Sep 17, 2018

AFL

The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Finals Week Two

19 Comments

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.

Hawthorn (71) v Melbourne (104)

Who knew that football could make you happy?

It’s been a huge shock for me, right up there with learning football continues into September.

The idea that Richmond has a more stable administration than our country does and Melbourne have knocked Geelong and Hawthorn out of the finals means we are in uncharted territory.

The crowd of 90,152 made this the largest assembly of private school alumni in history, and the abundance of chinos, boat shoes and Country Road was truly terrifying.

The game was marred by a lack of polish, especially by the Hawks in front of goal and some terrible umpiring.

Some of the umpiring decisions were simply bizarre, as were the non-calls.

The contact below the knee calls against Melbourne highlighted the idiocy of the rule and something the AFL need to address before bringing in pointless rules we don’t need.

Hawthorn had plenty of bad calls against them too, including a few unrewarded tackles that dented their momentum.

After a fairly even first quarter, the Hawks established control in the second but then proceeded to blow every chance in front of goal they got.

It got so bad that you had to wonder if the Hawks had money on the Dees.

In the third, that all came back to haunt them as suddenly, the Dees managed to get control and convert chances.

Nothing highlighted Hawthorn’s woes more than when Jack Gunston hit the post when running into an open goal, only for the Dees to then rebound and kick a goal.

It turns out relying on other people’s mistakes works as well on the footy field as it does in building a career.

Going into the fourth quarter, Dees fans were feeling pretty good, although a significant part of their brain was working on all the possible scenarios where everything goes wrong and life crushes them again.

One of those scenarios appeared to play out in the fourth quarter as the Hawks stormed back and the MCC Members panicked liked the Australian Tax Office had announced a crackdown on trusts.

The Hawks were all over the Demons, and every Melbourne supporter had all the times Melbourne had blown it before running through their minds.

Hawthorn’s run of goals was the most terrifying thing I’ve been through outside of the rare times I’ve accidentally left the TV on and caught Roaming Brian.

When Oliver and Brayshaw engineered a clearance out of the middle, and Jake Melksham wheeled around and booted a goal, the relief that swept over Melbourne fans was palpable.

Melbourne then stormed home, and the Dees were in a Preliminary Final. The ground was jumping. Melbourne fans, so used to disappointment were no longer dreaming, a good thing was happening to them.

It resulted in a new world record for mistimed high fives. The lid, which was only purchased last week, was now off.

The Demons fans left happy, making calls to have the jet fuelled up and ready to head for Perth.

Collingwood (69) v Greater Western Sydney (59)

It was certainly a different crowd on the Saturday night, with fewer cravats and a lot more tracksuit pants.

Cheese plates were replaced by pre-mixed spirits and, …well I don’t really have a stereotype for Giants fans.

There were a few Giants supporters at the ‘G, but it was difficult to tell sometimes, given a lot of the MCG staff were in OH&S orange too.

More than once I saw a Collingwood supporter approach a Giants supporter and ask for directions to their seat before realising their mistake.

The Pies had lots to cheer about on the night but also a lot to be frustrated about, with their team wasting opportunities so often it was a surprise when they did convert for a goal.

If the Collingwood had have kicked to their forwards the way they kicked to the Giants, this would have been over by halftime.

Instead, their inaccuracy gave the Giants hope but it was false hope, GWS were well beaten all across the ground.

It amazing how the Giants have gone from a side seen as a force that was going to sweep all before them to a team you don’t fear in September.

Toby Greene was indicative of the Giants lack of performance on the night, Brayden Maynard did such a good job on him that there were supporters sitting behind the goals who touched the ball more.

The most worrying thing watching the Pies is they didn’t even play well, they could be so much better. The scary prospect of a Collingwood Premiership is no longer a laughable thought; it’s a clear and present danger.

The only winners out of this finals run are Pies fans and Cash Converters, who are doing a roaring trade as Collingwood fans fund their tickets.

The Pies now face Richmond in ‘The Battle of the Ferals’, a match that should have one of the loudest crowds in AFL history and will make the MCG the scariest place on Earth for several hours this Friday.

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. I aim to keep as much of my stuff on this site and available to everyone and not behind paywalls.

Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus

COMMENTS

Kafka’s Ghost

Sep 17, 2018

Congratulations on the Dees win, Titus. Despite being a lifelong Swans fan and multi-decade member, I sincerely hope the Demons are this season’s great story. A Melbourne-Collingwood GF: wouldn’t that be a turn up!? Although The thought of Bruce, BT and the crew waxing lyrical about “history” for the whole game is pretty mind-numbing already.

Michelle

Sep 17, 2018

The vic government should pre emptively declare the MCG a disaster zone, because one of those fanbases is going to have a lot of disappointment to take out on Melbourne's infrastructure after the tigers v pies game.

Hawka

Sep 17, 2018

Not sure the MCC is full of boat shoes but it is definitely full of RM williams. I think they are part of the mandatory dress code

The Hopper

Sep 17, 2018

Congrats Titus. As a long suffering Hawthorn fan, I can only imagine the elation you're feeling now. Good luck next week.

AnyonebutRichmond

Sep 17, 2018

“It resulted in a new world record for mistimed high fives”
Top 5 of the season Titus.

Dog Breath

Sep 17, 2018

As a doggies supporter, I know the joy you Melbourne supporters are going through now as we were in exactly the same position 2 years ago having knocked the Hawks out of the finals as well. It's unbelievable. And to think that there are babies out here that are nearly two years old who weren't even born when the Dogs last won a flag. Still, I sincerely hope you Demons supporters experience the "wet your pants" type of excitement we experienced when we got over GWS in the Prelim. Go Dees.

G-Rant

Sep 17, 2018

So are you heading to Optus Stadium Titus?

Southwestern Coaster

Sep 17, 2018

Hmmm
WCE vs MEL

Well this hopefully will be a battle worthy of the new haircuts and beard grooming.
Chardonnay vs Moët
Blaq vs Country Road
Freshly minted vs Old Gold
Ariadne vs Dame Nellie
Landcruiser dual cab (in charcoal with 4” lift) vs Carrera
Caterpillar vs Volvo
Lamb Tenders vs Lamb Roast with mint sauce
LED vs halogen
Bluray vs Beta
Rottnest at Xmas vs Portsea at 17c in January
Bulk tankers vs windjammers
Bishop vs ..... well, there’s no one of Federal ineptitude from Victoria worthy of remembering
WACA vs MCG
Lillee vs Hogg
and
Crown vs Crown ..... hang on! Crown can’t lose. How is that ethical?

Good luck Titus and let the better weather town win.
And thanks for such a good year. Highlights of my sporting week....

Warney

Sep 17, 2018

Meth Vs Cocaine.
Margaret River vs South Coast surfing.
Mandoon Estate Cabernet Merlot vs Dalwhinnie Moonambel Shiraz.
everything about WA says almost but not quite.

Warped view

Sep 17, 2018

Oliver and Brayshaw “Engineered a clearance” ha ha commonly known as Oliver gave Brayshaw the clearest throw since Murali at Adelaide Oval. A staggering non decision.

Tiny Giant

Sep 17, 2018

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.........let’s hope nothing too untoward happens

Neighbourhood Watch

Sep 17, 2018

MCG might be a scary place Friday night, but at least I'll be getting a night off !

Charlie

Sep 17, 2018

At least the vics will have one Victorian team in the grandi.Although I feel that two seems to be the minimum requirement judging by the umpiring this year. :(

Get Real

Sep 17, 2018

'Some of the umpiring decisions were simply bizarre, as were the non-calls'

A so called non-call is a decision. The Ump has decided not to pay a free.
It's just what he decided differs to your decision.
Stupidist saying in football. Time to erase it from coaches and commentators vocabulary.

Do agree that the umpiring standards get worse every year.

Mr Miyagi

Sep 17, 2018

I'm tired of Toby Greene being the escape goat when GWS looze

grafme

Sep 17, 2018

Minimum of two vic teams in GF thru umpire decisions??? At end of round 23 the free kick differentials were Collingwood +99, Eagles +85 (top two) Melbourne -8, Richmond -120. Not all the Vic teams seem to be getting such a ripper go!!! Still, it seems to get evens in finals, so we know who will be best served when it counts most!! On a lighter moment, it will be scary around Jolimont, though it is nice to hear that the Melbourne supporters now know the words of their song!! Still can't clap in time though

mdso

Sep 18, 2018

GRAFME - have your forgotten the AFL is into EQUALISATION big time.

I have always thought when its said, "umpires have no team bias" I think it was Andrew Demetriou and he'd know wouldn't he? Everyone has bias even if they are unaware of it.
Damned if I can work out some of the most whacky umpiring decisions in the past few weeks. Never mind change is coming so Gillon has told us. Everyone can hardly wait.

Having said that, go the Dees. Grab your moment and the best of luck.

Alice Springs Anthony

Sep 18, 2018

Imagine? You know it. Really well

Henry Highpants Athelstone

Sep 18, 2018

Off to Perth. Rang Qantas on siren. $1,530! Had one gin & tonic too many and booked an economy ticket for me and my partner. Doubled booked with Old Boys ski weekend up at the chalet. Need to talk to tax accountant about writing these expenses off on family trust. Catching up with long lost extended family at Royal Perth Yacht Club for canapés Friday night. Accommodation booked at Aunty Ethel’s in Peppermint Grove which is a touch far from the members at the new football ground. It’s going to be a difficult weekend and I do agree Titus - we are in uncharted territory with our young chaps! Bonne Chance!

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