AFL

Greg Baum

Greg Baum is chief sports columnist and associate editor with The Age

Callum Sinclair

Swansong is a cruel tune for Bombers

One minute, the Dons were basking in the glow of Joe Daniher's towering mark and opening goal and the vibe that created. The next, Sydney had kicked 10 in a row, then 10 in a quarter,

1973 grand final

Yellow and back, don't you forget it

This was written before Friday night's mega final, but chances are that if you are not yet of a certain age and you don't have a dog in the finals race, you have woken up on Saturday morning either feeling warmly disposed towards Richmond in their newfound success, or at least thinking that there is still next week for them, without a hint of the schadenfreude you might direct towards another team.

Trent Cotchin will lead the Tigers into the finals feeling liberated.

Cotchin, Tigers change their stripes – now for a new tale?

Trent Cotchin had spent much of his footy career trying to live up to an almost impossible ideal, of a man, a footballer, a captain. It was wearying. This season, he has learned to accept himself for who he is, and it has proved to be liberating.

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge knows his charges have not played with the spark that won them the premiership.

From the year of the Dog to a dog of a year

Much as the AFL celebrates a competition in which anyone can win on a given day, the damnable corollary is that anyone can lose. For that reason as much as any other, the Western Bulldogs Cinderella premiership will turn back into a pumpkin at midnight on Friday night, long before the 2017 ball even begins.

Jim Pavlidis illustration.

No-pokies North come up aces

Kanga Tech is a patented system for reducing soft-tissue injuries developed at North Melbourne under high-performance manager Steve Saunders. The Roos swear by it, and are now selling it to the world. Hockey, soccer and basketball clubs are on board, including two in the NBA.

Jim Pavlidis illustration

Tackling CTE can do your head in

A study has found that all but one of 111 former NFL players showed signs of CTE, a nasty degenerative brain disease caused by repeated hits to the head.

Stevie J: a footballer and a scoundrel

Stevie J and the art of the goal

Someone, perhaps Larry King, once said that sport was the most important unimportant thing. Steve Johnson has spent 17 years making AFL footy look like the least serious serious thing. Even his name says so. He is not Johnson, or Johnno, but Stevie J. A rapper or a clown, but not a footballer.