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Hawthorn is among the AFL clubs with the best years in the competition to premierships won ratio. AAP/Joe Castro

The glory or the ‘gravel’: what keeps fans flocking to the AFL?

Being a footy fan is not mainly about the glory of a premiership – it is much more about enjoying the gravel-shovelling entailed in each and every season your club goes without success.
Some fans take their sport very seriously such as this Hawthorn supporter during the 2013 AFL Grand Final. But what if you don’t have a team in the finals? AAP Image/David Crosling

Loyalty in sport: who to support if your team is not in the weekend’s footy finals

Which team you support in sport can depend on many things. But who should you barrack for in this packed weekend of sport if none of your favoured teams are in any of the games?
Karne Hesketh, a product of New Zealand rugby, scores the winning try for Japan against South Africa. Reuters/Eddie Keogh

No place like home when playing in the Rugby World Cup

Many nations contesting the Rugby World Cup are fielding 'ring-ins' from other countries. The rules allowing this reflect the difficulty of balancing national team integrity and development.
Ronda Rousey (left) fights Alexis Davis (right) during a bantamweight fight in Las Vegas in 2014. Stephen R. Sylvanie/Reuters

Ronda Rousey is ferocious in the cage, and in gender politics

Martial arts superstar Ronda Rousey was in Melbourne yesterday to promote her bout with fellow American Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November. But fans care as much about her fights as her fighting words.
No 38 Jarryd Hayne tries to avoid a tackle as he plays for the San Francisco 49ers against the Dallas Cowboys during his third preseason NFL game in the US. EPA/John G Mabanglo

Jarryd Hayne is just one game away from NFL stardom

Three down, just one preseason game to go before Australian Jarryd Hayne will know if he's made it play for the San Francisco 49ers in the competitive US NFL season.
Usain Bolt (centre) won the highly anticipated men’s 100m event at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing. EPA/Hu Wong

Why are we so opposed to performance-enhancing drugs in sport?

In sport, there seems no reasonable justification for drawing a line in the sand that places drug use on one side and the other performance enhancers on the other.
Australian Jarryd Hayne (right) is attracting much attention as he plays for the San Francisco 49ers against Dallas Cowboys in pre-season NFL game. EPA/John G Mabanglo

The secret behind Jarryd Hayne’s success on the US footy field

Jarryd Hayne is wowing crowds and commentators with his play on the American football field in the US. His years in Australian rugby league may have a lot to do with his star performance.
Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios used an on-court sexual insult against an opponent in a recent match. Reuters/USA Today Sports

Playing the woman: Healy and Kyrgios expose sport’s sexism problem

If a misogynistic atmosphere is allowed to prevail in men’s individual and team sports, then all the platitudes about sport being a socially positive force stand exposed.
Sport in Victoria, as with other aspects of life, has had its ups, downs and handballs. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Aussies are sports mad, but Victorians are the clear winners

Victorians, like their New South Wales cousins, exercise more often than Queenslanders, who enjoy a better year-round climate. And they beat all other states hands-down when it comes to spectator numbers.
Recent changes to cricket governance orchestrated by the ‘Big Three’ – India, England and Australia – guarantee that they will command most of the game’s billions. AAP/Joe Castro

English football holds lessons for cricket, as elites hijack the game

Cricket, which has aspirations to become a global game despite the limitations of its growth trajectory along the lines plotted by the old British Empire, may shrink back to a few strongholds.

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