Ode to a Magpie

  This anonymous poem was handed to my cousin John Scopas by an old Collingwood fan. He passed it on to me in the hope that it will get a run on the site and that we may yet find the author. I have cleaned up a fair bit of punctuation (written by a Collingwood [Read more]

Old Unwelcome Memories

Collingwood v Geelong Grand Final 2011 By Phil Dimitriadis   Nothing ends well that starts with a Meat Loaf ‘Kiss’.  The omens were there from the beginning and I chose to ignore them.  Even as a seven year old the lyrics of ‘Hot Summer Night’: “You took the words right out of my mouth” had [Read more]

The Recurring Dream

  Every once in a while I have this dream. It is April 1990. The light is always the same. The last waves of summer have passed but there is still enough warmth to obfuscate the chill in the air. Footy season has commenced with its majestic ephemera and hyperbole. I’m part of a team. [Read more]

Daisy Cutter

  By Phil Dimitriadis DAISY CUTTER This term denotes a sense of speed and precision that is both metaphorical and absurd because daisies aren’t allowed to grow on football fields. If they did the studded boots of the forty-four competing players would soon tread on them. Nevertheless, the ‘daisy cutter’ evokes a feeling that a [Read more]

The Symbolic Dissemination of a High Mark

  by Phil Dimitriadis Symbolism and rhetoric find their place in football discourse through the power of language and the images it projects. For example, the sometimes gravity defying elements of a ‘high mark’ have been theatrically rhetoricised over the years from ‘great mark’ to ‘a screamer’ to ‘a ripper’ to ‘a hanger’ to ‘mark [Read more]

Classic Passages:The Best of the Footy Almanac

By Phil Dimitriadis Rounds 2 and 3, 2007 “A book is a fragile creature, it suffers the wear of time, it fears rodents, the elements and clumsy hands. So the librarian protects the books not only against mankind but also against nature and devotes his life to this war with the forces of oblivion.” Umberto [Read more]

Classic Passages 1: The Best of the Footy Almanac

By Phil Dimitriadis “Everybody knows that you live forever, when you’ve done a line or two” Leonard Cohen The Footy Almanac is now into its fifth year.  Many things have changed since early 2007, some have stayed the same. One constant has been the inspired, prophetic, deluded and passionate pieces that come from the writers [Read more]

The Language of Football: A Barthesian Perspective

by Phil Dimitriadis At this time of year conversation turns to footy in earnest and in jest. We take it for granted in Melbourne, reasoning that it has always been part of our cultural communication. It really is a language spawned by the game that intends to be a portal of inclusion and connection. Generally, [Read more]

Up There Cazaly and The Myth of Icarus

Phil Dimitriadis presented this paper at the 150 Years of Australian Football Conference: Up There Cazaly and The Myth of Icarus: An exploration into the narrative of freedom and failure in Australian Rules football. This is the abstract. [Interesting – wish I heard it. JTH]

Wrestle with this

by Phil Dimitriadis I’ve noticed that there are some not so ‘closet’ wrestling fans on the Almanac site. I found this excellent article (click on the link below) that is well worth a read, particularly for its focus on the history of Wrestling in Australia. I will write a follow up soon on the symbolism, [Read more]

The Loneliest Footballers

By Phil Dimitriadis After chatting with Andrew Gigacz about football tragedies and the 2010 Footy Almanac  cover, the 2008 Footy Almanac engaged my attention in a way it hadn’t done before. Jim Pavlidis’ perceptive painting captured the loneliness of Matthew Richardson the footballer. The crowd is a blur, there are no teammates or fanfare and [Read more]

Book Review: This Sporting Life

By Phil Dimitriadis One of the early fictional accounts of a footballer’s life was This Sporting Life by David Storey. This work examines the contradictions and paradoxes that affect a footballer’s career directly and vicariously through the actions and attitudes of those involved with the main character, named Arthur Machin. Machin works at the factory [Read more]

150 Years and No Gay Footballer? That’s Queer.

By Phil Dimitriadis In almost one hundred and fifty years, there is no explicit history about a homosexual Australian Rules player at the highest level. This does not reflect the cultural realities of the society that plays and watches the game. If ten percent of the population were gay then out of the six hundred [Read more]

Book Review: All praise to exploration of Ablett enigma

Book: Playing God: The Rise and Fall of Gary Ablett Writer: Garry Linnell Publication: HarperCollins, 2003 Reviewer: Phillip Dimitriadis Some may consider Garry Linnell’s book, Playing God: The Rise and Fall of Gary Ablett to be a work of fact-based, journalistic non-fiction. It is an unauthorised biography that at times has an unnerving mix of [Read more]

Footy’s Coming

Footy’s Coming To the tune of Johnny Cash’s ‘Busted’ By Phil Dimitriadis Cricket and tennis aren’t my kind of drugs. Hauritz and Federer don’t inspire group hugs. Footy’s Coming. Serena took off, along with her bling. Caro and Wallsy are still hibernating. But,Footy’s coming. My daughter brought home a boy from school. I got sunstroke, [Read more]

AFL Finals series: Pies provide a lesson in faith

By Phil Dimitriadis This is a reflection of the brittle faith expressed by a small group of Magpie fans at the MCG last night. The cliche ‘cut-throat’ final seemed appropriate halfway through the first quarter. The Crows have made a number of deep incisions into the weakening Collingwood body and are two goals away from [Read more]

Poetry: If

By Phil Dimitriadis If Crompton stayed dour in ’64 … If Potter had’ve kicked in ’66 …

Poetry: Bill and Bob

                                                    Bill and Bob                                                   By Phil Dimitriadis                                       Bill played forward, Bob played back,                                                             man on man, the olden days.                                       Body hair, Brylcream, going the whack.                                                               Arch rivals these clubs remain,                                       two young men with a bitter secret,                                       who [Read more]

Poetry: ‘Achtung Mick’

                                                                                                                                  Achtung Mick!                                                                                                                                    by Phil Dimitriadis                                                                                                   The Boundary line is his best friend.                                                                                     His moustache bristles at ‘their’ mistakes.                                                   Nobody else seems to comprehend,                                                   only he appears to be awake.                                                     It’s everyone else’s [Read more]

Clean Hands

By Phil Dimitriadis Thirty-five touches. The cleanest hands at the club. Flawless disposal and three goals capped off a great afternoon. Hubris has been sitting on the bench all day, invisible, but determined to get a run when it counts…after the game. Backslappers are aplenty. Pre-pubescent girls hang on his every expression. Desperate housewives hope [Read more]