THE GAME

Inside Sport - - KNOW MORE - EDITED BY DEN­NIS COMET TI WITH JON PI ERIK – James Smith

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.

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