Apr 11, 2023


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Four


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.


Brisbane (116) vs. Collingwood (83)

If last week was, as Chris Fagan said, 'let's pick on Joey Daniher week', this week is ‘Let’s not play Cam Rayner in defence ever again week. 

Perhaps even more important is the fact that the 12th of April is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day 2023, perhaps my favourite day of the year outside of the Grand Final.

The Lions answered their critics, which was pretty much everyone, by playing with some enthusiasm.

They destroyed a Pies side that may not have had any recognizable ruckman but really lost by turning the ball over every chance they got.

It’s hard to say why the Pies were so off. They say it wasn’t because Jack Crisp rebooted Channel Nine’s Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos.

To be fair, I saw that one of the videos said:

“Come and drink and have some lines. Just have a bit of a party”.

I mean, I may be naive, but often on a nice platter, I’ll lay out the biscuits and the lavosh crackers in a line for the cheeses and the quince paste, and he could have been referring to that.

Therefore, the statement could have been, ‘Come and drink and share a wonderfully curated cheese platter.’

It’s possible, right? Yeah?

What I have enjoyed in relation to the videos is the use of the word ‘historical’ to mean anything happening not in the last few months.

This may be stretching the meaning of that term a bit far. Imagine arguing at work that something was historical if it happened in the last few years.

“I think you’ll find the employee abuse, sexual harassment and embezzlement was historical.”

Really, the main issue here is stupidity. Don’t record yourself doing something silly.

When I commit all my crimes, I leave no witnesses, and I certainly don’t film them and send them to people.


North Melbourne (84) vs. Carlton (107)

It was an Easter Miracle; people went to Good Friday Footy, 49,062 of them.

Perhaps even more miraculous was they were rewarded with a game that didn’t make them feel like they were being crucified.

The whole event was so perfectly fine that I haven’t heard one journalist or commentator call for North to be stripped of their blockbuster.

The game itself had more errors than my tax return, with North kicking for goal like the most uncoordinated kid in P.E. class, which I identified with very much.

Carlton certainly fumbled and committed a lot of turnovers but was helped by North’s defence being undersized to the point that not many of them could go on the rides at Luna Park.

Griffin Logue was suspended, and given this was against Carlton, Ben McKay had to miss out.

This is because, like Hubble's Law of Cosmic Expansion, Newton's Laws of Motion or Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, nature’s laws determine the McKay twins can never play against each other.

We now have eight straight seasons of data to prove this.

The victory means this is the Blues best start to a season since 1995 when they won their most recent premiership. This is a terrifying development.

Or it could be hilarious if the Blues do what they normally do when they are near the eight, which is burn up like a meteor in the Earth’s atmosphere.


Adelaide (111) vs. Fremantle (72)

And the award for the most disappointing team of the first month of the AFL season goes to the Fremantle Dockers, narrowly beating out Geelong.

It’s an award the Dockers have certainly earned, with their only victory coming against top WAFL side, the West Coast Eagles.

Against the Crows, they looked bereft of ideas and energy.

The Crows, however did a very good impression of an exciting team, moving the ball quickly and rewarding that with a forward set-up that works.

Taylor Walker, Izak Rankine and Josh Rachele all worked in a coordinated fashion, seeming to know what each of their roles were.

Dockers fans would have looked on at this thinking, ‘what is this sorcery I see before me?’

A big part of the Crows spark was provided by their captain Jordan Dawson, who celebrated his birthday with a dominating performance.

Not since the Howard Government has someone put the torch to the Dockers in such a brutal manner.

Richmond (84) vs. Western Bulldogs (89)

If Richmond fans thought the season had started badly before this game, they would now be looking back at those first three historical games with a new fondness.

Aside from the rather unfortunate loss, arguably Richmond’s most important player, Tom Lynch, managed to get both reported and injured.

This is less than ideal for the Tigers, with Lynch looking at missing a few months with his broken foot.

I can’t read minds, but I suspect Damien Hardwick would have preferred neither of those things happened.

He was the good loser he usually is after the game.

The Bulldogs had a strong early lead in this one, only to decide that allowing the Tigers to kick seven consecutive goals was a good idea.

The third term was a crime against football, as both sides went on a 1.10 goal-kicking clinic.

To be fair a big reason for that is the rain was coming down to the point that the players put on lifejackets.

Eventually the Doggies got things back on track, with Aaron Naughton and the umpires really lifting for them.

That’s two good wins in a row for the Doggies, as they stumbled early but like a hero carrying four pots, have steadied without spilling a drop.

St Kilda (113) vs. Gold Coast (60)

We are living in a strange alternate reality where St Kilda are doing a fair impression of a competent football side; the question is, how long can this new reality hold?

After all the Saints have beaten Fremantle, the Western Bulldogs, Essendon, and the Suns.

If this was a music festival, that’s a very early-in-the-day lineup.

Can we believe in the Saints? It’s asking a lot. But perhaps this time it’s different; they’ve changed.

No one’s ever got hurt, giving the Saints another chance.

Believing in the Suns is an even bigger stretch. After all, respect is earnt; that’s why no one respects me.

The Suns seem forever in the position of looking like they’re about to improve but never do, like this annoying rash, I can’t shake.

And just when things appear to be going well, other teams come and take the best part of the rash. Wait, that metaphor doesn’t stretch that far at all.

Sydney (64) vs. Port Adelaide (66)      

What a game. It had more drama than a Real Housewives franchise.

The footy itself was dramatic, the Power coming from behind, only to nearly lose it when Oliver Florent took a shot for goal after the siren.

Florent thought he had won it and celebrated early, but Aliir Aliir had got to it on the goal line, and Port had won.

Aliir Aliir had already ruined Buddy’s night; then he ruined all of Sydney’s.

The Swans could have really used a defender of his calibre.

The ending was nothing compared to everything else going on around the game.

The Swans had lost both Paddy McCartin and Tom McCartin to the concussion protocol, a brutal outcome.

Paddy is certainly a guy who deserves good karma after the start to the career he has had, and for his brother to go off to just shows the footy gods are cruel.

I’m no expert on concussion, so I won’t comment on whether he should retire. I mean, people literally say about me, ‘he’s no brain surgeon.’

If that all wasn’t enough, after the game, Jeremy Finlayson, who had kicked what proved to be the winning goal, gave an emotional interview where he thanked his terminally ill wife.

Footy is important and all, but this provided more than enough perspective for a Saturday night.

We get such a short time on the Earth, and sometimes we’re all guilty of not appreciating it.


Essendon (88) vs. Greater Western Sydney (75)

Don’t let the 13-point victory fool you, the Bombers cruised in much of this game but were hampered by the perfect conditions, kicking 11.22.

The Bombers players struggled with the roof closed and the complete lack of rain and wind.

Jake Stringer booted 4.6, and Jye Caldwell kicked 0.3, but it really was a team effort.

At one stage, the Bombers kicked eight consecutive behinds, and the groans from the crowd made me feel I was at one of my gigs.

So much so that I’m thinking of doing some gigs this year if there’s any interest.

The Giants couldn’t capitalise on Essendon keeping in the game due to them not being very good.

It was like when a parent keeps giving their child a chance to hit the ball in backyard cricket, but the kid is hopeless, so the parent gives up and just bounces them.

A big reason the Bombers got across the line was Jake Stringer, who was a big reason they almost didn’t get across the line.

West Coast (63) vs. Melbourne (126)

The Eagles had so many outs in this that the chances of it being a real contest were low to non-existent.

That said, West Coast ramped up the pressure early on, but where everything seemed hard for them, the Dees seemed to kick goals even when they weren’t playing that well.

By the second half, the Dees just pulled away without really getting out of second gear.

A big reason was the tap work of Brodie Grundy, which I hate to say, but is better than Gawn’s.

Not to bag the closest thing in my life to a personal Jesus, Gawn is unsurpassed around the ground.

It’s still amazing that you can go to Perth to play the Eagles and win easily. This is like suddenly being able to breathe underwater, it just goes against nature.

It completely changes the season; where once this was an almost certain loss, it’s now a percentage-boosting mini-holiday.

Knowing them well, I imagine Eagles fans are taking this turn of events calmly.


Jeremy Cameron (127) vs. Hawthorn (45)  

Channel Seven poured it on thick about how these games are always close before the match, which served to only highlight how far Hawthorn have fallen.

Take the blockbuster off them!

Geelong looked terrible early, but playing a Hawthorn side who are so young they consider Drake ‘old people’s music’, really helped.

As is having Jeremy Cameron, who saved the Cats with seven goals.

He is the best player, and their second-best player, and third-best player.

Cameron even took out an umpire just to complete his total domination of the game.

It will be interesting to see what the AFL say about the incident.

You can’t look at an umpire without getting in trouble, but perhaps Cameron has found a loophole that you can’t be charged for dissent when you’re celebrating.

Gee, he’s a clever player to borrow a Bruce McAvaney line.

Hawthorn looked terrible after halftime, but that doesn’t mean they’re tanking. They don’t need to; they just aren’t good.

I mean, if you can’t beat Geelong…

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus



Patrick John Talty

Apr 11, 2023

More good stuff Titus. Please check my datails, I get the Monday Knee Jerk but not the Thursday forecast.

Stan the man

Apr 11, 2023


Alan Wellington

Apr 11, 2023

Thanks to the crew from the Demon Army for entertaining the locals with their cheering and vocals , for the team. They outdid the opposition , whose giant Pom Poms never left the turf , just like their team.


Apr 11, 2023

"Damien Hardwick was the good loser he usually is after the game."

Yeah, the question he was asked was a typically woolly and gormless one, referring to an "incident". That gave Hardwick the required wiggle room to heroically pretend he had no inkling of what the journo was referring to.

A far better approach in this situation - and in other situations where you know the interviewee is going to feign ignorance or claim to have no memory of "the incident" - would be to cut straight to the point. Try something like, "Well, Hardo, one of your guys gave one of their guys concussion. That can't be good, can it?"

Stevo Amery

Apr 11, 2023

Another fine summary of the week that was...Nice sentiments on Jeremy Finlayson - Going through such a tough time. He's a ripper.

Out on the full

Apr 11, 2023

The Hawks did indeed look terrible after half time. Sam Mitchell could do little more than just mutter to himself "The horror! ...The horror!"


Apr 11, 2023

Swans robbed again with two of the softest frees leading to goals to Port in that last quarter....it beggars belief the crap the Swans receive sometimes....and seeing the Fairypups get help to win nearly every week since the 2016 GF is truly sickening. I've about had it with this joke of a league.


Apr 11, 2023

I too have stopped receiving the Thursday preview.

Atrocious Conditions

Apr 11, 2023

PELICANTEZZA and PATRICK JOHN TALTY: on Thursdays the final teams have been locked in yet, so it's too early to select winners, even for Titus

Atrocious Conditions

Apr 11, 2023

........haven't been locked in yet......

Ankles need love too

Apr 11, 2023

Piss off with "the umpires really lifting for them", you're better than that Titus.

Hannan ankle hugged in the goal square? Insufficient intent on Baker? Lynch sexually assaulting Bruce to shepherd the ball through the goals? Holding the ball on Jones who never had the ball?

The only people to blame for the Tigers loss is the Tigers themselves.

Con Cushion

Apr 11, 2023

Turn it up Titus ... The Howard Government is the reason you first made so many "honest" mistakes on your Tax Return. Con.

Jim Tilbrook's cheque

Apr 11, 2023

Welcome back Titus from your inexplicable tipping absence last week. It is refreshing to have your retrospective insights and once again prove that you are the only football commentator who regularly integrates physics lessons with football analysis. As you no doubt recall, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle states that the more you know about football, the less reliable your tipping will be. St Kilda has gone out of its way to provide proof of that theorem thus far. Given the immutability of this law, perhaps you could consider rescheduling your communications on an ongoing basis, by providing your tips for the previous week on the Monday or Tuesday and providing your post game analysis in advance on the Thursday. Would anyone notice, I wonder?


Apr 11, 2023

One of the funniest football reviews I’ve read especially the North v Carlton game. The comment about Norths backs are so short they wouldn’t be allowed on the rides at Luna Park was an absolute classic. A cracker of a column.

Sally Markham

Apr 11, 2023

I do enjoy your dry laconic humour

The g train

Apr 11, 2023

A lot of stuff going on in todays KJR all at once. Remarkable effort, Titus. But even more remarkable is that you seem to imply it’s much, much better to hide a crime that to openly admit it and then publish it. Seriously, Titus?

The null hypothesis for any game of footy is that it will be an even contest. At half time of Haw v Geel, there was insufficient evidence to reject the null hypothesis. So the probability that Geelong could kick 13 consecutive goals in the second half in an even contest is zero. This violates Hubble's Law of Cosmic Expansion, Newton's Laws of Motion AND Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle all at once. But it does NOT violate the generalised Mary Poppins law: that everything is possible, even the impossible.

Red hot early coach of the year favourite: Harvey&Hayes.

Son of plugger

Apr 11, 2023

We can’t take Titus to task over his last two unhelpful guides. Titus has been a bit of his game lately, and some of his previous unhelpful guides have actually been helpful. So I reckon he’s now back to his very best.

I trust you, Titus. In the dry, slightly harsh, satirical sense.

Mr Cheque: a good test for retro-causality might be if Titus gave his match tips after the round, would that then change the outcomes of the matches?

ED Finkel

Apr 11, 2023

'Aliir Aliir was so good he played like there were two of him on the field'.

Niall List

Apr 11, 2023

The Cats had Jeremy Cameron, who saved the Cats with seven goals and it looked like the Hawks played as clueless as Jeremy Clarkson would, only on leaded fuel.

Tarax Club

Apr 11, 2023

Titus as oft repeated the AFL season is a ‘marathon’. Which links in with Thermopylae, ancient Greece’s version of Gallipoli (just down the road from the Dardanelles). If you believe the hyperbole, these heroic defeats are ‘mirrored’ by certain modern day footy contests. Given the attrition rate at last Saturday’s match, the Swans did turn up and held manfully against overwhelming odds. Being Hinkley’s Power from Port Persians and according to some, their allies the umpires. From personal experience ‘Never trust a Greek taxi driver.’

Mark S.

Apr 11, 2023

Your summary of the Port/Swans game (that unfortunately most of your subscribers will scroll past), is proof that you are as empathetic as you are extremely funny. Well done.

unimaginative name

Apr 11, 2023

I used to hate Jeremy Cameron. But seeing him making an effort in a terrible team is softening my views. I enjoyed the way he picked up the umpire like they were a child they had accidentally knocked down. Another great piece. Maybe you could compile these into premiership years, as a pdf, the way that mongrel punt does.


Apr 11, 2023

It just occurred to me, apropos of nothing in particular:

If you were allowed to form a team made up of players who are currently playing in the AFL but the first 10 players you were allowed to choose had to have the given names Bailey, Josh and anything rhyming with "sigh", then you'd have the nucleus of a pretty decent team.

Allan Gatiss

Apr 11, 2023

2023 football happens. It is more entertaining watching the tipsters in the media who are worse than the Neddie tipsters trying to make sense of the season. You sound almost rational/realistic in comparison

Go Doggies

Apr 11, 2023

When you say "the umpires really lifting for them" maybe you mean stopped they ignoring obvious frees like when Hannan was hugged around the ankles in the goal square and didn't get a free.


Apr 11, 2023

It was only that McCartin McCartin was concussed that the swans could have used Allir Allir. Unfortunately right at the end they forgot whose side he/they were on.


Apr 11, 2023

Moral of footy is don't tap the umpire with your fingers just bowl the magnet over and bury him in the turf. Finger taps cost you $1500, bury the mother and get rewarded.


Apr 12, 2023

'Aliir Aliir was so good he played like there were two of him on the field'.

Ed, we Aussies tend to be uncomfortable with names which contain lots of vowels. Silent letters, too. Except O'Shaughnessy.


Apr 12, 2023

this is absolutely disgraceful. umpires deserve better. i hope this changes and patty Dangerfield get banned.

Running Dog

Apr 12, 2023

If it really is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, a genuinely 'historic' day, and not the invention of a Melbourne supporter with a permanently full glass of Grange and not enough gorgonzola to kill the taste, then I'd like to share one of my old man's aphorisms. He once said to me, 'Son, nothing in life is better than perfect happiness'. To which I had to reply, 'Yeah that's probably true Dad- but a cheese sandwich is better than nothing.'
I like Out On The Full's idea:
If you were allowed to form a team made up of players who are currently playing in the AFL but the first 10 players you were allowed to choose had to have the given names Bailey, Josh and anything rhyming with "sigh", then you'd have the nucleus of a pretty decent team.
Imagine if they could play a team named after different cheese. There would be de brie everywhere.


Apr 12, 2023

"Don’t record yourself doing something silly"

Well Titus you could have told Tarryn Thomas that earlier. Might have changed his...yeah nah. Forget about it.

Zed Duda

Apr 12, 2023

Not taking this lack of a ruck or a midfield calmly.

alan stone

Apr 14, 2023

BIG FELLA, nice report on the dees practice game {oops training run } might have to raise a sweat against the cesnas this week as we have a couple out ? But not to worry i think the boys will do just fine. I have to take you to task on one of your reports about tom lynchem high.you said he was out with a foot injury but i saw him in the showers and it only looked like 5 or 6 inches ? GO DEES

Patrick John Talty

Apr 20, 2023

Did not receive the knee jerk reaction to to round 5, am I on the outer ???


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