May 03, 2021


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Seven


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.


Richmond (77) v Western Bulldogs (55)

When Richmond was 25 points down in this game, and their forwards seemed averse to kicking straight, the claims the Tigers were on the slide seemed to ring true.

An hour later, those claims seemed about as accurate as my tips. I tipped three this week, which is actually good for me.

The Tigers turned the game around by getting back to their high-pressure style.

So overwhelming was their pressure, they had stopped the Bulldogs even going into their own forward fifty for long periods of the second half.

Luke Beveridge possibly drew his midfield a map at three-quarter time to show them where their forward fifty was. “Guys, legend speaks of our own forward line, trapped in the mists of time.”

As well as winning the contested ball, Richmond’s forwards, especially Tom Lynch, had decided to start kicking goals instead of points, a clever tactical shift.

The problem for the Dogs, was they had individuals performing well, but when that Richmond side starts swarming, you need the entire team to work as a whole.

The Bulldogs lack of polish when it mattered was perhaps best highlighted when Aaron Naughton managed to kick for goal from a set shot, only for the ball to go off his shin.

We’ve all done that, but that’s why most of us don’t play AFL.

Obviously, at 4-3, Richmond are the team to beat and at 6-1, the Dogs season is now IN CRISIS.


Collingwood (55) v Gold Coast (79)

I’m sure Pies fans, while upset at losing this and sitting 17 on the ladder, are just so happy at winning the jumper battle against Port they barely care.

It’s all about priorities.

Let’s get this straight, the Pies managed to pull together a roster, with a salary bill so high they had to offload very good players to stay under the cap, and still only managed to build a side that’s 1-6.

That doesn’t seem like good list management.

The Pies have long struggled without a forward line, but they seem to be going about removing their midfield and defence too.

The thing is, every Pies fan could see this coming, but the people they pay to run their club could not. In fact, their sort-of-ex president, still argues anyone that questions the trade period is some sort of idiot.

For the Gold Coast, this is exactly the sort of performance you’d want to see from the talent on their list.

An astounding amount of their players hadn’t even played on the MCG before, but on Saturday they seemed like the home team.

Obviously, what separated the Suns and the Pies, is that no one is interested in stealing the Suns jumper.

Adelaide (39) v Greater Western Sydney (106)

The Crows experiment of projecting holograms of their players onto the field has backfired spectacularly when it was discovered holograms can’t tackle or get the ball.

I have to admit though, the technology is amazing, it did look like the Crows players were out on the ground, only when the Giants ran through them was the illusion given away.

After three consecutive losses, Crows fans are feeling pretty frustrated.

One Crows fan I spoke to summed up their feelings by saying ‘I want to sack half the board and a lot of people running the club.”

We’ve all been there at some point.   

For the Giants, it was a great game, with Jesse Hogan debuting for them with four goals, and reminding everyone if he can find some stability, he is a freakishly talented player. 

This was less a game of AFL for them, and more a competition of who could gather the most possessions, like kids on an Easter egg hunt, although Easter egg hunts are more difficult than gathering possessions against the Crows.

St Kilda (128) v Hawthorn (59)

Call off the search, we’ve found the Saints.

After going missing for six weeks, St Kilda supporters were relieved to discover their team is still alive.

A big thank you should go to the Hawthorn Football Club for helping to find the Saints. Despite being undermanned, and not that good, the Hawks really helped the Saints find some form.

Hawthorn fans watched on perplexed as their team didn’t even score for the first quarter. That caused a lot of confusion, with Hawks fans assuming the opening term was the warmup.

Their players seemed to have made the same mistake.

There’s no doubt the return of Paddy Ryder helped the Saints, Bradley Hill answered his critics, and Zak Jones had 37 disposals and two goals.

The only downside for the Saints is they can’t play Hawthorn every week.

Brisbane (93) v Port Adelaide (44)

Not an ideal display of Port Adelaide’s premiership credentials.

In fact, the Lions took them apart with such ease, you think they were playing the Crows.

One of Port’s big mistakes was mistakenly thinking Harris Andrews was their key forward.

Time and again they hit him on the lead. If only their own forwards got that level of service.

Kicking the ball to your own players is a really important component of our great game. It seems so obvious it often goes unspoken, but perhaps it should be highlighted more.

With Harris Andrew not letting the Power score, the Lions had a lot of fun up forward, with Charlie Cameron destroying the Power defence with four goals and Joe Daniher booted no behinds! Oh, and two goals.

It seems the Lions season is not only back on track but also picking up speed, for the Power, they need to show the passion on the field they show off the field for fashion choices.

Sydney (90) v Geelong (88)

A classic game, and a controversial one, with numerous free kicks paid or not paid right up to the final siren.

As a neutral observer, I thought the umpires got a lot wrong on both sides, and while you notice the ones at the very end, there was a lot throughout the game that affected things.

The suddenly enforcing of kicks travelling fifteen meters showed the AFL’s midweek tweaking of the rules at work again.

For years, players have gotten away with ten-meter kicks, now, even twenty-meter ones are being called ‘not fifteen’.

It’s what makes our game so fun, the changing of rules every five minutes, the way they can be interpreted forty different ways in ten minutes by the same umpire, the overcorrecting.

Cats fans certainly seemed to think that was a lot of fun.

Umpiring aside, the Cats had this game under control early on, but the young Swans showed a lot of spirit to fight back.

My adrenaline was pumping so much after the game, I required a second cup of tea. It was a wild Saturday night.


North Melbourne (73) v Melbourne (103)

One weird outcome of the Demons winning a lot this season is a new phenomenon called ‘Deesplaining.’

This is when a non-Demons supporter says to me, whenever I express any happiness about this season, ‘you know it can still go downhill for you guys.’

Really? Football can hurt you? When it appears to be travelling well something so bad can happen that it breaks your soul?

Tell me more.

I didn’t realise that; being a Melbourne supporter who has only known joy and sunny skies all my life.

Of course, things can go downhill, Adam Tomlinson knee injury is another example that footy is a cruel business.

But I’m going to enjoy things when they are going well because I know what bad times are, that’s the secret to life and footy, enjoy things when they go well because if you don’t, you’ll hate the good times and the bad times.

Even this game, where the Dees were very off in the first half, had its positives, in that, being a long-term Dees supporter, I know we once would have lost this.

Instead, despite being fairly average, we won by 30 points. That’s amazing. I’ve never known a Dees team to play terribly and win by 30 points.

In recent years, we would have lost this game nine times out of ten.

What it does show, is that you don’t need to be off by much to look bad in this league. North, instead of looking like the winless side they are, showed they are finding ways to improve.

They’ll get something out of this game, and they’ll have good times again, and someone will bob up then and say, ‘you know it can still go downhill for you guys.’

Essendon (107) v Carlton (123)

Does this mean Carlton’s rebuild is now ahead of Essendon?

That’s right, it’s a trick question, rebuilding suggests at least one of these teams is moving forward.

That’s how these two teams work, they look like they’re starting to be good, they lose a game, they look like they’re about to bottom out, they win a game, they look like they’re starting to be good, they lose a game, they look like they’re about to bottom out, they win a game.

On and on it goes, like a football Groundhog Day their fans are trapped inside.

West Coast (132) v Fremantle (73)

Terrible news for footy fans as they were banned from this game, although for Freo fans, it was more a blessing.

The shots of the empty stands fuelled my anger that sports fans are not being prioritised in the vaccine rollout.

Aside from the fact sports fans contribute to the economy, the main reason they should be prioritised is they’re just better people than non-sport fans.

I’m not saying just let non-sport fans die, that would be cruel, I’m just saying let's increase the chances sports fans live.

The Eagles, fresh from being belted by the Cats, knew they could rely on the Dockers to make them feel better about themselves.

West Coast was like the person who got dumped last week, only to then run into someone who hasn’t had a partner, well, ever.

You could just see the confidence return, the cockiness.

I don’t pretend to speak for Fremantle fans, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say they would be very keen to stop losing to the Eagles all the time.

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. Find out more here:



The Ho Brothers (Brayden, Brody and Brock)

May 03, 2021

*One weird outcome of the Demons winning a lot this season is a new phenomenon called ‘Deesplaining.’*

And Dogsplaining has begun too.

Stan Rosenthal

May 03, 2021

Demons winning is spoiling you Titus! As a fellow Demons tragic, I share your discombobulated bewilderment at this strange place in which we now find ourselves.

I do not eagerly anticipate your return to acerbic vitriol.


May 03, 2021


"West Coast was like the person who got dumped last week, only to then run into someone who hasn’t had a partner, well, ever.

You could just see the confidence return, the cockiness."

Neale myers

May 03, 2021

Has anybody from Collingwood contacted Paul Roos?


May 03, 2021

Titus. Never seen this before from you, but in OZ, we spell the basic metric unit of length METRE. Meter is something that measures something. Please..... enough Americanisms.


May 03, 2021

E.Maguire worked so hard commentating the WCvF game, trying to make it sound exciting.

Tex Walker's Undies

May 03, 2021

So - power rangers don't make good footballers, and now you're saying neither do holograms. I wonder what will work, and how soon we at West Lakes can get whatever it is??

steve murrell

May 03, 2021

So not one Victorian has heard the umpire clearly calling 'touched, play on' before Cameron's mark? How 'clickbait' convenient!


May 03, 2021

David Portbury has been interviewed by The Pies to coach .Looks like the deal has been done.Confirmation Wednesday this week.

Kafka’s Ghost

May 03, 2021

Although not from Victoria, I currently am in Victoria, and I definitely heard it. Just to confirm I wasn’t going psycho, I got several Tigers’ fans to listen too. You can definitely hear one umpire yelling “touched, play on”, but I now think no one on the ground heard it, including Matthew Nicholls. He’s the one, along with Matthew Richardson, who is responsible for a “controversy” which shouldn’t exist. And yes, the umpiring in Sydney-Geelong game was pretty fluid all night.

Unemployed. I used to sell records at Optus oval

May 03, 2021

Not to take away from the Dockers' spectacular loss (they were only 8 pts behind with 12 minutes left in Q3). The Eagles crushed them, it wasn't just getting lucky on a first date. The Dockers' have a special ability for a "come from nearly in front loss" that makes their matches all the more entertaining. Sit down with a beer and have a good laugh. The commentary team, especially Eddie and Dermott (with a player list under their noses) should be able to get some details right: the coach of Fremantle is Justin Longmuir (not Longmire). The Fremantle defender is Brennan (not Brendan) Cox. Just because Michael Fredrick is a twin doesn't mean you can call him Fredricks.


May 03, 2021

Kafka's Ghost, agree.

I checked the tape. Umpire calls "play on... on" and all the commentators started saying it was called Not 15. And now everyone, including the umps, it seems, thinks the call was Not 15.


May 03, 2021

Nothing wrong at Collingwood.
They've just replaced Eddie Nobody-now with the bloke who used to add up the salary cap sums, without calculating the total allowable salary cap, first.

Halftime Spray

May 03, 2021

This "play on / not 15" business may rival the analysis of the Kennedy assassination, the way things are going.

Daniel B

May 03, 2021

You know it's becoming a weird season when Chris Scott is the voice of reason on umpiring calls.

M Davis

May 03, 2021

If only the umpires had a handy landmark to measure 15 metres against. Maybe like the three gaps between the posts that are each 6 metres.
3 x 6 = 18 metres last time I checked...

Billy Knobcheese

May 03, 2021

PMSL at the hologram line.


May 03, 2021

Has anyone realised that the wheel of karma for the Cat's Round 2 win has turned the full circle? Firstly the following week Brisbane's Zac Bailey kicks the winning goal after the siren making up for the previous week's loss to the Cats, and now the Cats are not paid a mark in front of goal with 6 seconds left and get to experience what it's like to have the umpires admit they made a mistake that cost them the game. Now THAT'S what I call Karma.


May 03, 2021

As a long time tigers supporter I can tell the Carlton and Essendon supporters that you might one day wake up with Andie McDowell but it took Bill Murray 33 years and 350 days. Trust me, it's a long, long time to watch your team learn French poetry, ice sculpting and jazz piano. But now it's like the nightmare never happened.


May 03, 2021

What did Dimma say to Tom Lynch at half time.?

The g train

May 04, 2021

I unreservedly apologise to Demon supporter, Titus. Was very critical of his incredibly harsh bagging of STK. Every time he absolutely bags STK, they inexplicably and impressively win their next game. So sincere thanks, Titus, for your (seemingly metaphysical) help in doing your bit to (temporarily) ease the pain of STK supporters.


May 04, 2021

Dear Channel 6.92146487
When the west has any future coronavirus/earthquake/lightning scares that constitute barring all of the population other than the players and coaches and physios and doctors and scorekeepers and trade period managers and fiscal calibration consultants and official venue car park attendants and coaches’ wives and AFL approved housekeeper/nannies and water providers and other essential staff can you please BENCH THAT TOOL EDDIE AND HIS MATE BRIAN? We just don’t want them here full stop and certainly don’t want them destroying the majesty of another typical Western Derby..... and I say that whilst still getting over my ptsd with Eagles vs Cats the week before.....
How the hell you’re not mainlining crack and heroin, Titus?
Geez you enjoy every moment of this year..... you deserve it with spades.

steve murrell

May 05, 2021

@Halftime Spray Indeed. It has been said that the umpire who called 'not 15, play on' was hiding behind a grassy noll.

Keith Martine

May 10, 2021

Oh Titus,
Why have you forsaken me after all these years?

Nothing since this epistle last Monday.

Oh woe!