I have recently signed up to be a contributor to an online footy and sports website, journal: Footy Almanac. The Footy Almanac was founded by John Harms and Paul Daffey. They invite contributions from anyone interested in writing for their website – but, primarily, it seems about sport and more specifically about footy – i.e. Australian rules football. Once having signed up, I looked at a few other contributions and saw that the average length of the short stories or essays was around 800-1000 words. I submitted an essay related to an earlier essay of mine published on Kunci’s website.
I made this essay a little more personal, using ‘I’ a little more. I edited out some of the repetition. I was pleased with this opportunity to publish a new version of the essay as it would reach a more contextual audience. A few people have commented on my submission. Moreover, the editing process was particularly transparent. I checked the submission page and saw that one of the editors had left comments regarding the language used and one other matter. He had left his name and so I knew who the editor/proofreader was. Indeed, this is not an academic journal and the articles are not checked blindly. But, it went up in a matter of days and the feedback happened within the first twelve hours of it being published. This website prides itself on its openness, informality and speed in contrast to the slowness and formality of refereed journals.
This is the first paragraph:
If I remember Melbourne, I remember footy. I remember that footy is ubiquitous and omnipresent. I remember that it defines the rhythms of the city. I remember the visuality of footy: the bold type of newspaper headlines adorned with players and clubs names. The generic footy attire and the bravado with which it is worn. “I’m going to the footy, I’m part of the team. I have had my bears, my steak. I’m going to the footy.” Going to the footy takes on a particularly assertive gait, “get out of my way, the footpath is mine and me mates.”
The rest can be found here.
The image above is by Jim Pavlidis. This is his website: jimpavlidis.com. He makes paintings, illustrations and drawings. One of his paintings was used for the cover of the 2011 (print) edition of The Footy Almanac. For me, his works evoke something quiet, subdued and learned from footy in Melbourne. He draws footy, sport and their players, doers – and the city – in an idealised and clarified manner. The Melbourne of his images is my ideal Melbourne. A quiet city when one wants it to be quiet, noisy and boisterous when wants to be amongst a crowd.
The Footy Almanac is produced collectively and by amateurs; by lovers of the game. Perhaps it is for those who want to test out their knowledge of the game, and their sense of it. Perhaps it is also born out of the frustration with the mainstream footy and sporting media. The AFL’s own website is incredibly bland; they have to protect their image. The Age is dominated by their few journalists. The ABC – well, some of their journalists aren’t footy enthusiasts. The Footy Almanac offers a relatively egalitarian and only lightly mediated avenue for reading and writing on footy. The qualities of light editing, the direct feedback and input of The Footy Almanac are to be appreciated.