Monday, October 3, 2022

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Brownlow winner Patrick Cripps reveals how a teammate’s mum ‘saved my night’ by keeping him sober

Carlton captain Patrick Cripps won the 2022 Brownlow medal on Sunday night – and he credits a teammate’s mum with keeping him sober enough to be on his game as he accepted the award.

Cripps arrived at the awards ceremony severely jet lagged after racing home from a holiday in the Greek islands and began having a few drinks in the early evening.

“It was interesting, I thought I was a lock for a three in round 1 but I only got one… so I started having a few [beers]’ Cripps explained to Xav, Michelle and Baz over breakfast on Triple M.

“I always knew I had a chance with about five laps to go if I was close.

“I was close by and Harry McKay’s mum was next to me so she started topping up my water glass so I scrolled through a few so she probably saved my night.”

The 27-year-old became Carlton’s sixth Brownlow medalist in history, alongside Bert Deacon (1947), John James (1961), Gordon Collis (1964), Greg Williams (1994) and Chris Judd (2010).

Cripps looked a little worse during a Monday morning TV interview with Karl Stefanovic, who cheekily hit on the AFL star for his sleep-deprived looks.

“My eyes, once I’ve had two beers, I’m done,” Cripps said. “You can probably tell I definitely kept my eyes on the counter last night.”

In the hurricane since his name was read, Cripps said he was deluged with text messages as well as celebratory videos from his brother and friends from his tiny hometown of Northampton, 500km north of Perth.

He said Brisbane gun Lachie Neale, whom he overtook by one vote after three votes in the finals, was one of the first to come forward.

There were no uncomfortable feelings, although Cripps was eligible after successfully appealing a two-game ban.

“He said ‘Welcome to the club,'” Cripps said of Neale winning the tally in 2020.

“I was hoping for a draw to be honest – I’m good friends with Lachie so that would have been great.

“But he said he was happy for me and said he would come and give me a big hug — he’s a Ripper.”

Other members of the “club” to reach out to include former blues skipper Chris Judd, who was the last Carlton player to win the award in 2010, while also winning it in 2004 when playing for West Coast played.

Cripps had also received a message from another Eagles superstar, Ben Cousins, who won it in 2005 – although Cripps said he hadn’t had time to read their messages.

“I was an Eagles fan growing up, at a time when they were really successful,” said the 27-year-old.

“I chat with them a bit – I saw Benny at the Brownlow last year and I’ve always had a close bond with Juddy so it’s great to have their support.”

“I still see myself as a young kid, a football lover and when you have moments like that you don’t really realize it.

“You get young kids at Carlton training who look up to you and that’s very special – I was one of them.”

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