Sep 07, 2020

AFL

AFL Mad Scramble Two: Day Twelve

35 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.

Friday

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.

Saturday

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.

Sunday

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.

Tonight

Melbourne v Fremantle (Cazaly) 7:10 pm Foxtel

Too soon.

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

COMMENTS

Pinghan Chua

Sep 07, 2020

Keep writing Titus - your pieces are bright spots for us all!

Not a Dan fan

Sep 07, 2020

Don't worry about people who love Dan complaining to you. There must only be Mrs Andrews left and any others can't read anyway..

John Godfrey

Sep 07, 2020

Love your comments, Mate

Spot on regarding AFL camera --outdated technology

The Eagles were robbed

Cheers

John

Bill H

Sep 07, 2020

Nice work as always Titus. Love the bit about the search for the missing Stephenson only to eventually find that he had been on the field all the time. A classic!!

Pieman

Sep 07, 2020

Hey man, you've got too many mistakes in your copy.... if you need someone to check before sending out, i am happy to oblige.

Vinnie

Sep 07, 2020

I've noticed a lot of Dan Andrews' fans on twitter now run with "Well imagine how much worse it would have been under the other mob!" Perhaps losing coaches could try that, come into the post-match press conference and start declaring by how many more goals they would have got thrashed with Mark Neeld in charge........

Gyfox

Sep 07, 2020

Titus - we know things are bad when Melbourne's lockdown is featured on Al Jazeera News. Almost as bad as being a Melbourne supporter not in lockdown!!

Holden Broke

Sep 07, 2020

Love your comments, Mate. Keep ‘me coming.

Spot on regarding AFL cameras, it’s totally outdated technology.

The Egirls were lucky not to end up on the wrong side of a cricket score. Lost the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters easily. There’s no plan ‘B’; they’re premiership pretenders.

Cheers

Holden.

Mike

Sep 07, 2020

No John, we weren't robbed. We didn't deserve to win.
We're buggered - injuries, fatigue & a shit playing schedule have done for us.

Appreciate your work, Titus. Hope you stay well and sane (relatively).

Pablo

Sep 07, 2020

Heya Titus,

Great writing as usual. Thanks for all you do. Hang tough in over there, it can't be much fun and I think everyone understands if you need a break from time to time.

Tired Victorian

Sep 07, 2020

I really enjoy your work Titus, but seeing you encourage the over-the-top pile-on against Daniel Andrews is very disappointing. I thought you were better than that.

It also just encourages nastiness in the comments section from the 'Dandemic' crazies.

BLOKE FROM THE OUTER

Sep 07, 2020

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.

It generally helps not to include an elbow to the head when you 'bump'.

peter lake

Sep 07, 2020

Titus, I agree with your comments re Mr Andrews. I often wonder about him and his many useless cohorts. What if they actually had a real job, instead of being politicians. Methinks the dole line would rapidly expand beyond recognition.

Davo

Sep 07, 2020

Titus, I went and saw your show in Perth just after the Eagles snuck into the finals in 2017 displacing your beloved Dees (who had already published their finals poster).
Your ability to remain positive and express your disappointment with grace and humour seems to have set you up for a position as the MFC media spokesperson. Or can't they fit you into their soft cap (skiing beanie)?
That would make those cliche riddled interviews far more entertaining.
Have ordered my books, looking forward to a good read.
Soldier on!

BLOKE FROM THE OUTER

Sep 07, 2020

Full of gems mate, thanks.

A mate of mine barracks for the woods (I know, a mate who barracks for collingwood) and he has no time for Stephenson; he'll probably kick 5 in the prelim.

And a big shout out to Townsend at the Dons. He's not a great player but you reckon a few of the don's passengers might at least attack the ball with the vigour he brings to the game. They really were insipid.

The g train

Sep 07, 2020

An idea to open the game up, make it more attractive and assist in higher scoring...I used to umpire U13’s footy for pocket money a while back. After every scrimmage, and before every ensuing ball up, I would tell the players to “Clear it out, fellas! Clear it out!” I simply refused to ball it up until there was a large clearing out. This lead to attractive, open and often high scoring games. I reckon we could replace the current crop of AFL umpires with those from the U13’s. The AFL could also save a lot of cash by offering “pocket money” amounts to the new umpires. I feel this could work.

Yes, Titus, you offer many people bright spots. That’s many more than I do.

Sainter

Sep 07, 2020

"It's not the despair. I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand."

Clockwise (1986) - John Cleese as Brian Stimpson.

Go Saints

Peter B

Sep 07, 2020

Hi Titus, thanks for not tipping the Dees, might be in with a chance???????

Mac Hawk

Sep 07, 2020

The original indigenpus game WAS a game of keepings off. Good to see a progression back to our original culture.
And as a Hawk fan (who remembers Melbourn's glory days and has celebrated all 13 Hawthorn flags) Clarko's mental health under the strain of coaching a shit side is almost as much a concern as Jeff Kennet's ambitiom to outlast Vladimir Putin.

Rover

Sep 07, 2020

Titus - I don’t “love” Andrews but I do respect a leader who heeds the science & has a basic grasp of data. In fact it’s pretty unusual these days. Yes it’s tough, but it’s tough as well for the doctors and nurses working in the COVID wards and ICUs who are exposed to massive, life-threatening doses of this thing, and who are the only ones there to sit with the dying.

Could we just stick to the footy from now on.

andrew hodder

Sep 07, 2020

Gee Titus, now look what you've done; got em all going political.
Why on earth shut down the economy for a few miserable lives? Nanny state!
Actually I heard last week that the virus outbreak in Victoria was caused by the unions. A communist plot? Don't know about you lot, but I'll be checking under my bed tonight.

Dog Man

Sep 07, 2020

Rover please just because someone has an opinion which differs to your opinion you have the temerity to suggest he doesn't offer the opinion again in the column he writes .
Keep up the good work Titus and feel free to express your opinion on anything you want to .

A pie forever

Sep 07, 2020

A bit harsh on Dictator Dan Titus, after all he is on the same page as his fellow Lefty Joe Biden who recently said, "There have been more deaths this year from Covid-19 than in the past 100 years!"
Dan, like Joe, is just stating the facts.
Oh and Bontempelli's 'goal' was touched - clearly.

Borissimo

Sep 07, 2020

Keep going Titus - you make a lot of people chuckle who appreciate your humorous & clever comments on the AFL travelling circus. Stuff those who criticize.

Rover

Sep 07, 2020

Dog Man - Titus can offer his opinion on anything he likes. It’s just that politics is like poison right now. Titus is a wonderful writer, I enjoy his columns and am currently reading his last book which is excellent.

John Nicholls

Sep 07, 2020

Yes, G-Train (best pseudonym I've seen in a long time, since G-Train retired) you're right, those U13 umps knew how to make young blokes scarce. Hang in there Tites, you're doing the best job. Here's my tip, Richmond v. Geelong in the granny. I know that's radical but in my day we never hung back, just went in hard.

BLUESMAN MACCA

Sep 07, 2020

Titus, this one of your best.
I used to cringe about the typos and stuff, but these days I don't give a flying rat's poo-hole.
Funny is funny.
Jaidyn whatsisname gone missing? 'kn hilarious.
The Dan Andrews stuff cracks me up. Yep, we're on the bottom of the ladder, but still hated.
I reckon we should hold a State of Origin comp.
Us Viccos have to wear masks.
"stick it up 'em?" No chance.

Max

Sep 07, 2020

Hey Titus,
Reckon you should probably ease up on the Dan Andrews hate. We’re all pissed off and we all want lockdown to be over, but you’ve already made it clear how you think Andrews has handled this in several blogs. Now you’re just flogging a dead horse, and inevitably bringing out all the ‘Dictator Dan’ nutters who fail to grasp why it’s important to curb the spread of a pandemic. I’ve always liked your political tangents, regardless of what view you’ve put forward, but this one’s getting a bit repetitive. Hope you’re keeping in touch with people close to you during this time, and hopefully we’ll be out of this shit in a month.

Kafka’s Ghost

Sep 07, 2020

Titus, normally I find your stuff the highlight of the footy season. Perhaps stick to football, for despite the times it’s a great distraction from the pandemic and its consequences.
Because there is a pandemic, and as someone who works closely within it as a public hospital anaesthetist, and who has lost a close friend due to it (he was 48), I can only say that seeing someone you know die from bilateral pneumothoraces after being on a ventilator for 4 weeks is pretty soul-crushing. Right up there with being a Demons fan. For all the deniers out there, the pneumothoraces were caused by the micro, and macro, vascular disease this virus initiates. My friend was a well, healthy man with a young family.

Chairman Dan From Peoples Democratic Republic of Victoria

Sep 07, 2020

Great comment about Stephenson. The dogs and eagles game was actually exciting if you ignored all the woeful skills. Eagles just don't like Brisbane.

You should be careful of criticising Dan the Man. His lockdown appears to be emulating Vladimir so don't accept any offers to drop by for a cuppa.

DPMACHINE

Sep 07, 2020

Hang in there Titus, you sound almost as sad and empty as a certain, quite reasonably, maligned tennis player. Always enjoy reading your posts, apolitical or not.

Kafka - I am genuinely sorry for your loss. While many of us living on our own, with family interstate and with job prospects rapidly diminishing are quite rightly feeling a little low, it pales (almost) into insignificance when compared with the situation health professionals and their patients are going through. I take my hat off to you all.

Colleen

Sep 07, 2020

My mental health is in a precarious state. Nothing to do with the world record lockdown. I have just opened my eyes and unblocked my ears to face the fact that the most untrustwothy team in the world has done it again

Kafka’s Ghost

Sep 07, 2020

Thanks DPMachine, hang in there.

SpryCorpse

Sep 07, 2020

Thanks for the continued column, Titus. Our household here gets some much needed laughter from your work.

Like others here, I've got your new book on pre-order. And grabbed one from your back catalogue while I was at it. So, hope that helps a bit.

Re: the Dan Andrews question. I don't know if things got out of control because of poor government or if it was a confluence of unlucky circumstances. I'm inclined to think the latter, but it's certainly difficult to be sure. The subsequent hard yards are tough, but necessary. It's hard for everyone here now. I'm lucky enough to have a continued income through this, so far anyway. And it's still hard. It must be heart-breakingly hard for yourself and others whose livelihoods have been wrecked. I hope that we can get on top of it all relatively soon and the recovery commence.

Macca

Sep 08, 2020

Stephenson will be available for four quarters of footy, when Sportsbet starts to offer four quarter multi bets.
How about Jaiden to kick the first and last goals? That would entice him to play for four quarters.

Leave a comment

We promise to never share your email with anyone else.