The Ashes – Second Test, Day 2: Shaun’s Big Day Out

England may be trying to huff and puff but the Australian house has not blown down – in fact it remains rock solid thanks to the patient innings of Shaun Marsh and support of the middle to lower order. John Butler makes some astute observations about conditions and attitudes.

The Ashes – First Test, Day 1: Opening sparring leaves honours even

We have a contest on our hands, writes John Butler. The inexperienced English batsmen were up for the fight as the Australian bowlers were challenged by a slower wicket than they’d expected (than everyone had expected), but fought back in the final (extended) session.

Ashes Preview: Ashes Before the Fire?

Test cricket is back, and even if, according to John Butler, two mediocre teams face off in a contest always laden with historic baggage, it is still important to the psyche of both nations. The end result will have huge consequence to the careers of many, both on and off the field reports John.

Finals Week 3 – Richmond v GWS: Richmondy no more?

John Butler wonders whether Richmond can finally remove the ‘Richmondy’ tag this Saturday with a premiership win over the minor premiers Adelaide.

Finals Week 3 – Adelaide v Geelong: Crows had many, Cats had few

Adelaide have overcome adversity in recent years and now enter the Grand Final full of confidence after finishing the season as minor premiers.

Round 14 – Carlton v Richmond: Subdued Sunday

“If your worst problem is the standard of a footy game, then you really don’t have any problems at all.” John Butler with that sage reminder.

Round 11 – GWS v Essendon: A Giant Ascension

Prompted by the Giants’ ladder position (top) after their Round 11 win over Essendon, John Butler looks at the rise of the machine that is GWS – which has angered some (Victorian) fans. However JB thinks they’re a real contender for the flag and a powerhouse of the future.

Round 10 – Carlton v North Melbourne: They asked for feedback

After attending the Blues’ Round 10 fixture, John Butler replied to Carlton’s survey about his “match-day experience”. Do you agree with his reply? Or he is just a grumpy old man?

Book Review: Siren’s Call by Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby has written a beautiful book about her family and her connection to the St Kilda Football Club. John Butler fell in love with Siren’s Call and you will too.

Round 6 – Carlton v Sydney: You can’t buy confidence at a store

A slow start to a good game with individual players securing a Carlton win, writes John Butler

Round 3 – Carlton v Essendon: Wading through troubled waters

John Butler looks at the troubles that have haunted both teams since 2000 and where they may be heading in the future. For now, Carlton have the bragging rights for 2017.

AFLW Grand Final – Brisbane v Adelaide: A fight to the end

The AFLW Grand Final represented exactly what this sport is all about according to John Butler.

AFLW Round 6 – Fremantle v Carlton: Wilting in the western sun

John Butler was feeling blue as Carlton lost their premiership hopes to the Dockers on Friday afternoon.

AFLW Round 5 – Carlton v Western Bulldogs: When the opening act are the headliners

Princes Park delivered the goods as fans witnessed the highest scoring AFLW game so far. Carlton and the Western Bulldogs went goal for goal in a close, free-flowing match.

AFLW Round 2: Carlton v GWS – Old ghosts and new beginnings

A high scoring contest between Carlton and GWS kept John Butler on his toes as he memories poured back at Princes Park.

AFLW Round 1 – Carlton v Collingwood: A Joyous Celebration

Long-suffering Carlton fan John Butler relishes in an early season victory and the crowds at Princes Park.

Almanac Music: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds live in Ballarat

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds made their return to the road in Ballarat on Sunday, as John Butler watched on.

Australia v South Africa – Adelaide Test, Day 4: Phoenix or dead cat?

With a favorable result, Day 4 restored some pride to Australian Cricket while John Butler can now look towards the series against Pakistan with more expectation than a week ago.

Almanac Cricket: Disarray by design

John Butler feels that Australian Cricket’s foundations aren’t what they once were, this summer needs to regain a sense of balance.

Australia v South Africa – Perth Test: Saffas slow out of the blocks

John Butler’s view on the first day of the Perth Test, where lack of resolve and test cricket nous has left South Africa in a bit of a hole.