Opening sentence: the work of Mark Doyle


The best thing about is Mark Doyle. That is without question.


And the best thing about Doyle’s contributions are his opening sentences. Here’s a selection. You may have your own favourites.




“Nadel, I am bemused by your supercilious and arrogant attitude.” 1 August 2013


“You are lucky that you do not barrack for one of the garbage Melbourne clubs such as the Western Bulldogs.” 21 Dec 2012


“Comments about the way that Stephen Milne plays his football and that football is a religion are stupid and ridiculous.” 20 June 2013


“Don’t get sucked into the beat-up by the media and nanny state do-gooders at the sports anti-doping authorities.” 9 Feb 2013


“I think it probably ridiculous that the mythical almanac admin. person is proposing that the theme of Matthew Scarlett’s book is a history of sledging with Nick Maxwell.” 25 July 2013


“This ‘drugs’ in professional sport controvesy in the past week has been a massive immature and illinformed overreaction by the media and the nanny state do-gooders who work for the sports anti-doping authorities and the crime commission.” 8 Feb 2013


“This is an incredibly negative article which only demonstrates that the author has a poor knowledge of Australian society.” 14 Aug 2012


“Gareth, I am a bit bemused about your willingness to support Australian sport whilst travelling overseas.” 23 July 2013


“Les, you should realise that the ABC TV show ‘Offsiders’ is garbage and most of their pretentious commentators are ignorant buffoons.” 20 Feb 2012


“Another arrogant comment about non-Victorian AFL clubs from ‘The Wrap’.” 24 July 2013


“Another stupid question by a conservative parochial Melbourne person who has never accepted that the elite adult level aussie rules footy competition is now a national competition.” 23 July 2013


“This is another stupid, ridiculous, irrational and hysterical essay on this website, which demonstrates that the author has no appreciation and understanding of the culture, ethics and etiquette of cricket.” 17 July 2013


“This is a meaningless discussion!”  1 August 2013.



About Les Everett

A Footy Almanac veteran, Les Everett is the author of Gravel Rash: 100 Years of Goldfields Football and Fremantle Dockers: An Illustrated History. He is the WAFL correspondent and uses the money he makes from that role to pay for his expensive websites and and fund the extravagant Vin Maskell at


  1. The “Offsiders” comment gets my vote.

  2. Andrew Fithall says

    Excellent summation. I would also provide the example of the first line of Mark’s own articles which he has posted for everyone else’s comment. They go something like this:


  3. I’m with Dips. Or, should I say, The Handicapper is with Dips.

    There is a slight get-out for some of us in the Doyling of Offsiders though. Mark uses the term ‘most Offsiders…’

  4. Steve Baker says

    I think I could easily spend a Satdee afternoon on the punt and the pints with Mark Doyle at my rub-a-dub. Hall of Fame nom.

  5. The Offsiders remark was golden – very even handed offending.

  6. Hi Les, have you been Doyled? If not, this is a pretty blatant attempt! Great stuff! This is what makes the Almanac great.

  7. Arrogance is its own reward. But still honoured to have been Doyled.

  8. Dave Nadel says

    Perhaps the opening lines could be published in a little book. “The thoughts of Chairman Mark”, although a better title might be “Doyle M for Murder.”

  9. I have long considered doing an expose’ on the real identity of Mark Doyle. Harms continues to maintain that it is not him on the second bottle, but I still have my suspicions. The “Offsiders” comment was clearly to throw us off the scent.
    A quick Google trawl shows there is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon on the Gold Coast with a very attractive website (Dr Mark Doyle MBBS; FRCS: FRACS) who specialises in breast augmentation work. I am often drawn to Dr Doyle’s website when considering his inflammatory comments. Surgeons are renowned for their arrogance so he is my #1 suspect (I can assure the Handicapper that physicians are gentle compassionate people most unlike Dr Doyle).
    There is a Perth Bikie Gang member of the Club Deroes called Mark Doyle whose car was sprayed with gunfire on his way to work on Roe Highway by the Coffin Cheaters. Who could blame them? He had undoubtedly called them “supercilious buffoons” – which would enrage any self respecting bikie after he had consulted his Thesaurus. Shades of the Piranha Brothers.
    He is only #2 on my list of suspects, because I don’t want my house fire bombed by enraged Mark Doyles.
    Of course Mark Doyle may be a nom de plume as there is no 100 point identity check to become an Almanac sniper. One need only look at Earl O’Neil’s avatar (as I often do) to understand there are many dodgy identities on this website. I hope no one realises that I am really Ken Judge in mufti, which explains my support for the Eagles while constantly bagging Woosha and the club management.
    My current research is into David Flint the former head of the Broadcasting Authority and Australians For A Constitutional Monarchy. There is something in the combination of Mark Doyle’s high culture and arrogant condescension that have the strong whiff of Emeritus Professor David E Flint AM. Also the rhinoceros hide when offendees return fire. Check out and see if you think I am on the money.
    Speaking of which – could we get Tatts Bet or Tom Waterhouse to conduct a market on the real identity of Mark Doyle (all bets refunded if your team is behind at quarter time this weekend). Come to think of it Tom Waterhouse does have that arrogant air and loves the sound of his own voice. More research required.

  10. PB, love it.

    However, if Mark Doyle is David Flint I will stand rooting in the main street of Nyngan.* Their is no bigger political divide than that between Doyle and Flint.

    *as my good mate Otis Goldsworthy used to say when we were playing 500: “If you blokes get 9 diamonds I’ll stand rooting in the main street of Gympie”.

  11. Steve Baker says

    Dear J.T.H

    Mark Doyle has more than just a hint of the Jake Norton’s about him. I offer this as I have heard Jake verbally destroy people – aided and abetted by the english language like a fairway driver – on many occasions, much the way Doyle does here. In fact, Doyle’s comments re-read to the sound of Jake’s voice fit hand-in-glove.

  12. daniel flesch says

    Anyone who repeatedly uses that tired meaningless epithet “nanny-state” is just spouting without thinking. And if “Offsiders” is so bad , why watch it? Get outside of a Sunday morning instead, or read a good book.

  13. Stainless says

    Has anyone ever received a positive comment from Doyle?

    Given that my latest post raises the prospect of the AFL pulling the pin on certain “garbage clubs”, I thought I might be the first!

  14. I was at the doctor a few weeks ago (I’ve been given 40 years to live) and one of the doctor’s came into the waiting room looking for “Mr Doyle. Mark Doyle.”

    A north Fitzroy type with designer ruffled hair and fresh spinach breath stood up and followed the doctor away. He just didn’t seem to fit the profile but I got very excited for a few minutes. .

  15. “Well said Pamela! I wholeheartedly agree and think that you have a great philosophy of life which includes keeping footy and sport in perspective.”

    26 February 2012

  16. Thanks for the clue Harmsy. I never knew that John Pilger was a Geelong supporter. Don’t let him fool you though. In my experience if you go far enough – left or right – you meet the other side coming back the other way.
    They called it National Socialism for a reason.

  17. Sean Gorman says

    Les you had me at Nadel.

  18. Rick Kane says

    Dear Mr The Wrap

    You were Doyled responding to a piece I wrote. Even though it wasn’t an opening line he did manage to slight me in the same comment when he said, “The article about ‘Money’ is a bit silly because money is the basis of Australian society”. I took it on the chin and wiped my tears with a $100 note.

    Dear Mr Les

    Pithy piece, which is a compliment. I’m sure you await Mr Doyle’s praise.


  19. DBalassone says

    Though I don’t agree with all of his posts, I always enjoy what Mark has to say. I was called mythical last week and a clown, which is ironic because Balassone is thought to mean “song and dance man” in Italian.
    PB, I think you have to google harder. Try “Mark Doyle” along with the word “buffoon” or “garbage” and a lot of new possibilities emerge. He is a frequent blogger on Eureka Street as well, and makes some very interesting posts – he is a Catholic who rebuts the atheists by saying that faith is indefinable. His home town is Albury – so perhaps being a New South Welsh Man entitles him to keep any Victorian bias on our site in check – but he knows the North East region of Victoria very well i.e. Rutherglen, Alpine regions, etc. He certainly leans to the left and worked for the Left in some political capacity in Melbourne in the 70s – perhaps this is where he came to despise the outer suburban Melburnian. He was born, give or take a few years around 1950, and travelled through some parts of Europe with his German girlfriend in the early/mid 1970s. He loves the Cats and his knowledge of VFL/AFL history is quite impressive, particularly those clubs whose “bad management” traded their good players away – he basically lists all the non-power Victorian clubs as “garbage”. He likes the journals Arena, Overland, Meanjin, New York Review of Books, and community radio station 3CR, but hates mainstream media (including 774), materialistic morons and cultural philistines. Interestingly, the playwright Louis Nowra who wrote, amongst other things, the hugely successful play Cosi, was born “Mark Doyle” in 1950 but later changed his name. Could it be?

  20. I expect that in between taking a dump on peoples feelings on this website, Mark Doyle’s busies himself by putting gold stars on kids crayon drawings and mothballing gongs from 70’s talent shows. You know, just to balance things up. And as for calling Footscray garbage, I’d like to see him crawl out under the rock he bristles under to do it in the middle of Barkley St and to then try and get a beer at the Braybrook hotel! But that’s just me being spiteful, ain’t it?

  21. DB
    To add your wiki. I recall MD running around in the magoos in Canberra but I may have been mistaken as the bloke I remember couldn’t get a touch in a catholic boarding school and obviously the MD that comments on here is more gifted than that.

  22. Skip of Skipton says

    I am Mark Doyle and so is my wife!

  23. Luke Reynolds says

    Brilliant investigative work by D.Balassone. Seems to all check out.

    Hope this article doesn’t stop the great man from posting on this site.

  24. I have been called a “clown” by M Doyle,
    but always enjoy what he has to say
    whether I agree with him or not.
    We live in a democracy….

  25. Phil Dimitriadis says

    I reckon there should be a Mark Doyle Medal awarded at the end of the year to the writer that best displays the attributes of pretentious buffoonery. I could be a real contender.

  26. When I think of Mark Doyle I am reminded of a poem that I read 30 years ago. I think it was by Bruce Dawe and it was the preface to a book on the Labor split of the 50’s. Maybe it was Paul Ormonde’s ‘The Movement’. The poem was called ‘Devils’ and went something like:
    “Be there no devils in your own country,
    It may be best to invent some.
    Devils come in bright hues,
    Red ones for…………….”
    I always think of the Hon MD as our resident ‘devil’ who provides counterpoint in a sea of ‘good ordinary blokes’. Be he invented or real there is nothing like an MD rant to get the juices flowing.
    Good detective work by DB. Somehow I think ‘finding’ MD would be like discovering the lost tribe of the Amazon. The beginning of the end. Long may he lurk.

  27. I have no problem with the written word and a persons opinion but I am sure I speak for all Vietnam Veterans on this site when blatent untruths were written by him about service in Vietnam (by Nashos like me and Regulars) in a recent post
    (and thanks to Dips for his support then )

  28. cowshedend says

    My personal favourites were;
    On Australian society “90% of people are financially well-off” and for us to”Do some volunteer work in Nepal as i am doing in November”
    T-Bone i think these would be a couple of topics he may wish to raise in a visit to the Braybrook hotel

  29. Cowshedend, that 90% line would go down like the Hindenbug with us socio-economic challenged types at the Braybrook Hotel. I used to find amusement in MD’s poisonous musings, but now he’s just a big yawn. He’s become a parody of himself and I wouldn’t miss him should he stop posting on this site.

  30. I will stand rooting in the main street of Nyngan.*

    Thanks for that John, I”ve always wondered whether this ever occurs. It appears to be an obsessive concern of religious bigots whenever the idea of gay marriage is ever mentioned;

    ‘If we allow this, you know what will happen? They’ll be doing it in the streets!!!!

    Someone should tell them that horse has already bolted, as far as Nyngan and Gympie are concerned anyway.

  31. Ahhh yes….takes me back. You never forget your first Doyling, though it stings a little the first time. They never mention that part in “The Joy of Doyling” though. My whimsical look at nudity in the club room last year, met with a right royal Doyling. I smoked a whole packet of cigarettes afterwards.

  32. If the Almanac should venture into the lucrative world of merchandise I’ll buy a ‘I’ve been Doyled’ bumper sticker or Tee.

    There’s really 3 things I look for in a classic MD post;

    1) Swift admonishment of the writer’s opinion
    2) Use of the catch cry ‘media buffoons’
    3) A totally random aside relating to high brow activities such as visiting an art exhibition, Yum Cha in a city lane way or bike riding some enormous distance around the bay

    Good work Les. And Damian, if ASADA had you on the case it’d all be done and dusted by now.

  33. Neil Belford says

    This is a nonsensical essay and a poor attempt at satire written by a person who does not understand both the rules of AFL football and the legal system.

    No not you Les, this is MD August 19, 2012 – although it could be you – MD’s best work can be read without a subject, or more to the point, will be a string of emphatic pejoratives, following a set of heartfelt themes, which can be assigned to pretty much any subject.

    I think it is fair to say that if MD’s dad had just once, given him some praise, we would not have had the benefit of his genius, but more importantly – when is MD going to write a piece himself. Come on Mark – we want a story about the forth test.

  34. Peter Flynn says

    I would like M Doyle to the FA’s 2 millionth!

    Where are you M Doyle?

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