A launch to remember

by Chris Riordan

Dennis Denuto, in The Castle, immortalized “the vibe of the thing” in his stirring support of “everyman”. Anson Cameron, writer and footy fan, clearly sensed it as he launched the “traditional” 2009 edition of The Footy Almanac. His galloping, gloriously irreverent speech captured the spirit of this compilation and of the happy gathering. He understood that this was not an exclusive gathering. Self-deprecating and often suburban-culture referenced, Anson’s greatest achievement in his hilarious monologue was to help us all to recognize both the special bond in the room and its relevance to the lives of footy lovers throughout the country. When John Harms, in his response and reading selections from the contributors, referred to his Tiger supporting nephew’s sobbing declaration of Richmond’s generally acclaimed theme song as “It’s not true…They don’t fight and fight and win”, we all understood.

The joy of the night was like the charm of the book. For anyone who “gets it”, the Almanac is a delight to read and a privilege to be a part of. But it is not for the privileged. The person who nods in shared pain on the train home; the Friday arvo colleague stressing over his tips; the Dads and Mums carrying the local Auskick…this is their voice. Read either as a block or dipped in to during the summer hiatus, you’ll find kindred spirits and hopefully become “a knacker”.

I’ve got my third edition of the Footy Almanac. As Darryl Kerrigan would say, it’s gone “straight to the poolroom”!


  1. Crio,

    You’ve summed up the Anson Cameron speech very well. It was a ripper. Holy books, toe-pokes, ‘rutting’ on the Lorne beach..Just a few minutes in, I was thinking, ‘Is anyone taping this?’

    Anson Cameron’s speech was as sharp as a Leon Baker blind turn, and as dizzying as a Paddy Ryder screamer.

    The launch once again exemplified the conviviality of the Almanackery. Wish I could get to all the other launches.


  2. My mum taped the speeched made by Daff, John and Anson

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