Aug 27, 2018
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.
Port Adelaide (89) v Essendon (111)
Port Adelaide put the cherry on top of their disastrous second half of the season with a performance that made you think Essendon were the ones with the chance to make finals.
It was all academic anyway considering the Cats belted the Gold Coast the next day, but Port fans would have left disappointed at the endeavour from their players.
But that’s not a new feeling for them.
The Bombers simply smashed the Power early on, motivated by the fact this was the final scene in Brendon Goddard’s long-awaited movie.
I thought Goddard’s movie probably went on a bit long but the bit with the pretzels, with Dyson Heppell’s scene-stealing part, was top notch.
Overall, I thought the movie lacked a central point though.
Both these sides will look at 2018 with a sense of regret. Essendon will look to 2019 with excitement, however, while Port will look forward not sure what’s the way ahead.
Geelong (142) v Gold Coast (40)
Geelong used the final round to conduct some light drills and sign autographs, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Even the Suns’ players seemed excited to see some real AFL players up close.
Given the Cats beat a woeful Fremantle last week, by the time they play Melbourne in the first week of finals, it will have been almost a month since they faced an AFL side.
Gold Coast finished the season an irrelevant rung on the bottom of the ladder. Only Carlton’s historically painful season stopped them securing the wooden spoon.
It capped off a year they were booted out of their home ground by the Commonwealth Games.
Like the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, the Suns’ season was light on athletes.
Geelong will look forward to finals while the Suns will look forward to wasting the generous support the AFL pours into them.
Richmond (98) v Western Bulldogs (95)
There was a moment of panic that swept across the MCG when it dawned on Richmond fans that they could lose and finish as low as first on the ladder.
The Bulldogs, who have not troubled anyone this year, except their fans, suddenly turned in a performance that wound the clock all the way back to 2016.
So impressive were the Doggies that they led for a lot of this and had a chance to win when Brad Lynch had a difficult shot with less than a minute to go but missed.
Bulldogs fans spent the day caught between excitement and wondering where this has been all season.
Richmond fans spent it remembering those dark days when the Tigers could lose on the MCG.
Now the Tigers face off against Hawthorn which is going to be great. I love finals; it’s the best time of the year, even better than National Frozen Food Month (it’s March before you Google).
Fremantle (67) v Collingwood (76)
Following last week’s embarrassing performance, the Dockers decided to at least try this week and who knew that trying could produce much better results?
I’m thinking of even trying it in my own life.
After an amazing season, the Pies were suddenly looking at losing to Fremantle. The Collingwood players may tolerate a medical team that make Scrubs look like a serious medical drama, but they don’t lose to Fremantle, so they steadied with Brody Mihocek kicking a couple of goals.
“Who is Brody Mihocek” many of you ask. Don’t worry; it seems most AFL scouts didn’t know who he was either.
It was a great win for the Pies, the only downside being Sam Murray wasn’t there to help with the celebrations.
The victory has locked in a game for the Pies at Optus Oval, but unfortunately, it will be against the good Western Australian side.
Fremantle will be glad to draw a line through 2018, and they should consider doing that for 2019 too.
Carlton (61) v Adelaide (165)
It may have been Round 23, but Carlton still gave it their all in this one, almost losing by less than 100 points.
In a beautiful ceremony before the game, the Blues unveiled their 2018 wooden spoon, celebrating a season of mediocrity and embarrassing moments.
Carlton skipper Marc Murphy was present with the spoon by Peter Dutton, the perfect choice for an award the symbolises spectacularly stuffing something up beyond belief.
As Dutton passed the spoon to Murphy, Murphy dropped it, and they bumped heads as they both bent down to pick it up.
Adelaide took out all their frustration and anger that built up over this season out on the Blues, let’s hope it was very therapeutic for them.
The Crows problems aren’t over yet, with the company they sacked following their disastrous pre-season camp, Collective Mind, announcing they will hold a media conference which they say is to ‘clear the air’ on the pre-season camp.
Spoiler alert, it will not clear the air.
Sydney (74) v Hawthorn (83)
This was a classic, with both teams giving it their all and the biggest star in the game, Razor Ray Chamberlain, taking centre stage.
With the game on the line, good old Razor called the most pointless goal review in the history of time.
The kick had been so obviously touched that everyone within a ten-kilometre radius knew it was touched and I’m pretty confident Ray did too, but you don’t build a brand without some TV time.
You could see his excitement as the camera’s focused on him. He looked like a kid who’d just figured out the passcode on the iPad.
Hawthorn winning close games, playing finals, it’s like life has returned to normal. Except, they play Richmond in the finals, and the Tigers are favourites.
Sydney was without Luke Parker and Buddy Franklin but was right in this, and despite the loss, they will face the Giants at the SCG in week one of finals.
I’m not sure you should be allowed to play finals if you lost to the Gold Coast Suns during the season, but there seems to be nothing in the rules preventing it.
Where’s the AFL on that rule change huh? Silence.
Brisbane (72) v West Coast (98)
Despite a few wobbles along the way, the Eagles have locked in second place, a great result considering they had to overcome many media types not picking them to play finals at all.
Robert Walls tipped the Dockers to play finals and the Eagles to miss, which fits my life philosophy that you should always do the opposite of whatever Robert Walls says.
The Eagles weren’t troubled by the Lions, who all season have been decent, without winning much.
Brisbane fans end the season with hope for the future and a deep appreciation that they are not Suns supporters.
Eagles supporters look forward to a home final, not being Dockers supporters and to Melbourne journalists questioning their culture with eight-page wrap arounds and stories that lead the news that are over ten years old.
Melbourne (102) v Greater Western Sydney (57)
Coming back from Perth and with a lifetime of disappointment in my memory, I was not confident of a Melbourne victory, but like most things in life, I was completely wrong.
The main question I came away with from this game was ‘what the hell is wrong with the Giants’.
They certainly didn’t look like a finals side in this one, and considering Melbourne were down two players for a lot of this and looked like that had twice as many men on the field you had to wonder what was going on.
Melbourne were great; they played like a side that beats the top eight sides on a regular basis.
As the finals-bound Demons slammed on the goals, the MCC was so happy you’d have though Turnbull’s corporate tax cuts had just got up.
The Giants managed not only to lose but throw in some light comedy along the way, such as Jeremy Cameron handballing to Zac Langdon who was almost next to him, with no one around and missing by a fair margin.
The Giants have a few players to return for finals, and they’ll need them based on this. The idea they are a threat to Richmond on the MCG seemed very distant.
Melbourne fans know have to grapple with securing finals tickets, which involves making sure their MCC membership is paid up.
St Kilda (94) v North Melbourne (117)
Titus has a new live show ‘Manifestly Inadequate’and new dates to announce.
They are his traditional bye round tour wrapping up the 2018 season and previewing the finals.
The dates are:
4 August- Hobart
27 August- Canberra
29 August- Perth
31 August- Sydney
1 September- Melbourne
2 September- Adelaide
5 September- Brisbane
Ticket available here: http://www.frontiercomedy.com/titusoreily
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