GOOD guys do win. Ollie Wines and Travis Boak are good men - and winners.
Port Adelaide is a good football club with good people seeking to do good things, on and off the field.
After a week of heavy pain - and much of it warranted and inevitable after a horrid AFL preliminary final defeat at home - there is much pride at the Port Adelaide Football Club and within its community today.
It is not the ultimate champagne moment everyone wanted this year at a club that "exists to win premierships". However, everyone is proud of Ollie Wines, the first Port Adelaide player to win the Brownlow Medal in Port Adelaide colours (after Gavin Wanganeen and Nathan Buckley achieved the AFL's highest individual playing award at Essendon and Collingwood respectively).
To poll 36 votes - to equal the Brownlow record of the phenomenal Dustin Martin - and to achieve votes in 16 of 22 home-and-away games - a new record in itself - underlines a tour de force by Wines in Season 2021.
There is no question this was Wines' best season in the big league where he has now chalked up 182 AFL games since 2013.
Wines repeatedly rewrote his own record book this season. His top-seven disposal counts in those 182 matches are all from this season - 43 against Gold Coast in round 14 and again in battle with Hawthorn in round 16; 38 against Essendon at Adelaide Oval in round 2 and in the preliminary final against the Western Bulldogs a fortnight ago; 37 at the Gabba against Brisbane in round 7; and 36 against St Kilda in rounds 6 and 18.
And after years of trying to blend both an inside and outside game, Wines this season finally settled on one theme: "Getting the ball out to the guys".
"At times," Wines said after two months of the season had unfolded, "you probably want to be a different player to what the club needs you to be.
"And at times I have probably wanted to be the silky midfielder that weaves through packs and does that kind of stuff.
"But in reality that is not me.
"I have got to be inside the contest, I have got to get the ball out to the guys ... it's something that I am really comfortable with now. I have probably always known that but you want to be the best you can be, you're always trying to add strings to your bow.
"It's doing the simple things well is what makes you a good player."
Ollie Wines, 26, is now among the game's great players as a Brownlow Medallist with even more growth to come in his game, particularly in an inevitable second stint as club captain - this time on his own and with greater understanding and maturity for the role.
Alongside Wines is Travis Boak, appropriately acknowledged with the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award for his 11 years of dedicated commitment to charity, in particular the Childhood Cancer Association.
Considering all Boak has achieved by inspiring and assisting young cancer patients for more than a decade, there will be many who note such an accolade is long overdue. But gaining such uplifting applause is not the reason why Boak committed himself to the charity. His put his AFL-fuelled profile towards a great cause to enhance its profile - not vice versa.
A week ago, an ABC radio commentator sought to link a bad result in the preliminary final against the Western Bulldogs as a sign that Port Adelaide had become a "bad club". It was quite a stretch - and becomes an even more ridiculous conclusion based on the achievements of Wines and Boak, not only this season but across all of the nine seasons since the revival began at Alberton in October 2012.
Another significant note is both Wines and Boak came to Port Adelaide from afar via the AFL national draft and have stayed amid much temptation to return home to Victoria. Good men stay at good clubs and make them better clubs - and, as Boak has noted, become better humans for realising the importance of sacrificing selfish personal goals to live to team and club goals.
Wines and Boak highlight why Port Adelaide - in developing great players and good men - has become a "destination" club. A good club.