AFTER 12 tortured years, Demon fans are revelling in no longer having to endure jibes about a September spent in the ski fields.
Melbourne fans giving their season verdict in an AFL.com.au survey remained elated about ending a finals drought stretching back to 2006 - despite their campaign ending in a preliminary final pounding by eventual premiers West Coast.
One Demon fan, Jordan McCleery from Camberwell in Victoria, said seeing his club reach the prelim by beating Geelong and Hawthorn was the happiest he'd ever been.
James Clarke from Broadmeadows said simply: "When Mitch Hannan turned quickly, ran in and goaled against the Cats ... after 12 years we were back as a club".
Fans rated Melbourne's memorable campaign an average 8.1 out of 10, while giving Simon Goodwin a huge tick in his second full year as senior coach.
Demons fans disagreed with Brownlow judges who had Angus Brayshaw ahead of Max Gawn, with over half voting Gawn the side's best this season.
Clayton Oliver was judged fans' third best player after an outstanding season in midfield that earned him 13 Brownlow votes.
Here are the full survey results, plus a selection of Demons fans' views on their season's highs and lows.
What was the moment you'll remember?
Footage of 'The Ox' (Demon great David Schwarz) and his son when the Dees defeated the Eagles at Optus Stadium.
- Nick Szabo, Beaumaris Vic
The sound around the 'G when the Dees ran into the ground for the elimination final. One of the loudest roars from a Dees crowd.
- Sean Young, Point Cook
Neville Jetta's one-handed mark against Patrick Dangerfield while being held by the other arm in the elimination final.
- Chris Depasquale, Parap NT
Mitch Hannan streaming down the Robbie Flower wing, taking three bounces, and kicking the sealer against the Cats.
- Darcy Radford, Bendigo Vic
Knowing that after 12 long, agonising years, we would finally be featuring in a finals game. Hallelujah!
- Blake Watts, Lilydale Vic
What was the moment you'd rather forget?
The two-point loss to the Saints in round 15. We were clearly the better team all year and it cost us a spot in the top four.
- Lachlan Dand, Golden Grove SA
Losing Jake Lever. He was right on the cusp of really launching into life in the Demons team. He would have been super handy in the finals.
- Shannon Altorjay, Gladesville NSW
Jordan Lewis missing a handball under pressure in the prelim which gifted the Eagles a goal. Unfortunately it set the tone for the game.
- Jehad Ahlip, West Footscray Vic
The feeling that it was all over minutes into the second quarter in the prelim against West Coast. A shattering way to finish the year.
- James Clarke, Broadmeadows Vic
Demons fans' season rating
BACK FOR GOOD? Melbourne season review
THE WASH-UP More season reviews