Almanac Poetry: ‘Eddie Betts’s Shorts’ – Steve Rogers

‘Eddie’: Oil on canvas by Kate Birrell


I’ve loved the game of Aussie Rules ever since I was a kid

and it influenced me and my mates in everything we did

some of the things I can recall, the things that I can treasure

are incidents and players that have given greatest pleasure


Like mid week state-of-origin, on the Subi ground

when Sandgropers were the victors and took the big V’s crown.

And Barry Cable dropkicks, Lou Richard’s match reports

but the thing that makes me smile the most are Eddie Betts’ Shorts


There was Jacko Jackson’s handstands, Cometti’s ocean bobbing corks

Tony Lockett’s tally, and numerous reports

When Lethal took out Neville Bruns and settled in the courts,

But I am still delighted by Eddie Betts’ shorts.


They must have had some over when they made Mick Nolan’s pair

or maybe they just mixed them up and Eddie got to wear

his oversiz-ed bloomers – jeez they must let in some air.

But footy memories I have – I’m not stopping there


There was Warren Jones Tattoo, (though I’ll take your word for that)

He stood out from the rest  back then, not many had a tatt.

Every second player seems to have one now

But I bet that there aren’t any that can spell out WOW


And Teddy Whitten’s ankle boots and Warrick Capper’s mullet

and the time big Bustling Barry Hall, collected Staker’s gullet

and the majesty of Robby Flower and interstate imports

but nothing makes me smile as much as Eddy Betts’s shorts.


Eddy is a champion, and he don’t know when to quit

and just like Greedy Bartlett, he can play a bit

His goal sense is amazing a genius of sorts

and to think he does all that while wearing baggy shorts.



When trophies and memorials are presented at the Blues

there is nothing more appropriate that they could opt to choose

not cups, or shields or pennants or athletic supports

I think that they should award a pair of Eddy Betts’s shorts.



You can talk about the icons in footy in the past

Teddy Whitten’s boots and


The things that I’ll remember are Eddie Betts’s shorts.


Courts, sports, sorts, warts, imports, reports, supports, snorts,


Eddie Betts’s shorts

can’t be sold or bought.



Akermanis’s hair, Tony Lockett’s tally, Wow Jones tattoo, Warrick Capper’s Mullet

Serg Silvani’s legs, Jacko Jacksons handstand, Cazaly’s One hander , Steven Smith’s screamer, Robby Flower’s grace, or the time that Bustling Barry’s fist collided with a face.

Or midweek state of origins were fought at the Subi ground

and WA were victors and took the big V’s crown.l,

Denis Marshall and other famous imports

Neville Bruns took Lethal to the courts

Lou Richard’s match reports


Captain Blood’s elbows and his numerous reports

Barry Cable dropkicks

Cometti’s ocean-bobbing corks


Athletic supports



More from Steve Rogers HERE.


The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in the coming weeks. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order right now HERE


More poetry from Almanac Poetry can be read HERE


If you would like to receive the Almanac Music and Poetry newsletter we will add you to the list. Please email us: [email protected]


To return to the  home page click HERE


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.


Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One-off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE




Leave a Comment