 (144)
PORT ADELAIDE: 1.3 3.7 7.8 10.10 (70)
Adelaide: Vardy 7, D Jarman 4, McLeod 3, Caven 2, Modra 2, Robran 2, Edwards, Goodwin
Port Adelaide: Chalmers 3, Primus 2, Lade, Lockwood, Naish, Paxman, Stevens, Francou
Adelaide: Ricciuto 34, Connell 33, Smart 20, Koster 20, Eccles 18
Port Adelaide: Francou 21, Breuer 20, Lyle 20, Dickie 20, Stevens 18
Brownlow Medal voting: (AFC) Ricciuto 3, (AFC) Vardy 2, (AFC) Jarman 1
Showdown V – Round Six, 1999
The Crows became the first team to win consecutive Showdowns by claiming a hard-earned 28-point victory over the Power in the opening Showdown of 1999.
Adelaide led at every change but Port threatened throughout the contest, yet couldn’t convert in front of goal. The scoreboard told the tale with the Crows’ efficient 18.7 (115) dwarfing the Power’s wasteful 12.15 (87) despite two less scoring shots.
Key forward Matthew Robran passed a late fitness test on a calf to kick five goals and steer Adelaide to victory.
Young onballer Kane Johnson starred with 24 possessions and a goal to earn the three Brownlow votes ahead of captain Mark Bickley (30 disposals, nine clearances and a goal) and teenager David Gallagher playing in just his sixth AFL game.
Ben Hart snuck forward to slot a rare goal and gave Adelaide great drive from half-back with 20 possessions alongside Peter Caven (18 disposals, six rebounds) and Nathan Bassett (12 disposals, six rebounds).
ADELAIDE: 5.2 8.5 14.6 18.7 (115)
PORT ADELAIDE: 2.5 4.11 8.13 12.15 (87)
Adelaide: Robran 5, Stevens 3, D Jarman 2, Bickley, Johnson, McLeod, Edwards, Burton, Smart, Bond, Hart
Port Adelaide: Cockatoo-Collins 3, Tredrea 3, Dew 2, Bode, P Burgoyne, Murray, Schofield
Adelaide: Bickley 30, Johnson 24, Ricciuto 21, Hart 20, McLeod 19
Port Adelaide: Kingsley 30, Francou 26, Stevens 23, P Burgoyne 23, Wilson 20
Brownlow Medal voting: (AFC) Johnson 3, (AFC) Bickley 2, (AFC) Gallagher 1
Showdown XIX – Semi-Final, 2005
The first and only Showdown final to date ended in a record win for Adelaide in front of more than 50,000 fans at Football Park.
Billed as the ‘ultimate’ Showdown, it was predictably one of the most heated of all time with so much at stake.
In a physical first half, Crows ruckman Rhett Biglands was felled during the second term by a Byron Pickett bump which only worked to spur the Crows on.
Adelaide came out after half-time and slammed on 14 goals to Port’s two majors to storm to a comprehensive 83-point victory. It remains the biggest winning margin in Showdown history.
The minor premiers had star performers on every line who would’ve been worthy winners of a Showdown Medal.
Simon Goodwin kicked three goals on his raking left boot from 22 possessions, including a trademark long bomb from outside 50m.
One of Andrew McLeod’s most memorable goals came in the Showdown Semi-Final. The two-time Norm Smith Medallist danced around Port’s Adam Kingsley before launching a brilliant goal from the arc.
Spearhead Scott Welsh starred with four goals from eight marks and 11 disposals, while full-back Ben Rutten kept Power forward Warren Tredrea goalless and even managed to boot a major himself.
Midfield duo Mark Ricciuto (24 possessions, one goal) and Tyson Edwards (22 possessions, one goal) were also influential.
ADELAIDE 3.4 4.7 12.9 18.15 (123)
PORT ADELAIDE 2.1 3.6 4.6 5.10 (40)
Adelaide: Welsh 4, Goodwin 3, Perrie 3, McGregor 2, Edwards, Hentschel, McLeod, Ricciuto, Rutten, Shirley
Port Adelaide: S Burgoyne, Mahoney, Pearce, Pettigrew, Wanganeen
Adelaide: Ricciuto 24, Edwards 22, Goodwin 22, McLeod 20, Burton 20
Port Adelaide: C Cornes 25, K Cornes 21, Cassisi 17, Brogan 16, Wanganeen 16
Source: Adelaide Crows website