The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Four | Titus O'Reily

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The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Four

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 (91) v Sydney (65)

This has been the worst start for the Swans since 1993; that’s a long time.

To give you a sense of how long, the first Collins Class submarine was launched that year, and in 2017, the Swans work as well as they do.

John Longmire said after the game, "we need to get better." That’s why he’s on the big bucks. The Swans do indeed need to get better, especially at football.

Thankfully for Sydney fans, he hasn’t started talking about five-year plans or rebuilds; code for ‘we have absolutely no idea what we’re doing.”

This horror start is probably more a reflection on the lack of depth at the Swans.

Take out five good players from any side, and they’ll struggle.

What will happen now, is after we all tipped them for these early games, we’ll adjust, tip against them and they’ll start winning.

The Eagles won this coming off a five-day break, which I was led to believe by coaches complaining in the media, was impossible to do. How they’re still alive, let alone victorious, is surely the Easter miracle we should all be talking about.

Elliot Yeo had so many intercepts in this game; I thought he was playing for Sydney as they key target up forward. I only just learnt he wasn’t. The Swans’ players found out at the same time as me.

North Melbourne (86) v Western Bulldogs (89)

This managed to be both the worst and the best Good Friday game ever. The first half made me almost wish I had friends and family to spend Easter with but the second half banished those foolish thoughts.

I should mention that the deliberate out of bounds rule is stuffed, the rushed behind rule is stuffed, the ruck rules are stuffed, and the incorrect disposal is stuffed. I could have mentioned that in almost any game review this week.

In this game, even Marcus Bontempelli admitted his side got “a gift” from the umpires in the form of a bewildering third-man up free kick. It would not be the only bewildering free kick of the round.

The umpiring is so bad this year it may be better just not to have them. Not that I blame the umpires, the AFL have created so many stupid rules and changed interpretations so often, that getting it right is impossible.

The umpires are like call centre staff, the public image of terrible decisions made higher up.

North again looked better than expected while still managing to lose. They had to work harder to lose this time, at one stage accidentally having a 29-point lead.

The Bulldogs continued to look like a shadow of the team that stormed home to win the premiership last year. Worryingly, they only have 19 more rounds to sort this all out.

In the end, I gave Good Friday a big tick, but then that’s because footy is my religion and I like to be able to worship as often as possible.

Melbourne (104) v Fremantle (106)

A lot of people are saying Melbourne could have won this. What, if they hadn’t given up eight goals in a row? A lot of teams could have won a lot of games if they didn’t do that.

Melbourne had always been as mentally tough as the finest china, and in the third quarter, they fell apart with a familiar predictability.

In some ways, they played just one bad quarter, but when it was as bad as the third, you only need one.

It seems that the Melbourne Football Club’s great talent is that there is no position they can't lose from.

They even managed to come back in this one, taking the lead late, only to then undo their hard work for the second time in the game.

Fremantle, it must be said, have improved out of sight. From being an embarrassment only a fortnight ago, they suddenly look like a mildly competent football side.

The Victorian media need to step up the ‘Nat Fyfe is leaving’ stories before this improvement trend gets out of hand.

Greater Western Sydney (112) v Port Adelaide (81)

What a relief. Port Adelaide are better, but not that much better. I was worried we were all going to have to admit Kochie knows what he’s doing. A bullet dodged, for now at least.

This was close for a lot of the game, but the Giants had a few more gears to go through in the home straight, while the Power had maxed out.

Port actually led halfway through the final quarter and still managed to lose by 31 points. That’s not easy to do. It takes real non-effort.

The Power achieved it by becoming spectators for the last fifteen minutes of the game, in the process doubling the crowd in Canberra.

GWS looked good again, showing they only need a little bit of space to smash a side.

They take on the Swans this week. Look for Sydney to call for the end of the Giants COLA the week after.

Carlton (82) v Gold Coast (108)

Carlton players had a kick with some kids after training this week, which was a lovely moment but also a worry when the kids started out marking the players. Even worse, the kids started offering some coaching before Bolton stepped in and ended it.

Tom Lynch looked like he was playing against kids in this, kicking seven goals and pushing aside opponents with ridiculous ease. Lynch also kicks straight which gives him an unfair advantage against the other key forwards in the competition.

As well as Lynch’s dominance, Gary Ablett fittingly used the Easter weekend to remind people he was back. His goal after swooping through the centre square was a reminder of his supernatural abilities.

Apparently, some Blues supporters booed Gary Ablett. You wonder why when they have so many of their own players to choose from.

The Blues weren’t awful but there lack of avenues to goal certainly cost them. This would be the perfect time to again bring up how they’ve traded out some of the best forwards currently in the AFL.

On the positive side for Carlton fans, they sit above both Hawthorn and Sydney on the ladder, a feat thought unachievable even a few weeks ago.  

Adelaide (153) v Essendon (88)

The Bombers have apparently ‘hit the wall’ according to John Worsfold, or at least the ones returning from their bans have.

Not since Paul Roos declared Melbourne players were ‘tired’ after losing to Essendon in round two in 2016, has a team cited fatigue so early.

Lucky there are only nineteen rounds to go. At least it seems they won’t have to play finals, so there’s a great chance to rest up in September.

Bombers fans will be deeply concerned by this performance. I thought I was watching Crows’ highlights instead of a live game.

Time and again the Adelaide midfield swept forward with little opposition and found either Tex Walker or Eddie Betts in so much space that it would sometimes take several minutes for an Essendon player to appear on camera.

They’re good Adelaide. They’re like Richmond, if Richmond had played good teams.

Collingwood (55) v St Kilda (69)

This was an awful game. Just four quarters of having the life sucked out of you and wishing both these teams had never been invented.

Now we have to go through the whole ‘can Bucks coach?’ thing again. No! We know he can’t, it’s been six years! Six!

Has no one else noticed that he inherited a young side that had won a premiership, then made a Grand Final and since then they’ve got worse every year? These are just facts; this isn’t a complicated problem to figure out.

The handover was a terrible decision and not just with hindsight, it was silly back then and many people said so, including many players behind the scenes.

My concern is Buckley really does have the full support of the Collingwood Board (so Eddie) and therefore they won’t sack him. That means he’s stuck. His pride won’t let him go, and they won’t get rid of him. It’s cruel really.

A lot was made of Scott Pendlebury spending 14 minutes on the bench in the third quarter. Personally, I understand that. You’d sneak off for long breaks if you had to work with his co-workers.

Take for instance Jeremey Howe calling some of his teammates passengers. I believe that’s what psychologists call ‘projecting’.

St Kilda didn’t look much better in this one and they were lucky they served this performance up against Collingwood.

Time and again, the Saints midfield found ways to turn the ball over in their forward fifty. I’m not even a St Kilda supporter and it frustrated me. At least they’ve got the number one pick this year.

Brisbane (67) v Richmond (119)

Neil Balme must regret being forced out of Collingwood. If he were still there, he’d be getting ready to sack Nathan. Instead, he’s just welcoming people to the Richmond bandwagon, making sure they’re seated and pointing out the emergency exits, which they won’t need for a few more rounds.

Richmond got the job done here early, and it’s not too soon for Tigers fans to get their ‘Premiers 2017’ tattoos done.

Don’t worry that they haven’t played any of the top teams yet, best not to overthink tattoos.

To be fair to Richmond, which I always am, they can’t have done much more than they have this year. The Lions were all over the shop and a good side should have put them away and the Tigers did.

There were no worrying moments, a rare thing for Richmond, they just got on with it.

Next week, they’ve got Melbourne and they’re every chance to go 5-0. It would be a Richmond fans luck for North Korea and the US to end civilisation just as things are coming together.

The Lions on the other hand looked terrible. Chris Fagan has his work cut out for him, but it’s not an impossible task, like say, rebuilding Hawthorn.

Hawthorn v Geelong

News that Ty Vickery was an out, gave a lot of people confidence Hawthorn would pull off an upset; that confidence was misplaced.

It’s tough times at the Hawks. A Hawthorn fan told me he may not renew his guinea pigs’ pet membership, that’s how bad things have gotten.

Lifelong Hawks supporters (so supporters for the last five years) are feeling the pain as their club spirals out of control at a speed no one predicted.

The big question for the majority of Hawks fans is, who should they barrack for now?

I’ve never seen anything turn pear shaped so quickly, outside of one of my relationships.

Hawks fans should at least take comfort that none of us are finding any enjoyment in their misery.

Geelong showed no mercy in this even playing Harry Taylor up forward, which is like drag racing with your handbrake on and still winning.

Sydney people, I'm coming to Sydney to do a show on, Friday, April 21st at The Comedy Store. Tickets are now on sale and available here:

Other dates for other cities to be announced soon.

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


Clive Waterhouses Underpants 18 April 2017

I wonder how long it will be until I stop enjoying Hawthorn thrashings? Or will it be like West Coast fans booing of umpires and never end

BRAINS 19 April 2017

Get a life u pathetic being

Matt 18 April 2017

Come on Titus, you know that not even a nuclear war could alter the AFL Fixture. Think of the "corporates"

Pieman. 18 April 2017

I am having a recurring nightmare and I cannot wake up from it. I keep seeing Collingwood lose, game after game season after season... slipping ever backwards into oblivion.... it is an endless dream.... I scream but no one hears me.... I have also started to see the Hawks lose everything, and that cheers me up a little.... Please help. I do not know what to do.

The Original Buzz 19 April 2017

Collingwood losing is only a worry for Collingwood fans.

Laurie 18 April 2017

We have a boys footy trip to Melbourne 12th-15th of May. Are you doing any Melbourne shows then?

Chappy 18 April 2017

Laurie Holden?

Panco Pete 18 April 2017

Find below latest geopolitics and the AFL story from ABC News.

"Port Adelaide Chief Executive Keith Thomas says the A-F-L club is monitoring the situation in North Korea ahead of its historic meeting with the Gold Coast in Shanghai.

The Power plays its round eight clash against the Suns in the first A-F-L game in China next month.

Thomas says if there's any problem the match will be played on the Gold Coast."

Anton 18 April 2017

Titus EVERYBODY is finding enjoyment in Hawthorn's misery. If you dont laugh at them you are not alive

Chappy 18 April 2017

"Hawks fans should at least take comfort that none of us are finding any enjoyment in their misery" - surely a typo Titus? I have not yet found anyone who is not loving every second that Hawthorn embarrass themselves. May it continue for another 40-50 years.

Paul 18 April 2017

I think you all need to be a little more sensitive to us sad Hawthorn supporters and members. We are the real long suffering down trodden AFL miserables. We haven't won a flag for 18 months and there is no room left on my walls for the premiership posters.It's a nightmare.

John Nicholls 18 April 2017

He's not bad that Eddie Betts, but I do feel sorry for him. Imagine being traded from Carlton.

Erkie 18 April 2017

You missed something in the Collingwood game Titus. 3 minutes to go, the Pies are 3 goals down, after only kicking about 4 and Brian Taylor screams " The Pies are really taking it up to StKilda" Seriously! The only thing they were taking up was sauce and why would you put sauce on a cold pie?

John 18 April 2017

My favourite commentator moment of the weekend was Leigh Matthews saying "They're going to be ok" about the Hawks! It was about when Geelong was kicking their ninth goal for the quarter.

Paul J 18 April 2017

Its not all bad news for Hawks fans --Le Cras got off and is free to play this weekend!

Deborah 18 April 2017

Very clever line re Port players becoming spectators & thereby doubling the crowd nos. So enjoy your work.

Michael 18 April 2017

Titus - as an objective Essendon supporter, who is now a teetotaller and has sworn off any illegal substances, I thought the umpires in our South Australia clash were a bit biased. It happened early in the first quarter when we were building up momentum. We're still a bit fragile but we'll get there. Looking forward to the next two weeks of blockbusters.

Good 'ol Collingwood Forever 18 April 2017

Of course Nathan Buckley can't coach! He's an idiot. As for keeping Pendles on the bench so long, that would have been their one chance to win. What Collingwood needs are some fresh new picks and a fresh new coach. I read an article a while ago saying Dane Swan was coming back to AFL; does anyone know if this was a joke, and if not, when it's going to happen? I'd really like to see him put on the B&W jersey again.

Smacks McTavish 18 April 2017

Dane Swan is indeed coming back. Such is Eddie's respect for his intellectual prowess and knowledge of the game he's been offered an eight year head coaching contract as soon as he knocks Bucks out cold.

Good 'ol Collingwood Forevef 18 April 2017

Thanks for the clarification Smacks McTavish, as long as he gets Bucks off coach I'm good! He's been the downfall of the Pies for too long!

Sheppo 18 April 2017

You sound bored Titus.

dean 19 April 2017

can i be your proof-reader please? free of charge. i just want you to get things right as it makes for a better read.

Mouse Croghan 19 April 2017

Do you have something against the Crows? Always the shortest write up and never a mention of how good we are. Just wondering.

Mouse Croghan 19 April 2017

Do you have something against the Crows? Always the shortest write up and never a mention of how good we are. Just wondering.

Mouse Croghan 19 April 2017

Do you have something against the Crows? Always the shortest write up and never a mention of how good we are. Just wondering.

Rich 24 April 2017

Titus writes panty about the Crows. Perhaps he should write the same thing three times to be noticed though

Ben Timover 19 April 2017

Clarko is an absolute genius. The team's current game plan is so ahead of it's time that supporters (like me) don't understand what they are doing, let alone the opposition coaches. Perhaps rather than waiting for the AFL to change the rules to deny us another premiership we are one step ahead and doing it ourselves ?!?!?!

BRAINS 19 April 2017

Damian Monkhurst been seen in talks with Gary Pert over succession plan to take over Buckley

MG 20 April 2017

It's truly outrageous that GWS get that COLA. The cost of living in Canberra is a lot less than the Eastern Suburbs.

MG 20 April 2017

Also, it's outrageous that GSW get that COLA. It's allowed them to get Stevie J, Deledio, Griffen and Mzungu. They'd couldn't win without those guys.

Hugsy 21 April 2017

"The umpires are like call centre staff, the public image of terrible decisions made higher up." I'd laugh more if I wasn't crying at the same time! It was only ten years ago when no one had any problems with deliberate out of bounds and rushed behinds (except Darren Goldspink, of course).

Eddilaide 25 April 2017

Take out five good players from any side, and they’ll struggle.

Except if you're Adelaide.

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