Sep 08, 2020

AFL

AFL Mad Scramble Two: Day Thirteen

27 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

Melbourne (33) v Fremantle (47)

If someone stuck their hand into a fire and screamed out in pain, you’d feel sorry for them, wouldn’t you?

But if that person did it on a weekly basis for eight months of the year, for decades, you think ‘this person is completely bonkers and should be locked up for their own sanity, never allowed near a fire again’.

This is the position I find myself in.

Why do I keep doing this to myself? Why do I keep thinking it will be different each time I stick my hand in the fire?

Even worse, I pay for the pleasure. I spend my hard-earned on a membership, even though I can’t even go see a game.

And how do the players reward me? They burn me every time and then complain that Melbourne fans are too harsh on them.

Paul Roos famously said there was a "veil of negativity" around Melbourne, but to blame the fans is ridiculous. I’ve never seen a bunch of people who have committed, repeatedly and with enthusiasm, to such a hopeless cause.

Each time we get positive, the club pulls up that veil higher than ever before.

The fans can only do so much, it rests with those within the club to fix this, there’s no cavalry coming, no saviour.

Imagine the fans gave up as the players did? They’d be no members at all, and there wouldn’t have been for decades.

Last night, Fremantle came wanting to win and with an actual game plan.

The Dees in stark contrast seemed astoundingly disinterested. They played stupid footy and they even did this half-heartedly.

A few, like Christian Petracca, gave it their all, but as they worked at the coalface, they couldn’t help but notice their teammates watched on confused as to why someone would work so hard.

The Dockers weren’t great at times, but they were focused and trusted their coach’s plan and each other, and when it did matter, they took their opportunities. They have a future.

Simon Goodwin is a man without answers, it’s not all his fault, but it’s obvious he can’t get anything more out of this team.

Isn’t it lucky the board have extended him for so long? They can’t afford to sack him, but they’re entering territory where they can’t afford not to.

The fire still burns, and not in a good way.

Tonight

Adelaide v Greater Western Sydney (AO) 5:40 pm Foxtel

Not a great night of footy ahead of us with only potential finalist involved.

The Crows at least come into this match with an electrifying one-game winning streak.

Can this juggernaut of momentum be stopped? Almost certainly.

The Crows are still the Crows, and you can’t play Hawthorn all the time.  Winning though at least makes people realise they can win, something that seemed impossible for Adelaide just a few weeks ago.

The Giants now have finals well in their sights, with Melbourne’s recent results helping them immensely.

Despite this, the Giants aren’t exactly up and firing on all cylinders, they almost lost to Carlton last week.

The Giants still have injury troubles too, but they’re one team you could see pulling it together at the right time.

I’m sorry I said that Giants fans, I’m sure to have damned them to nothing but losses for the rest of the year.

I’m sorry for this too, Giants to win.

Carlton v Sydney (Metricon) 8:10 pm

Probably the main reason to watch this is if you’re a Blues fans who likes being hurt.

They could win this; you have to win occasionally if you’re going to build up the hopes you’ve been designed to dash later on.

The Swans beat Melbourne last week by being smarter and harder, but this is not hard to do, it’s like stealing candy off a baby, a lazy, uncoordinated baby.

But that victory just shows them that winning, especially against sides like Melbourne and Carlton is possible.

Make it hard for them and wait for them to wilt. You know it’s coming; you just have to not go away.

With the Blues still a mathematical chance, you’d expect them to give their all in this, which is why I’m tipping Sydney. 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

Dees "Supporter"

Sep 08, 2020

+ 1 !!!!!

MFCIsTheReasonIDrink

Sep 08, 2020

Most frustrating about the Dees is that there was a brief moment in the quarter where it looked like they tried, just to prove to the fans that they can play like the season is on the line, but haven't been bothered to do so. And I can't even escape to the snow this year. Brilliant.

Love the work as always Titus.

Gers

Sep 08, 2020

Is it sad that I thought of you watching that awful demons display last night? At least you tipped freo...

Ken Cooper

Sep 08, 2020

My surgeon won’t operate on me any more after so many years. Come to think of it his hands aren’t all that flash either!

Grannies4Rampe

Sep 08, 2020

Oh Titus. How could you? You tipped the Swans and fans have had a difficult enough week as it is. I went so far as to read the AFL's Respect and Responsibility policy. I think it would be improved immeasurably f it included a ban on clubs paying legal fees or settlements on behalf of players. Shouldn't be that hard to rise out of the murkiness.

Cyril Horseradish

Sep 08, 2020

Titus - I don’t think I can take your pain any longer. There’s only one way to lift Melbourne’s veil of negativity and it’s an obvious move. They need to sack Goodwin immediately and appoint Garry Lyon as Senior Coach. Goodwin is out of ideas and Lyon has got heaps of them. He’s a former club champion and stalwart and I seem to recall that he was involved for a while in some fantastic appointments to the club. He has so much to offer and so much to say. He’s your man. Your negativity veil smasher. Go get him before someone else snaps him up.

Kafka’s Ghost

Sep 08, 2020

Great work, Titus.
Bought your latest book, too.
One day, Melbourne will give you the joy you, and all their long-suffering supporters, deserve.

Ian Campbell

Sep 08, 2020

Even after you tipped their opponents the Ds couldn't win. Sadly it seems that the great Lou Richards tipping record as the ultimate "kiss of death" is not in danger yet.

andrew hodder

Sep 08, 2020

Titus, I always appreciate your writings, whether containing political content or not. This is my final political thought:
Thesis contention: Dan Andrews is is the cause of the Melbourne FC's football malaise.
Incontrovertible evidence: Our most recent premierships: 1955, 56, 57, 59, 60, 1964. During these years Dan Andrews was not the premier.
2020 and Melbourne is freaking hopeless. Who's the premier?
QED

Fat Side

Sep 08, 2020

Thanks @AndrewHodder, seems that, as a Richmond fan, I now have to fly the flag for many more years of Premier Dan :)

Caro

Sep 08, 2020

I'll definitely buy your book Titus, but baulking at the $8 for delivery. If there's an option to pre-order and click and collect, I'll definitely take that up.
Thanks for the great content again this year.

Randall

Sep 08, 2020

Titus, i know you're a Demon fan, but some balanced mention of the opponent would be good. Like Adam Cerra's 30 disposals and THAT goal!
Here's hoping Fremantle can chuck a spanner in the Bulldogs' finals hopes as well in round 18.

GM

Sep 08, 2020

Be grateful Titus.
COVID-19 has thrown turmoil and instability into our lives. The inconsistency of Carlton and Melbourne is the only constant.
I’m still struggling to drink a beer through my mask!

Keith

Sep 08, 2020

Dear Titus, has it occurred to you that the Melbourne cattle are not good enough? A team that has a late run of wins and expects to do well the next year and doesn't just means that they beat teams that had already knocked off and planning Christmas festivities. You have been dining on that late run now for 2 years. I doubt Gary Lyon could name 6 A class footballers at Demonland. They are where they are on the ladder for a reason, that is their true level. Stop boosting them. Cheers, excellent read as usual.

Alan

Sep 08, 2020

'like stealing candy off a baby, a lazy, uncoordinated baby'. Absolute gold and a great way to describe the Dees last few games. The ability of Petracca to get himself super fit, win the ball, get to the next contest, always get his kick away, and be clean with his possessions in difficult conditions just made the gulf between him and the rest of the Demons more stark than normal.

Hawks4Ever

Sep 08, 2020

Someone has blamed Melbourne’s poor performance on Dan Andrews, Dan has been Premier for 6 years, but Jeff Kennett presided over 7 years of lack of success for Melbourne, Henry bolte was premier during the last 6 premierships by Melbourne but then he turned on them and for 8 years stopped the demons from winning, Hamer contributed to 9 years of despair
The Liberals have been more damaging to the Dees than Labor.
Kennett as premier was useless for Hawthorn

andrew hodder

Sep 08, 2020

Hawks4ever - thanks for that in depth analysis. I now see the benefit of doing more than just scratching the surface. And I feel a lot better blaming the MFC's lack of success on Jeff Kennett.

michael

Sep 08, 2020

I have two sports fans in the family who will be getting your book for Xmas. Hope they enjoy it as much as I do your column.

The g train

Sep 08, 2020

“The fire still burns, and not in a good way.” Titus— If the fire can't be put out, you should leave the area as quickly as possible and try to alert everyone effected. Then contact emergency services as soon as you can safely do so.

Gerard Webb

Sep 08, 2020

"and you can’t play Hawthorn all the time." You cut me Titus. Cut me deep.

Bombersareshittoo

Sep 08, 2020

The Demons really need to think outside the box to solve their coaching issues. They should go after someone with a proven track record, maybe Paul Roos? Pay him an absolute fortune for 3 or 4 years and then have a transition to a younger coach with a one year mentoring period to help guarantee success. If they have any brains they'll go after an assistant who learned under Clarkson or Hardwick, not Hird and Thompson. Do you think this could work?

Reubs

Sep 08, 2020

I wanted 7 wins from Freo this year as proof of JLo's mettle for the rebuild.

With two to go, I'm happy. There's buy-in. The midfield is settling and growing in confidence, defence was always good.

Now just need to lockdown a decent forward chemistry to push into finals windows in the next few years.

Are Tabs and Hoges part of that? Who knows, it's definitely an uneven WIP at present.

But Longmuir's done enough for me. I'm all in. It won't be next year, maybe not even the one after, but we're moving in a direction we were never going to under Ross.

Forwards.

Swans Tragic

Sep 08, 2020

I think Cyril Horseradish is right about a Lyon being appointed to coach the Dees. But the wrong Lyon, they should appoint Ross, Titus would jump into the fire!!

Saint Peter

Sep 08, 2020

Titus, It has recently come to notice that it takes premiership winning teams 7-10 years to get actually win a flag. It looks like you need to be patient with SGoodwin. He has only been your coach for 4 years (I think). So to take advantage of all the planning & work being done at demonland, it is obvious that SG needs to be signed up for at least another 3 years with options for another 3 years in case he hasn't quite won a premiership in his first 7 years as coach. He is still getting used to his players & how they play. Take a breath & look to the future with another 3-6 years with SG as coach.
As the saying goes: "The world is dull of magical things patiently waiting for Goodwin's coaching to grow sharper".

Mike

Sep 09, 2020

At half time in the Demons / Freo game I was thinking: 'Titus isn't going to like this at all'.

Deplorable performance, notwithstanding the conditions. Freo at least showed some spark and drive.

Goodwin is surely cooked, isn't he?

Lottee

Sep 09, 2020

Demons supporters,your team played their 9th game in 43 days on Monday,arriving inCairns just hours before their game against Sydney ,l think you have to cut them some slack.I hope their recovery staff are doing the right thing by them,they look soo tired, you will see a difference on Saturday! Stay strong!

LEAP

Sep 09, 2020

Bugger the players' recovery - what about the suffering fans? I am launching a petition to bring the Dees back to Victoria now to rejoin the lockdown. We can forfeit the final two rounds like we did the last two. This will stem the pain at least. If season 2021 is delayed as some have suggested, we may not suffer again for 8 or 9 months. It's all about finding positives ...

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