May 16, 2022
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Nine
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.
Collingwood (51) v Western Bulldogs (99)
If we can’t get a good game on a Friday night, then at least give us a Collingwood loss.
And what a loss.
The Pies midfield started the game by lying down on the turf of Marvel Stadium to make it easier for the Bulldogs to run all over them.
It was an offer too good to refuse, and the Bulldogs had put 39 points on the board before Collingwood kicked a goal.
If watching your midfield surrender so quickly the French army in 1940 would have been embarrassed for you wasn’t enough, Collingwood also funded Adam Treloar to destroy them.
Even Collingwood supporters are smart enough to realise paying someone to gather 36 disposals and boot three goals against you is not good.
Bulldogs fans would be thrilled at their midfield’s complete domination, especially Bailey Smith’s 40 possessions.
Smith at one point suggestively flicked his tongue out at the Pies supporters, and I must give him credit for taking the time to learn their language.
Hawthorn (94) v Richmond (117)
Is the dynasty still alive?
Richmond’s dynasty had been declared dead more times than John Farnham has had farewell tours, but now I’m not so sure.
They’ve won three games in a row and are lurking at the bottom of the eight like, well, a Tiger.
The most worrying thing is the Tigers have got back their ability to control games, and they certainly did that here.
Hawthorn didn’t go away but like me at a party, they didn’t leave a lasting impression either.
Sam Mitchell is finding the reality of coaching a bit harder than in the beginning. They’ve now lost four in a row and six of the last seven games.
He’ll want to turn that around, after all, with a coach like Alastair Clarkson floating around, no struggling coach is safe.
North Melbourne (46) v Port Adelaide (115)
A new approach for David Noble this week, delivering his pregame speech in a careful whisper, so as not to upset or spook his men.
He also made soothing, calming noises when near them, and whale song played in the rooms at halftime.
Despite the loss, every player got a participation medal at the end of the game and a voucher for a small McDonald’s fries, and the feedback is that despite the large loss, everyone had a good time and made friends.
Port on the other hand, are now in tenth spot and have won four in a row.
Given they started the season looking like North do now, that’s an impressive turnaround.
Ollie Wines continues his return to form, as the microchip Bill Gates inserted in him starts to calm down, and he had 32 touches and two goals.
Can Port play finals? It’s possible. Wouldn’t it be awful if that terrible start came back to bite them though.?
St Kilda (90) v Geelong (80)
Geelong continued their win one week, lose the next strategy, going down to a Saints team that continues to toy with their supporters’ emotions by winning more than losing.
The first half didn’t really hit any great heights, but the second was very entertaining, with the Saints lifting each time the Cats came at them.
Even more impressive from St Kilda was the fact Jack Higgins had gone off with concussion and Jack Steele ruptured his AC joint which I’m led to believe is in the shoulder.
Amazingly, Steele injured his shoulder in a tackle and then came back on and played out the game.
That’s a pain threshold I can’t comprehend. Mine is much lower, in fact, I wouldn’t call it a ‘threshold’. I’m either in pain or not, a threshold suggests I’d push on with something even when in pain.
Steele is likely to miss up to eight weeks, which is a huge out for them.
Geelong seem to be trending backwards at the moment.
Losses to Fremantle and St Kilda don’t exactly give even the most optimistic Cats fans a lot of hope for September, and has anyone mentioned their stars are ageing before?
Sydney (105) v Essendon (47)
Essendon’s one-win winning streak is over!
Their victory over the Hawks turned out to be a false positive, as they returned to being arguably the softest team in the league.
So soft that opposition players can mock them openly during a game and nothing happens.
Sydney had no problems are all in this game.
It was a competition in the sense watching a kid kick down a sandcastle is a competition, in that it’s not.
At least the sandcastle was fun to build, the current Essendon list can’t make that claim.
The Bombers do so many things badly that it’s hard to single one thing out, and in that sense, they are really putting together a complete season.
If upsetting Bombers supporters was the mission statement of the Essendon Football Club, they would have nailed it for over two decades.
Adelaide (66) v Brisbane (102)
Adelaide might not be the most exciting team in the country, or the best defensively, or offensively, but they also don’t win that much.
I really thought I was going to make an important point with that sentence.
This was the Crows third loss in a row and having to watch former player Charlie Cameron boot four goals would have stung.
Adelaide started well and were up by three at halftime, but the second half saw them venture forward about as often as I enter a gym.
Brisbane woke up in the third, booting six goals to none at one stage and brushing aside the Crows with an ease that was quite boring to watch if you weren’t a Lions supporter.
It left me pretty bored on a Saturday night, but as my mum used to say, you wouldn’t be stuck at home by yourself if you had a personality that was appealing to others.
Gold Coast (69) v Fremantle (33)
The Suns have decided to continue playing beyond April in an exciting new development for the club.
Fremantle, arguably the best team in the AFL not called Melbourne or Brisbane, struggled in the wet and under the Suns pressure.
So great was this newfound pressure, with even Izak Rankine doing defensive things, that the Dockers didn’t score a goal for two quarters.
The Suns however were scoring, mainly because all their young players were living up to expectations.
Fremantle adopted a strange strategy for their forward entries, they would bomb the ball as high up in the air as possible, rather than trying to pick out their own forwards.
Amazingly, this didn’t work at all, but the Dockers kept persisting with it anyway for some reason no one watching could understand.
The worst thing as a footy fan is watching your team do something stupid over and over again, despite anyone with eyes knowing it isn’t working.
Greater Western Sydney (75) v Carlton (105)
Dozens of Giants supporters have turned out to watch Leon Cameron’s final game, only for Carlton to spoil it by winning.
It’s hard to know what Leon Cameron’s coaching legacy will be. He made a Grand Final and constantly made finals, but you could argue he had the most talented list in the competition for many seasons and underperformed.
The only consensus in the media upon his stepping down is that he is a nice guy and I suppose there are worse things people can say about you.
Perhaps the clearest thing about the Giants at the moment is their talent often doesn’t live up to its potential.
Too many name players go missing too often, and that was the case again here.
Carlton are still in the top four and it’s the middle of May, a worrying sign, like the spring rains not arriving.
In fact, they’ve won seven games this year. I remember fondly when they would celebrate that if they did that in a season.
As we enter the last week of the federal election, I hear a lot of talk about the rising cost of living, rising home prices and the rise of China, but I hear nothing about tackling the rise of Carlton.
I feel no party in this country truly understands the Australian people and our concerns.
West Coast (38) v Melbourne (112)
Expansion team West Coast continue to struggle this season but there were some promising signs as they only suffered their biggest loss to Melbourne in their history.
The Demons scored 41 points in the first quarter, meaning they didn’t have to score again, and they still would have won the game.
That’s almost what they did, as the Eagles lifted their intensity and managed to drag the Demons down to their level for long periods of the match.
Melbourne though are like a boxer who tried to win on points, not knockouts.
They do enough to make sure they don’t lose. They can score, but they prefer to let their opponent wear themselves out.
The result of this approach is 16 wins on the trot, a feat I still struggle to comprehend.
I’ve gone decades where it felt like we only won sixteen games.
The thing about sport is you must enjoy the good times because we all know, the bad times are not exactly rare.
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