Aug 07, 2017
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Twenty
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.
Geelong (61) v Sydney (107)
This was all Matthew Kreuzer’s fault. If he hadn’t been so selfish as to go and concuss himself in that Dangerfield tackle, none of this would have happened.
The Channel Seven commentary team were obviously devastated with Dangerfield being out, showing him in a box so often that it felt stalker-ish.
It felt like we were mainly watching Patrick Dangerfield watch footy, like when Shia LaBeouf was filmed watching all his movies for an art project.
Little did Channel Seven know it would get worse, with Geelong folding like a dodgy camping chair in the first quarter and Joel Selwood injuring his ankle.
Geelong’s medical staff patched Selwood’s ankle up and sent him back out, which seems weird given he has now been ruled out for four to six weeks.
Oh well, I’m no doctor and I’m beginning to suspect neither are they.
Cameron Ling managed to keep commentating in between sobs, which was a brave effort but the darkness that descended over the commentary team was palpable.
They were so flat they even mentioned the Swans once or twice.
For Sydney, this was everything they needed after a disappointing loss to Hawthorn the week before.
With Josh Kennedy out and Kurt Tippet in, this presented a tricky game but in the end it was a nice percentage boost. An all Sydney Grand Final is still on the cards, or as I like to call it ‘The End of Days.’
Greater Western Sydney (97) v Melbourne (62)
Remember all those hot takes a few weeks ago about how the Demons could win the premiership this year? Oh how we all laughed.
Now you wonder if they can even make the eight. Losses to North Melbourne and then this performance don’t exactly fill you with confidence.
Things started off well for Melbourne before the Giants put the accelerator down and blew past the Dees like an Aston Martin Vantage racing a go kart.
This was the Giants team we've been expecting all season. With key players returning GWS looked scary.
To think, only Richmond now stand in the way of them winning a premiership.
GWS just had more skill and more intent and the Dees now need to beat St Kilda to stay in the finals hunt. Oh dear.
Essendon (84) v Carlton (76)
Essendon were about as convincing in this as Ashton Kutcher was portraying Steve Jobs.
We all know that to beat Carlton you just need to score eighty points. Essendon only just managed to do this.
It’s been pointed out before, but the Blues scoring issues are especially poignant given the forwards they’ve given up in recent years.
The fact it’s been brought up before makes it no less fun to do it again.
What Carlton are slowly learning is a Levi Casboult, does not a forward line make.
Essendon seemed to be travelling well early on but decided to keep things interesting by kicking for goal like they’d never done it before. Not only did it keep the Blues in it, Carlton started to win the ball around the ground.
Liam ‘Greatest Defender in the History of the Game’ Jones did a great job locking down Joe Daniher after he looked dangerous early but the Blues just can’t score enough to beat a team even when they dominate them.
It means the Bombers did just enough and with other results going their way, Essendon now sit in eighth spot, keeping the feel good story of the year alive.
It’s right up there with Justin Gatlin beating Usain Bolt on the weekend.
Brisbane (89) v Western Bulldogs (103)
While winning is nice, some wins hurt and losing Easton Wood to a bad hamstring is a painful outcome for the Doggies.
Losing a key defender like Wood is what we call a ‘sub-optimal outcome’ and the Doggies players seem to realise this as they went from dominating the Lions to being distracted after Wood’s exit.
The Bulldogs were also without Jason Johannisen who has a sore back. He was replaced by Bob Murphy who had been listed as the ‘travelling emergency’. It sounds like a band, ‘The Travelling Emergencies’.
In fact, I claim all copyright rights over ‘Bob Murphy and The Travelling Emergencies’ including animation rights.
Brisbane seemed as surprised as everyone else that they were a chance in this one.
Considering they had only two fit players on the bench, they worried the Bulldogs more than they should have, especially with their speed. They made the Bulldogs look old.
As well as speed, the Lions also had luck, with the Doggies goal kicking making them look like they were new to the sport.
All I came away with from this one is doubts the Dogs are going to make it back this year, hardly an insightful comment, but I’ve never made an insightful comment before, so why start now?
North Melbourne (57) v Collingwood (111)
I’ve never poured acid in my eyes but I imagine it feels a lot like watching this game.
To call it a ‘game’ would fail to convey the pure exercise in torture this was. The whole idea that these two teams are made up of professional athletes, trained in this sport is laughable.
The fact a heap of players got injured during this was hardly surprising given the level of coordination on display. How they didn’t all get injured is the real miracle.
Brodie Grundy looks in trouble for his tackle on Ben Brown. It seems the good old days of pinning an opponent’s arms and driving his head into the ground has gone the way of other great footy traditions, like sleeping with your staff.
North in the last two weeks have proven they aren’t tanking, firstly by beating Melbourne and then putting on this performance that was so bad a tanking team would have been too embarrassed to be so obvious.
Collingwood winning when it doesn’t matter is everything I could ask for. All I can say is they are on the right track and please don’t change anything.
Fremantle (90) v Gold Coast (67)
This match certainly lived up to the hype, given there was no hype whatsoever.
Watching Fremantle play the Suns would struggle to interest even supporters of both these teams but here was I watching it and wondering if I’d studied harder at school, would I have made something of my life? Would that have meant I didn’t need to watch this?
I probably wouldn’t have made something of my life. Making something of yourself requires a lot of effort and self-belief, two things I don’t really go in for.
I’ll tell you who else doesn’t go in for self-belief, the Gold Coast Suns. Considering all the advantages they’ve been given they have become an embarrassment.
It’s probably harder to take a team with all those draft concessions and build it to be this bad.
The Dockers weren’t troubled after half time in this game and Nat Fyfe continues to improve but this was one that even Dockers fans won’t be rushing to watch the replay.
St Kilda (103) v West Coast (95)
While Richmond are behaving like a decent AFL side, the role of torturing your own fans seems to be being played by West Coast.
The Eagles, sit in ninth and regularly turn in performances that get them in winning positions, but only to provide a platform to deliver some spectacularly inept footy.
Like winning, West Coast have toyed with playing finals all year but find themselves outside the eight as the field thunders down the home straight.
What was especially creative in this performance, was the way the Eagles pulled ahead in the fourth quarter before managing to turn the ball over a few times in critical situations.
St Kilda fans were certainly breathing a sigh of relief, with memories of last week’s debacle against Port still fresh in the memory.
Luckily for the Saints, Jack Billings and the Eagles combined in the final moments to get the Saints home.
St Kilda’s finals hopes are still alive and next week they face Melbourne, a game certainly not beyond them.
Richmond (93) v Hawthorn (64)
I tipped Richmond to win this. The fact they did win leaves me questioning everything I’ve ever believed in.
I’ve always said I thought Richmond would come good one day but did I really believe it?
The answer is no. I’m still not sure that I do but what I do know is I can write this next sentence.
Richmond’s victory has ended Hawthorn’s chances of playing finals.
I mean, wow.
What other crazy things will I be able to write before this season is over?
Richmond wins a final?
Tigers Premiers 2017?
We were all wrong about Damien Hardwick?
It’s a strange new world and a frightening one. Like if gravity just stopped working or Sam Newman updated his act.
There was no doubt that without Luke Hodge, Hawthorn’s defence looked about as organised as the plan for launching AFLX.
Even without Jack Riewoldt playing they looked to be in trouble all game.
Hawthorn fans, have an exciting new experience ahead of them, discovering the month of ‘September’. It’s a great time to get out in the garden.
Adelaide (130) v Port Adelaide (46)
Elon Musk won’t fix this mess in 100 days. In fact, the Power looked to have about as bright a future as coal after this performance.
So dominant were the Crows from the early stages that to call this a contest would be being charitable.
In fact, the Crows were charitable, regularly missing easy goals to give this the appearance of being close early on, when it was anything but.
There’s not much point in analysing this game in any detail, it would be like analysing a truck driving over a watermelon. The truck crushed it and kept going like it hadn’t even noticed, the end.
Power fans looked on with a horror usually reserved for a team coached by Mark Neeld. It felt like a season ending defeat, even though the Power still sit in fifth place.
Crows fans slammed back the Chardonnay with reckless abandon, celebrating the biggest win in a Showdown ever.
There may be two AFL sides in South Australia but on Sunday there wasn’t.
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