The Barren World of Men and Grief in Sport

An extremely personal memoir from Dave Latham, in which he reflects on meaning, action, relationships, the joys of fatherhood, and the emotion one invests in sport.

Help! Boxing Doco on Peter Jackson

David Latham plans a documentary on 19th-century boxer Peter Jackson, who won the Australian heavyweight title in 1886, and seeks experts who might appear on camera.

Grand Final wash-up: is that all there is?

When asked by a reporter why he had decided to visit Canada, the Irish playwright, Brendan Behan, is said to have replied “I saw a picture at the Airport saying “Drink Canada Dry” so I thought I’d come here and try”. My more modest intention, following a Collingwood Grand Final win, was to line the [Read more]

The Title Fight

In 1962, the boxing heavyweight champion, Floyd Patterson, finally met with one of the toughest heavyweight contenders on the circuit, Sonny Liston. Liston was one of the most disparaged and reviled figures, not only in the fight game, but in American popular culture. His criminal rap sheet and background as an impoverished, sullen brawler was [Read more]

Barbarians at the door

There is nothing surer than the fall of empires, but what is never clear within the historical moment is how near the end is.  What is certain though is that once an impervious border is repeatedly breached, the day of reckoning cannot be far away.  The demise of empire shifts from a question of ‘how’ [Read more]


What do you get when you combine a 24 hour sports news cycle, a vociferous fan-base and a club with a sense of entitlement? A bloody great disaster is what – a modern-day Frankenstein.

The aesthetics of football

The hair-cut is an often unappreciated barometer of social development. Whereas only 20 years ago, before the wholesale professionalisation of football, footballers sported the most unfashionable hair-cuts in our society, today they are at the absolute cutting edge of fashion. No successful footballer today can claim to have reached the upper reaches of excellence unless [Read more]

Umpire, please!

In the American summer of 1989 an unknown policy wonk from the US State Department, Francis Fukuyama, foretold of the ‘End of History’; an era which would follow the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union and therewith the last ideological challenger to liberal-democracy. The end of history, opined Fukuyama ruefully, would displace the ‘daring, courage, imagination and idealism’ which attended [Read more]

Cleaning out the augean stables

A couple of weeks ago I published this article: As the results of last week’s Morgan poll regarding preferred Labor leader showed, Julia Gillard is right on Kevin Rudd’s hammer. When asked by some wag if she would be seeking the captaincy, Gillard postulated the chances of that happening were as likely as her playing [Read more]

Dermott Brereton – rebel in the pack

A few years ago I had an alcohol fuelled disagreement with some friends of mine about Dermott Brereton’s left-liberal credentials. It’s fair to say I was flying solo in my line of reasoning from the outset. Hadn’t Dermie, I opined, supported the student occupation of RMIT in 1997 as those Bolshy students were crusading for [Read more]

The Temple of Mick

By David Latham Like Robert Walls, Mick Malthouse loves a grafter and humble clubman who knows how to turn a good sausage at club barbeques.  It would appear that Mick’s perception runs into another dimension, inaccessible to mortal computation, and in that Labyrinthine mind of his, a paucity of football skill is no barrier to [Read more]