Sep 17, 2018
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Finals Week Two
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.
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