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The AFL’s night of nights is here, with Gary Ablett the favourite to take out the 2013 Brownlow Medal. Will he claim his second ‘Charlie’ or will there be a surprise? Find out from 8.00pm AEST as we provide live updates.
The 2013 AFL season is nearly done.
We have our two grand finalists and we are heading towards that last day in September that will determine who is the best team this season, or at least the one who will be the best on the day.
But we just need to determine one thing first – who the best player is.
Whether or not you think the umpires are in the best position to judge this, the ‘Charlie’, as it is affectionately known, is the benchmark by which champion players are judged.
The event itself is the traditional occasion where players not involved in the big game are able to let their hair down, for better or worse (Brendan Fevola comes to mind in both of these categories, depending on your point of view) on national television.
These can provide highlights (or lowlights) to what is usually pretty pedestrian television, especially if the count isn’t close.
But it does give us a chance to reflect on the season round by round, to remember those performances that we may have forgotten about along the way, and to celebrate those players, and ultimately the player, that are at the pinnacle of the sport.
Gary Ablett is the favourite to take the medal this year, and has been for most of the season, with current betting odds putting him at $1.80.
The former winner has had a stellar season on the Gold Coast and the ability of his team to win games this season will definitely be in his favour during the count.
He won selection in the All-Australian team for a seventh-straight time and has only missed one game for the season.
If he wins, it will be on the back of a series of three-vote games early on, as his last few games were quiet by his standards.
Joel Selwood is also tipped to come in second, the Geelong captain having yet another consistent season but has become a goal-kicker for the Cats, a fact that may have caught the eye of the men in yellow/green/orange/pink.
His odds are currently at $5.50.
Interestingly, Hawthorn’s Sam Mitchell has firmed as a chance to take Charlie home tonight, with a betting plunge putting his odds at $5.50 today, reduced from $21 a week ago.
Mitchell is a quality player, has polled well in the past and Hawthorn have definitely won enough games for him to feature in the votes consistently.
Other players in the mix are Collingwood’s Dane Swan and Scott Pendlebury, Sydney’s Kieren Jack and Adelaide’s Patrick Dangerfield.
Whether or not you think the event provides the spectacle the medal deserves, there is no doubt that once the winner’s name is read out they will occupy a unique place in the history of the game.
That, in itself, should be applauded.