Ingrained Madness

A smaller piece from the Old Dog

So This is Christmas: Old Dog’s Top 10 of 2014

Good will: for the beer of it. That, and other terrific lines from one of the Knackery’s Henry Lawsons. A travelling minstrel. Observing. And sensing what matters. Thanks Old Dog.

Simon Black and the things that count

In writing his book, Old Dog spends some time with Simon Black. The conversation reminds him of an old footy story.

Simplifying Football

Ben Rutten has inspired this piece because Old Dog loves backmen. He loves watching backmen. He hates how they’re ignored when votes are awarded. He doesn’t like how stats rule – and he points out a ripper stat about the Swans premiership back line

No Skills Required

Old Dog recalls a footy-less warm-up. [Ray Wilson and his Uni Blacks are onto something – Ed]

Buddy v Royce

This is an intriguing experiment. Old Dog, thinking creatively, again.


Matt Zurbo on the significance of ruckmen and their influence on games. [Top stuff – Ed]

As featured the the Age sports section today.

AFL Round 18 – Hawthorn v Sydney: The Slap

Old Dog watches one of the best AFL games he’s seen in years – taking in the skill in the face of pressure and the fact that it was the frenzied chaos we value so much.

AFL Round 18 – Carlton v North Melbourne: The Roos Blues and no thanks to youse

The Roos Blues and No Thanks to Youse! To be honest, I haven’t watched too much of the Big League over the last ten years. I play and breathe bush footy, not AFL. The marketing boys have done well to brand us all with their label. I take in enough games, or bits of games, [Read more]

AFL Round 17 – Adelaide v Hawthorn: A High Seas Backman

Old Dog is on the high seas, crossing Bass Strait, with the footy on. Terrific account of the game and comment on how we see the game, and how commentators see the game, and how votes are handed out. [Nice Jim Jess reference too – Ed]

Poetry: Ride Them Like Jockeys

Old Dog detects from the collective response in the airport lounge that the people have a better sense of the spirit of the game than those who run it.

Adelaide is Lying

Old Dog finds meaning in Adelaide.

Off Season Odyssey – Part 13: The Word, Mates and Country Legends

This piece was written by Matt Zurbo two years ago about the single best bloke he met through playing footy. Hit by a car training for his 22nd year of Seniors. In loving memory.

Brian Brown is a corker bloke

Old Dog catches up with Brian Brown, father of Jonathan, in south-western Victoria.

All Sorts of Football Legends

Matt Zurbo gives us a hint at what he’s been doing for the last 18 months, and requests assistance.


As he observes a lower-grade park cricket match, Matt Zurbo identifies with the pace of the game.

Omens and Superstitions

So what is the omen that has guaranteed Turbo Zurbo’s local club a premiership?

The (off) season of money: changing times and changing meanings in grass roots footy

Interesting observation of the changing meaning of footy – even at grass roots level.

A Hole in my Town

In this piece The Old Dog talks about how much is lost in a town and a club without the next generation breathing life into the place.

Cracks and Sizzles

Matt Zurbo is not a cricketer, but he has played a few times. [some interesting reflections on the game, and a nice comparison with footy – Ed]