Off Season Odyssey – Part 12: Aussie Humour

AUSSIE HUMOUR.   “No tribal colours,” the bouncer tells me, holding his hand out. We both look at the North jumper I’m wearing. “It’s okay, he’s with the band,” Gav says. “I know the band,” the bouncer says. He’s from Warrnambool. So are the Monaros. Like the King and Queen are from England, and David Boon [Read more]

The Footygods: the Algea

The Footygods must have enjoyed Saturday. Adelaide and Geelong thought they just had to turn up to win. A mate of mine from Adelaide said that most people there thought that the cup was in the bag. The crows had stormed home to second. They had beaten the swans early and others had beaten them [Read more]

Temper Trap – An inoffensive selection

Almanac music aficionado, Andrew Fithall, finds himself in a tender trap with this year’s Grand Final entertainment.

Footy as Religion: A Myth for All Seasons

By Phil Dimitriadis Man has built in himself images as a sense of security – religious, political, personal. These manifest as symbols, ideas, and beliefs. The burden of these dominates man’s thinking, relationships and his daily life. (J. Krishnamurti)   Corporate, religious and political rhetoric often sits comfortably with Australian Rules expression and its desire [Read more]

Swans are live

With the Sydney Swans experiencing a somewhat unseen resurgence it feels appropriate to mention another bunch of Swans also making their own understated comeback this year. Born in the bowels of NYC in the early ‘80’s the band Swans, led by Michael Gira, have been unleashing their genre-defining sound on the world for thirty years [Read more]

Rotunda in the West: Conversations with Australian Writers

POW priest and the sacrament of sport – Eureka Street

One time when visiting Sydney from the US, author Brian Doyle  got into a conversation with an elderly priest who had spent most of his working life on Bougainville Island. Talking about cricket on Bougainville sent him back to one particular cricket match which he had witnessed as a prisoner of the Japanese Imperial Army [Read more]

Lessons I Learnt in India and Sri Lanka (Part 2)

Lesson 2: I’m a celebrity in India. I am a celebrity in India. I’m famous. The people love me…I think. You see, as a white-haired fair skinned teenage Australian, I was quite a rarity in India. Frequently, people would stop me in the streets (inner Mumbai especially) and ask for a photo or autograph. I [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – The Revolution can wait: radical Brisbane and rugby league

Queensland remains a wonderful place, full of obvious contradictions; the sort of contradictions which are hidden away in other places, the ones that work hard to present an air of sophistication and urbanity. Queensland’s down-on-the-farm, rent-a-holiday-unit-to-a-southerner conservatism prevails. But from colonial times Queensland has given rise to a small, energetic group of progressives; intellectuals and [Read more]

Football writer

Apologies to Lennon/McCartney (I think it was the latter) Dear Sports Ed, won’t you read my stuff I can make a sentence, so I’m good enough Never really played much footy before Failed first-year law And now I wanna be a football writer Football writer Irony drips from my poison pen I can do cross-promos [Read more]

Leigh Montagna

Lenny Hayes

It was ‘A Hard Year’s Plight’

I wrote this piece last year during Richmond’s ‘winter of discontent.’ Losses to Port Adelaide and the Gold Coast had overshadowed some good early form in the season, and we were facing another lowly finish…. “It’s been a long cold lonely winter.” These words, penned by the late George Harrison, the ‘quiet’ Beatle, have been [Read more]

The battle for Melbourne’s soul: Sporting Capital or International City of Culture?

AFL Grand Final day 2009. A young Japanese tourist wandered down Spring Street, Melbourne, dressed in a fashionable clinging top with blue and white horizontals. She was quickly surrounded by Geelong fans, vying to have their photo taken beside her. An observer described her as “utterly, utterly perplexed”.

Moving Day

Last week Gigs wrote a touching and heartfelt piece on being sacked andwhat that meant for him and his family. It was raw, brilliant, brave and open and generated a tremendous amount of support and commentary. This Friday is moving day for me, and I can’t guarantee I won’t fall in a crumpled emotional heap.

A Day Out

by Bill Walker Clinking of the medals crunching of the feet witnessed by the honor guard lining out the streets skirling of the bagpipes dull thud of the drum order of the service just a background hum flooding back the memories so strong it’s hard to cope did their bit for freedom democracy and hope [Read more]

France’s answer to Hayden Ballantyne falls

  by Bob Utber Paris in the spring without football is not football. Mind you the way the weather has been behaving here, walking up the Champs Elysees is like making your way to your seat at Arctic Park.  Not once has anybody asked me the score and there have been some big games this [Read more]

Vale Jimmy Little

I first heard Jimmy Little on the radio in 1963 singing Royal Telephone. I hated the song (which struck me as 3rd rate country gospel) but even then I recognised that Jimmy had a great voice. Royal Telephone wasn’t the first Jimmy Little song to be played on the radio. In NSW he had had [Read more]

Music and the footy – they go well together

  by Andrew Fithall “I love football and I love music. But I don’t like music at the football.” These were the words of the founder and self-appointed head of the Floreat Pica Society, Steve Fahey, when I had the privilege of sitting next to him at the Round 1 Collingwood Hawthorn game at the [Read more]

Archibald Prize Entrant: Brian Bourke

Words and portrait by Martin Tighe.   l chose to depict Brian Bourke in the way in which l imagine his clients saw him; a formidable barrier between a desperate defendant and the awesome power of the law, as someone between them and the iron bars of prison in some cases. Brian Bourke is also [Read more]