49 questions on a Tuesday

Sometimes it takes a grown man a long time to learn just what it would take a child a night to learn…
– The Passion, Billy Bragg

  1. Why do children understand the concept of fairness more clearly than adults?
  2. Why do people ever say “you deserve it”?
  3. If an officiating field umpire immediately calls “touched off the boot” and the ball then sails over the goal line, can you name any situation in which that kick should be awarded 6 points?
  4. If the Bloods win a game they shouldn’t have, does this mean their opponents are less tough?
  5. What possible rationale can there be for holding 23 rounds for a competition of 18 clubs?
  6. Why was James Hird given a paid year in Paris upon being suspended from coaching?
  7. Why have the Essendon players not gone on strike over his continuing employment?
  8. Should Brendan Goddard and Paul Chapman be offered compensation?
  9. What would another club do if a pair of their young players failed a drug test?
  10. Would another club seek compensation for losing two of its young list for the season, or would that other club take its whack and submit to due process?
  11. When will “the truth come out” at Essendon?
  12. Knowing that a shared catastrophe having a well-defined start and end can be catalyst for bringing a group together, is there a more remarkable case than that of the Adelaide Football Club?
  13. Knowing that a shared nebulous dragging unending chronic catastrophe can be catalyst for destroying group morale, is there any example self-inflicted mayhem that comes close to that of Essendon FC?
  14. What is the best way to raise a child?
  15. What is the problem with sugar?
  16. Is it wrong to relegate Carlton?
  17. How would history be different if written by the losers?
  18. Did we miss a trick sending South Melbourne to Sydney and North Melbourne to Hobart?
  19. Is it better to wait or to go and get it?
  20. What happens when people stop going to Gold Coast home games?
  21. Are self-service check-outs good or evil?
  22. Can we organise for a few more GWS home grounds?
  23. What is the adjective for the collective of arrogance displayed by Hawthorn supporters?
  24. What is consensus leadership?
  25. How much higher can Richmond supporters build their hopes?
  26. How does Paul Roos justify a salary?
  27. Has Tayla Harris got the best kick in football?
  28. Does an optimist need gentle reminding?
  29. Why is anyone surprised with the standard of women’s football?
  30. Is there a better Grand Final prospect that Western Bulldogs versus West Coast Eagles?
  31. Is there a better sportsperson in Australia than Ellyse Perry?
  32. Why is anyone surprised with the standard of women’s cricket?
  33. Why is Steve Smith talking of batting at #4?
  34. Does Vegemite ever go off?
  35. Why was Nathan Lyon not made vice captain ahead of David Warner?
  36. Why does women’s sport face such entrenched disadvantage?
  37. Why do women generally face such entrenched disadvantage?
  38. Is there a more powerful force than self-interest?
  39. How can we help to change the dominant paradigm?
  40. When will Australia next win any kind of sporting contest at Eden Park, Auckland?
  41. Does Nick Kyrgios need some time alone?
  42. Will Australia winning at The Oval affect the future of cricket?
  43. Will England winning at The Oval affect the future of cricket?
  44. Will the #changecricket protest scheduled for The Oval affect the future of cricket?
  45. Does it matter?
  46. What position would Jason Day play in your footy team?
  47. Is a meritocracy possible?
  48. Is it something to aim for?
  49. Is anyone trying to control the wasp population?



Read more Almanac Cricket writing here. Read stories on Round 20 of the AFL here.

About David Wilson

David Wilson is a writer, editor, flood forecaster and former school teacher. He writes under the name “E.regnans” at The Footy Almanac and has stories in several books. One of his stories was judged as a finalist in the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2021. He shares the care of two daughters and a dog, Pip. He finds playing the guitar a little tricky, but seems to have found a kindred instrument with the ukulele. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.


  1. The answer to a surprising number of football questions is “money”.
    Jason Day is a wonderful golfer and a great story. Your history is not your destiny until you give up on yourself. Saw his mum on the news last night – Australian of the Year.
    Are you gigging for the Tony Jones job on Q&A? That show needs a cattle prod and an ejector seat – for audience members delivering long polemics masquerading as questions – as much as the guests.
    Can I pass on that one Eddie?

  2. What is arrogance?

    Kids do not (I repeat, do not) understand fairness!

    re why isnt women’s sport given more regard etc – sites like this onr can be a leader.

  3. Tom Riordan says

    I imagine you’re having difficulty sleeping with all these flying about in your head,E.R.

    Interesting point regarding Nathan Lyon and the vice-captaincy. He did his bit by moving to the NSW Shield team a couple of years ago. Sometimes it just doesn’t go to script.

  4. Sensational stuff ER.

    1. Do they? Check the lollies aisle in the supermarket when Mum/Dad says ‘no’. 2. Learned behaviour. 3. No. 4. See also ‘Shinboner spirit.’ 5. $$$$$$$$$’s 6. Commission hush money. See Chip Le Grande’s “The Straight Dope.’ 7. Because they love Hirdy and love is blind. Also: increases likelihood of being delisted if your surname isn’t Watson, Hurley, Hooker, Stanton, Heppell or Bellchambers. 8. Nope. Caveat emptor. Subsidised counselling as per normal workplace OH&S regs. But I do feel for them. 9. Depends on how valuable they are to a premiership tilt. 10. Depends on their geographical location north of the Murray/south of the Tweed. 11.The same day that the nuclear weapons Genie is put back in his/her bottle. 12. Probably not. Although some Manchester United fans and Sir Matt Busby have a good case to thrust in front of the selectors when it comes to success in the face of overwhelming adversity. 13. Yup. See Richmond F.C 1982 – 2014. 14. n/a. Don’t have kids. I hear ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’ is out of vogue though… 15. Agreed. All things in moderation. 16. Or, as Talmudic scholars might phrase that; is it RIGHT to leave Carlton in the AFL? Think about it. 17. Napoleon: “We were just starting to get on top at Waterloo, when the umps awarded Wellington the softest 50 you’ll ever see. Sure enough, they get a goal out of it and then the momentum’s back with them. We were robbed.’ 18. And Greater WESTERN SYDNEY play home games in the ACT. Manuka is neither in the west (it’s not even in Canberra’s west), nor is it in Sydney. 19. Depends on whether you’re a devotee of the Buddha, and if you are, the answer is: You wait. If it is meant to be possessed by you – if indeed it even CAN be possessed – IT will come to YOU) or whether you’re into Anthony Robbins. In football terms, you ALWAYS go and get it. 20. Stock up on canned foods. 21. Evil personified. 22. What a cracking idea! 23. Vomitous. 24. See: Harms, John T. 25. Sounds more like a dare than a question ER!. 26. It’s not his salary that needs to be justified, that question needs to be directed to maybe 98% of Melbourne’s playing list. 27. Probably not, but easily the best kicking ACTION the code’s ever seen. 28. Or does the person doing the reminding need to be a bit more optimistic? Eh? 29. Coz: #Straya, mate. 30. Yes. Western Bulldogs v Gold Coast, which would ensure a Doggies flag by the length of the Flemington straight, and that’s Good.For.Footy. 31. Nope. 32. See 29. 33. Because he’s not a number 3 on English wickets? 34. Oh yes indeed it does. 35. Better PR and Management team. 36. See 29. 37. Because powerful rich white men are scared shitless of that which they cannot control like a pet. 38. Hell no. 39. Download more Greg Proops podcasts, roll a number and chill out. 40. See qn 11. 41. Who the f–k is Nick Kyrgios? 42. Nah. 43. See qn 42. 44. See qn 43. 45. No. 46. Full forward. You drive for show and putt for dough. I want him icing the inside-50 cake for me. 47. Nope. 48. Yes, just like you aim to finish top 4. 49. The insect kind or the ones with Probus memberships, MCC memberships, have a wife named ‘Pip’ or ‘Biddy, drive a Range Rover and wear sweaters tied around their necks at auctions?

  5. Peter Flynn says

    Extraordinary Qs from M Ash and A’s from the Almanac middle names equivalent of Chaminda Vaas.

    Q23 A self?

    Q46 The ruck

  6. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great questions to pontificate on for a Tuesday or any day for that matter ER.
    It’s mostly about power, who has it, who wants it and what are we prepared to do to keep it, share it or increase it. Change is happening slowly, voices that were previously silent are speaking and getting a reaction. Uncomfortable conversations are being had. Need to be had without the name calling, stereotyping , finger pointing, categorising. Women’s sport is making progress and beginning to get the kudos it deserves. More work to do of course, but the is a beginning and I hope to see a team of Magpie Women take on the Blues at the G in a few years. Clubs have great opportunity here and can lead the way, if they choose. Nick K probably needs time away from his family like most young people that age.
    Humour helps. This clip from G.Carlin makes me smile and gives me a bit of perspective: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lk_dRzaBoUM

  7. I added numbers so I could follow Steve Baker’s answers.
    As often the case on the Almanac – the article is the bounce down and then the players take the ball where they will. Its a team game.

  8. Dave Brown says

    Great questions. Some suggested answers: 1. As per others, I don’t believe they do. Injustice is another matter. 3. If the umpire immediately identifies they have made an error or another umpire with a better view overrules, following discussion 5. The messed up combination of tradition and making $ that the AFL specialises in. 14. Forklift. 15. The runoff of fertiliser into the Great Barrier Reef and its absence from popular music since This is Australia and To Her Door. 17. History is written by the (non-dead) losers all the time, it’s just that no one listens. 19. Follow team rules 20. The games cease to exist a la Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul 21. Both 22. I vote for Dubbo 27. Kind of like asking if the Pegasus is the best flying animal – so unrepeatable is that action by most of us. 31. No 34. No 35. Subconscious male pattern baldness discrimination 39. Snarking on twitter 45. Yes 46. Half back flank 48. Yes 49. Dem cafolics

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    7) they are on a go-slow instead
    8) or movie roles
    12) not in my lifetime
    13) Federal Liberal Party
    14) by doing the opposite to my father
    20) what happens if they don’t?
    21) even if they get the “unidentified item in bagging area” problem sorted, evil

  10. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    7) breaking … no need to now

  11. Peter Flynn says

    7 is resolved.

    Hird forced to resign.

    My interpretation.

  12. 13) I was going to say Australian Labor Party.
    But I guess there can be more than one correct answer, Swish.

  13. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    2. ‘Cause they’ve already used ‘it wasn’t meant to be’
    14. By listening more than you talk.
    37. Cause they don’t talk as much as they listen?

    Q50. Are you absolutely 100% sure you’re a Collingwood supporter Mountain Ash?

  14. 46. Half back flank.

  15. Re 30, Richmond V Carlton; The memories it would revive of “Big Nick”, Neil Balme, Laurie Fowler, ‘Jezza”, “KB”, the thrills and spills of 1969, 1972 & 1973. Bring it on !


  16. 1. Because they are wonderfully innocent and not yet cynical.
    2. Negative vibes and a desire to ensure no one is getting a better break than them.
    3. No
    4. Not necessarily and agree with Steve Baker above.
    5. Assume you saw the price paid for TV rights today? Nuff said.
    6. Essendon arrogance that has come back in spades to bite them on the rear.
    7. Love of playing the game they adored since they were kids.
    8. Ditto Steve Baker, buyer beware.
    9. Not what the Pies did.
    10. If they were smart, cop it sweet.
    11. You assume anyone actually knows the truth
    12. In my lifetime, re. sport, cannot imagine the pain they are going through.
    13. Got too confused by the time we hit the word ‘catalyst’. This is a sports site, right?
    14. With love
    15. Too much of it in easy to buy and cheap to consume foods.
    16. Relegate them where? VFL?
    17. With a lot more whining.
    18. No.
    19. Depends
    20. Have they started going?
    21. Depends on my mood and shopping trolley.
    22. Just wait, it’ll happen soon as they drop off the Gold Coast
    23. Justified.
    24. An oxymoron
    25. You can’t see it from where you stand. Just go with WAAAAAAAY high.
    26. Yoga.
    27. Wasn’t that the most brilliant photo, and on a weekend with the Women’s Ashes, and Diamonds win, a great inspiration to all young female athletes.
    28. More than a reminder, a friggin’ reality check.
    29. Actually, yes.
    30. Dogs and Tigers
    31. Prob not, although great positive stories from Day, Delly and Mills not too bad.
    32. No.
    33. Seems a reasonable spot for him although god knows who bats three
    34. Nup
    35. Cos he’s a bowler
    36. Cos men control both the remote and the networks
    37. Cos men have made the rules forever.
    38. Always back it as you know it is at least trying its best
    39. I have an Arts degree, this question makes as much sense as quantum physics
    40. When we play AFL there
    41. No, he’ll just tune into those headphones and play with himself.
    42. Yes.
    43. No
    44. Missed that campaign. But, as it has a hashtag attached, I would say it has the life span of a house fly.
    45. Nope.
    46. For the nest two weeks, wherever he wanted, although probably he’d play better at the President’s lunch having people hang on his every word about the value of hard work.
    47. Surprisingly, I think yes, in most corporates I have been part of.
    48. Oh yeah.
    49. Que?

  17. Well.
    Outstanding effort, all.

    I hadn’t really considered that any of those questions could have definitive answers.
    More fool me.

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