Pavlich finished on 144 votes, just ahead of Fyfe on 141 in the Doig Medal count held on Saturday night, which signalled the end of one era and the beginning of another at the Dockers with new coach Ross Lyon and assistant Peter Sumich in attendance.
An off-season full of surprises produced another one when Pavlich was voted the club’s best player in 2011, despite Fyfe catching the eye consistently throughout a injury-riddled season that ended in the sacking of Mark Harvey.
And that decision was greeted with incredulity by Fremantle fans, posting their displeasure on various internet forums.
“What a bizarre result,” estibador wrote on the respected Big Footy forum.
“No offense to Pav because I love the guy, but there's no way in hell he deserved it this year. The match committee must have been marking him really, really easy. No way he had a better season than Fyfe and McPharlin.
“Surprised Broughton finished ahead McPharlin too.”
Those emotions were repeated by plenty of others.
“I hadn't even considered that he would get near it. Seriously. Baffling to be frank,” wrote Lach72.
“Ridiculous. No wonder the idiots all got the sack!,’ Apuchar said.
“I think Pav may even be a little embarrassed with that result. Wasn't his finest season,” said on the parochial Dockerland site.
Greg Broughton finished third on 118 votes, while defensive lynchpin Luke McPharlin rounded off the top four on 108 votes.
Tendai Mzungu’s was rewarded with the Beacon Award as the club’s best first year player, despite having to wait until round 9 to make his AFL debut after he sustained a knee injury in the pre-season.
Matt de Boer won the Best Clubman Award for the second year running.