Second Test, Day 2: Akmal misses 50, Dips’ daughter misses 48 tram

By Damian O’Donnell The first day back at work is the second day of the second Test in Sydney. The first Pakistan wicket to fall is actually the second (after North dropped a dolly), and the first time I heard a live score was when the second wicket fell. The radio is playing quietly in [Read more]

Third Test, Day 2: A Day In The Life Of An Accountant

by Damian O’Donnell (Note – at least 50% of this story is fictional) I’m sitting at my desk with my brown cardigan on (the one with the brown leather elbow patches) singing that well known accountants’ song “For Every Debit There’s A Credit” (sung to the tune of “Stairway To Heaven”). The cricket is on [Read more]

The table

by Damian “Dips” O’Donnell Our dinners at home were always noisy, cluttered affairs. The eight of us would sit around the delightful (though tiny) old mahogany table, which seemed to have a talent for expanding whenever Mum found there were additional mouths to feed. It could have been someone’s mate, a cousin, the local parish [Read more]

The Rite of Spring

by Damian O’Donnell I love Spring. I love what it does to people. In June, July and August we go about our business. We watch our footy team battle through the long AFL season. We pay the mortgage, keep warm, and ask our kids what they did at school. The grass only grows in clumps, [Read more]

General Footy Writing: Cats resemble a champion fighter on the ropes

By Damian O’Donnell Sporting greatness comes and goes, but when it is in full flight we see no end. Indeed, we don’t want to see an end. I remember when Marvellous Marvin Hagler was stopped by an irrepressible Sugar Ray Leonard in 1987 it took me some time to realise what had just happened. An [Read more]

General Footy Writing: Yes, it’s strange, and I’m a bit worried, but I just don’t seem to hate Collingwood like I once did

By Damian O’Donnell It feels a bit strange to say it, but I don’t think I hate Collingwood the most anymore. For me this is a huge admission, because my dislike for Collingwood has been a great constant in my life, a sort of anchor. To hate Collingwood is as normal as putting your pants [Read more]

Stawell Gift: Why it’s madness to even consider shifting the Gift

By Damian O’Donnell The Victorian Premier, John Brumby, has finally come out and guaranteed that the Stawell Gift will stay in Stawell. Why it was the Premier who made this announcement is puzzling. I would have thought that the Sports Minister, James Merlino, would have been responsible. But this is just one puzzling thing in [Read more]

General Footy Writing: The ultimate Cats man has an inexplicable flaw

By Damian O’Donnell I’ve got a mate who barracks for Geelong. I hadn’t seen him for a few months, but bumped into him at a house-warming function on Saturday afternoon. Describing Bunter as a barracker is completely inadequate. Words like “supporter” or “member” or even “Cats man” also fall a long way short. These describe [Read more]

Memoir: The McInerney Rule

  by Dips O’Donnell   I bet every Primary School has at least one kid who was much bigger, stronger and faster than everyone else.   At my Primary School his name was McInerney. He could run, jump, throw, fight, and play football like a man, at the age of nine.   There was no [Read more]

AFL Round 11 (and gymnastics): Perfection 1 Gymnasts 0

  by Dips O’Donnell       I’m at the Sate Netball and Hockey Centre to watch the Victorian Gymnastics championships. It’s an impressive centre. Lots of steel girders, vast glass windows, and official looking desks with official looking people manning them.   I have a nervous daughter competing today. There are a few Olympians [Read more]

General footy writing: Cats need Moons to cut funny business

By Damian O’Donnell Has the first crack appeared in the Geelong armour? For the last three seasons the Cats have been an organised, well-drilled organism. They have honoured “the process” and broken the game down to a few basic key-performance indicators. The group has overwhelmed the individual, and, to quote Pink Floyd, all the players [Read more]

AFL Round 7: Dons’ win a victory for instinct over process

By Damian O’Donnell Zone, schmone. Flood, schmud. Reputation, schmeputation. The Bombers blew all these to the scheisenhaus on Friday night with joyful, fast, youthful, exuberant, unpredictable football. I watched the game like a kid watching Shrek for the fifteenth time. It was good old-fashioned fun. From the very start the Bombers played like young blokes [Read more]

Warm feeling on a cold day

By Damian O’Donnell It was mid-winter, the mud was cold and deep, and the rain had a sting to it. It came down on that awkward winter angle where no part of the body is shielded. My footy boots were full of water and my long-sleeve jumper hung shapeless, like a clock face in a [Read more]

An Anzac Day reflection

By Damian O’Donnell A whole generation of blokes goes off to war in 1914. They go to a foreign land to kill and be killed. Today we might struggle to understand that. We, the inhabitants of this global village where the other side of the world is a click of a mouse away, cannot begin [Read more]