The Weight of Great Expectations

Like all the big Melbourne clubs, Essendon and Carlton maintain a fierce and abiding rivalry. As is often the case with great rivalries, there is much that is shared, as well as much that divides. With sixteen flags apiece they share a spot at the top of the premiership tally. Of the six Grand Finals [Read more]

Can we really manage our way to footy justice?

I’ve been intrigued by the breadth of emotion following the clash of the Steves, Johnson and Baker, in last Friday night’s match at the MCG, and by subsequent events. Most particularly, I’ve been considering the effect of AFL football management style on the conduct of the game. Debate has raged over issues such as the [Read more]

Slippery Saints Subdue Cranky Cats

In some ways this was going to be a Grand Final replay; just some. Certainly, a lot of the usual suspects were there; but a lot weren’t. It was wet just like last Grand Final day; but the lights were on, and it was Friday. Most importantly, it was Round 13, not Grand Final day. [Read more]

Dockers Steady the Ship, but no Kreuzing for Blues from here

As the physical demands of the AFL season continue to grow, the period around the mid season break has become increasingly significant. All teams appreciate the respite for sore bodies, whilst those for whom the season hasn’t gone to plan get a chance to take stock and relaunch. For young sides that have been early [Read more]

Maradona Still Demands the Spotlight

World Cup Game 3: 12/6/2010 Johannesburg- Ellis Park Stadium Group B- Argentina  1 v Nigeria  0 The Olympic Games’ only rival as The Greatest Show On Earth is with us once again. Unlike the Olympics, which seem more bound by official rules, protocols and pomp, the World Cup always has much more the feel of [Read more]

North Burn Those Friday Night Lights Again

The AFL loves to celebrate the game’s great traditions… as long as it doesn’t interfere with business. North Melbourne have been rightly lauded as the club responsible for popularising Friday night footy. With the 25th anniversary of the near riot that launched the first Friday Blockbuster, we have been regaled  with tales of the King’s [Read more]

Demons give the Blues too much of a start (again)

What gives a football club its identity? This is a question that could easily occupy a book. It is certainly beyond the proper scope of a match report. But it’s a question that comes to me when I ponder Melbourne’s current predicament. In the range of footy stereotypes, both Carlton and Melbourne are establishment clubs. [Read more]

These Eagles show few signs of Rocking

There was a time way back in the 90’s when clashes between these two clubs were something to really savour. Some of the best home & away games I’ve ever seen were between these sides around that period. Foremost in my memory is the titanic struggle in Perth, late in our last Premiership year of [Read more]

Geelong makes its point loud and clear

So I hear there was a game on Friday night? Myself, I’ve been stuck in Outer Uzbekistan all week; so I’ve only had to trawl through a dozen or so feature articles on the Big Game. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Try explaining Cameron Ling to an Uzbeck goat herder. As far as [Read more]

The more things change…

It’s obviously Blockbuster Season again in the AFL. Although, I wouldn’t the only one who suspects Blockbusters aren’t quite what they used to be? The moment a couple of teams string 3 or 4 wins together, we got ourselves a blockbuster folks! Yeehaaa! Roll out the marketing guys. If Collingwood, perchance, happens to be one [Read more]

Blues win ugly, while Port remain enigmas.

Port Power have been a thorough enigma since they joined the AFL. Hell, they should just be called The Enigmas; it’s an improvement on Power. They might get a new theme song out of the change. What rhymes with enigma. Errr… stigma? Maybe not. It took them a relatively short time to become serious on [Read more]

Speed Kills 2: Blues Torch the Saints’ Citadel

Since Ross Lyon took over the Saints, I’ve started to wonder if he might be a fan of avant-garde music. I’m thinking specifically of those La Monte Young-inspired minimalist drones, where the climax is delayed, then delayed some more, and sometimes barely arrives at all. They’re exercises emphasising discipline and theory rather than a quick [Read more]

Agon(y) in pursuit of Ecstasy

by John Butler Last week Mr Harms was waxing philosophical on matters football related. No great surprise in this. In his amiable fashion, the quest for footy’s meaning, and the source of its appeal, are recurring Harms themes.  As is his wont, this particular stroll took us through subjects ranging from Greek philosophy to the [Read more]

Slippin’ an’ a Slidin’: Dogs Squeak Home Amidst a Sea of Pink.

Another Friday night. Another Doggies game. But this one was a very different beast to last week at the Dome, despite another close result. The collected works of one John Harms have recently had me pondering the meaning we draw from OGG(© The Wrap). Any meaning we draw must in large part come from our [Read more]

Pies Have the Steadier Hand in MCG Shootout

It was only fitting that an 80,000 strong gathering of the rival clans should assemble to celebrate 100 years since Collingwood last beat Carlton in a Grand Final. Ok… I know only one clan would be celebrating that little statistic, but that’s about all the joy I’ll get from this report. At least, unlike a [Read more]

Round and Round They Go. Where They Stop, Nobody Knows.

Those lucky enough to attend the Almanac lunch on Friday afternoon were entertained by the  many reminiscences of 1960 Brownlow Medallist John Schultz. The very gentlemanly Mr Schultz spoke at length about John Kennedy’s famous “Commandoes” of 1961, who set new standards for the day in fitness and endurance. This team was famous for putting [Read more]

Footy Talk: Clarko gets some couch time

Jennifer Melfi- Respected psychiatrist, specialising in anger management issues. Best known for her work with a Mr Tony Soprano. Alastair Clarkson- Hawthorn premiership coach. 2010 was meant to be the rebound year for the Hawks. But once again, it’s turning pear-shaped. They needed a ruckman, but drafted Burgoyne- then he couldn’t get on the field. [Read more]

Speed kills: Blues run and run while the Cats plod

Sometimes, the more we think we know, the less we really know. Week after week, we study form, history, maybe even tea leaves, and boldly predict the unknowable. It’s called, amongst other things, footy tipping. Many even venture to wager. Others prognosticate. Aren’t humans amusing? This week’s games looked pretty straight forward. Well, we all [Read more]

Footy Talk: Choco and Junkyard do Match Committee

In this week’s episode of The Odd Couple, the role of Oscar Madison will be played by Mark Williams, and  Felix Unger will be played by Dean Laidley. After a drubbing down in Geelong, Felix arrives ready for action at match committee, dossiers and laptop at the ready. He’s a little taken aback at what [Read more]

Carlton unravel the zone, while Adelaide just unravels.

The modern AFL environment seems perpetually hyped, with blowtorches primed for target on a weekly basis. Even by these standards, Round 4 seems pretty early for a make-or-break game.  But it couldn’t be denied that the competing sides in this match were badly in need of a win, with pressure mounting on both camps.