As legendary commentator Dennis Cometti enjoys the first few months of a well-earned retirement, we dig out this gem which loosely follows in the tradition of the annual The Best American Sports Writing series. For this now-classic, Cometti mined the pages of Melbourne institution The Age to bring readers the ultimate collection of the best AFL-centric yarns to have appeared in that paper’s sports pages over say, the past decade. For example, Caroline Wilson uncovers the psyche of such greats as Shane Crawford during his struggles as the reigning Brownlow-medallist. Jake Niall examines Nathan Buckley’s search for football utopia, while Samantha Lane details how Lance Franklin handles the fame game. Your rugby-league-loving reviewer uses brilliant books like this as research and prep for partaking in conversations with aficionados of that funny game they play down south. ( Of course I’ve heard of Chris Yarran ... who hasn’t?) Sure, a book like this dates rapidly, but that’s its charm. At the time of such sensational soap operas, we think sport is being changed forever ... and then we forget these episodes ever happened. With so much disposable “content” being produced these days, finding a book like The Game isn’t just a wonderful look back, it’s a cause for celebration of the art of quality, long-form writing and expert story-telling.