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.
West Coast (69) v Western Bulldogs (61)
Who would have thought the Bulldogs could be one of the most inaccurate teams in front of goal and Travis Cloke isn’t even playing?
It’s a huge trend this year, teams losing due to inaccuracy. West Coast decided to try and match the Doggies’ goal kicking by booting 1.9 in the second half.
People are quick to point out most of this poor goal kicking is mental, not physical. Yet, when I use that excuse in my life, I’m met with laughter and no returned calls.
What would be especially worrisome for the Eagles is the Bulldogs had more outs than a well-planned bank robbery. To struggle against them while at home is a concern.
The Bulldogs, on the other hand, seemed determined to challenge for the premiership again from the bottom of the top eight. Whatever works I say.
Hawthorn (113) v Brisbane (75)
This was a terrible game, and I’m glad the players will have to review this on Monday as they should have to go through what they put us through.
The first half was just a procession of people dropping the ball whenever an opponent passed it directly to them. It was like watching a remedial PE class.
Considering these players spend so much time with footballs, it seemed odd to me that so many of them acted like it was a strange object they’d never seen before. They even seemed surprised when it came towards them at all.
In the second half, Hawthorn lifted, or Brisbane dropped, I’m not sure which. Either way, what was an error filled but the close game turned into an error-filled training run.
The only downside for the Hawks was an injury to Cyril Rioli, but it was one of the most exciting injuries you’ll ever see.
Are the Hawks on their way back? No, this was Brisbane.
St Kilda (85) v Carlton (66)
A solid win for St Kilda was overshadowed by alleged sledging of Marc Murphy and Murphy then yelling at an injured Jake Carlisle, who was lying on the ground in pain.
Apparently, some of the St Kilda players had been sledging Murphy all day about a ‘highly personal matter.’ Now, to me, that must be code for Murphy being a Nickelback fan.
It raises and interesting point, what’s off limits when it comes to sledging? A lot of footy fans think anything on the field goes. I’d suggest to those people that they should try that approach at their place of employment today and see how that works out.
In my experience, sledging people at work about highly personal things only works if you’re John Coates.
For the rest of us, there are certainly some boundaries, and I’m not sure why footballers should be exempt from them.
Murphy then reacted after Jake Carlisle received a blow to the wedding tackle.
Spotting him lying on the ground in pain, he went over and yelled at him, with some Saints players claiming he spat on him.
Now having someone yell and spit on you as you lie on the floor in pain, is something you usually have to pay good money for, but there has to be consent.
In this case, Carlisle thought a line had been crossed, and he’s an expert in crossing lines.
Clearly, what’s required here is a Royal Commission to get to the bottom of this.
Greater Western Sydney (102) v Collingwood (99)
After the rancour of the Saints-Blues game, we needed a feel good story, and here it was.
The Pies started off very strong, quickly gaining the lead with six goals to two in the first quarter.
The Giants got back in the game in the second quarter, when Buckley forgot to put someone on Jeremey Cameron, who would finish with six goals.
GWS though were down two players, and it seemed the Pies would prove everyone wrong and get an unlikely win.
In the dying moments though, the Giants went forward and Steve Johnson, who had played for most of the game like someone who had never played before, roved the pack and kicked the winning goal.
As the ball sailed through the uprights, the crowd noise being played through the PA system was turned up as loud as I’ve ever heard it at Spotless Stadium. It was heartbreaking for the Pies and heart-warming for everyone else.
Buckley said after the game “We were good enough, but not for long enough,” which doesn’t make any sense.
Is this the end for Buckley? I hope not. This was the feel-good hit of the year.
Essendon (110) v Geelong (93)
If you don't like how your team is going in 2017, just wait five minutes. Essendon seemed done for, but they just needed to play a team that doesn’t like tackling.
Trying to stop your opponent with the ball is an important part of the game. It turns out if you don’t do that they can just run forward and kick goals.
The Geelong players seemed to avoid any form of physical contact, which while appropriate in most workplaces, is not the case in the AFL.
Instead, the Cats players focused more on easy possessions and trying to take cool marks; it was like watching a bunch of ten-year-olds play but with less enthusiasm.
Time and again, the Bombers found it easy to score, and they were up by 40 points at three-quarter time.
Only at this stage did the Cats seem to put some effort in, like when you’ve done nothing at work all day, so you quickly make a big deal of doing something because people are on to you.
In this case, it was too little too late. This performance by Geelong, in none other than the ‘Country Game,’ was an insult to all the hard-working people across regional and rural Australia, who work day in day out to provide for all Australians.
If they put in this sort of effort, we’d be experiencing food shortages.
Adelaide (66) v Melbourne (107)
Clayton Oliver may be the greatest person who has ever lived. I’m a bit biased, but the idea of Melbourne having a real football star is something I thought would never happen again, like having someone love me.
While love remains elusive, a sure-handed clearance machine has arrived, and I am finally starting to believe that the Demons are heading somewhere that isn’t painful.
The Crows were meant to bounce back from a terrible outing in Tasmania and thump the Dees but instead struggled to handle opponents not letting them do whatever they want to do.
Rory Sloane was tagged by Bernie Vince, and Sloane’s teammates took one look at Vince’s aggression and said, ‘You’re on your own there Rory.’
Time and time again, the Crows players couldn’t handle the defensive pressure of the Demons. Neither could the umps, with Vince taking out one of them and the fill in going down with cramp.
It meant the game got down to two field umpires, instantly halving the number of umpiring mistakes.
Does this mean the Dees have finally clicked and the Crows are done? In this crazy season who knows? This season is drunk.
Richmond (70) v Fremantle (72)
This was 100% pure Richmond.
There are not many things in this life that you can do in twenty seconds. For example, you can’t boil a kettle or empty the dishwasher in that time.
You can, however, defeat Richmond in twenty seconds.
With the lead and only 21 seconds remaining, you should be able to win a game of footy. You should get everyone back and just plug up any hole.
The Tigers though decided that was not the Richmond way, leaving an enormous amount of space in the central corridor for Lachie Neale to stream through.
It was like the Red Sea parting for Neale as he strode forward and delivered the ball to David Mundy, who seemed to be able to lead into an extremely large amount of space in the forward fifty.
Where were all the Richmond players? It will be one of life’s great mysteries.
When Mundy slotted the winning goal, every Tigers supporter wondered why they had briefly believed again that something good would happen to them.
What have we learned? That in the time it takes to cook two-minute noodles, you should be able to boot six goals against Richmond.
It’s been so bad for so long for the Richmond faithful, that Amnesty International have overnight recognised Tigers fans as victims of torture.
Fremantle can thank their lucky stars. Against any other side, this would have been a loss. Instead, the Dockers now boast a better record at the MCG than most of the teams that call it home.
Gold Coast (38) v Port Adelaide (110)
I had a drink every time someone said, ‘Shanghai surprise’ during the coverage, which meant I was poleaxed by quarter time and probably drank more than anyone in the stadium.
I can only assume by the Suns’ performance that they heard of the alcohol ban at the stadium and did what most of the crowd did and got plastered before the game.
With a mysterious castle in the background, this felt more like Game of Thrones than an AFL game, especially with the massacre that was occurring.
It was a terrible game and let it stand as a warning to the Chinese that if they don't stop the hacking, we'll send these teams again.
Gold Coast were so bad, and the travel can’t be the whole excuse, Port to my knowledge had to travel there too, they didn’t just teleport over.
One thing that was strange is I thought this was a sell-out, but there were a lot of empty seats. Gillon McLachlan said it was because people were off getting food and drink.
Now Gil, just because you’re in China doesn’t mean you need to resort to propaganda.
North Melbourne (78) v Sydney (120)
There were a lot of issues with North's performance but nothing their new coach next season won’t be able to fix.
The Kangaroos player seemed strangely unmotivated, especially once they realised they weren’t getting the embarrassing Swans from the early rounds.
In fact, the Swans had some key players back, and the rest seemed to remember how to play footy again.
Every Sydney supporter sat watching this thinking ‘where was this for the first six rounds?’
The answer is, of course, that you don’t get to play North six times in a row or everyone would be in first place.
In a pretty one-sided affair, the key thing of note was there were melees at quarter-time, half-time and three-quarter time.
Add that to the fines from the Saints-Carlton game and the AFL’s Christmas party is going to be lit.
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