Aug 14, 2017
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Twenty One
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.
Western Bulldogs (57) v Greater Western Sydney (105)
Perhaps the only surprising thing was that it took until the third quarter for Toby Greene to do something stupid.
It was disappointing, as I had the second quarter in the office sweep.
Depending on your point of view, Greene intentionally lifted his foot to kick Luke Dahlhaus in the face, or he was simply protecting himself and the contact was accidental.
Either way, Greene seems to have a knack of being in these incidents and then following them up with a crucial goal.
It will be a real shame if kicking someone in the face goes the way of the jumper punch, the sling tackle and sleeping with your staff. Just another great footy tradition confined to the dustbin of history.
In my day, being kicked in the face was all part of the fun and being kicked in the face by a League footballer was an honour.
The Bulldogs chances of playing finals are now low at best. It’s still possible but a miracle like last year seems unlikely, that’s the problem with miracles, they’re notoriously unreliable.
Sydney (143) v Fremantle (39)
Words cannot capture the intense awfulness that was the performance of the Fremantle Dockers.
I’m not sure what sport they were playing, but it certainly wasn’t Australian Rules.
In fact, sport involves doing something physical, which the Dockers players managed to avoid for an entire game, letting the Swans players walk the ball through the centre corridor, like someone taking a Sunday stroll.
Amazingly, the 143-39 score line flatters the Dockers; I wouldn’t have been surprised if they posted the first ever negative score. Take Nat Fyfe out of this game, and it would have happened.
Ross Lyon said after the game that he was proud his team didn’t give up. You can’t give up something you never start, I suppose. What a joy for Dockers fans that he’s locked in until the end of this decade.
What about Sydney’s performance? Who knows what to make of it. This wasn’t even a training run for them; their training would be a lot tougher than this was.
Geelong (80) v Richmond (66)
Alex Rance’s title as ‘the Greatest Defender in the History of Time’ took a bit of a beating at the hands of Harry Taylor. Taylor has been a forward for about two minutes and is 100 years old, so it was a bit of a surprise to see him dominate Rance.
Geelong had quite a few key players out, so this was a great win for them. If they can arrange to have every game played in Geelong, they could go the whole way this year.
The Tigers were disappointing but not ‘Richmond disappointing’, not one of those defeats that make Richmond fans question their entire existence.
Dustin Martin was quiet, which was a concern for him in the Brownlow as his main competition Patrick Dangerfield had a blinder… Oh, hang on.
Anyway, the Tigers will regroup, I’m not writing them off based on this.
Brisbane (142) v Gold Coast (84)
Do you know how bad you have to be to have Brisbane score 142 points against you? Like ‘just move them to Tasmania’ bad.
The Suns players gave the first quarter a go, leading by 21 points at quarter time but then Brisbane started to have a crack, and it all became too hard.
Dayne Beams almost singlehandedly dragged the Lions back into the contest and from then on it was all one-way traffic.
Perhaps what’s most surprising about the Suns is their lack of depth. They are so shallow they make an argument on Twitter look deep.
It was a great result for the Lions fans, if they ever by some miracle bump into someone who barracks for the Suns, they’ll have bragging rights, but that would be like bumping into a unicorn.
Essendon (80) v Adelaide (123)
So, these Crows could be the real deal. I’d never considered that before, them not being from Victoria and all, but a bit of research reveals they are on top of the VFL ladder.
Against Essendon, the Crows showed again how good they can be when all the parts work together.
They put the foot on the accelerator in the second quarter and never looked back.
It was disappointing from Essendon, they need this to keep control of their destiny, and it came in the week Jobe Watson announced his retirement.
But potentially missing finals is the least of Essendon’s problems, Joe Daniher ruffled Rory Atkins hair after a goal.
Hair ruffling is ruining our great game, and if the AFL doesn’t step in to stop it, we might not have a sport in a few years and soccer will finally swamp us all.
That hair ruffling was so vigorous I’m shocked Atkins didn’t go off on a stretcher with concussion.
That’s the problem with Joe Daniher; he allows his personality to show at times, which I’m sure will be illegal soon.
West Coast (100) v Carlton (83)
The Eagles toyed with ruining their fans lives again but decided they’d hurt them enough in recent times.
It was a victory that underlined the Eagles credentials to finish tenth by the end of the season.
The Eagles led by 35 points in parts but the Blues kept coming, and you could sense the stress levels rising amongst the Eagles faithful. Ambulances were put on stand by, and Perth hospitals got ready to treat multiple heart attacks.
Luckily, Carlton had given the Eagles Josh Kennedy a few seasons ago, and he was the difference, booting six.
There were good signs for the Blues; they just can’t score if their lives depended on it. Actually, that may be the way to motivate them.
I bet threatening to kill an employee is illegal though. Blood nanny state. Well, outside of the Australian Olympic Committee it’s illegal.
Melbourne (96) v St Kilda (72)
It was a battle of which team could meet its fans expectations, and in the end St Kilda did.
Melbourne stormed out of the gates and by the second quarter they had a 40-point lead. That sort of start is enough to scare any Demons fan.
The inevitable fight back by the Saints had the Dees faithful cursing into their cheese plates.
The Demons of old would have certainly lost this one, but the new Demons have a bit more grit and were playing a Saints team that seemed to go out of its way to butcher the ball.
Saints fans were tearing their hair out over the repeated turnovers. There were a few standouts. Jack Billings played the game with one eye not working due to swelling.
He still got 30 possessions, but his goal kicking was a bit off. He did well just to keep playing; it hurt just to look at it.
For Melbourne, the sight of Angus Brayshaw getting crunched but being alright was a relief, and his performance was a joy to watch. Let’s hope he never gets knocked out ever again.
The Dees just need to beat Brisbane at the MCG this Sunday, and they should be sweet for finals. How could they possibly lose that?
Hawthorn (116) v North Melbourne (89)
This wasn’t an interesting or important game, so much so that everyone made a big deal of it being Luke Hodge’s last game in Tasmania.
I’m not really sure that’ a huge thing but what else are we going to talk about in a game that meant nothing?
I guess Hawthorn could technically make the finals if a bunch of results go their way.
It’s been fun watching Hawks fans run the scenarios, like Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind.
North were competitive without really troubling the Hawks. The good news for North fans is this season is almost over, and The Ashes are going to be played this year.
Port Adelaide (98) v Collingwood (71)
The perfect result. Collingwood loses but not by enough to stop them extending Buckley. We are so close to achieving our aim everyone. Let’s hope the rumours are also true that Gubby Allen could be back at the Pies.
This wasn’t beautiful football. The first quarter was on pace to overtake Collingwood-North as the worst game of the year before Port realised that handballing to a teammate with four opponents on them was a bad idea.
It only took them a quarter to figure this out.
Collingwood, for all their faults, always put in the effort and they kept coming, making the Power have to work hard to get the win.
While it was a much-needed win for Port, a lot will have to change if they’re to win a final or they meet Richmond. Either would work for them.
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.
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: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus