The Almanac eMagazine – What is it all About?


John Harms explains the thinking about the Almanac’s next venture; our planned eMagazine: Why are we doing a magazine? Why is it an eMagazine? What are we going to call it?


Why are we publishing an eMagazine?


We have a massive pool of talent. Writers galore.

And they have a million stories to tell, and more. They have minds full of interesting stuff which they have accumulated over the years. Stuff they’ve seen and read, and continue to see. Stuff that has happened to them.

They know sport and they are itching to bring their observations to the world. It’s stuff about top-level sport, grass roots sport, and it’s stuff (often self-deprecating and amusing) about their own sport

They put sport in perspective – mostly. continues to give writers a terrific opportunity to publish their words. We do not commission stories. We do not edit stories. What you read is pretty much what we received with ‘effected’ changed to ‘affected’ and ‘there’ changed to ‘their’ and a few bits of libel removed.

So, while continuing to enjoy all those pieces on the footyalmanac website, we wanted to opportunity to those who are itching to take the next step.

The raw talent is evident, and like anyone with a talent and a love of something, our writers want to find more and give more. So the magazine is about writers jumping to the next level.

It’s about giving writers opportunity to write longer pieces, on a broader range of sporting topics.

Pieces have been commissioned for the first edition.

Craig Little and I are working with the commissioned writers to develop the raw yarns into polished gems. This involves the standard to-and-fro between writer and editor – a process which is so important to ensuring the best piece of writing goes on the page. All we writers need editors.

Some of our writers are already experienced in those areas. For others it’s the first time.

So in this magazine we’re working with:

Matt Watson on the late Mick Nolan, Dips O’Donnell takes to the surf board, Kate Birrell’s observation (words/image), Matt Quartermaine on being a West Coast fan, Peter Flynn on a cricket tour piece (Marvin Vaas is in the thick of it in Sri Lanka), Callum O’Connor on the 1969 Stawell Gift, memoir from David Wilson, Phil Dimitriadis with some fan-understandings, a piece on Understanding Australia from Mickey Randall, life and living from Mathilde de Hauteclocque, I am looking at the Phil Hughes tragedy.

And more.

It’s going to be a ripper.


Why an ePublication?

It would be totally remiss of us not to give our writers a chance to be read on the tube in London, in Bewleys in Dublin, on a park bench in New York, aboard a cruiser on the Bosphorus, in the narthex of Notre Dame in Paris, outside the cricket ground in Chennai, on the steps up to the Great Wall of China, and in Dubbo, Dirranbandi and Davenport.

Distribution to those areas is going to stretch the funds we raise from crowd-funding.

So we are making the first edition an e-Publication and seeing what the response is. If it is significant, we will consider a printed version. If we are overwhelmed with pre-subscriptions through our crowd-funding campaign maybe we can do something there as well.


What are we going to call this eMagazine?

We need a name.

Here’s some of its intended characteristics:


Quality words


Playful at times



Australian – largely, but not exclusively


Earnest and serious at times


The name could have its origins in a book, film, song, etc

For example I suggested it be called Cuckoo’s Nest (vetoed already)


It could reflect the democratic nature of the Almanac concept.

Add your title suggestions in the comments.


To pre-order our eMagazine, check out the rewards in our crowdfunding campaign.




About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. “The Geebung Polo Club” – from the poem of the same name by AB Patterson.

    Australian, humorous, sporting and ironic.

  2. Neil Anderson says

    You probably want about a three-word title, but here goes anyway…

    and in brackets as a further homage to ‘ The Life Of Brian ‘
    ( What has the Footy Almanac ever done for aspiring writers? Plenty! Just read on! )
    It’s got to be very Australian, cheeky and irreverent somehow as in ‘ That’s not a knife…this is a knife!

  3. To paraphrase my know defunct RSN breakfast segment how about
    The Monthly Dump or The Monthly Ablusion

  4. Given the width and breadth of its writers and content what about:

    “The Vasco” as in Vasco Da Gama

  5. David Chettle says

    What about “The loaded dog’ Named after the Henry Lawson poem. The publication reflects the humour, Australianism and yarns that are epitomised in this great Australian story. The publication is loaded full of terrific stories and yarns that truly capture what its all about to be an Australian.

  6. I’d have to say that is original Dips.

  7. E.regnans says

    Overs & unders – “think it over, think it under” A.A.Milne, sporting flavour
    Waltzing Almanac – Banjo, etc etc
    Pull up a pew – Australian, story-telling
    Ahh, look – I’m told by internationals that this is a particularly Australian way to start a sentence or thought.
    Bunyip – just love the whole idea of a Bunyip. Vasco the Bunyip?

  8. Colin Ritchie says

    The cry of “Baalll !!! ( how best to spell it? ) at the footy is a most evocative and emotional sound. The pent up emotions, frustrations and hopes being released by that cry are a most significant part of our great Australian game. Holding the ball, dropping the ball, ball up etc. Ball also has a kinship with knacker! Not only that but “ball” is associated with so many other sports: cricket, golf, soccer, rugby etc. Other sports that don’t use a ball still can have associations with the word: “that was a ball tearer of ride”…..and so on.
    So what about calling the emag. “Ball”.

  9. DBalassone says

    Caught Lillee Bowled Marsh

  10. snowy from lonny says

    The Brasco

  11. Daryl Sharpen says

    Snowy, I love that word, Brasco! So few know it these days or what it means. I’m wiv ya bruv. That’s Tassy slang for “I think it is a damn good idea.”

  12. My fave sporting websites are Grantland (after the iconic US sportswriter Grantland Rice) and Deadspin (I like The Stacks – their archive of great writing on sport and popular culture).
    I was musing on the Oz version of each.
    Deadspin = Straight Breaks? Wronguns?
    Grantland = FIngletion’s or McGilvray’s (reminiscent of the US literary site McSweeney’s).
    Made me wonder if there is an iconic Australian sporting journalist? Les Carlyon is probably my fave writer. OReilly’s? I loved the crusty old leggies writings in the SMH and he was a mentor to Peter Roebuck.
    Gideon’s Bible?
    In Harms Way?

  13. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Merv (Agars)
    Gordon (Schwartz)
    Lawrie (Jervis)
    Mike (Coward)
    Vic (Richardson)
    Alan (Shiell)
    Ashley (Mallett)

    The Yarn

  14. snowy from lonny says

    Thanks Daryl,it is a great word :)

  15. E.regnans says

    Some beauties there.

    – A good paddock
    – Joe Blow’s
    – Purlieu

  16. bernard whimpress says

    Of the above I’d vote for Loaded Dog.

    To offer a couple of my own might I suggest:

    Butcher’s Hook – to commemorate The Butchers, the best nickname ever for a football club. This was West Torrens FC in their foundation years when many of their players were abattoir workers near Adelaide’s West Parklands and they could hook their hand around a beer at the end of the day in the Newmarket Hotel giving rise to the butcher of beer. It might also suggest some red-blooded writing.

    Cut Snake – a suggestion of the mad/inspired writing the mag will attract.

    All the best


  17. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    I like ‘Cut Snake’ Bernard. That stays with me.

    Taking a cue from the pronunciation of Don Scott and Finey;
    ‘Sports Allmanac’?

  18. I like Cut Snake too.

    There’s a Fight in the Forward Pocket!

    Innocent Monsters from Bruce Dawe’s Life Cycle. This poem has much which could be grabbed and turned into a title.

    Three Votes.

    The Vasco works too.

  19. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    I like Cuckoo’s Nest!
    And ‘In Harms Way’ made me smile.
    E.Regnans should know something about E.mags …

    I’m terrible at names. Always rely on JTH or Mr Baker to name my posts, so …

  20. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Brendan Maguire is Playing Quite Well

  21. Rick Kane says

    Leaps and Bounds
    The Holy Grail

  22. Watto’s on leave,
    Access all areas,
    Infatuated with sport,
    The dream,
    What is an aussie,
    Our bible,
    The old boys’ network,
    The life of our times,
    The dreams of many,
    Only a few of us left,
    The day the writing started,
    The wonder of it all,
    This is our land/game/sport/fun/enjoyment,
    One week/day at a time,
    Its special,

    Or really, buggered if I know.

    Go saints.

  23. kNACkered!

    On-brand, irreverent and how you should feel after any sporting contest or writing project you’ve given your all.

    So what do I win?

  24. bernard whimpress says

    Thanks for the support for Cut Snake Phil and Mickey.

    It strikes me JTH will end up with more mag titles than there have been designs for the national flag.

  25. The Last Line
    The Back Half
    Ball Poppies (from ‘Tall Poppies’ obviously)
    Breaking Stride
    Mob Standard (from ‘Bog Standard’)
    Shoot Through


  26. From the Penthouse to the Outhouse? (Shithouse obviously wouldn’t pass muster)

    Heroes and Clods probably clubhouse leader for mine, but some great ideas listed here

  27. SportnLife!

    Cheers, Burkie

  28. If KNACkered is a little too risqué, perhaps try these on for size;

    Alma Matters

    Nic Nacs

    Won, drawn & slaughtered

  29. And lucky last;

    Write Line Fever

  30. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Hard Yards
    Galah Session
    Home and Hosed
    The Burl
    Bagman’s Gazette
    What’s Your Game?

  31. Neil Anderson says

    A few more…
    HIT THE BOUNDARY! ( reference from the 1966 GF commentary and a cricket association )

  32. E.regnans says

    Sparks flying- these above are good.
    The Ludwig. Along Dips’ exploration line, but with an inland Australia leaning.
    The middle. ‘Who’s playing in the middle this time?’
    All clear.
    The Keith Miller
    The Buzz

  33. E.regnans says

    Ahh, and M de H, the “e” I wear here is for eucalyptus.
    Maybe useful…?

  34. Onya
    The Sentimental Stroke
    The Sentimental Push

  35. Sentimental Journey?
    Sentimental Friend?
    Hermans Hermits have a lot to answer for, though it was always my Semimental Friend in the schoolyard.

  36. Jamie Simmons says

    “The Wag” (or just Wag )
    * Short for chinwag
    * Salutes the larrikan element (He’s a wag that bloke)
    * It’ll make you laugh and that’s guarenteed to get your tail moving.
    And a casual nod to Danielle Eid’s fashion breakdown come Brownlow night.

  37. Paul Spinks says

    Here’s a few from the bleachers in Thailand, some of which were in an email to John that crossed paths with this post – clear as mud?

    Outer Minutes
    General Admission
    Blood on the Scarf
    The Knacker-E
    The Contributors
    All Rounders
    The Barrackers
    Barrackers Post
    The Followers
    Perceptive Followers
    League of Scribes
    Sporting Types
    Final Word /s

  38. If it was purely an e-zine;


    Might get a bit of spam though.

  39. Peter Schumacher says

    From an old Sunday Mail (Adelaide variety) column title, “The One Eyed Barracker”

  40. Peter Schumacher says

    Or possibly, “The Gift Of The Gab”

  41. matt watson says

    I like In Harms Way
    When I read it I thought yeah.
    A couple more:
    Put down your glasses – the immortal line uttered by Jack Dyer many times, you can put down your glasses, meaning beer glasses, meaning game over.
    If you want blood – classic song by AC/DC off Highway to Hell.
    And I’m biased, because my own blog is called The Ramble, and that would suit.

  42. Terry Towelling says


  43. Paddy Grindlay says

    RHG – Red Hot Go? Homage to coodabeens?
    The Other Side Of The Fence. As we write from a fans point of view.

  44. Neil Anderson says

    One last suggestion…
    BALZAC The French novelist and playwright who influenced many other writers including Dickens. Influencing and encouraging writers has been a primary aim of the Almanac.
    Could be spelt differently such as ‘ BALL-ZAC ‘ as long as it has the ‘ball ‘ sound somewhere.

  45. I like that

  46. Howard Mitchell says

    I like something simple and catchy like

    “Gidday Today”
    “C’arn the Yarns”

  47. So many rippers here.

    I liked the Knacker-E – although maybe too much of an in joke.

    Terry Toweling, would you believe when I was in Grade 5, my class put together a newspaper which we called The Yabba.

    I’ll make a little list.

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