Almanac Book Recommendation – The Biggest Game in Town: An analysis of the AFL’s vilification policy

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the launch of this book. Here is a work of serious research, of serious importance – and it is beautifully written.

The Biggest Game in Town: An analysis of the AFL’s vilification policy” was written by Sean Gorman, Dean Lusher and Keir Reeves.

The Biggest Game in Town

The Biggest Game in Town


The book describes an investigation into what footballers know and believe about the AFL’s vilification policy, racism, homophobia, and a form of social network analysis that seeks to understand the weighting of different cultural influences on these footballers. The study itself is fascinating. The results even more so.

Greg Baum wrote this piece about the book in The Age.

And an introductory PDF is here: Introduction the AFL s Rule 35

Sean Gorman discussed the book in interview on May 24, 2016, on ABC News Breakfast:


It is an important book at an important time.


Books are NOW AVAILABLE from the authors.

Please contact Sean Gorman via [email protected] for your copy NOW – $30 plus postage.


About David Wilson

David Wilson is a hydrologist, climate reporter and writer of fiction & observational stories. 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 likes to walk around feeling generally amazed. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.


  1. John Butler says

    Good call E Reg.

    Had the privilege of catching Sean at Clunes Booktown just a while back. Speaking both on the subject of Noongar footballers, and interviewing Richard Frankland (who is much prettier than Stan Grant).

    For those who haven’t caught Mr Frankland before, he’s a compelling speaker. Sean’s not too shabby either.

    I think I mentioned the Dockers once. But got away with it.


  2. Sean Gorman says

    JB – nice work. And E Reg nice one also. Frankland was compelling his doco “Who Killed Malcolm Smith” changed my life and my pov. This book is a continuation of that. Thanks also to the Harms for mucho supporto – given Freo’s season is on the fritz this is my shining light.


  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Look forward to reading it.

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