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.

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

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Support Staff

Aug 07, 2017

Will "Bob Murphy and The Travelling Emergencies" first single be a cover of "Handle with care"?


Aug 07, 2017

The watermelon offered more resistance than the Power.

Denis Lyne

Aug 07, 2017

Where is your Tassie show, Titus?

Andrew J Taylor

Aug 07, 2017

Richmond fans bring the Bacchanalian Orgy to the AFL as an accepted post GF celebration?


Aug 07, 2017

As a Freo er...'fan', the game against the Suns was insipid. Sure Freo won but there were several times in the game where it was obvious that both teams had put the cue in the rack.


Aug 07, 2017

Great wrap as usual, unfortunately I'm in the camp of supporters who will be "discovering" September this year. On a brighter note, surely you just named yours and Sergio's tour for 2018 - "The Travelling Emergencies"

Simon Goodwin

Aug 07, 2017

Titus the Demons are on a Journey to rediscver our brand, not forgetting to develop along the which coincides with opportunity. We are a young team who is not undisciplined and our past is irrelevant. The ladder position is taking care of its self.

Every single Demons fan

Aug 07, 2017

Go **** your self Simon

The new stand at Kardinia Park

Aug 07, 2017

You forgot to mention me this week Titus

A Pies Fan

Aug 07, 2017

the pies-north match was so bad to watch I actually switched channels to the SBS late movie that was Icelandic and without any English subtitles.


Aug 07, 2017

yes the new stand would have helped Ling work through the trauma of a loss of the game and the cats premiership hopes

Pancho Pete

Aug 07, 2017

If there's one thing worse than Bruce actively barracking against the Cats it's when he takes pity on us and hopes we kick a goal. "Murdoch is such a skilled kicker of the football", proves once and for all that unless Cyril's involved he actually doesn't even watch.


Aug 07, 2017

Ok but as a Freo fan have you ever gone back and watched a replay of a single game during the ross lyon era? I imagine being a fan of a ross lyon team, there'd only be two emotions, "well it was ugly but at least we won" and the more common "we lost and it was a terrible game of footy, why did freo give him an extension?"


Aug 07, 2017

Maybe, but "End of the Line" will be their last single


Aug 07, 2017

I thought on Friday night that Dangerfield was the Geelong senior coach.


Aug 07, 2017

Ah yes, I remember the late night SBS euro art films sparkling with full frontal nudity from my callow youth. The narrative and themes were impenetrable - the protagonists, less so.

Fortunately we have an Internet now. You should check it out, I reckon you'll like what you find there.


Aug 07, 2017

Kafka's Ghost

Aug 07, 2017

Apart from channel 7 stalking Dangerfield all game, did anyone else notice Bruce say "that hurts us" after Hannebery's goal in the first quarter? There was a lot more hurt than that dished out, mainly by the 7 commentary team!

Damo from Dalby

Aug 07, 2017

Titus, I loved the Gatlin reference. Aaahh, drugs in sport: where would be without the constant entertainment they provide?


Aug 07, 2017

Titus I've just noticed you tipped 9 from 9 in your Highly Unhelpful Preview,
all the favourites got up. You might change the name of it to "Invest in these useful betting tips".

Michael B.

Aug 07, 2017

'While Richmond are behaving like a decent AFL side, the role of torturing your own fans seems to be being played by West Coast.'

Are you suggesting that we Eagles fans have to put up with this for 30 years?

Michael B.

Aug 07, 2017

'While Richmond are behaving like a decent AFL side, the role of torturing your own fans seems to be being played by West Coast.'

Are you suggesting that we Eagles fans have to put up with this for 30 years?

Plausible Deniability

Aug 07, 2017

"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."

Fecking ouch. I was having a pretty good day until I read that. Now I've lost the will to live.


Aug 07, 2017

An all Sydney Grand Final is still on the cards, or as I like to call it ‘The End of Days.’

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.

I laughed out loud!


Aug 07, 2017

This is piss-funny.
Essendon are a bit like a bloke who did the dirty on his missus and can't understand why everyone thinks he's an a-hole.

Anyway, Titus on fire this week.


Aug 07, 2017

I love Chardonnay.
I'm a North fan, I massaged my testicles with rusty nails on Saturday night to relieve myself from the pain my eyes were experiencing.


Aug 07, 2017

I reckon there should also be an indie/punk duo called 'Rested and Managed,' consisting of Steven Motlop and Jobe Watson.

Gunga Din

Aug 07, 2017

Good call Titus on the ch7 commentary - as a Sydney supporter it's like they don't exist - the best was the Bombers game when the Swans tried so hard to lose to the Cinderella team but couldn't. All night the Bombers were the better team according to 7 until Roosy put them in their place by acknowledging the Swans should have been 8 goals in front. And don't start me on that offence to humanity Carey - but like sleeping with your staff/team mates wife.......


Aug 07, 2017

I have been watching footy on the tv for best part of 50 years but never before have i been too scared to turn on channel nine in case the channel seven commentary team are there.


Aug 07, 2017

aren't you the culture vulture and in any event full frontal nudity in Iceland would only result in death in 15-20 seconds when it is minus infinity with the wind chill.


Aug 07, 2017

It is unsurprising that Melbourne based commentators don't exactly root for interstate teams. They know their audience. But Bruce McAvaney let the Cat out of the bag on Friday night after Hannebury's goal in the first quarter. "That hurts us"... he said, before correcting himself. "that hurts Geelong". If in the unlikely event of an all Sydney GF there'll be a lot of gardening done in Melbourne at the end of September.


Aug 08, 2017

37 years


Aug 08, 2017

Inspired commentary Titus....

The line of the year -

....Essendon winning was like Galt beating Bolt...

Deserves its own line even in the comments...which leads me to some of the comments. They were ascerbic and sadly poignant at the same time...keep it up team. As a WCE supporter I feel like I've watched an Icelandic comedy in the rain (in Iceland) whilst "massaging my nuts with rusty nails" to distract me from feeling "like I've poured acid into my eyes" fearing that this is what it could be like being a Freo fan but dreading the chance that WCE were becoming the new (old) Richmond ..... sigh!!!


Aug 08, 2017

Or the endless entertainment drugs provide outside sport ?


Aug 08, 2017

Ch.7. Has a massive for the bombers. B.T. grows an extratest when he calls their games.


Aug 08, 2017

Not denying what Bruce said, but you do realise he lives in Adelaide, not Melbourne, and is a Crows supporter?


Aug 08, 2017

Thanks for pointing that out Simmo, I wasn't aware of it. I actually like and enjoy Bruce's commentary and I wasn't really implying that he was a Cats supporter, but simply that it's instinctively in the interests of the AFL and its media funders to have the big Victorian teams slugging it out in September. But perhaps I am being oversensitive?


Aug 11, 2017

Tim C theres definitely a Victorian 'focus', if not bias, among the Melbourne media but that means interstate teams like yours and mine (Crows) can fly under the radar. I live in Melbourne and it's always fun watching what happens come the business end of the season as Victorians start to realise there are 8 other teams. Like when Priddis won the Brownlow, I think a lot of Melbourne journos had to look up who he was lol

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