Sep 19, 2020

AFL

AFL Mad Scramble Two: 19 September

20 Comments

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

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

Last Night

St Kilda (82) v Greater Western Sydney (30)

Hello friends.

Sorry for the radio silence over the last few days. As well as recording my audiobook, I’ve had a rather intense week.

Nothing really worth going into, but with everything closed in Melbourne, fairly simple life admin can become a true nightmare.

It was touching that many of you reached out to see if I was OK, and I can assure you than I am, I’m just like most people in 2020, looking forward to when I can get drunk at the pub with some friends while putting forward frankly insane theories on football.

Anyway, I’m going to make it all up by covering eight games today, starting with St Kilda getting back into the finals for the first time since 2011.

2011 was a different era it feels. Back then, LMFAO was dominating the charts, showing 2020 may not be as bad as it seems.

The Saints were never in danger of losing this one, the Giants hung around in the first half, but they’re a shell of the team they once were.

When the floodgates opened in the second half, even Leon Cameron looked completely mystified at what the Giants were doing, not a good look on the bloke you’ve just extended to fix the problems they also created.

As for St Kilda, they have really transformed under Brett Ratten. It makes you wonder why no other AFL club has given him a chance before this.

Saturday

Essendon v Melbourne (Metricon) 2:10pm Foxtel

Here’s the most likely scenario for Melbourne, it being the most painful. They lose this, only to then watch the Bulldogs lose on Sunday, meaning if they had won, they’d be playing finals.

There’s no reason Melbourne should lose this, but this club lost to Essendon’s top-up players, so any scenario is possible.

Really, those losses to Sydney and Fremantle will haunt Melbourne, they had the chance to play finals this year and they blew it twice, now it all comes down to luck, something the Dees have not exactly had a surplus of in recent decades. 

Essendon fans get to say goodbye to John Worsfold this weekend. I’m sure they’ll miss him terribly.

There’s been a lot of media commentary about Bombers fans needing to have a realistic view of where the club is at, but it feels like that’s been the constant theme of the club for two decades.

I feel like the conversation is like this:

“Hey Essendon fans, you need to realise the team is not that good and be patient.”

“Yeah thanks for that, we’re fully across how terrible they are having watched them every week for twenty years but accepting the current situation is not something were interested in, which seems to be all the club is focused on telling us. 

Melbourne to win (although probably not).

Adelaide v Richmond (AO) 5:10pm Foxtel

The hottest team in the League takes on Richmond.

If you’d told me the Crows would win three games this season a few months ago I wouldn’t have believed you, but three in a row? It’s astounding. It would be like me firing out three columns in a row with no grammatical errors.

Yet this is a real step up in class. The Crows have beaten Hawthorn, the Giants and Carlton, three sides that could kindly be called ‘disappointing’.

Richmond spent a lot of this season being disinterested, only to start getting serious in the past few weeks.

I’ve known people who do that with meals, really only switching on for the dessert, the rest is just getting in form.

Damien Hardwick will match Tom Hafey for most VFL/AFL games coached at Richmond in this game.

Hardwick will have coached 248 games at the end of this one, an extraordinary effort considering surviving at Richmond is slightly harder than surviving on Mars.

All that had to happen to get here was for Peggy O’Neal and Brendon Gale to do the complete opposite of what the club has always done.

The George Costanza strategy is really something more clubs should look at, the majority would benefit from it.

Richmond to win.

Brisbane v Carlton (G) 7:40 pm Seven

Carlton fans would be in some ways glad this season is over, but very flat at the effort.

It’s been another wasted year, and a Blues fan said to me this year the most depressing thing is over twenty years, all they’d managed to do is become Melbourne.

The fact this served as an insult and a highly accurate statement only made me appreciate the comparison more.

For all the money, announcements, changes, plans, strategies and marketing campaigns, the Blues have managed to basically build a facsimile of Melbourne, the most embarrassing club in the league.

Blues fans get angrier with me than any other set of fans, but it’s like how two close siblings fight the most, their similarities are too much, it’s too easy to push the other’s buttons.

For example, the extraordinary claims of Teague this week, that this had been a great season for growth, is so familiar I felt like throwing something at the TV.

These coaches know we watch these games, right?

As for Brisbane, they’d want to really start stepping up a few levels with finals almost here, they’ve drifted a bit in the second half of the season.

But they should have no trouble here.

Sunday

Hawthorn v Gold Coast (AO) 1:05 pm Foxtel

Who cares?

Sydney v Geelong (Metricon) 3:35 pm Seven

Sydney’s week has been taken up dealing with Elijah Taylor, who has already proved a significant distraction this year.

The Swans did well to stand him down, his alleged behaviour is something the League should have no tolerance for, and it’s time that actions replaced nice words and marketing campaigns.

The AFL is talking about establishing new procedures around these types of charges, with a possible no-fault, stand down rule.

You know if you’re trailing the NRL in policy on the area of violence against women, you are not taking it seriously enough.

As for Geelong, they’ve got a chance to get one last win for the year in before finals begin.

There was a bit of Geelong news when former superstar Gary Ablett Snr posted a rant claiming COVID was fake.

This was hardly news, remember when the Herald Sun gave him a two page column to deny evolution and claim all the problems in the world are the result of people not worshipping god?

A lot of people said they were concerned about Gary’s mental health, but I’m a bit more worried about the damage these views have on the rest of us, as it’s this nonsense that will lead to people in Melbourne being locked up even longer.

And before people jump in and say, we’ll don’t promote what he is saying, it’s out there everywhere, and people need to point out these views are not only flat out bonkers, but harmful.

Geelong to win.

Fremantle v Western Bulldogs (Cazaly’s) 6:10 pm Foxtel

Fremantle has done what any fans would hope for if you’re not playing finals, build a base for future success.

There’s been emerging talent, a system that works and is understood but the players, and continually increasing skill and effort.

They’ve even impacted the finals by knocking off teams late in the season and have a chance to do it here.

This is the longest I’ve ever written positively about the Dockers, it feels kind of weird but also nice. Like kissing your cousin.

Not that I’ve ever done that. My cousin had no interest.

The Bulldogs have to win, and this is a trickier assignment than you’d really like. North would have been the opponent you’d like, who shed more players yesterday than Qantas. The Dockers could actually win this, but you’d think with what’s on the line, the Doggies should get this done, they deserve it more than Melbourne or GWS do.

Doggies to win.

Monday

Collingwood v Port Adelaide (G) 7:15 pm Seven

Getting through this without injuries would be the main focus of this one you’d reckon.

The Pies almost never do that, they collect injuries like I collect regrets.

Port Adelaide probably don’t get the respect they deserve for the consistency they’ve shown across the year. That probably won’t change until the win a final there’ too much history of them coming up short.

But if Mario Kart has taught us anything, and it has, consistency of effort is the key, it won’t always work out like when someone hits you with a red shell just as you’re about to win, but it will usually see you win.

Port I feel are leading but you suspect one of the other finalists has a spiky shell. Man, I’ve got to stop playing Mario Cart, it’s affecting my ability to communicate with people.

Port to win. 

My new book Cheat: The Not-so-subtle Art of Conning Your Way to Sporting Glory is now available for pre-order.  

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

COMMENTS

Pinghan Chua

Sep 19, 2020

“Your honour, let the court’s record show I have never forgiven the Carlton board for replacing Ratten with Malthouse.”

So glad to have you back Titus. Keep it up mate

BLOKE FROM THE OUTER

Sep 19, 2020

GWS remind me of Richmond in 2016; too afraid to make mistakes. They get the ball, chip it around and let the opposition's defence reset. They kick it down the line to contest after contest hoping that somebody can do something magical. When you kick 3 goals in a game with Cameron and Green in your forward line then you might being doing something wrong.

The g train

Sep 19, 2020

I certainly missed these columns over the last few days. But to look at a positive, it meant Titus did not publicly comment on St Kilda and their finals chances. Who knows what would have eventuated if he had “predicted” St Kilda’s fate?

Yes, Adelaide winning three games in a row, and their game against premiership fancy Richmond being an old fashioned blockbuster one, is truly astonishing. It reminds me of the ludicrously of Alice of Wonderland declaring: "one can't believe impossible things." Not only can one believe in impossible things, one can actually witness them. Although to be fair to Alice, she did eventually change her ridiculous view.

Landowners Calrissian III

Sep 19, 2020

Love your work Titus. I'd like to see the Baggerz get up for Simpson. But they won't. It just wouldn't be the Cartonian thing to do, to honour a player the club probably doesn't deserve.

BLOKE FROM THE OUTER

Sep 19, 2020

I'm not sure if I have ever read a more thorough and accurate dissection of a game than Hawthorn v GCS

Kafka’s Ghost

Sep 19, 2020

The summation of GC vs Hawthorn reminded me of the famous two word theatre review: the end.
Surprisingly, this game is not entirely buried on Sunday evening at 6pm, but it might be worth watching just to see Clarkson’s face if the Hawks are under the pump.

The J

Sep 19, 2020

Glad you’re ok Titus. We needed you back because without your take on life we’re not ok.

Keith

Sep 19, 2020

Thanks Titus. I wish the Herald Sun would give you a 2 page column.

Pablo668

Sep 19, 2020

You could have put a little more effort into the Hawks Suns game. Something like, of all the games on this week, this is definitely one of them...

Knackers McCraken

Sep 19, 2020

Laughed at the Hawthorn v Gold Coast preview...

Old Keith 49

Sep 19, 2020

A great insight to how most of us view footy Titus. Being an Adelaide person it's hard to fathom how it must feel to be locked down, but can't wait for the end of it as we love Melbourne (city). As for the Crows, I believe the universal catch phrase is "there's always next year" .... keep up the therapy as I'm lost without it.

gregp

Sep 19, 2020

As an Essendon supporter the glory years are a faded memory...it's a slow death watching them play fast paced turnover football. They are so bad they wouldn't be able to beat themselves..

gregp

Sep 19, 2020

As an Essendon supporter the glory years are a faded memory...it's a slow death watching them play fast paced turnover football. They are so bad they wouldn't be able to beat themselves..

F. Carlton Collingwood IV

Sep 19, 2020

"And before people jump in and say, we’ll don’t promote what he is saying, it’s out there everywhere, and people need to point out these views are not only flat out bonkers, but harmful."

16th-century theological interpretations of science are indeed harmful in the 21st century world.

J Clarkson

Sep 19, 2020

I've been saying GWS are an Afla Romeo and not a Ferrari.
I was wrong.
They are more like a Trabant.
Still waiting for my damn steak!

Jony Corona

Sep 19, 2020

Wait and see Collingwood’s flag odds dramatically improve next Tuesday Titus

Saint Peter

Sep 19, 2020

Big thank you to Titus for taking leave until after the Saints play. It helped enormously. I would also like to thank Carlton for the inspired choice of getting Malthouse to replace Ratten. Genius move. I'd say it was a win win situation for everyone. In regards to the Hawks v GC game you said more than what was deserved for that game. As for the clubs in 5-8 position, the Bulldogs would be the most dangerous team to watch out for. Now the big problem is getting through all the checkpoints to get to the Gabba in time for the Saints first final in 9 years. Who knows a short cut from Melbourne to QLD?

Boatster

Sep 19, 2020

Good to have you back Titus. Glad the pre-season games are over for the Crows, looking forward to the real stuff starting in March.

BLUESMAN MACCA

Sep 20, 2020

Someone said the Blues didn't deserve a player like Simpson..
Correct. 25 years of crap. Well, except there was a bit of an effort when Ratts was coach.
I dunno why us Blues supporters would be the harshest?? Probably the same ones that think the club has done a good job.
Send them across to Melbourne.
Used to hate the Saints, but wish them and Ratts well.
Re Essundurn"They are so bad they wouldn't be able to beat themselves" That's a ripper GREGP!
Anyhow, I hope the Blues can send Simpson off with a win.

Swans Fan

Sep 21, 2020

Hawthorn vs Suns - you forgot to mention that if the Hawks won by enough it was a win win for the Hawks and the Swans - who move to 3rd in the draft

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