I heard Healy talk about SPP how is is by far the best first year player and the favourite for the Rising Star. Now he isn't favourite and perhaps he is the best 1st year player (Burton played a bit last year) but the commentators love SPP. There was an article apparently about his tough upbringing and he has a good profile so that doesn't hurt. I'm on Burton and he seems to be powering home and fortunately SPP has had 2 shockers in a row (10 possies or less). I'm still nervy because a couple of "don't argue's" Dusty style and the commentators will be glowing about him again.
Saw a post on the Hawks board (I think it was, possibly a different forum) a couple weeks back that said that a contact in the AFL media had told them that it was already decided that McGrath would win, and comfortably.
I would normally put that type of thing down to a guess, but it is suspicious that it also conincided with a plunge on McGrath late. The whole David King scandal from the year Lewis Taylor won also adds some credence to the idea that their is a bit of corruption to do with this award.
This isn't to say McGrath winning isn't legitimate (I still think Burton was clearly better this year though) but that the integrity of the voting secrecy is suspect. And by extension the betting market for this award is not safe for the average punter who isn't privy to inside information.
A lot of Hawthorn supporters who had bets on Burton and who had been following closely had cashed out (if they had the option) a couple weeks ago when it became apparent that the media cheerleading was going to influence the result.