Sep 10, 2018


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Finals Week One


Footy is a passion, not some cold hearted, spread sheet dominated rational exercise.

On a Monday, you want irrational reaction. You want emotion to trump reason.

What you really want is idiotic hysteria.

You’ve come to the right place.

Richmond (95) v Hawthorn (64)

Once a Tigers’ final was a chance to have a good laugh then settle in for a week of the club tearing itself apart, with the fans calling for more blood to be spilt than a Mayan human sacrifice.

Now, the opponent is the sacrifice, and the result is rather terrifying for the rest of us.

The Tigers did what they do on the MCG, strangle their opponent while Dusty throws in a few party tricks that defy the laws underpinning our reality.

It was certainly strange to see confident Richmond fans sitting next to nervous Hawks supporters during the night, like seeing the Sun out at night.

When Dusty kicked his rather astonishing goal from the boundary, you could sense the Richmond faithful relaxing in the knowledge that this was probably going to be their night.

The idea that Dusty has saved his best for finals is going to keep me awake at night, as well as the idea that Richmond supporters’ happiness continues to grow like some newly released primeval force that will one day sweep all before it.

Hawthorn didn’t seem even close as the game progressed.

Like that one time I went on a date, under pressure the Hawks crumbled when it mattered most.

An aversion to contact, little accountability, excessive sweating and having way too much to drink beforehand is what got me, and I can only assume the Hawks as well.

Hawthorn’s night wasn’t helped by the fact Ben Stratton went off with a hamstring injury.

After the game, Alastair Clarkson said to the media “you guys are like a bunch of sheep.”

He was forced to offer an apology to sheep afterwards.

Melbourne (75) v Geelong (46)

I remember the day a fire alarm went off at work, and before realising it was a drill, I ran screaming, down ten flights of stairs while crying hysterically, only calming down several days later when police found me huddled behind a dumpster several suburbs away.

The reason I tell that story is I still had more composure than these sides did on Friday night.

There were missed shots everywhere, kicks hitting opponents on the chest, simple marks dropped and Joel Selwood losing his cool and taking away the small amount of momentum the Cats had built up.

With no real composure to speak of it all came down to pressure, and Melbourne piled it on like a side who had twelve years of pressure behind it.

Every time a Cats player got the ball a Melbourne player was there to at least harass them and often tackle them hard.

The few times the Cats seemed to be on the way back, they’d be a missed goal, or Joel Selwood’s brain snap when he gave away a free on his way off the ground, just as Hawkins was taking a shot on goal, effectively reversing that and giving the Dees the ball back on the wing.

While giving a free away at that point was ill-disciplined, it was the bravest ill-disciplined free kick I ever saw.

As the Melbourne faithful began to realise they weren’t just in the finals but might win one, the rattle of jewellery was deafening.

Personally, it was easily the greatest night of my life, going right past the time I got an extra serve of fries at the Macca’s drive thru by accident, and when I got home Die Hard was on.

Melbourne will now face Hawthorn on Friday night in a match that will tear private schools apart this week.

Sydney (30) v Greater Western Sydney (79)

The Battle of the Bridge turned out to be more of a light skirmish as the Swans forgot to pack any firepower.

Calling it a contest would be misleading; let’s call it a get together to officially declare the Giants the winners.

Sydney’s problems were so extensive it would be easier to list what went right:

  • End of list

Perhaps worst of all was the Swans forward line which worked about as well as Ticketek. It was intermittent at first before pretty much shutting down entirely.

John Longmire said afterwards, "We just didn't get anything right," which was the first sign of accuracy from the Swans all day.

The Giants had winners all over the field, with Phil Davis’ job on Buddy Franklin the best example.

Even Josh Kelly going off early with a knee injury had no discernible impact.

Toby Greene returned from his hamstring injury doing all the Toby Greene things, kicking goals and people.

The Swans will now wonder what happened all off-season, while the Giants travel to the MCG to play Collingwood, giving them a chance to actually win over the hearts and minds of Victorians.

West Coast (86) v Collingwood (70)

In the one good game of the weekend, the Pies and the Eagles gave us everything you could want in a final, momentum swings, multiple lead changes, high pressure and Collingwood losing in heart breaking fashion.

The Eagles got off to a flying start, but the Pies have shown all year that they annoyingly never give up.

Collingwood’s run was insane, and the Eagles were on the back foot for long periods of the game.

The Eagles hung in there though, having to overcome an equal free kick count of 23-23, which had the crowd booing at the unfairness of it all.

As the Pies tired, the Eagles started to run over the top of them, and you could sense the pressure as Channel Seven kept showing Eddie McGuire losing his mind in a manner that would normally result in people texting that number to report anti-social behaviour.

As West Coast went ahead, there was an air of inevitably about it, as the home crowd cheered on the Eagles.

The final quarter was mainly dominated by the Eagles intercepting the Pies and then scoring on them, making the loss sting all the more.

The Pies must now face the Giants at the MCG. If they lose that, Eddie will be trying to have the Giants kicked out of the competition before Buckley hosts his post-match media conference.

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Sep 09, 2018

I think the Swanees must have got Ross back for some consultancy work on forward play. It's OK to kick 4 goals if we can keep the opposition to 1 #fail


Sep 09, 2018

Fair suck of the sav Titus, Dusty had more frees than Clarkson has had coffees with Gill!

Beau of Beaumaris

Sep 09, 2018

How many more decades remain on Buddy’s 99 year lease?
May it live on to haunt Sideney like the sacking of the most succesful coach of all time has (at least until now) done to another team named after a capital city ( shames me to utter the name).


Sep 09, 2018

What you talkin' about Willis?


Sep 09, 2018

Watching the Swans/GWS game was agonising. Most of the Sydney players, apart from perhaps Isaac Heeney, looked they had taken a tranquilliser. Embarrassing, particularly after the beat-ups about Swans in the local papers prior to the game. I'm pleased for you that Melbourne did so well but surprised you repeated the slur that Melbourne supporters are all plutocrats. However, I guess this means that you too can wear you gold bracelet to the next footy game.


Sep 09, 2018

It was great to see Collingwood come second. They played well though.Injuries and luck will win the grand final.


Sep 10, 2018

I’ll just say that following the Swans continues to teach me humility.

Filthy Dirty Thug Leigh Number 3 from Hawthorn

Sep 10, 2018

Titus, the Hawks out in straight sets would be good enough reason for Demons fans (and all fans) to celebrate like they have won the flag.

Paul Bauer

Sep 10, 2018

Haha. The world has changed, “confident Richmond fans sitting next to nervous Hawthorn supporters’.


Sep 10, 2018

A laugh out loud and often classic, Titus. But have you peaked too soon?


Sep 10, 2018

Neeld at Melbourne?

Don La Roche

Sep 10, 2018

The difference between The Tigers and the rest of the teams this series is that Richmond is a champion team and right now stand apart from the other clubs.

Can count to 10

Sep 10, 2018

Dusty was awarded ONE free kick. Well done, champ. You're as bright as the swans forward line coaches.


Sep 10, 2018

As a Carlton supporter not much to celebrate in 2018 but your summation of pies & Eddy made my day

Bloke from the Outer

Sep 10, 2018


When you've toiled at the bottom of the ladder for 10 years you'll know real humility.

Bloke from the Outer

Sep 10, 2018

Don La Roche

I'm a lifetime tiges supporter and know only too well not to get ahead of myself. I can remember 1972 and 1982 only too well.

I agree we're a good TEAM but so are the woods and GWS, one of whom we'll meet next.


Sep 10, 2018

Paul Roos "Go forward but don't kick a goal" - can be taken to extremes.


Sep 10, 2018

I feel an Eddie drinking game coming on for this finals series.

Anthony Smith

Sep 10, 2018

Swans - hopefully there will be a review of the Coach - Long JohnMire. For too Long has been the Mire with John. More than time enough to go.

The Captain

Sep 10, 2018

Loved the shots of Eddie channeling his best Serena Williams impersonations. Probably the shock of having to travel interstate to play a game.....

Eagle Eye

Sep 10, 2018

I was there and the Pies did play well. Just not well enough.


Sep 10, 2018

The brand Titus the brand..Its all about THE BRAND...What a brand..a finals brand, keep playing their brand...BRAND BRAND sentences between now and friday night without using brand as a noun.


Sep 10, 2018

Though no big fan of the Weagles - and does McGovern have a personal sponsorship from Hungry Jacks now or did his Mum wash the guernsey on the hot cycle by mistake? - it was entertaining to see Eddie push the pressure limits of his cardiac arteries as the team with the big Cox were shown the back door. Kennedy's marking skills or rather lack thereof, were a sight to behold, everyone has an off night I guess but I am sure I saw saw Eagles fan with what looked like a Barrett .50 up on a grassy knoll behind the goals midway through the second quarter...Speaking of grass, traction at that ground looked more suited to jello wrestling that football at times, though that sport and a Collingwood crowd - yeah, nah. Roll on next weekend!


Sep 10, 2018

Bloke From The Outer,

Actually, I think the Swans' ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory is unparalleled. Who else could beat more Top 8 sides than any other club, and then lose abysmally to Gold Coast? What other club could have no trouble winning anywhere on the road, but struggle at home? What a weird bunch.

Mick B

Sep 10, 2018

It was strange at the G on a Thursday night with the Richmond faithful choc full of confidence and bad manners, and the Hawks fans more nervous than a pregnant nun, good luck to them Tiger fans.

I am a Hawks fan but have seen this mob suffer ( and enjoyed it for 3 decades, enjoy the moments in the sun Tiger fans, you guys have deserved it !!

Bloke from the Outer

Sep 11, 2018

Thanks Mick - extremely generous comment. Good luck against the dees - I think you'll need it even though I'm not convinced of their bona fides. They looked like missing the finals 3 weeks ago and the Cats came 8th for a reason.

Wok n Eddie

Sep 11, 2018

What is this about a wok in a love temple? Eddie have too much chilli and screaming where do I get a mid strength beer around here.


Sep 16, 2018

Geeze that’s sad but true


Sep 16, 2018

Geeze that’s sad but true

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