No Skills Required

Old Dog recalls a footy-less warm-up. [Ray Wilson and his Uni Blacks are onto something - Ed]

Tulip

A sad Matt Zurbo spent time getting to know Robbie Flower. Here he offers some observations of a much-loved man.

AFL Grand Final – Sydney v Hawthorn: Spangher Magic

Throw away the Hun and the Sage. Use them to line the cocky cage. The Old Dog tells you everything you need to know about the Grand Final.

Buddy v Royce

This is an intriguing experiment. Old Dog, thinking creatively, again.

Ruck-a-Muck

Matt Zurbo on the significance of ruckmen and their influence on games. [Top stuff - Ed]

As featured the the Age sports section today.

Shark attack: a tale

Out-of-form gun recruit Joey Loveless had a problem. A big problem. A big problem that wouldn’t go away. Matt Zurbo tells the tale.

AFL Round 18 – Hawthorn v Sydney: The Slap

Old Dog watches one of the best AFL games he’s seen in years – taking in the skill in the face of pressure and the fact that it was the frenzied chaos we value so much.

AFL Round 18 – Carlton v North Melbourne: The Roos Blues and no thanks to youse

The Roos Blues and No Thanks to Youse! To be honest, I haven’t watched too much of the Big League over the last ten years. I play and breathe bush footy, not AFL. The marketing boys have done well to brand us all with their label. I take in enough games, or bits of games, [Read more]

AFL Round 17 – Adelaide v Hawthorn: A High Seas Backman

Old Dog is on the high seas, crossing Bass Strait, with the footy on. Terrific account of the game and comment on how we see the game, and how commentators see the game, and how votes are handed out. [Nice Jim Jess reference too - Ed]

Poetry: Ride Them Like Jockeys

Old Dog detects from the collective response in the airport lounge that the people have a better sense of the spirit of the game than those who run it.

Adelaide is Lying

Old Dog finds meaning in Adelaide.

Can you help Old Dog finish his book?

Matt Zurbo could do with some help transcribing some of the interviews he has done with old players. Here he explains what he has been doing and how you might assist if you have a spare few hours.

Stanton and Vultures

“The trick is turn turn chaos into something crisp,” says Brent Stanton to Old Dog and the Vultures at a memorable training night. [Not a lot of love for the Bombers and Brent Stanton at the moment, but this may redress the balance a little - Ed]

Tommy

Matt Zurbo chatted with Tommy Hafey a number of times. Here’s what he found. [Brilliant story of Matt's dad - and of how Tommy recognised it as a brilliant story - Ed]

AFL Round 7 – Essendon v Western Bulldogs: Power Forwards and the Last Five Overs

Old Dog has worked it out: footy is like one-day cricket.

Off Season Odyssey – Part 13: The Word, Mates and Country Legends

This piece was written by Matt Zurbo two years ago about the single best bloke he met through playing footy. Hit by a car training for his 22nd year of Seniors. In loving memory.

Even Carlton Greats

This is the most important piece Old Dog has ever written for the Footy Almanac. Everybody should read it.

Brian Brown is a corker bloke

Old Dog catches up with Brian Brown, father of Jonathan, in south-western Victoria.

Doggies For Life

Some of Matt Zurbo’s characteristic observations – this time on the Doggies tribe, loyalty and ways to survive. ["If Jesus were buried in a Doggies jumper he'd come back in an Essendon one". - nice line, Ed]

All Sorts of Football Legends

Matt Zurbo gives us a hint at what he’s been doing for the last 18 months, and requests assistance.