The 2019 Grantland Rice Cup

Greetings Tipsters


Does anyone read newspapers anymore? I buy the Australian on Saturday, mostly because it looks like a newspaper ought to. I’m looking forward to more articles by Gideon Haigh in the next few months, he’s a wonderful writer. Peter van Onselen writes a good political analysis, Greg Sheridan can be worth reading for his vast range of contacts, there’s an occasional op-ed worth three minutes reading time, but that’s about it.


Late ’90s, I’d get the Hun on Friday and study the team selections in the park at lunchtime. Sometimes the pub. By the gods, I knew the starting eighteen of every team back then! My girlfriend at the time was a Melbourne native and her parents would post us all the clippings from Sunday and Monday papers. I got the internet at home in ’98. The ‘AFL’ website was, if memory serves, red, yellow and black and posted Hun articles. There was a weekly paper ‘Inside Football’ that I bought.


Ah, the 90s! I was 33 when that decade ended. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.


These days, where does one get football news, reviews, commentary? I’ve a few faves. First, The Footy Almanac, which indulges my random ellipses. A site for fans, for personal, passionate screeds writ with style, that bounce from match analysis to broad cultural commentary in a paragraph.


Second, the Mongrel Punt. Hard to top this mob for focus. The writers each have their own distinct style for match reviews, you pick it up quickly, the feature articles are sharp and incisive. I really oughta buy one of their stubbie holders.


Third or equal second, the ‘AFL’ Roar. Whilst some writers utilise complicated analytical mathematics that leave me befuddled, even those are worth reading and the best is very good. Lotta fan stuff on that site, too.


Titus O’Reily has some good lines sometimes. I wonder if he, like this writer, sometimes despairs of what the hell he’s gonna write that he hasn’t writ before.


As for the traditional media, well… I don’t bother w the Hun cos it’s hidden behind a paywall, not unlike Gondolin. The Age has some good pieces and their ‘thirty articles free per month’ pretty much covers what I want to read; between Tim the Tab and Frank the Fone I get sixty. The official ‘AFL’ site is good for live match stats.


Fox Footy mostly consists of transcripts from their stable of ex-footballers. Sporting News used to have a bloke known as ‘The Rover’ who wrote some good stuff, but he’s been retired this year. Footyology promised much but hasn’t really delivered. I read one of the most excruciatingly written pieces I’ve ever encountered the other week. No, it wasn’t Rohan’s work, he’s had far too much experience. But, seriously, you may prefer shorts and a Husker Du t-shirt Rohan, but if you’re gonna be on telly, dress like your mum would like to see.


Bigfooty threads can be fun, just skim past any post less than one hundred words. Matchday comments of, say, Richmond when they’re losing, hit heights of hilarity.


The ‘AFL’ has accredited thousands of alleged journalists, enough to repopulate Wagga Wagga if needs be. The question is: Why are there so few worth reading?


Cheers Tipsters


P&C A Stop Privatisation Of Footy Production, a division of Trans-Dementia Inc.
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About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.


  1. Earl, I also miss Grantland.

  2. I see young Paddy is now a Mongrel Punt.

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