One Hundred Years Ago: Round 4, 20th May, 1911

If you were in any doubt, violence in football is nothing new. As an example, we revisit the 1911 VFL season, and a controversial incident that ended up in the law courts.

Ingrained Madness

A smaller piece from the Old Dog

AFL Round 22 – Richmond vs Essendon: Yellow and Black

Big week. Footy on a Friday night. Everything is at peace in the world. Coming into this game, I couldn’t help but think to myself that this is a game between a team that lost to Melbourne and a team that lost to Gold Coast. Both teams had real chances to make the finals. But [Read more]

Say it ain’t so

One thing I have learned about being a parent is that kids have to grow up and as much as you want to protect them from the world and what comes with maturity and age, you can’t always do that. One thing I have learned about junior football coaching is that you want to set [Read more]

Let those who are without sin…

It’s been a tumultuous season for followers of the Navy Blue, particularly if you pay any heed to those more priapic pundits who fill their days writing about football without ever really mentioning the play. A winless pre-season had us in crisis, according to some. Then we were proclaimed premiership favourites after stomping the Pies [Read more]

1980 A Personal Footy Almanac – Round 4, Saturday 19 April, v Collingwood, Victoria Park

Victoria Park I remember as a little kid being driven down the hill through Studley Park towards Collingwood and seeing in the distance the packed stands of Victoria Park on match-day.  That vantage point, just near John Wren’s mansion, was as close as I ever got to the Magpies’ infamous old ground until this, my [Read more]

The AFL’s Crucible

Events in recent weeks have the AFL resembling Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’, a play based on the witch-hunts of Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692.   Puritan Salem disintegrated under the paranoia and hysteria caused by accusations of witchcraft and cavorting with the devil.  Simmering resentments and jealousies resurfaced and villagers settled old scores by condemning neighbours [Read more]

Standin’ on the Outside lookin’ in

  It’s been a big few weeks for your correspondent. I am sure many have you have been scouring the back pages for news of last Sunday junior pennant result. As predicted in my last missive, the result was 4-2, but not to the kids for Belco who succumbed to Goulburn in an epic. The [Read more]

Round 1: Crowd Behavior – The Six Golden Rules

So footy in Melbourne has kicked off and we could not have asked for any better games to kick us off. Richmond looked competitive against Carlton, Hawthorn just had the edge over Collingwood with incredible goals to Franklin and Gunston in the last quarter, and last night Hamish MacIntosh missed a shot after the siren to cost North Melbourne [Read more]

Collingwood TV – An Idea For The Ages

  So they’re seriously considering a dedicated Collingwood channel. I don’t doubt this idea is manna from heaven for many. People will suddenly realise what’s been missing from their lives all these years. Myself? My reaction is rather more like Alex in his maximum security ward in A Clockwork Orange: strapped to a gurney, eyes [Read more]

A Good Time To Reflect

  Football is a pretty reliable mirror. The many ways we express our passion for the game reveal us. The industry that has grown around the game  also tells us much by the way it chooses to operate. All manner of issues regarding indigenous footballers have arisen lately. In the case of Liam Jurrah, the [Read more]

Yellow wins in ten syllables

  Australia shrug South Africa out of the World Cup; then Woodville-West Torrens stop the Dogs five years deep in victory to snare an unlikely cup. Their thick-set ruckman wins the medal and, on stage, says: “We’ll never fucking forget this.” And we will never forget those words, the TV says, drier than salt in [Read more]

“Thin Loyalty”

The whole Ross Lyon thing, combined with a few other moves in the AFL, leaves me feeling a bit confused, certainly disappointed and not a little bit angry. Not just about the idea that “my club” has lost a coach who got us within touching distance of two premierships, but about the whole concept of [Read more]

Footy Couples

Ever thought about the women behind the men who play the game?…yes I’m talking about our beloved AFL players and their WAGS. There are so many lovely couples to choose from. Some, glamorous and others who just seem very loved up and make you go “awww!” when you see twitter pictures they post. These important [Read more]

One Hundred Years Ago: Grand Final, 23rd September, 1911

  Essendon had been the outstanding team of the year. They’d had the better of Collingwood in both previous encounters this season, including an historic 85 point thrashing of the Magpies in round 4. They were firm favourites to wrap the flag up in this game. But Collingwood coach George Angus had reason to suspect [Read more]

One Hundred Years Ago: 2nd Semi Final, 16th September, 1911

  All available evidence suggests that Jack Worrall was a man of practical methods. A plain-speaking disciplinarian who proved a model for most successful coaches who followed. His famous recommendation to his players that ‘football and booze don’t mix’ suggests a man of temperate habits and firm resolve. The teams he coached were renowned for [Read more]

One Hundred Years Ago: 1st Semi Final, 9th September, 1911

  The area just south of the Yarra was one of Melbourne’s most populous from the 1840’s. In the gold rush days  it was known as Canvas Town, after the huge tent city that was temporary home to thousands on their way inland to seek fortune. Then it was called Emerald Hill in honour of [Read more]

My favourite drop-kick, part 9

The Drop-Kick Premiership Team Vin Maskell It is said that a champion team will always beat a team of champions, but what if that team of champions is a team of champion drop-kicks? The selection criteria for this team are to be a premiership player and for there to be a reference to the player’s [Read more]

One Hundred Years Ago: Round 18, 2nd September, 1911

The scandals of the VFL in this period seem wild and woolly by today’s standards, but it must be said they don’t look out of place with the general conduct of Melbourne society at the time. Both state and city were in many ways still recovering from the most controversial period in their history, when [Read more]

One Hundred Years Ago: Round 17, 26th August, 1911

  Fitzroy players would have woken on the day of Round 17 aware of the task ahead of them. Whilst most would still have jobs to attend to in the morning,  their minds would have been contemplating how they might defeat top side Essendon to keep their finals hopes alive. That Collingwood, their bitter local [Read more]