Almanac Weekend Reading: Twas the [Weekend] Before Christmas

Welcome to Saturday.

Hopefully your weekend isn’t looking too crazy with visits to shopping centres, dropping kids at Christmas parties, more trips to shopping centres and overcrowded supermarkets, more Christmas party obligations and the insanity that can, but not always, be getting prepped from Christmas Day.

If you’ve managed to avoid the craziness and are sitting back wondering what all the fuss is, well then kudos to you, good reader!

If you find the time to put the feet up, we hope you enjoy the following reads that we present to you.

They’re not necessarily the latest long-form reads, but if you enjoy reading them as much as we did, you won’t particularly care that they weren’t published this week.


There’s quite a buzz in literary circles at present surrounding Jamie Quatro and her short story, I Want to Tell You More. In this article for Runners World, Michael Heald learns how important running is to Quatro’s creative process in The Writer Runner  And there’s also our own Matthew Watson’s great story on his comeback to running after knee surgery.


Don Van Natta Jr.’s profile of the way the NFL and the Ravens have handled the infamous Ray Rice domestic violence ‘incident’ is almost essential reading. If you’re not familiar with the case, a simple search on ‘Ray Rice video’ will return pages and pages of content to bring you up to speed, but Van Natta Jr.’s in-depth commentary of the way the League and the Ravens organisation handled the incident will leave you dumbstruck; maybe even angry. And if it doesn’t, it should. The Rice Case: Purposeful Misdirection… [with thanks to Cookie for the heads-up on this one – Ed]

Grantland’s Lisa Thomas also compiles a compelling case on the NFL’s failure to take domestic violence seriously.


After some pretty heavy-going reading, we owe it to you to lighten the mood. Staying in the States, GQ published The Undefeated Champions of Defeat City by Kathy Dobie earlier this year, profiling a group of kids in one of New Jersey’s toughest neighbourhoods.


Lastly, there’s a lot of love for Don Van Natta Jr., and his profile of the Dallas Cowboys owner – Jerry Jones – is your humble editor’s favourite read of 2014.





  1. Good Chrissie reading. Thanks Steve.
    The best thing I read all year on the collision between fans, business, sport, journalism, morality and TV was this:
    It is about the Ray Rice scandal in the NFL but not from a domestic violence perspective. It is because a famous journalist bit the hand that feeds him and called the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a liar. ESPN suspended the journalist.
    Thousands of fans protested, but the ratings went up and the Empire ground on.
    Imagine if it happened in the AFL?
    Darc’ would have tellingly commented that Goodell and Ray Rice were “top blokes”.

  2. Agree completely Peter. There wouldn’t be a single scribe in the country across most codes have the courage to ‘do a Simmons’. Mind you, the notoriety and cause celébré he became whilst off-air hasn’t exactly hurt him. Bill and Van Natta did a great podcast when Rice was ‘cleared’ in November.

    The parallels between this case and the handling of the Essendon/ASADA mess are too loud to ignore

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