Almanac Newsletter: Rulebook’s Macca Record, Old Dog plays Queenstown and the Melbourne Cup Eve Lunch

G’day Sportsfans


Well, you have to hand it to Malcolm Rulebook Ashwood. He’s broken the all-time Almanac record for the most reads of one story in a day with his terrific profile of Norwood’s own Garry McIntosh – Macca – Mr Loyalty: A Tribute to Garry McIntosh – the champion South Australian who played 371 games for the Redlegs. It follows on from Rulebook’s Michael Aish tribute. If you haven’t met Rulebook – one of Adelaide’s characters – you probably will. He’s probably best described as a run-with writer, a bloke who makes Josh Carr look like Malcolm Blight, or for Victorians Micky Gayfer look like Peter Daicos. he does stick. He will sell you a raffle ticket. He will get you to attend an Adelaide Uni Blacks function. We love him.


Good to have Old Dog Matt Zurbo back today as well. After spending so much time – I reckon it was four years – researching and writing Champions All (check it out here) he’s just had a game of footy as part of the Unconformity Festival in Queenstown in Tassie where he played on the famous gravelly ground. It makes for a trademark Old Dog yarn. The Unconformity Cup – Nowhere Footy


Cox Plate tomorrow, and Manikato tonight. Both Crio and Sal are in good tipping form – they were all over Jameka in the Caulfield Cup last Saturday and are ready to take on the satchel-swingers again. A little Queensland mail has lobbed: suggests the superannuated Buffering is going pretty well. But I’m not sure the 1200 on a damp track suits. D. Browne (under-rated) to ride. We’ll see if he gets run down in the last 100m!


With Derby Day a week away it’s time to nominate for the Almanac Melbourne Cup Eve Lunch at the North Fitzroy Arms. 12.30 for 1pm Monday Oct 31. Come and help tip the trifecta. Always a fun afternoon.


We’ve got heaps of pieces on the trade period (be very careful AFL, very careful); some nice music stuff; Yoshi on footy and love; sports historian Roy Hay replies to my piece on the A-League and meaning; I’ve also dragged out a yarn about the only day The Beaver got beat; and much more.


The classic of the week come from expat Austrtalian living in the US, Ron Wells, who started out writing a comment piece on the musos booked for the AFL Grand Final and produced a piece filled with sharp observations and fine lines. Do yourself a favour and have a read of

Good punting.


Go Cats (if you can remember who’s in the team)



Nail paint and crotchless knickers or ‘Leaps and Bounds’: a wander through footy, music and the contemporary world.

Brilliant from Ron Wells. This piece is composed to comment on the musos booked for the Grand Final – but it does so much more. Ron takes us through footy, music and life – with many sharp observations beautifully expressed. Molly even gets a mention and as he’d say: “Do yourself a favour.”



The Unconformity Cup – Nowhere Footy

Old Dog goes to Queenstown where he plays a fun (but proper) footy match on the famous gravel oval during the Unconformity Festival. [This is an Old Dog special – JTH]


Almanac Racing: Sal’s tips (with some thoughts on what else is happening in sport)

Thoughts on Cahill and Krygios, best wishes to high school students sitting exams, and a complete analysis of the Manikato meeting and the Cox Plate meeting at Moonee Valley. From Sal, coming off a solid Jameka spruik last week. [Well played Sal – JTH]


Almanac Obituary: Vale Twinkle Toes

Rob Heath notes the passing of a great footballer, club man and quite the dancer in Laurie Dwyer.


World Footy: John Newton, footballer and footy writer

John Newton discovered footy after dislocating his elbow playing soccer. He now plays for the Boston Demons while studying journalism. Here’s his story from the Berkeley Beacon.


Big Bells and Brass Balls: paddling out at Bells beach on a big day.

The feeling of a crisp autumn morning, hungover, excited and the majesty of a massive set at Bells; only a surfer understands this feeling. San Diego Catter writes a beautiful tribute to a classic surfing trip.


Almanac Racing: Valley highlights

Crio’s heading down to the shop for the Winning Post. Hopefully it can ignite some excitement in him for what, at first glance, appears a weekend with plenty of sizzle but not enough sausages.


Macca – Mr Loyalty: A Tribute to Garry McIntosh

Rulebook’s tribute to one of his favourites, the great man of Norwood and South Australian football, Garry McIntosh.


To trade or not to trade: Shakespeare’s hot take on the Gibbs non-deal

Every man and his Bard has an opinion on the trade period these days.


AFL Trades: Panic

Unsure of how you feel after the AFL trades have completed? Set to Panic by The Smiths, Jeff Dowsing pens his thoughts.


Melbourne Cup Eve Lunch – Book Now!

The Almanac Melbourne Cup Eve Lunch has become a real standout in the calendar. This year will be no exception. RSVP now!


Almanc Golf: Golf Capital- Steel wins opener as Knox goes wide for World Cup teammate

Hamish Neal with his comprehensive weekly wrap of all things golf.


Footy and Love Event Suggestion

Yoshi has a suggestion for an event that AFL clubs could run for their single fans. He’s very keen for the Saints to take up his idea…


Grand Final Sydney v Western Bulldogs: the final kick in the guts

Craig Dodson is a lone Swan living in the western suburbs of Melbourne, trying his best to swim against a powerful rip current. How much more can he take?


Almanac Memories: When the sun sets over Carlton.

San Diego Catter remembers a time when daggy was cool, when Skyhooks ruled and Joe Camilleri slayed them at Martini’s.


Almanac Cricket: Pink Stumps Day 2016.

Almanac is supporting Pink Stumps Day, what is it and how do you get involved? Read and find out!


The Mug Punter: The only day The Beaver got beat

While we’re reminiscing, remember this? I don’t think The Beaver had ever been beaten. But, on Cox Plate Day 2007 we were lining up. It was the day he had to start writing IOUs. A punter called Maso was the biggest winner. Until this day, as Lofty Longden loves to say, I was officially no good at the Cox Plate.


Geelong Cup (2008): Bright young things

It’s Geelong Cup day today. John Harms has been reminded of a wonderful day at Geelong when the Cup was won by the same connections as yesterday, J. Dunne was in charge of his travel arrangements, and a couple of bright young things lit up the Media Puzzle room (almost). I wonder where they all are now?


The State of the Origins.

Have you ever questioned the origin of the AFL species? Clearly with too much time on his hands, San Diego Cattery researched each team’s origins with cultural and historical significance. [A great effort – Ed]


Almanac Books: Champions All extract – Players on Players

What do players say about other players? Continuing our highlights from Old Dog’s book, Champions All, an excerpt from the Chapter: Players on Players 2010s.



About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written many columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo10, Anna8, Evie7. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.


  1. Great stuff,JTH clever subtle sledge well played

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