Aug 21, 2017


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Twenty Two


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 (80) v Sydney (83)

This is why we love footy. A Friday night game between two of the best teams in the league played with a finals-like intensity.

It had everything, a lopsided free kick count favouring the home side, Adelaide missing easy shots at goal with alarming regularity and a dodgy fifty-meter penalty to Callum Mills to help the Swans seal it.

Despite the crazy umpiring, this was a thrilling game. Adelaide looked in trouble early, but proved their mental toughness by getting back into the game, something they’ve struggled with at times this season.

In many ways, they were the superior side but booting 11-14 is a good way of ensuring your opponent stays in the game.

Buddy Franklin kicked one of the goals of the season, running for kilometres, leaving defenders in his wake, before slotting it from the pocket. He even bounced the ball every 40 meters or so but who’s counting? The umpires certainly weren’t.

Bad umpiring and bad goal kicking seem to be two of the big themes of the season, right up there with no one knowing what’s going on.

Either way, if this is what the finals are going to be like, then as the kids say, it’s going to be ‘rad’.

The kids still say that right? Of course, they do, I’m hip to what’s going on.

Western Bulldogs (79) v Port Adelaide (96)

The Bulldogs brief but fun time as the best team in the AFL seems over. I remember those heady days like they were just last year.

It’s hard to know what’s gone wrong for the Bulldogs. Was last year a fluke? Was this year a hangover?

My bet is astrology is somehow involved.

Either way, this game summed up the Bulldogs season, good in parts, sloppy in others and just not quite good enough.

Losing Jake Stringer in the first quarter certainly didn’t help, as did not playing such an important game at home.

Port Adelaide are now certain to play finals and have a chance to be top four. The question for them is what are they going to be able to do when they’re there?

Are they pretenders? Well, that’s what we all are until we figure it out. Can Port fake it until they make it this year? Anything’s possible, but they’ll want to get a hurry on.

Collingwood (59) v Geelong (70)

Cats fans would have been having flashbacks to all their recent losses to the Pies when Collingwood opened a four-goal lead by quarter-time.

Geelong’s game plan of starting poorly and then waiting for Patrick Dangerfield to fix everything worked again. It’s why Chris Scott is one of the great tactical minds in the AFL.

Dangerfield had 32 disposals,12 clearances and booted two goals, including the key one for the Cats in the fourth.

The Cats rely on Dangerfield like my aunty relies on wine to get through the day.

You take him out of this side and would they have even made the finals?

Collingwood were competitive, but 59 points in a game isn’t going to get you across the line against anyone except Fremantle.

Even more amazingly, 59 points is hard to achieve when you have a 23-point lead at quarter-time.

One day, Collingwood might experiment with having a forward line, lots of teams are doing it these days.

Greater Western Sydney (81) v West Coast (60)

GWS’ Josh Kelly had a game so good that I expect there to be a huge number of stories about him going to various Victorian clubs this week.

He had 43 disposals and was the difference as the Giants struggle to overcome a dogged Eagles side.

This win means Giants have secured the double chance and judging by the way they played; they are going to need it.

They were terrible in parts of this, even making the Eagles appear competitive.

Still, GWS should be a big force in September, so you can see why Kelly would be so keen to go to North Melbourne.

While the Eagles did apply a lot of pressure, there’s a reason they're unlikely to play finals.

One of those main reasons is the fact that ‘Giants turnovers’ was probably the Eagles best player.

Gold Coast (57) v Essendon (90)

Essendon took a big step towards making finals with a relatively easy win on the weekend.

It means the dream of Brendon Goddard’s first feature film is still alive.

The downside for the Bombers is they really should have boosted their percentage by a lot more, kicking just 12-18.

It certainly wasn’t pressure that caused them to kick like that. The Suns seemed completely uninterested in this game.

‘Uninterested’ could be Gold Coast’s ‘brand’. Everyone apparently has a brand these days, and they can’t all be good ones.

It works for them too, not only are the players uninterested, so are the people of the Gold Coast.

The Bombers now must beat Fremantle next week to make sure they play finals.

That looks like a real possibility, as a team of backpackers playing the game for the first time could probably beat Fremantle these days.

Carlton (77) v Hawthorn (70)

Normally, anyone who ends Hawthorn’s finals chances would have my thanks but why did it have to be Carlton?

The Blues had not beaten Hawthorn since 2005, that’s 14 losses in a row.

The key factors in that trend had been Hawthorn being the best side in the competition and the Blues being one of the worst.

Carlton are still terrible, but the good news for them, is Hawthorn has managed to work their way down to their level.

I’ve said it before, that to beat Carlton you have to score 80 points, and surprisingly, Hawthorn found this difficult to do.

Tom Mitchell led by example again with 44 possessions but unfortunately, leading by example only works if others follow you.

It was a much-needed win for the Blues, who’s second half of the season has been, to use a technical term, hopeless.

You could sense it was a big deal when Blues supporters celebrated the win like one of those premierships they used to win over twenty years ago.

Melbourne (104) v Brisbane (91)

Life is not all cheese platters and smoked trout for Melbourne supporters, it’s the horror of watching your side almost blow it against the bottom side with finals on the line.

It was tenser at the MCG on Sunday than at a family Christmas, with Melbourne supporters watching on in horror as the Lions came again and again.

Like a family Christmas, this was a tension based on a lot of history. Melbourne stuffing up these games is usually something you can bet one of your beach houses on.

In that regard, while the win was hardly convincing, like a family Christmas with no fighting, people left relieved and saying ‘that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be’.

The Lions would be disappointed in the result, but you can certainly see the signs of improvement occurring under Fagan.

They play North this week in what will be a battle for the number one draft pick. I have concerns about Brisbane’s ability to not accidentally beat North.

St Kilda (127) v North Melbourne (78)

In a game with little meaning, it was surprising to see both sides go at it on the quarter time siren.

Jake Carlisle was reported not once but twice during the scuffle, not the first time he’s been caught doing something silly on camera.

North Melbourne started off well enough but seemed to lose interest as the game went on. They weren’t alone there. Only Brad Scott’s facial expressions kept me watching.

The win was a nice home send off for Nick Riewoldt, who as well as being a champion of the game, should be remembered as someone who had to spend far too much time at Etihad Stadium.

Every player has to overcome some level of adversity but running on that surface as much as he did, is a burden no one should have to shoulder.

Fremantle (51) v Richmond (155)

I’d just like to remind everyone that Ross Lyon is a defensive specialist.

You might have forgotten that as the Tigers put 25 goals on the board in a display that will again have Dockers fans wondering why their board felt the need to give Lyon such a long contract.

It’s the third-time Fremantle have lost by 100 or more points this season, which means they’re playing balanced football, they can neither score or defend.

This was the Dockers last appearance at Domain Stadium, and ‘appearance’ would be the right word.

Like me at a party, they showed up briefly but didn’t participate in the festivities.

Richmond were very good, but they almost couldn’t have been anything else with the Dockers players seemed to be actively avoiding them.

Perhaps the only people to show real commitment in this game were the Freo supporters that stayed to the end. Now that took some effort.

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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Aug 21, 2017

Picky picky I know, but shouldn't it be "score NOR defend"? Other than that another classic from Titus, always one of the highlights of my week.


Aug 21, 2017

Cheese platters and smoked trout...nice! Could have used some gourmet snacks, plus as much wine as your Aunt drinks to wash down the Freo boys last hurrah at Subi Oval. As Ross would say, 'we came to give great effort'...only we didn't.

Stace's carer

Aug 21, 2017

I'm sorry I let Stace on my laptop again. She won't be annoying anyone anymore with irrelevant content as such provided.

malcolm turnbull

Aug 21, 2017

Titus - help me. I've just come back from a few weeks overseas and I watched a few games over the weekend. When did the AFL abolish the holding the ball/incorrect disposal rule and why? Please look into this!


Aug 21, 2017

As someone who paid good money to watch Freo I will say it still better than doing other things such as talking to people and pretending to care. It is also great to sit in the stands and listen to people groan about how bad their team is. Still better than barracking for West Coast tho.

Keith Martine

Aug 21, 2017

Actually, the number of Freo supporters who stuck it out to the end was quite impressive. Were they waiting for a coaching masterstroke from Ross?


Aug 21, 2017

no it shouldn't. 'nor' would be a double negative. the croupier may rake the chips to mr o'reilly.


Aug 21, 2017

actually, Stace IS correct as neither/nor is used to connect two negative alternatives. However, to be 100% correct Titus could have used nor many, many more times to describe Freo in that game. eh. Could neither score nor defend nor mark nor hit a target nor apply get the idea.


Aug 21, 2017

strangely, more interest in Titus's grammar than Freo showed in the whole game.


Aug 21, 2017

Also a little interest in the use of "Titus's" and not "Titus'" .
I was at Subi and stayed for the K2K after the (ahem) game....people were bending down and touching the grass and stuff!!! HELLO WEIRDOS!!!! the grass isn't going's going to be a public open space next year so you can come and touch it as much as you like then.
Hell, touch it with your picnic basket full of MCG delights; maybe some Camembert and some of the aforementioned smoke trout.

Bloke from the outer

Aug 21, 2017


'Were they waiting for a coaching masterstroke from Ross?'

No they were hoping that, with the last game at Subi, they would get a double bonus and see the end of him too!


Aug 21, 2017

Richmond were very good, but they almost couldn’t have been anything else with the Dockers players seemed to be actively avoiding them. So just while we're at the semantics, should this be "the Dockers players seemingly actively avoiding them". Whilst we have some English Professors doing the correction, I just thought I'd ask.

Ralph Dagg

Aug 21, 2017

How could you say the Dockers actively avoided the Richmond players? Dusty Martin aside, many of the Dockers players were far more effective in passing to Richmond players than the Richmond players. Am I the only one who thinks Brad Hill is a phenomenal athlete who can't kick for shit?


Aug 21, 2017

bahahaha, I wondered if anyone would pick that up. Well done :)

Marcus Holt

Aug 21, 2017

"Geelong’s game plan of starting poorly and then waiting for Patrick Dangerfield to fix everything worked again."

I'm worried Titus, you have blurred the lines between satire and serious football analysis.

Bloke from the outer

Aug 21, 2017

'... and a dodgy fifty-meter penalty to Callum Mills to help the Swans seal it.'

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Betts broke the rule twice not once. 1. He was on the wrong side of the protected zone and 2. You can't tackle until play on is called. Then again, Eddy is allowed to play on 'instinct' according to the nobs that pass for commentators.

Oh, and by the way, Mills didn't kick a goal from the 50m penalty, that required another kick to a contest. And then the Swans still had to get another goal to hit the lead. But let's pretend that the Swans won the match because of the umpires. If you believe that then Channel 7 has a job for you.


Aug 21, 2017

To Stace's Carer - would you like me to send you an 'I'm with Stupid' T-Shirt?

Dr Z Berg

Aug 21, 2017

Hello Mr From The Outer. You may have noted today's correspondence from the lord of umpires that in fact the umpire underling was incorrect, and that play on should have been called. Whilst your point stands that without play on being called, you can't tackle the guy, he definitely played on and should have been called as such.

Sincerely yours.

Bloke from the outer

Aug 21, 2017

I saw about 20 free kicks that should have been paid to the swans. I wonder what the lord of umpires thought about those.

The umpiring was appallingly one sided and, yet, some seem to think that this one decision was the game breaker. Hilarious.

p.s. I barrack for the tiges and had no skin in the game.

Missing the obvious

Aug 21, 2017

All this twaddle about the Mill's 50 and how it cost the Crows a goal. Everyone bleating about that has conveniently forgotten the freekick Charlie Cameron got for simultaneously not playing the ball and manhandling Lloyd that led to an easy goal to Betts.
Any one whinging about the umpiring their team received when they were on the right side of a free kick count that was 28 gazillion to 3 really need to find real problems to address.


Aug 21, 2017

No Hawthorn, Collingwood, and Carlton in the finals. Essendon missing would have made it a perfect year, but they wont last long so its borderline perfect.
No matter what else, remembering this has made it a great year, lets all enjoy it folks.


Aug 21, 2017



Aug 21, 2017

Tigers are there for comic relief. Looking fwd crows( +umpires) vs tigers at AO should be good for a giggle.

Bombers 2017 Scheduler

Aug 21, 2017

Week 1 - Port ✅
Week 2 - Geelong ✅
Week 3 - Richmond ✅
Looking good

Lex Landline

Aug 28, 2017

My condolences you will not be able to fill your routine with Richmond 9th jokes and other such cutting edge humor

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