Era, era on the wall: 1977 – 1986

Part 6 – Castles made of sand Many a footballer of the late ’70’s to mid ’80’s vintage count themselves lucky to have played in the big league when they did.  Whilst few earned enough to set themselves up for life, they at least lived comfortably and without a sensationalist media tracking their every word and movement.  As a spectator there…

Era, era on the wall; 1967 – 1976

Part 5 – Rocking the suburbs Robbie McGhee was only doing what came naturally to many a footballer after the 1973 Grand Final when he sucked on a tinnie and lit up a smoke, resplendent in his lace-up guernsey and old school tatts.  The Tiger hard man wouldn’t have dreamed he’d be immortalised by the late,…

Era, era on the wall; 1960 – 1966

Part 4 – A popular routine The first Grand Final of the 1960’s proved to be a portent of things to come when Collingwood limped to an embarrassing total of 2.2.14 against its nemesis Melbourne.  Team score averages now hovered around the low to mid-70 range during a period where Ted Fordham’s 76 goals in 1966 was the high…

Era, era on the wall; 1949 – 1959

Part 3 – Safe at home, and away Just when the spectacle needed a lift, along came the high flying John Coleman, aided and abetted by the Bombers’ game changing mosquito fleet.  Awe-struck spectators would move up and down the ground to the end Essendon was kicking.  Even my father, a one-eyed ‘Pie, marked in his school diary how many…

Era, era on the wall; 1939 – 1948

Part 2 – A war of attrition Just as football scaled new heights the onset of World War 2 stopped the game in its tracks. Footballers were lost to the war effort and crowds plummeted.  By the depths of 1942 the average attendance dropped below 10,000 for the first and only time on record.  There…

Era, era on the wall, which was the greatest of them all?

As published by Australian Football, 2 July 2015 Era: (n) A long and distinct period of history marked by character, events and changes In the midst of what history will surely judge as one of football’s darkest periods – consumed by issues of tanking and doping, media saturation, broke clubs, broken players, wealth divides, conflicts of interest, League manipulation,…

Welcome to football’s industrial age

  “Life expectancy today worldwide is more than twice as high as it was when the Industrial Revolution began. However, the quality of life has increased only for a small percentage of humanity, with a very small percentage in control of the majority of resources.” Wikipedia So according to the AFL, players, coaches, administrators and…

Pure XTC

As published by The Footy Almanac, 23 March 2015 The recording industry is littered with tales of artists never reaching their station in the pantheon of music royalty/ies. From the local pubs and clubs to those on the fringe of mainstream success, so many have been, for whatever reason, unable to tick off the requisite boxes to achieve widespread acclaim….

Return to Sorrento

“I must go down to the sea again, To the lonely sea and the sky; I left my vest and socks there – I wonder if they’re dry.” Return to Sorrento (3rd class) by Spike Milligan As a youngster I was lucky enough to enjoy several family holidays at Sorrento on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula.  By…

There’s never been more to adore than in ’84

As published by The Footy Almanac, 10 March 2015 Call me hopelessly out of touch but I have an altogether borderline theory the world hit peak music in 1984. Sure, wearing your sunglasses at night was advised to protect peepers from pastel polos and assorted fashion crimes.  And swallowing the ’84 vintage mush served by Phil Collins,…

The teachers are afraid of their pupils by Morrissey

As published by Stereo Stories, 11 February 2015 Melbourne, August 2013 – June 2014 It’s mildly remarkable that one of the catchiest riffs I’ve heard in contemporary music was composed in 1937. I say ‘mildly remarkable’, for when the artist is Morrissey, nothing should surprise. Not with his trademark penchant for mining the classic and…

Alive by Pearl Jam

As published by Stereo Stories, 3 February 2015 Fairfield and other Melbourne locations, 1998 Personally, New Years’ Eve has generally sucked balls. Almost ten years ago my father died suddenly on NYE. Obviously that was the worst. I’ve hardly bothered staying up for it since then. At least one New Years Eve ran against the…