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

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The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Sixteen  

Footy is a passion, not some cold hearted, spreadsheet 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.

Adelaide (104) v Western Bulldogs (45)

The Western Bulldogs era may be over. ‘Era’ is probably overdoing it, more ‘six perfectly timed weeks’.

It’s puzzling how far they’ve fallen behind in such a short time. Is it possible they just peaked at the right time? Or have they the skill but have just lost the hunger? Or are they just terribly hungover like I currently am?

At least a premiership hangover is better than a hangover because you were sitting at home alone last night and need to drink to stop the feelings.

What didn’t help, is the Bulldogs consistently kicking to Jake Lever like he was their key forward. It was like the Doggies had arranged to get a cut of his next deal and went about adding several zeroes to it.

In a dominant display by the Crows, the only downside was Taylor Walker bumping Jason Johannisen into the goal post, but it was all in good clean fun, just ask Luke Hodge. In my opinion, he should get at least one week, and I’m not just saying that because they play Melbourne next week*.

The contrast between the two teams in the second half was stark. The Crows lifted and the Bulldogs, in attempting to go with them, started turning the ball over with an enthusiasm that was concerning.

The Crows now sit first on the ladder, but are they premiership favourites? Not according to the Melbourne media who have awarded favouritism to seventh-placed St Kilda because they beat a Richmond side that forgot to turn up.  

*That’s totally why I’m saying it.

Hawthorn (97) v Greater Western Sydney (97)

Two draws in a row for the Giants, the first time a team has done that since Carlton in 1921.

I remember when Carlton did that, it was the same year I overcame smallpox and Australia beat England in The Ashes. Now we have managed to eradicate both smallpox and The Ashes.

The AFL in response to the Giants second draw in a row announced that they will remove draws from the season, as they have done for Grand Finals.

In the regular season, a draw will now result in GWS receiving the four points, even when they're not playing in that game.

I’m beginning to think Alastair Clarkson might know what he’s doing when it comes to coaching. Hawthorn may still yet play finals, which is amazing considering how poorly they were playing earlier in the year.

I guess those four premierships weren’t just a fluke after all.

I’ve constantly warned people that Hawthorn are still a threat, often going door to door late at night to warn people. You’d be surprised how unappreciative people are when you wake them at 3 am by yelling ‘the Hawks are coming!’ in their street.

I guess even Jesus wasn’t appreciated when he brought an important message to everyone.

Collingwood (80) v Essendon (117)

A Collingwood loss is always welcome, but an Essendon victory sure does take the shine off things.

It finally seems the sun is setting on Buckley’s coaching career. His time has been like the guy at work that keeps telling you a project is going well even though it’s years overdue and despite the impressive presentation, nothing seems to have been done.

“Nathan, we haven’t started winning games.”

“I think you’ll find we now have a framework in place that can deliver the results we’re expecting.”

“You said that in 2014.”

“Our model is now projecting we’ll win the Premiership in two years.”

“Nathan, that’s the same model that predicted two years ago that we’d win the premiership this year.”

“Yes, but we’ve updated the colours on this PowerPoint. There’s also a nice waterfall graph later.”

Still, it was a classy touch of Collingwood’s to give him a lap of honour at halftime.

Essendon fans would have enjoyed this. Beating Collingwood and not stuffing up massively, what a treat.

The Bombers received some extra motivation to not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again when Levi Greenwood elbowed Zach Merrett in the jaw. Levi didn’t obviously get the various memos after the Houli, Bugg and Fahour incidents and seems to have not consumed media for the past three weeks.

The victory keeps Essendon in the September hunt, but you can’t play Collingwood every week.   

Sydney (118) v Gold Coast (51)

So by my count, both Rodney Eade and Buckley handed in their resignations on the weekend, and Damien Hardwick tried to.

The Suns at least gave it to the second quarter before throwing in the towel. There have been rumours there are manoeuvrings to get Buckley to the Suns next season, which would be like replacing a blown light globe with another blown light globe.

Sydney’s march into the eight has been frightening. They are more unrelenting at the moment than promos for Australian Ninja Warrior.

The Swans were without Josh Kennedy, but it didn’t even matter. They made the Suns look like amateurs, which is what many of their players deserve to be paid like.

Gary Rohan continued his form with five goals, while Buddy booted three.

It’s time we had a serious talk down here in Melbourne. What can we blame the Swans success on now? We’ve already taken away COLA and given them a trade ban.

Perhaps it’s time to crank up the old academy excuse. Over to you Eddie, you need a distraction at the moment.

Brisbane (78) v Geelong (163)

This Dayne Zorko guy is good. So good that people outside of Queensland talk about him and not in the context of which Victorian team is trying to poach him. They talk about his actual football.

As the only Lions player playing, he gave beating Geelong on his own a crack, with 36 disposals, four goals, ten clearances and 12 tackles.

It was a fair effort and could have worked, but this week, Dangerfield’s teammates were rostered on and the Cats after quarter time decimated the Lions.  

Geelong had spent the week on the Gold Coast in preparation, and it seemed to have them in sparkling form. Perhaps the AFL could just move them to the Gold Coast and move the Suns somewhere more appropriate, like Auskick.

Patrick Dangerfield was again in scary form, with 38 disposals and three goals.

Considering he had a son this week that’s amazing. After all, childbirth is toughest on the male, what with the whole standing there getting in the way.

St Kilda (138) v Tigers of Old (71)

Nothing like a horror movie on a Saturday night, especially one with a bit of comedy thrown in. If only Richmond players had the resilience of their fans.

I’m a firm believer that you can never change teams, but Richmond are testing my commitment to this.

It’s often said that a team ‘doesn’t show up’, but in this case, it was true. In fact, at halftime, I wondered if all the Tigers fans streaming out of the stadium would run into the Richmond players arriving.

While the first quarter wasn’t great for Richmond, the second was the worst quarter I’ve ever seen the Tigers play, a winner in a Melbourne Cup field.

The Saints booted 9.5 to 0.1in the second quarter to lead by 82 points at half time. It was so brutal an assault that I phoned triple zero and reported it to the police. The operator said they were already aware but were busy dealing with an angry mob marching on Punt Road.

So soft were the Tigers in this game that no one will be sending them to recover money.

I don't want to overreact to one game, but Richmond may never win a game ever again.

How good were the Saints? Well amazing obviously. In cases like this, you always wonder how much is the ascendant team and how much is the opposition. This is especially the case when Richmond are involved.

Tim Membrey was everywhere on Saturday night for the Saints, booting goals and elbowing blokes.

Up one end, Nick Riewoldt, an elderly man, beat the ‘GREATEST ATHLETE IN THE HISTORY OF TIME’ Alex Rance, while St Kilda’s defence locked down the Tigers forward line the three times the ball went near it.

It’s a result with far-reaching implications, the major one being that Richmond’s dream of not winning a final this year is truly alive and well.

North Melbourne (82) v Fremantle (86)

I wish I was as good at something as North is at losing close games.

Brad Scott says the Kangaroos train for close finishes, but I’m not sure they train to win them.

So good at almost winning are North that Chris Connolly watches on thinking ‘why didn’t I do this?’

In fairness to North, there’s no shame being done over by Ryan Nyhuis.

Fremantle would be happy with the win but realistic about how lucky they were.

North had chances to win, with Todd Goldstein’s miss from 25 meters out in the dying moments letting them off the hook.

On the positive side for Dockers supporters,

Nat Fyfe looked once again like Nat Fyfe and not someone unfamiliar with the sport.

For North supporters, it’s probably not worth dwelling on where you’d be if you’d won the seventh games this season you’ve lost by 15 points or less.

Brad Scott said bringing up those stats ‘is incredibly shallow.’ Well, you know what Brad? I am incredibly shallow.

Carlton (82) v Melbourne (90)

Watching Brendon Bolton, coach is one of my favourite things to do. It’s so obvious why he’s a good coach, he hates losing so much, and he says all the right things regardless of the outcome.

Take for example that after the game when he would not accept that injuries to Patrick Cripps and Simon White were part of why Carlton lost.

You can take your excuses and shove them when it comes to Bolton. Every Blues player could have died, and he wouldn’t have used that as an excuse.

“Even as a corpse, you need to still hit a target if you want to be a league footballer.”

Personally, I thought Cripps going off was a big part of why Carlton lost. Melbourne had stopped the bleeding at that point, but it was no coincidence that after his exit they started to get their running game going.

Melbourne went into this game stuck together with sticky tape and having Carlton go two players down is the sort of luck you need when you’re that depleted.

The Demons were just hanging in there for a lot of the day, but they deserve credit for not going away. Winning ugly is a skill they haven’t possessed for some time.

It was another week of controversy for the Dees, with Clayton Oliver getting into a verbal spat with a Carlton fan. Apparently, Oliver threatened the fan but let’s keep it in perspective; it’s not like he threw an imaginary spear at him.

Plus, no matter the circumstances, you’re always going to side with the bloke arguing with a Blues fan.

Carlton showed they are a side on the up but don’t tell Bolton I said that, he couldn’t care less about travelling in the right direction, he wants wins, and he wanted them yesterday.

West Coast (88) v Port Adelaide (120)

Remember the Eagles much-vaunted web? It’s never been the same since Hawthorn brushed it aside a few years ago.

Now their defence has more holes in it than the plot of a Michael Bay movie.

Most worrying for the Eagles is they’ve lost three of their last four games at home.

An Eagles team that can’t win at home is like a fish that can’t swim, what’s the point of it?

Port needed to win against a top side to get rid of the ‘pretenders’ label.

Unfortunately, they weren’t playing a top team this week, but this was a good win anyway.

Port hung in during the second quarter when the Eagles were really having a crack, only to then run over them in the fourth quarter.

The old saying that the tall ones don’t get shorter as the game goes on proved true, with Paddy Ryder and Charlie Dixon dominating West Coast.

In bad news for the Eagles, they do two things they’re now not good at, they play away against Fremantle, while also playing at Domain Stadium where they have a terrible record.

I'm touring my new show 'Insufficient Intent' around the country. Come see me in the bye weekend before the finals. All the details are available here.

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Brent 10 July 2017

The Jesus comment was too good for round 16 Titus-just take a little pressure off the accelerator and save plenty of gold for the finals!

Radar O 10 July 2017

You need an editor, there's a few little errors. It's a great read though!

Glasshouses 10 July 2017

There *are a few little errors

Dublin Aussie 12 July 2017

Nope, sorry to be pedantic but there's technically "a (one) few", not multiple "fews", so "there is a few" is correct.

Sorry not sorry 12 July 2017

"Errors" suggests multiple "there is" is incorrect. Nice try though

Denis Lyne 10 July 2017

Touring your new show
"around the country" are you Titus? Searched and searched the your itinerary but cant find any mention of the little island paradise just to the south of Melbourne! What a disappointment.

Titus 10 July 2017

About to announce a Hobart show.

For the grammatically imperfect, Glasshouses is correct. 12 July 2017

There "are" a few errors. Few is being referenced to errors (plural). Step up lads.

Mr B 10 July 2017

It's OK Titus. Radar O needs an editor as well. It should be "there are a few little errors."

Dublin Aussie 12 July 2017

Sorry mate, but Radar O is right. Only one "few". It's not plural.

Bladdamasta 10 July 2017

So Buckley should work for a sales unit in a financial services organisation or a technology transformation project at any organisation?

Bloke from the outer 10 July 2017

C'mon Titus. Where's the comment about Plan B for the dimwit. He reminds me so much of Mark Williams - everything peachy when things are working and no idea when things go awry.

Tamra (Go Swans) 10 July 2017

Very nice Titus. Agree, even in Round 16 you're still giving 110% and putting in a four quarter effort with, what I counted as, at least 25 effective spoils. Particularly like the short and sweet wrap on Cats/Lions: 'Perhaps the AFL could just move them to the Gold Coast and move the Suns somewhere more appropriate, like Auskick.' LOL.

Gibbo 10 July 2017

"We’ve already taken away COLA and given them a trade ban.

Perhaps it’s time to crank up the old academy excuse. Over to you Eddie, you need a distraction at the moment."

That, Sir, is pure gold.

BERT 10 July 2017

A great read. So many great fictional characters such as Eddie, Jesus and Ryan Nyhuis. I don't know how you come up with it.

Michael N-S 10 July 2017

Here in Sydney, thanks to the demons new publicity plan of diving, punching or abusing someone every week, we've realised there is a Melbourne Footy Club as well as a city called Melbourne, amazing, who knew?

Al 10 July 2017

Probably your best effort this year Titus. Thanks for the giggles

Andrew 10 July 2017

Too funny "Perhaps the AFL could just move them to the Gold Coast and move the Suns somewhere more appropriate, like Auskick."

willwilde 10 July 2017

Having eradicated small pox and the ashes. Funny.

NotanotherMonday. 10 July 2017

Thanks Titus. I just snorted on the bus! Funniest yet.

Sullo 12 July 2017

Did you play in the Hawks 2008 Premiership side by any chance?

AngelSwan 10 July 2017

Not surprisingly, Im not surprised about the Premiers Western Bulldogs. I still believe that the whole finals series was fixed for the fairytale. That is why that are doing so badly now...there is no help from the Umpires...

Bree 10 July 2017

You never fail to help ease the pain of being a Richmond supporter Titus. This is not an easy job but you do it well. The laughs take the edge off. You've talked me off a ledge a few times, keep it up, it's likely I'll need it. Oh the pain.

Jona 10 July 2017

It was indeed a feel good weekend for the AFL all round...what with Freo winning and the Wet Toasters losing despite the home ground umpiring. It is actually quite a mean feat for the chardonnay set to lose 3 of 4 at Subi, given the umps usually put a stop to opposition momentum with some well timed whistle-blowing. No doubt usual service will be resumed even though it's an away derby for the unwashed, but that's fine with me 'cause the Dockers are worryingly close to doing a Collingwood or Richmond and finishing 9th or 10th. Clearly we need Chris Connolly back to do a proper rebuild...

Trouper 10 July 2017

It looked like the Carlton supporter was giving Oliver some advice. Oliver said "thank you, but we are in front". I saw no problem with that

Gunga Din 10 July 2017

If Bruce and BT didn't see it, did Rance really have a bad day.....something about trees falling in a forest (a bit like Rancey when lightly touched)......

London 10 July 2017

Best yet Titus, great read! We must all prey that Collingwood allow Bucks to go one more year, cmon, one more. He's your best mate Eddie.
If they do release bucks, Hird and Voss are available?!

Voldo 11 July 2017

Funniest this year

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