The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Twenty-Three | Titus O'Reily

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The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Twenty-Three

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.

Adelaide (71) v West Coast (100)

Well this wasn’t meant to happen. Even respected football analysts like myself got this wrong.

Just kidding, I’m neither an analyst or respected.

The Crows were meant to secure a top two spot against an Eagles side who had injuries and are not very good on the road.

Instead, the Crows played with the intensity of Clag. Yes, Clag, the childhood glue you used to eat.

The Crows missed targets regularly and seemed perplexed by the Eagles’ web, which everyone else figured out last year.

West Coast in fact seemed more like the ones with a top two spot on the line.

They were very good.

They’re so used to carrying a lot of injuries after their experience over the last few years that they just got on with the job and didn’t complain like many others do.

It seems odd to me. If I have the slightest injury, say I’m hungry (totally a type of injury in my book), I complain like I’m Rodney Eade, Brad Scott and Eddie McGuire combined.

This stoic stuff makes the rest of us look bad.

It made for a tough weekend for the Crows but at least they get the next two weeks off.

Geelong (155) v Melbourne (44)

Paul Roos was meant to have fixed all this but like someone on their last day at work, not a lot of work got done.

I’ve always been a bit perplexed about the lack of criticism of Roos time at Melbourne.

Given the injection of raw talent, some improvement was always going to be there but the question is, has it been enough?

Settling for being just happy because Melbourne aren’t as bad as they once were, seems to me to be a very Melbourne thing to do.

For me, this season has been a failure. The loss to Essendon is still inexcusable and the game against Carlton, with a potential finals spot on the line, makes you wonder if any of the core issues have been fixed.

Add this game, which was a shameful display and you have to wonder if things have really changed as much as people make out.

Am I a hard marker? You bet after decades of this slop.

Still Paul, job done with nothing much for Simon Goodwin to do than collect the premiership cup for the next few years.

Geelong on the other hand looked like the Harlem Globetrotters in this. Calling this a glorified training run for them is probably insulting to how hard they actually train.

If they play like this in finals, they should win it all. Unfortunately, they’ll face teams who know how to win games that mean something.

Essendon (103) v Carlton (79)

See the Bombers fly up, up to win the …wooden spoon.

Weirdly, this felt more like a premiership win and three wins off the year is probably overs for what people thought this team would do.

Say what you like about the Essendon Football Club but they have a fighting culture.

That’s helpful on the field, not so much against the AFL or the legal system.

But they do have pride and it showed here again.

It’s harder to know what to make of Carlton’s season. It was an up and down season, but at least it had ups this year.

Brendon Bolton went from the greatest coach in the history of time to perhaps not the greatest of all time.

This was a disappointing performance, with the Blues not showing even a passing interested in defending in the first half.

Their effort made Joe Daniher look like Wayne Carey in his prime.

It seems that when it comes to the Blues, they have the right coach but still a lot of the wrong players.

What will be interesting is to see if they’ve really changed and don’t trade all their best players away in the off season.

Sydney (164) v Richmond (51)

Were Richmond trying to make Melbourne supporters feel better? It certainly felt like it as the Tigers turned in a performance that was the footy equivalent of a late Adam Sandler movie.

I haven’t seen a performance like this one since Carlton players were trying to get Malthouse fired.

In fact, Paul Roos sent Brendon Gale a text straight after the match with just his BSB and account number.

The Tigers players all talk about how much they love their coach but in life, actions speak louder than words.

Which is actually unfortunate for lazy people like myself. How good would it be if words spoke louder than actions? I’d be fit, rich and attractive to the opposite sex if that was the case.

On the back of this performance and the rest of the season, the word is that almost everyone but the coach will go in the offseason.

That’s like getting rid of a boat with a hole in it but keeping the hole.

I guess it’s all worth it for all this amazing off field stability. Of stability is only good when you’ve got the right people surely?

For the Swans, this was just a pleasant way to spend the afternoon and practice some set plays.

The win ensured they received the minor premiership but unfortunately, other results meant their first final will be at ANZ Stadium not the SCG.

Swans fans are best to start making the journey there now and take rations equivalent to Burke and Wills’ journey, which was slightly less treacherous.

Gold Coast (66) v Port Adelaide (89)

A match that no one really cared about including those participating in it. I still watched it though but that was more due to the fact I had literally nothing else to do.

I’m so lonely. And hungry.

The Suns season coming to an end was a blessing for all involved and with every single player asking to be traded (roughly), you have to wonder if this whole ‘having a team on the Gold Coast’ is really worth it.

I don’t just mean for the AFL; I mean for every single sporting competition. The Gold Coast is the mirage in the sporting desert that leads numerous clubs to their deaths.

Port Adelaide’s season wasn’t any better. Both these teams were apparently meant to be playing this September and both missed by more than Travis Cloke from five meters out in front.

Neither of them are sure things to rebound next season either. Those poor Chinese don’t know what’s coming. We need to warn them or risk them breaking off diplomatic ties.

North Melbourne (63) v Greater Western Sydney (100)

Who would have thought that announcing you’re sacking four of your most well-known players would result in an insipid performance?

Oh, it seems everyone but Brad Scott and James Brayshaw did.

To be fair, this didn’t seem that different from North’s performances from before the night of the long knives.

Not being able to win seems to have become a core skill of the Kangaroos from round ten onwards.

Perhaps the problem was they didn’t announce enough sackings.

The whole idea that these sackings were going to motivate people was laughable, especially since it was ripped straight from the main storyline in the movie Major League.

It was a good day for the competent expansion side though, with the Giants making North look old and slow because the Kangaroos are old and slow. They should really get rid of some players.

It’s an exciting time to be one of the Giants fans.

First finals series, a top four finish and an all Sydney final in the first week. These are exciting times indeed to be alive.

The Giants are in with a shot too. Get excited people on the Riverina.

St Kilda (161) v Brisbane (103)

Another meaningless game and not just because the Lions were involved.

The Saints played this like it really mattered, which is a good habit to get into for a footy team.

Nick Riewoldt led from the front with 11 marks and three goals in just the second term. That’s just silly.

He ended with a career best nine-goals and even though it was against the Lions, it’s still impressive.

It marked the end of the Justin Leppitsch era at the Lions and while some might rejoice in that, it’s no certainty the next one is going to be any better.

With Greg Swann up there, there’s a serious chance it’s going to be worse, just ask Carlton fans.

Hawthorn (112) v Collingwood (111)

Usually, a Collingwood loss like this is to be savoured and enjoyed but unfortunately, this meant Hawthorn got a top four finish and the fourthorn scenario is still a clear and present danger.

Fourthorn scares me so much I was even going for Collingwood in the final moments and as a result I’ve been showering almost non-stop ever since.

I just can’t seem to get clean. I can smell the UDL cans on me.

In further bad news, this may mean Collingwood are actually going to improve next year. Something not in anyone’s interest.

They went very close to winning this but it almost impossible when the Hawks have Jack Fitzpatrick who won the game for the Hawks with a goal out of the centre square.

That’s sort of performing when it matters is why he got cut from Melbourne.

It was a great game and when you see an exciting game like that, you immediately think ‘I hope there’s no footy next week to build off this momentum.’

Fremantle (69) v Western Bulldogs (49)

What a wonderful shootout this was. Ross Lyon could always win when he kept sides to under fifty, even with this Dockers side.

I was pleased Fremantle could lift for Matthew Pavlich’s last game and the fact he kicked his 700th career goal showed what a great player he’s been.

What was concerning though that they could lift here and not for the previous 22 rounds.

It certainly helped that the Bulldogs have everyone injured.

Luke Beveridge said he could find no positives in this performance. That’s typical Bevo though, he’s a ‘glass completely empty’ type of guy.

One big positive I can think of is that no Bulldogs players got season ending injuries, a rare event of late.

The Bulldogs now face the Eagles in Pert in a fortnight, while Freo, they are doing nothing.

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DavidBurne 29 August 2016

Gibson's second quarter 'spoil' attempt - later and firmer than Sloane's last week, but no perennial bleeder involved - didn't even get a mention??? Lift yer game, Titus......

macca61 29 August 2016

"That’s like getting rid of a boat with a hole in it but keeping the hole."... Best line of the season..

Genie 8 February 2017

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MacHawk 29 August 2016

Two great lines - the hole in the boat, yes, but also this one - "That’s sort of performing when it matters is why he got cut from Melbourne." - on Jack Fitzpatrick single handedly saving Hawthorn's season.

tamrapalmerTP 30 August 2016

I don't know, I loved... Gold Coast - the mirage in the sporting desert that leads numerous clubs to their deaths. And I suspect Titus would have been quite pleased with that one too. Think it might be time for us to do a running commentary on Titus' commentary. Sort of a 'meta' sporting commentary analysis type thingy.

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