Almanac Book Cover 2016: The Case for Walla

Well isn’t this gathering momentum?


The Almanac cover needs to be ‘of the year’ but also timeless. What a marvellous challenge.


It’s a canvas but also a brand. It’s the shop window that should invite a purchase.


That last point needs to be kept in mind.


Swanny was the first nomination. Here’s the problem: When I see Swanny, I see Collingwood. When I see Collingwood, I see Eddie. That’s not my fault mind you. That’s what Eddie wants. That’s why when I watch a team x v team y game on Fox Footy, I soon learn who served the tea at the Collingwood past players reunion back in 84 and how the milk split over the saucer like Harmes did over the boundary line in ’79.


Plus, Eddie’s been a bit off this year. So no go Swanny.


Matthew Pavlich was a fine nomination. A gentleman. A champion. Grew up in Adelaide but won over the Perth Purple Patch.


Two cities – Adelaide and Perth.


Two words – Small markets


Sorry Pav, we’re trying to sell books here.


(Maybe do a WA edition? Pav gets the cover, Peter B can edit and WA gets the secession they’ve always dreamed of)


Bob Murphy? Well, there is an Almanacker. As long as his dog’s in the picture I’m sure he’d jump at the chance too. But we’re all hoping his year is next year. Bob for 2017.


Adelaide Oval? Last year’s news. The tarps will be there before you know it.


Whitecross if the Hawks win? Well, if the Hawks have won it, then that means Geelong hasn’t, so there might not be a book to read. Best not to contemplate.


Boomer? Statistically significant, but as Brad Scott would say about any umpiring/MRP/stadium management decision, “I’m not buying it”. Plus, Boomer put his own book out this year and we know he doesn’t like to share.


Mo Hope and Sue? Gee this almost had me. That Australian Story was magnificent. But again, is it maybe one for future years? Or not? Gee it really almost had me…


But as my wife exclaimed from the couch during the final scenes of that ABC show, when it was revealed Mo was pulling on the boots for the Pies…”Oh JESUS, Eddie’s got her!”


Sorry Mo and sorry Sue.


So who should it be?


Whose story was ‘of the year’ but also a timeless one?


Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti


Whilst the back-story of ‘Walla’ and his journey to the middle of the MCG was wonderfully told by Emma Quayle in May, it would be fitting to see him captured in his bulging, dashing glory at all good book stores.


With twinkling Tiwi toes and the face of a Glaswegian shipbuilder (according to my Scottish mother) ‘Walla’ made an unbearable season entrancing whenever his foot caressed the ball. His four goal haul against to the Blues in Round 22 was a timely reward for a player who went from a VFL burst player to MCG match-winner within a year. I’d actually go as far to say that it was a triumph of good over evil (you know..because it was against Carlton).


Now I know that some may find it unpalatable to have an Essendon player on the front cover, but let’s see this as an opportunity.


For the past four years, the Almanac has been at the forefront of coverage of ‘the saga’. There has been discussion, comment, query, humour, satire, sarcasm, blistering comments sections and borderline trolling. Some of us endured it, some of us reveled in it.


But now we can all move on. We can follow ‘Walla’.


Better than a Pies player surely?


About Andrew Else

Andrew has self-reported to this site as a lifetime Essendon supporter. He also played local footy for Lara and Melbourne Uni Blacks.


  1. Paddy Grindlay says

    Love the way Walla plays the game. Might be the wrong year for him, fighting Boomer, Pav, Swan and perhaps Danger.

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