The AFL’s Brownlow Medal is done-and-Dusty.
The question is no longer whether Richmond star Dustin Martin can win his first Brownlow on Monday night.
Now it’s whether he can make AFL history this week, twice over.
First, Martin is a big chance to break Patrick Dangerfield’s record of 35 votes, set last season.
Then next Saturday, Martin will be one of the favourites to be voted best afield in the grand final.
No player has won the Brownlow and the Norm Smith Medal in the same season.
Asked if there is any chance of an upset result on Monday night, 1978 Brownlow Medallist Malcolm Blight flatly replied “no”.
Blight, now a Gold Coast board member, told AAP he still watches most games.
“I suppose I’ve watched him play 15 or 16 times – I reckon he (Martin) would get votes in 12,” Blight said.
“I get a feeling he might break the (votes) record, which would be quite outstanding.”
Fellow AFL legend Leigh Matthews suspects no player has had a good a season as Martin.
Setting aside months of speculation about his future, Martin has run rampant with his famous “don’t argues” and ball-gathering brilliance for a career-best year.
He convincingly won the AFL players association most valuable player award – the Leigh Matthews trophy – and the AFL coaches association award.
The players vote on the Matthews trophy and they demonstrated why Martin is the short-priced favourite.
He won with 1333 votes and Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield was well off the pace on 776.
Dangerfield, the reigning Brownlow Medallist, is also ineligible this season because of suspension.
TAB Sportsbet has Martin at $1.01, while Hawthorn onballer Tom Mitchell is next in the betting at a distant $9.
“All we go on is the game-by-game media guides, the coaches association award – and on all that criteria, he should vote big and win easily,” Matthews told Channel Seven’s Game Day.
“Dangerfield is in the ball park, in terms of votes.
“He (Martin) might be ineligible because he’s too old – he makes them all look like little kids and he’s a big, strong man.”
Adelaide vice-captain Rory Sloane and fellow midfielder Matt Crouch are seen as outside chances.
They will stay at home and attend a club Brownlow dinner ahead of the grand final.