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.
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Other dates for other cities to be announced soon.
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