Jul 31, 2020


AFL Mad Scramble: Day Three


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

Melbourne (32) v Port Adelaide (83)

A crowd of 323 people attended this game and I hope the Melbourne Football Club refunds all of them.

I guess one benefit of the lockdown is I didn’t waste any time going to watch this game and instead got to cry in private on the couch, punctuated by ads telling me to stay at home because of the lockdown.

I couldn’t be any more at home, why is the government still telling me off like some errant schoolboy? How about cracking down on all the people still breaking the rules?

Clear messaging is nice and all, but I’d prefer some competency on the ground, something the Victorian government and the Melbourne Football Club both need to realise.

Last night taught me that if we want to stop COVID-19 in its tracks, we should get Simon Goodwin to coach it.

Under Goodwin this club has gone backwards.

For example, you’d think not kicking to a 3 on 1 contest would be a simple thing to learn but it’s a mystery that eludes the Melbourne midfield. 

It’s been two seasons and they still seem incapable of grasping some of the basic fundamentals of our game. This is extraordinary considering this is all they train for and get paid for.

When you’re paying for a membership that you can’t even use, you expect to get a little effort. Social media videos about how appreciated we members and fans are do not mean a single thing.

Goodwin talks of improving over the last few weeks but that’s been off an incredibly low base. How long are Melbourne going to be in an improving stage? Because it’s been for the last twenty years for a few false dawns.

There was no excuse for last night. Even coming off a four-day break doesn’t excuse missing a target with a handball from a meter away, repeatedly.

Sorry for the rant but a game like last night’s still hurts, even though I’m a veteran of such nonsense.

As for Port, they were great. The put on the pressure, used the ball well and feasted on the mistakes, of which there was a smorgasbord.

But for them, this wasn’t even as tough as a training drill, the most discipline they had to show was not openly laugh during the game.


Carlton v Hawthorn (OS) 5:40pm Foxtel

This festival of football is quickly becoming more like watching open training.

I can’t see this game rescuing the situation either, scheduled in the traditional 5:40pm timeslot.

Carlton fans will be looking at this and thinking, “We can’t lose to Hawthorn, can we? We can, can’t we?”

Blues fans are right to worry, their team has let them down so many times they almost understand how Demons fans feel.

But Hawthorn lost to Melbourne. They were thumped in fact, raising the question, how bad are the Hawks?

They must be even worse than we imagined.

Hawthorn have some cavalry arriving, in the form of Jarman Impey, Luke Breust, Tim O'Brien and ruckman Jon Ceglar, so there’s some positives there.

If Carlton’s rebuild really is on track, they should win this. They’ve shown glimmers of ability at times this season but they’re yet to make a Blues fan be able to watch a game without that feeling in your stomach that everything is going to go off the deep end at any moment.

In bad news for the Blues, I’m tipping them.

Essendon v Brisbane (Metricon) 8:10pm Seven

If you wrote down Essendon’s best players, you would pretty much have their injury list, with a few notable exceptions.

It’s not what you want when facing off against Brisbane who along with Port and West Coast seem the teams most likely to go all the way at the moment.

The Bombers injury crisis has not yet affected them too much, thanks to the fact they played the Crows last week, but this is another matter.

Going from playing Adelaide to playing Brisbane is like going from Bernard Tomic to Roger Federer. And apologies to Bernard Tomic for comparing him to the Crows.

The Lions have their own issues however, with a few players missing due to injuries and suspensions, but it’s nothing compared to the Bombers and they should get the win here.

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: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus


Michael Morse

Jul 31, 2020

Another great write up Titus! I got nothing to say about the Dees, one word INSIPID.

For what it’s worth, my tips for this week - 🔵9 and 🦁22

Vic Parkes

Jul 31, 2020

No worries. Nothing like sharing the Job Keeper with a mate! Keep up the mediocre work.


Jul 31, 2020

Goodwin to stop COVID in its tracks- thats Gold Titus.Hang in there mate.I'm turning 56 and based on current list re build required I cant see a flag until I am 65!! Aagh!

Doggy Dancer

Jul 31, 2020

Hang in there Adrian. I was 62 before I got to see a Bulldog Premiership and it was worth the wait. But after Wednesday night, I'm not talking about the doggies.


Jul 31, 2020

Bring back the mid-season trade I say! In fact, why wait? I think I may trade my support of Melbourne - all options considered (except, of course, Adelaide). Then, come the end of year, I could consider drafting Melbourne in for next season, but my hoper aren't high.

The g train

Jul 31, 2020

This is bainfully cruel to write, but insipid Melbourne losses bring out the very best in Titus. As Criss Jami wrote: “A poet should be so crafty with words that he is envied even for his pains.”

Tim Kenneally

Jul 31, 2020

Titus........to put last night's effort into perspective, I follow the Crows and I was feeling sorry for you.


Jul 31, 2020

Keep it up, must be extremely difficult but we do enjoy receiving your clever observations as we don't have much to chuckle over in 2020.

Holden Broke

Jul 31, 2020

Be very careful what you wish for, Titus.

There’s a ready made replacement available to step in at short notice, if Simon Goodwin gets the push, and the situation will only get worse for Melbourne’s rusted-on.

If Goodwin has Melbourne going backwards, imagine what damage the likes of Ross Lyon could do to your club?

Fremantle might never fully recover from the experience.

andrew hodder

Jul 31, 2020

Hey Adrian Parsons...I'm 71 so grew up in the halcyon days of the 50s, where Melbourne reigned supreme. And then watched delightedly in 1964 when Neil Crompton kicked the late winning goal, yes, against Collingwood. To see Norm Smith screaming at him to get back to the back pocket where he belonged was pure gold..

Steele Blade

Jul 31, 2020

Adrian mate, you've never seen a premiership in your life time! Good luck seeing one in the next 10 years.

Dave O'Leary

Jul 31, 2020

sorry (and commiserations) Titus, but the truly depressing thing about last night is not the Dees' insipid performance but the fact that some people actually spent their night watching a one-sided AFL game rather than the highly entertaining Rabbitohs v Dragons clash which kicked off the NRL Indigenous Round. The South Sydney Rabbitohs are easily the most Indigenous community(s) linked pro-sports club in Australia, so it was terrific that three of their Indigenous players scored all 32 of their points to win the game. One of them, Alex Johnston, is a local La Perouse Rabbitohs junior and scored a hat-trick of tries. Aussie Rules is a great game, which is why I'm on this page, but man, Rugby League is most definitely equally great. They are the two tremendous 'people's games' of Australia - WA/SA/TAS/VIC folk would seriously be doing themselves a big favour if only they resisted the AFL obsessed brain-washing of their local media to become a lot more aware of, and receptive to, that fact. Carn Souths!!


Jul 31, 2020

I read the following:-
Another great write up Titus! I got nothing to say about the Dees, one word INSIPID."

Michael , you may need a quick course in logic, communication, & the value and the role of the non-sequitur.
Perhaps " ... nothing to say about the Dees" is a code of some obscure kind.

If you are not actually literate, why write anything at all?


Jul 31, 2020

Dave O'Leary - what's this about an NRL Indigenous Round? Seems like those Sydney suits have stolen another AFL idea (like SOO, Anzac Day ceremonies, etc). But I just checked & there is no Dreamtime in Darwin game. Maybe you could steal Richmond & Essendon into the NRL!

peter lake

Jul 31, 2020

I was expecting Port to dispose of Melbourne fairly easily last night but what the Demons served up in Adelaide would be knocked back at a inner city dosshouse. Clearly the worst exhibition from any team this year. Goodwin should be counting the days not the weeks before he gets the tap on the shoulder. ###@@@// Crap

Bob Dobbalinna

Jul 31, 2020

To put in perspective, Adelaide United kicked more goals last night than Melbourne.


Jul 31, 2020

Happy to support you in producing this nonsense Titus.


Jul 31, 2020

Ouch. You should never apologise to Bernard Tomic for anything. Besides, at least my Crows occasionally make it look like they're trying.


Jul 31, 2020

Thomas Fancutt might more accurately resemble where the Crows or Melbourne are at.

Michael John Duggan

Jul 31, 2020

Dave :The problem with Australian Rules is that, due to the ever increasing rule changes and consequnt interpretations of them it has picked up all the worst traits of the other codes The low scoring tedium of soccer where every score counts and the bullocking boredom of Rugny League which is reminicent of an overcrowded suburban pub on payday in the sixties are now a feature of AFL but the supreme foot skills of top league soccer players and the explosive aglilty of champions highlights of soccer/ football and both Rugby codes is usually absent.

Melbourne seems oblivious to these changes and doesn't have the personnel to play the modern game mush less instigate the game plan devised by the coachng staff. The coaching staff are like generals who wage currents wars using the last war's tactics.


Jul 31, 2020

Hang in there Doggy Dancer. There’ll be a working forward line back in a few weeks time. We at least have hope.


Jul 31, 2020

Re Simon Goodwin....maybe Mick Malthouse is just sitting around in isolation getting bored. He stuffed up Carlton, he seemed to confuse building his own image and ego with team building. So why not give him a run at the Dees as well?

Kafka’s Ghost

Jul 31, 2020

How bad are Hawthorn? Last week they lost to the Swans Academy squad and Tom Papley. Please Blues, win so we can see what excuse Clarkson will throw up this week!


Jul 31, 2020

I'm bloody angry too Titus


Jul 31, 2020

The NRL has a quaint rule whereby clubs can loan other clubs a surplus player.
I notice that Sydney & Hawthorn are both in Hillbilly Land, this week.

Sydney could lend Hawthorn a full-forward, Buddy Franklin, perhaps!
Hawthorn could lend Sydney, an actual ruckman, Jonny Ceglar, perhaps!

Two problems solved.
And best of all, Hawthorn can keep Buddy - and this solve their massive salary cap problem for the next three seasons, too!

Saint Peter

Jul 31, 2020

Titus, you need to go easy & realise its not Goodwin's fault. He didn't pick himself for the job. The guys that did are the ones to blame. As a Saints supporter I know how you feel. However keep up the good work. PS please don't pick the saints ever again.

Roger Baggaley

Aug 01, 2020

David O'Leary, much as I admire (and share) your ability to enjoy more than one sport, you might find that the good folk of WA/SA/TAS might have more interest in League if League showed a little more interest in them. None at all in the latter two, and a very quick kick in the teeth for followers of the WA entrant in the NRL. Mind you, Rugby Australia did much the same. It's pretty obvious that the rugby codes have no real interest in any but the Eastern States.

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