Vin remembers his tips

Half-way through his 45th season of following footy a jaded Vin Maskell finally remembers to put in his tips for the week. Here they are:

Nine teams will win, some by a lot.

Nine teams will lose, some by a little.

A star player will get injured.

Another star player will not get injured.

A draft-pick will be said to ‘have really stood up this week’. Experts will agree this is a good position for playing football. (After all, football is not chess or checkers. Yet.)

Another draft-pick will be said to have ‘taken the next step’. The club property manager will go to Bunnings to buy a new step.

An onballer (as opposed to an offballer) will be said to have ‘won a lot of the ball’. But there will be no further details about whether it’s the top of the ball, the bottom of the ball, the valve, the stitching, the bladder, the sponsor’s logo, or the air inside.

A star player will sign a new contract.

Another star player will not sign a new contract. Yet.

A premiership favourite will stumble. The media, having created hype about the premiership favourite since last January (possibly earlier), will report that the team is struggling to live up to the hype. This might be called a crisis (in journalism, if not in football).

A player will be suspended, using a formula as comprehensible as the Duckworth – Lewis Method.

Another player will not be suspended, using a formula as comprehensible as the Billy Duckworth – Dale Lewis Method. (By the way, whatever happened to pictures on the back page of suspended players wearing suits and looking shattered?)

Players will be instructed to not kick to a contest because the coach has no confidence in any of his players being able to outmark any of the other team’s players.

More often than not players will move the ball backwards before going forward. They may even move the ball forward in order to go backward.

A coach will find any way but the obvious to say “I haven’t got a clue why we lost. Maybe the other team was better.” Expect words and phrases like ‘structures’, ‘processes’ and ‘key performance indicators’. They may even use the word ‘goals’ but not in the conventional footy sense. A losing coach may talk about lessons learnt and about ‘moving forward’, even if they’ve spent most of the game kicking backwards. (See above)

Two teams will play for some silverware that commemorates a unique bond between them. Such as playing footy.

An umpire’s decision will be pored over interminably.

An interchange infringement will be dissected infinitesimally, with video footage showing a player on a grassy knoll.

Everyone but television executives will wonder what was wrong with starting games at two o’clock in the afternoon.

Nine teams will win.

Nine teams will lose.

Elsewhere across the country hundreds of teams will win, and hundreds of teams will lose. Some by a little, some by a lot.

Vin Maskell is co-editor, with Les Everett, of

About Vin Maskell

Founder and editor of Stereo Stories, a partner site of The Footy Almanac. Likes a gentle kick of the footy on a Sunday morning, when his back's not playing up. Been known to take a more than keen interest in scoreboards - the older the better.


  1. John Carr says

    Lovely work Vin. Love ‘offballers’…defenders or forwards? Or possibly that other fantastic position-THE UTILITY! And the Billy Duckworth-Dale Lewis system! Love it. A laconically aggressive system!

  2. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Vin, it can sound predictable when listening to all those weasel words. Thankfully we have the footy almanac and insights like this to assuage our frustrations with the indentured androids.

  3. Stephanie Holt says

    Lovely! And in a week when we have to start getting used to going back to the future, with only six winners and six losers (took a while to realise why reading the team lists and doing tips seemed so much quicker than usual).

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