AFL Round 4 – Carlton v Melbourne: Apocalypse Now Re-Redux – Kurtz was an optimist

While all around him are losing their heads, John Butler is keeping his. A calm, objective analysis of Carlton’s performance on Saturday and what led to it.

The Craig Simmons Conundrum and the Singapore Sling

John Butler remembers the Test Cricket heroics in South Africa, and dissects the Indian takeover of world cricket decision making.

An off-Broadway opening

Veni, Vidi, Vici. “I paid, I saw, I didn’t like” writes Carlton diehard John Butler. Beware the Ides of March?

The Mitch-Lotto jackpot

In a sea of CA self-congratulation, John Butler offers some welcome wit, grace and perspective about the state of Australian cricket. (Brilliant stuff – Ed.)

Sydney Test – Day 2 : Different day, same England

John Butler, the bard of Ballarat, returns to stick his boots into the enfeebled poms. He predicts Brett Ratten will replace Andy Flower.

It’s November, this must be Brisbane.

JB’s back with some of his trademark sensibly-considered doubt: “Australia’s current idea of digging in is to place ourselves in the hole.”

Fifth Test – Day 3: England drop anchor, drag the chain

England is a good side, but not a great side. The sobering realisation must be that we currently trail that good but not great side 3-0.

AFL Round 16 – Carlton v St.Kilda: Judd shines in the gloom

Saints fans may feel this season i s a return to normal services, but such forbearance sits uneasily with the Carlton worldview. If ambition remains thwarted, John Butler suspects an interesting summer lies ahead.

AFL Round 1 – Carlton v Richmond: Tigers in spite of themselves

Round one is the round of hope, where every team begins with a clean slate and all lies ahead. This is the theory. In reality, no club enters any given season unencumbered by the baggage of what preceded.

Third Test – Preview: A Climax in Act One?

How much will Australia be spurred by Punter’s last hurrah? What has the man himself got left in the tank?

Second Test – Day 1: Saffas capitulate amongst the scaffolding

Having so far claimed 10/1047 in the series, John Butler believes the South Africans may even settle for getting Michael Clarke out. Just once.

Let those who are without sin…

It’s been a tumultuous season for followers of the Navy Blue, particularly if you pay any heed to those more priapic pundits who fill their days writing about football without ever really mentioning the play. A winless pre-season had us in crisis, according to some. Then we were proclaimed premiership favourites after stomping the Pies [Read more]

Collingwood TV – An Idea For The Ages

  So they’re seriously considering a dedicated Collingwood channel. I don’t doubt this idea is manna from heaven for many. People will suddenly realise what’s been missing from their lives all these years. Myself? My reaction is rather more like Alex in his maximum security ward in A Clockwork Orange: strapped to a gurney, eyes [Read more]

A Good Time To Reflect

  Football is a pretty reliable mirror. The many ways we express our passion for the game reveal us. The industry that has grown around the game  also tells us much by the way it chooses to operate. All manner of issues regarding indigenous footballers have arisen lately. In the case of Liam Jurrah, the [Read more]

Book Review: Australia Story of a Cricket Country

  Editor:  Christian Ryan Publisher:  Hardie Grant RRP:  $90   (Almanac price $75. Details here)   We are told a lot of things nowadays. We’re told nobody buys books anymore. That iPads and eBooks are the inevitable, irresistible way of the future. Even cricket administrators tell us few under thirty care much about test cricket now. [Read more]

The Ascension of Pup

  The test summer has concluded in unanticipated rout. Australian success has spawned a thousand post-Argus paternity claims, whereas Indian failure is truly an orphan. Indeed, it seems India’s initial inclination is to pretend the summer never happened at all. But as we bask in the afterglow, Australian fans might still harbour a nagging doubt. [Read more]

Hit Me Again: Djokovic vs. Nadal

  Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, the tennis served as an eminently companionable side show to my flannel-centric summers. I fondly remember Kooyong and White City grass courts. Newk, Muscles, Eddo, Phil Dent and, yes, even JA, were a welcome support cast filling in the gaps between test matches. The tennis was as [Read more]

Another Australian Day

In the context of this increasingly lopsided ‘contest’, the celebration of Australia Day seemed a case of considerable overkill. What day hasn’t been Australia’s day in this series? India have certainly proved themselves a most accommodating opponent this summer. Unable to muster serious resistance when it counted, the prospect of them showing much fight here [Read more]

A Tale of Two Captains

It seemed like a classic contest:  India’s batting monuments facing Australia’s rejuvenated pace attack,  with one last chance to claim a series victory in this country at stake for some. It has only taken eight days of cricket for conversation to turn to consideration of a whitewash. Instead of a great confrontation, we’re left reminded [Read more]

A Confederacy of Dunces (Pt 2): Big Bash League

  Glamorous, jaw dropping, captivating, brilliant. No, it is not Erin McNaught strutting down a catwalk. It is T20 cricket – and it is about to rock Australia like never before. BBL ‘20 Days to go’ promo “KFC T20 Big Bash League is the most talked about event in the country. Fans love their teams [Read more]