Don’t Be Where the Ball Ain’t 

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       November 26, 2014


Author  Joe St John (Ed)

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 9781742573274
Publisher:         New Holland
Release Date:    


Language is a fascinating medium. It can be used in so many ways but once the legendary Jack Dyer got hold of the language, in his case the Australian language, an entirely new spin was placed on the words and meanings. Known not only for his undisputed talent on the football field, in his years after retirement from the game, he carved a pathway for himself as both a football commentator and sports journalist.

Long will he be remembered for his “Linguistic Tapestry”, malapropisms and his blunt yet subtle way of getting his point across?

Generations of Australians would not miss his commentary on a Saturday afternoon, nor miss his Saturday night footy shows as his word was considered almost law on the hallowed subject of Aussie Rules Football. And if it wasn’t considered law he would want to know why there could possibly be any sort of debate.

Such uttering as “Is it you or your brother that’s’ not here” when trying to work out which one of twin brothers failed to attend training, and upon reflection on a brawl “ If there is going to be a brawl- all in it. They can’t report the lot of us”.He looks like a short six footer to me” and so much more epitomises the man and his all-encompassing personality.

Jack Dyer departed this earth in 2003, just a few months short of his 90th birthday; a man who was most definitely a legend in his own time, or rather “A Legion in me own time”, yet still remains one of the most important players to have ever to have pulled on the boots and kicked a piece of pigskin across the paddock for his beloved Richmond.

This collection of Dyerism’s and so much more fleshes out the man who was always larger than life, enjoyed the moment and lived by his own code of conduct. It will be enjoyed by all who remember Jack Dyer, as well as re-introducing the rest of Australia to some of the more humorous usage of the Australian language.

Compiled and written as a tribute to and reflection upon a man who was surprisingly humble and self-effacing, as far as his awards, honours and accolades went, but carved a big swath through life with his pearls of wisdom , genuine love for the game of footy and so much more.

You can quite easily say “they don’t come like that anymore”and you would be right. There is, was and always will be only one Jack Dyer.