Aug 01, 2020


AFL Mad Scramble: Day Four


A column every day for twenty days, as we get more football than we even asked for.

Occasionally, this column will even mention football but rarely sensibly.

Last Night

Carlton (58) v Hawthorn (89)

I would say this was peak Carlton, but we all know Carlton don’t have peaks anymore.

Leading by five goals in the first quarter, and against a team that even Melbourne belted recently, the Blues turned in another performance that would have Carlton fans rightly worrying about heart attacks and strokes.

Hawthorn were all over the shop for the first twenty minutes, but Clarkson did some of that magical coaching stuff. Teague, instead of responding with moves of his own, looked on shouting ‘what manner of sorcery is this?’

In fairness to the coach, he may well have tried to get his charges to alter their game plan, but like hitting a target, this was a concept that escaped their grasp.

Hawthorn’s ability to come from 31-points down is to be applauded, rumours of the death of the Hawthorn football club have been greatly exaggerated.

Blues fans would have watched the first five goals and intuitively thought ‘we’re in trouble now’, so used to this team torturing them with glimpses of hope, only to dash them on the rocks of breathtaking ineptitude.

If the Blues were the real deal, this should have been a comfortable win, instead it was just another chapter in a book that is more harrowing than Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

Essendon (28) v Brisbane (91)

Do you really want me to recap this? It was bad enough watching it once, to relive it seems cruel.

Essendon were terrible, Brisbane were good overall but had their moments, and the umpires turned in the worst performance of any team this year.

I say ‘team’ because the umpires seemed to think they were as much a part of the spectacle of the game as the teams involved.

I don’t blame the umpires completely, the AFL makes their job basically impossible, and the AFL’s head of umpiring, Alastair Clarkson has a lot to answer for.

So instead of picking over a game that frankly, we are all better off forgetting, and let’s all agree to just not play the Essendon v Melbourne game, here’s my lockdown sourdough recipe:

     ·      Get inspired by people posting about sourdough starters and perfectly formed loaves on social media

·      Remember you can buy bread everywhere and that you hate cooking and you will stuff it up anyway

·      Pour yourself another drink and get back into bed

·      Burst into tears as you wonder when this whole thing will be over


North Melbourne v Adelaide (Metricon) 2:35pm Foxtel

The Festival of Footy has been exactly as you’d expect it to be in 2020, a time stealing, massive let down with moment of trauma.

Looking at these games I don’t suspect it’s going to turnaround today. These twenty days may be the best marketing campaign the NRL has ever run.

At least this game could be close, as in a nil-all draw.

The two worst teams in the league playing in a neutral venue with almost no one watching on in the stadium.

The only reason many people will watch it is in Melbourne there is a captive audience and after weeks in lockdown you really have run out of other things to do.

I’ve watched so many TV series they all blur into one. I thought recently a storyline I’d been dwelling on was from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel only to realise it was from The Wire.

I don’t know why I thought Midge Maisel was dealing in crack in the projects, I guess my brain is starting to atrophy in isolation.

Anyway, the Kangaroos will win this, anyone that watches it will be the loser.

St Kilda v Sydney (G) 5:10pm Foxtel

Sydney have had to flee their home state this week as NSW records more cases of COVID.

NSW got it from a Victorian, showing that Victoria’s last export industry still operating is infectious diseases.

I just hope people in NSW appreciate that Victoria’s strain of the virus is organic and has been curated by a gluten intolerant, penny farthing riding bartender with a passion for Haruki Murakami novels.

St Kilda’s victory over Perth makes any team have to take them seriously, and when they are on song, they seem like a team with a genuine chance this season.

This should not trouble them, but I always worry about the Saints when they’re away from Adelaide Oval.

St Kilda have built well through trades and Zak Jones is a clear example of that, having come from Sydney to significantly change the Saints talent pool.

It’s never fun when an ex-player of yours leaves and plays incredibly well. Sure, we say we wish them well, but it’s like when we say we’re glad an ex-partner has found happiness, when really, we wish they were miserable and every second of their existence is marred by regret at ever letting you go.

Saints to win.

West Coast v Geelong (OS) 8:10pm Seven

This might be a good game, but Geelong still have key outs and Tim Kelly now plays for the Eagles.

The Eagles looked terrifying last week, or whenever it was, like TV series this season all blurs into one.

I don’t even know what day it is.

I did learn it’s August now, which was confronting, it feels like October.

October 2045.

It does mean we’re now through Dry July. My Dry July stats are:

Days without alcohol: none

Days with alcohol: 43

Not the best effort but considering July 2020 had 203 days in it this year, not a terrible result.

Geelong face the Eagles below strength, always a danger when your stars are in the demographic that watches Midsomer Murders.

Eagles to win.

I just wanted to finish off by thanking all those who have become supporters in recent weeks. It’s meant the world to me and has really helped me keeping doing what I do, so thank you.    

At the moment I’m barely able to work, so you can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. It’s greatly appreciated. Find out more here:



Aug 01, 2020

“Blues fans would have watched the first five goals and intuitively thought ‘we’re in trouble now‘“. Picked it like a dirty nose...😔


Aug 01, 2020

Days with alcohol: 43
Like Carlton you went hard early and lost the plot after week 1.
Love your work! 🤣🤣


Aug 01, 2020

St Kildas victory over Perth?
For several decades I’ve wished that the old WAFL sides were included in the national comp, but alas for many reasons it was not to be.
Great writing as usual though Titus.

Kafka’s Ghost

Aug 01, 2020

Blues; a more apt name for a footy team that distributes misery couldn’t be created.
Unless it’s the Demons, which are inflicted on Melbourne fans regularly.


Aug 01, 2020

I am an avid watcher of Midsomer Murders, Titus - & I'm over 70!


Aug 01, 2020

Taggart's grittier than idyllic set Midsommer Murders for the under 70s
'There's been another murrr-der' of football in the North v Crows match coming up?

Freo Guy

Aug 01, 2020

Adelaide are truly a murder of Crows.

Rven More Blue

Aug 01, 2020

Titus, You tipping Carlton to win certainly put the knockers on them last night. I reckon Teaguey must have told them at quarter time that even the great Titus O'Reilly had tipped them to win....and that was the end of it, the curse was on!


Aug 01, 2020

Zac Jones left Sydney in order to complete his playing career with his brother, Nathan. It was only during the trade period that he realised that Nathan played for Melbourne. Fortunately or incredibly he found himself at a winning club.

Did anyone else in clubland receive the AFL Membership Survey for 2021?
30 Membership options - none of which matched or included any of the current membership options.
As GWS Members, my wife and I, subscribe to the Ultimate Giant package which includes a reserved seat at all 11 Giants' home games in Sydney & Canberra, plus Priority access to Home Finals and the Grand Final. None of these options were available.
Instead, we were offered, at best, 9 home games with no guaranteed seating - but in the same bay, with changeable seating at home games. No priority for Home Finals. And all this for $300 more than our current membership. However, for an additional $250 we could have a seat at the Grand Final. $70 more than I paid, last year.

So much for loyalty to members, many of whom around Australia, have donated a portion of their 2020 Membership to aid their club.

The GWS members Fan Chat went ballistic - with most of us selecting the "none of the above" option and suggesting in the comments section where the AFL can stick their proposal.


Aug 01, 2020

I never thought that I would seriously entertain giving a sourdough recipe a go, but dammit, yours sounds like a good 'un.


Aug 01, 2020

Carlton just allowed Hawthorn to play their traditional game thinking they could do it too. Bad move.

Saint Peter

Aug 01, 2020

Your commentary is the only thing keeping me going through this pandemic & footy marathon. One lesson learned is that some games should not be on Free TV. They should only be on pay TV or pay per view systems. At least that way you don't have to watch unless you are financially inept or don't know how to spend your Job Keeper. Again please do not tip the Saints. This is my second request. One more time & i may have to get my "influencer" involved.


Aug 01, 2020

More harrowing than The Road ahahhahaha


Aug 01, 2020

The game just finished. Im off to get a Josh Kennedy Tattoo.


Aug 02, 2020

HAW V CAR = Murder on the Optus Express.

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