Sep 07, 2020
AFL Mad Scramble Two: Day Twelve
A column every day, as we get more football than we even asked for.
Occasionally, this column will even mention football but rarely sensibly.
Brisbane (42) v Collingwood (34)
I’d like to first apologise for not posting the past two days.
To be frank I just needed a few days off. Like all of us, 2020 is taking its toll and I think the approaching announcement of Victoria’s next steps really got to me.
At least now, I know things are going to be stuffed for a while and I can get back to normal programming.
It’s like following a footy team, it’s the hope that kills you. When your team is awful, it hurts but it’s weirdly manageable, you expect nothing.
Watching Dan Andrews’ media conference certainly reminded me that this team is winless and will remain so for some time.
I know I’ll cop people who love Andrews complaining to me, but if he was a coach, he’d be a coach that gave great media conferences, but his team is on the bottom of the ladder. Supporting Melbourne has really attuned my mind to this.
Results on the field start to matter at some point, don’t they?
Anyway, sorry for the rant but like all my fellow Victorians, I’m on the pointy end of this and have seen a lot of friend lose businesses and jobs, not to mention start to really struggle mentally. It’s grim here interstate friends.
Let’s get to the footy which begins with this game, which saw Collingwood push the Lions right to the edge.
The Lions seemed right on top in this, but Collingwood, for all their many faults, don’t give up easily and wore down the Lions 26-point lead in the third quarter.
The Pies fighting spirit was on show when Brayden Maynard bowled over Mitch Robinson after he bumped John Noble on the way to celebrate a Lions goal.
My favourite bit was the look on Robinson’s face which was of someone who never did anything wrong and who was shocked at someone’s bad behaviour.
At one point, the game had to be stopped as a worried Nathan Buckley announced that Jaidyn Stephenson had gone missing. Everyone began looking, the crowd looked under their chairs and someone checked the TAB.
Thankfully he was eventually found late in the fourth quarter to everyone’s relief. He’d been on the field the whole time it turned out.
The Lions will be happy with the win, but Harris Andrews injured his hamstring, a huge blow for them as finals approach.
North Melbourne (42) v Port Adelaide (78)
Only one game on Saturday, but weren’t we blessed it was this one.
I did end up watching it all but I’m still not sure why. I should have gone to bed, but I like to put off being alone with my thoughts for as long as possible,
The best you can say for North Melbourne is that with all the injuries, we’re not seeing the real them. At least that’s what Kangaroos fans will be desperately hoping because this has been a tough season.
Port cruised through this game. North tried but the gap in quality is like comparing tap beer to cans.
North has now lost 12 of their last 13 games, a record that makes them seem better than they are.
The big negative for Port was Zak Butters has received a two-week suspension for choosing to bump instead of tackling Jy Simpkin, forcing Simpkin off.
Port looks like locking in the minor premiership, but their real challenge is proving a lot of the doubters wrong in the finals.
St Kilda (80) v Hawthorn (66)
The Saints looked shakier than a newborn foal in this and kicked for goal like one.
But with this win, they now have a strong footing in the eight, a bit more like a mountain goat. Wait, I have to stop playing Farmville 3, it’s seeping into my writing.
Hawthorn had quite a few chances to win this but blew them, often resulting in St Kilda rebounding for a goal.
You could tell Alastair Clarkson was furious when he attacked St Kilda after the game, saying they played ‘keepings off’ which is actually part of the game.
He then said their style might beat Hawthorn but not the good teams.
How the mighty have fallen when that’s an insult. ‘You can beat us be we are terrible’.
I bet the Hawks fans preferred the Premiership era to the ‘mocking teams because they can only beat us’ era.
I say I bet, because I’ve never experienced a Premiership, so I don’t really know.
Geelong (108) v Essendon (42)
This could have been even worse except the Cats took their foot off the pedal for much of the second half.
Being an Essendon supporter who just found out that they’d be in lockdown for another month, this must have been like having salt poured into an open wound.
Essendon, Carlton and Melbourne are three teams that just keep letting their fans down in a perpetual cycle of disappointment.
Every ray of light is just a train heading for you in the dark tunnel, every moment of happiness is a momentary loan, paid back with interest in the form of your soul being on fire.
But patience Essendon fans, that’s apparently all you need.
John Worsfold was stunning in the post-match conference basically saying, ‘we’re not very good and no one thought we were so that’s OK’.
So, if others have low expectations of you and you meet them, that’s good?
If he hadn’t effectively been sacked at the end of last season it would be happening again.
Geelong’s performance was just ruthless, they destroyed the Bombers in the opening ten minutes and then did their best to look like they were working hard.
The truth was they came prepared for a fight only to find their opponent didn’t, so they just tried some drills, and sharpened their skills.
In the coaches box, after the first fifteen minutes, I’m pretty sure Chris Scott and his coaches started planning for their next game against Richmond.
Western Bulldogs (49) v West Coast (47)
A terrible game skill-wise but close, which is a bit like being ugly but having a great personality.
Neither side looked particularly good, the Eagles seeming not too sure what they were doing, and the Bulldogs kicking for goal like they had been having shots before the game and not of the goalkicking practice variety.
The Eagles started off well, but the Doggies decided that bombing it long and high into their forward line was working for them, so stopped doing it. Not many teams do that in a game.
This change seemed to bewilder the Eagles who seemed to not be able to get the ball at all.
It remained tight in the later stages when Marcus Bontempelli marked and goaled, just. It went for review but there was insufficient evidence to overturn it.
The AFL might want to invest in better cameras. Since 2004, which I can only assume the AFL’s cameras are from, there’s been some real improvements in camera technology.
An eight-year-old with an iPhone and a YouTube channel producers higher quality vision than the AFL.
The Eagles still had plenty of chances to win this. Even after the Bontempelli goal, they got forward and looked like scoring.
The Bulldogs fans were briefly panicked until they realised Jack Darling was taking the shot, then they cheered knowing they had won.
Melbourne v Fremantle (Cazaly) 7:10 pm Foxtel
I’ve only just begun getting over Melbourne’s last loss and they hit me with this.
The Dees have rung in the changes again and they’re lucky, they can easily replace someone who doesn’t give their all with someone else who doesn’t give their all. So much depth.
Fremantle has made no changes from their last game. Jesse Hogan will face his old side, and it would be no surprising if he kicks ten.
Tipping this is a nightmare. Both sides can disappoint their fans, both have that artistry of the cruel about them.
The Demons again have finals on the line, the Dockers don’t, but neither did Sydney and Melbourne made them look like Premierships favourites.
I’m tipping Fremantle but it’s mainly out for spite towards my club and how they make me feel.
I wanted to say a big thank you to all who have pre-ordered my new book Cheat: The Not-so-subtle Art of Conning Your Way to Sporting Glory it really helps to get pre-orders as it gets a book more promotion.
It really cheered me up seeing so many people already ordering, you keep me going.
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