Almanac Anniversaries: A Quick Thank You from Matt Zurbo


A Quick Thank You


I’m talking to a bloke on the phone I used to play footy with 15 years ago. That’s a career, but seems like a lifetime. He’s an Almanac fan. We discuss it.

“I’ve been writing for them for ten years now,” I tell him.

“Who are them?” he asks.


“Behind the Almanac?” I reply.


“Nah, that you write for?”

It’s a fair question. John Harms? The other readers and writers? Obviously, the answer is; for myself.


But there the Almanac is. Big, colourful, beautiful. A house and a home, for all sorts, no haters allowed. A place I can share my love of something. Footy. Of being alive.


Sometimes, ironically, usually when a footy injury has sent me broke, I think about going to one of the big papers. Throwing a line in, seeing if they’d have me. If I could make some money from writing and football. But then I couldn’t write what I want, when I want.


The thing I love would lose its freedom.


No, I’m insanely lucky, to be another of hundreds of voices, thousands, over the years, that add to footy’s folklore by painting on the Almanac’s wall. To its history, and mine. People who follow footy for all the right reasons.


With most other sights and papers, I find the voices generic. Full of stats and anger. With the Almanac, the writing is personal. I can hear each piece, the person who wrote it, as if they’re talking. It’s a celebration.


Life speeds up, gets dizzying. We bounce from state to state, job to job, club to club. Decade to decade. Occasionally, people ask why I don’t keep a diary. For the last ten years I have, and am forever grateful for the company of the other diaries mine shares that wall with.


“I dunno” I reply at last, to change topic. Just DO, Kanga.


Keep running with the pill until someone tackles you.





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  1. No-one else can have you, mate.
    You’re a ‘Knacker.
    Just like the rest of us.

  2. roger lowrey says

    Love your work Matt.

  3. E.regnans says

    I find that a lovely piece of writing, Old Dog.
    Giving thanks. The giving of thanks.

    I recognise that.

    And from an admirer: Thanks to you. Wonderful. Wonderful.

  4. Love the last line. I suppose we all get tackled by death in the end. Prick of a thing.

    Keep putting pen to paper when the urge takes you.

  5. Daryl Schramm says

    To you Matt, and all others in the fraternity who write from the heart, a huge thank you. I feel as if I have gotten to know a number of you quite well from a distance. I love reading of personal experiences, thoughts and concerns on almost any subject. I also love the history. Please keep them coming.

  6. Colin Ritchie says

    Good on you Old Dog! You’ve expressed so wonderfully the way you feel about being a Knacker and writing for the site, which is the way I also feel, and I’m sure as does everyone else involved with the Almanac. Keep the stories coming!

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