WHEN Joel Selwood stormed to the lead it looked as though Bendigo would be celebrating its second Brownlow Medal winner.
Selwood looked set to join Greg Williams (1986 and 1994) as Bendigo's only football product to win the AFL's most prestigious individual award.
However, a final round best on ground from former team-mate Gary Ablett meant Selwood was forced to settle for second.
Ablett polled 28 votes, Selwood finished on 27 and Collingwood's Dane Swan was third on 26.
Selwood handled the narrow defeat with class, saying Ablett richly deserved a second Brownlow and probably had a third in him as well.
"My heart was actually okay through that - my partner Kathryn, my manager, she was probably a little bit different," Selwood said.
"He's a pretty easy man to lose to. He's a class act and the best player in the league, I believe.
"He's been an idol of mine since I got to Geelong and just a guy I think everyone in the league respects."
Selwood was named captain of this year's All-Australian team with Ablett as his vice-captain.
Both players were judged best on ground seven times this season.
Selwood's 27 votes gave him a career total of 116, the second most in Geelong's history behind Garry Hocking on 133.
It was the second time Selwood has finished in the top four in the Brownlow Medal, having previously tied for fourth behind Carlton champion Chris Judd in the 2010 count.
My heart was actually okay through that - my partner Kathryn, my manager, she was probably a little bit different