Almanac Footy: Gazza and that jab

After watching Gary Ablett Jnr’s brave efforts to return to the field in his last match after a shoulder injury, davidtpb questions the rules regarding jabs and their place in the modern game.

Ahmed’s Story a Saad one

Jackson Clark posts a thoughtful analysis of the Ahmed Saad case. There are degrees of culpability, and the disempowered suffer while the law is optional for the rich and powerful.

Footy used to be fun

James Hird used to epitomise everything that was great about Aussie Rules to Sam Duncan. Now, he needs to hear some honesty from Hird and Essendon.


Peter Creswell’s fellow Kiwis may wonder who this James Hird character is. He’s the fellow who employed the spin doctor to make sure he became the story, while the facts did/didn’t get out there, Peter says.

Not your problem

Mick Parkes has a few questions for those enjoying Essendon’s fall from grace.

James Hird: Uber-cool

Have James Hird’s media performances this season been more Doc McCoy or Michael Corleone?

Performance Enhancers: Jobe Watson v Keith Richards

Shouldn’t we cut our sporting heroes a bit of rock and roll slack every now and then? Why place added pressure on young men like Jobe Watson just because they play football? [This piece includes details of the forthcoming night at the Corner Hotel with Paul Kelly and Robert Murphy – Ed]

Round 3 Preview – Have you Hird the one about?

Sal Ciardulli’s Blues are 0-2 but he’s happy to point out there is a certain club with bigger concerns right now.

Numb, we roll on

Andrew Starkie has heard it all before.

The Sporting-Industrial Complex

The current performance enhancing drugs controversy should be the “canary in the coalmine” to tell us that there are some things rotten in the culture, value and ethics of modern professional sport.

There is no such thing as Santa Claus.

The revelations of drugs in footy is messing with Dips O’Donnell’s mind. He was beaten on the running track by blokes on steroids. It still infuriates him. What if the Cats cheated? What if the didn’t? Have we all lost something already?

Bombers, Weapons and Tanks

Did the expectation of supporters for the “dream team” of Hird and Thompson to fulfill their wish for an immediate premiership put undue pressure on them to achieve this goal?

A new sporting horizon

Rod Oaten believes the crisis at Essendon opens opportunities for those with unfulfilled dreams.

Imagine: a world without Essendon

The Essendon steroids scandal presents a rare opportunity, says Brad Carr. An opportunity to make massive in-roads into the hate that resides in our community, by getting rid of Essendon.

Standin on the Outside Lookin In

The more things change, the more things stay the same. With January only a twinkle in the eye of 2013, the “news cycle” has began feeding out the same guff that we have had to endure the past 5 years.

Faster, higher, stronger

Pete Edwards believes a chemically-assisted “Olympics” would be a huge success. Let the freaks run!

We need to talk about PED

Sean Curtain asks what defines enhancement of performance and what gets ticked and what gets crossed.

Media off the Mark in Illicit Drug Reporting

By Michael Filosi There has been a tremendous amount of hoopla recently surrounding the release of the AFL’s illicit drug testing results for the 2009 season.  The media latched onto the higher number of positive tests when compared with the previous year as an indication that the league’s illicit drug testing regime is ineffective, whereas [Read more]

General footy writing: Sports stars should have no more expectations on them than rock stars

By Nathan Ryan The difference in community outrage between bad behaviour from sportspeople to musicians is astounding and one that I’ve never been able to fathom. Rock stars are lauded for their extravagant, live-on-the-edge lifestyles. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jimmy Barnes, the Gallagher brothers … they’re all open about their current or previous drug use. [Read more]