May 01, 2023
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Seven
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.
St Kilda (76) v Port Adelaide (83)
St Kilda really don’t like playing Port Adelaide, and Port Adelaide really like playing at Marvel Stadium, which is strange because even the teams that call it home don’t really like playing there.
This was a cracker of a game, with the Power falling behind early, only for them to stage a remarkable comeback.
The Saints got a lot of the ball, but too often, they went sideways or backwards and set a league record for ‘unnecessary handbells, ’ which I don’t think is a stat but should be.
A big reason for the Power’s comeback was Jason Horne-Francis, and again we had the post-match debate about him being booed.
I understand it’s a discussion we need to have, but it’s not just Horne-Francis.
Melbourne’s Jacob van Rooyen has also been booed mercilessly this season, mainly by Melbourne supporters too.
With the game in the balance, Josh Battle kicked out from defence, only for Charlie Dixon to smother it and Sam Powell-Pepper to swoop in and kick a goal.
“This is why we can’t have nice things,” yelled a Saints supporter at the pub I was watching this at, and everyone nodded. This was the truest thing ever said in a pub.
Brisbane (115) v Fremantle (67)
There were easy goals, hard goals, circus goals, goals of the year goals.
There was just lots of goals, as the Lions had an enjoyable Saturday run around in the park.
Joining them for goalkicking practice were the Fremantle Dockers, who are keen to enter a team in the AFL around the same time the Tasmanian team enters.
Speaking of Tasmania, I’m thrilled the Federal Government finally gave some money to sport. Too often, taxpayers’ money is wasted on things like health and education.
I hear some Tasmanians are complaining they don’t have a house to live in but there’s somehow money for a stadium.
How greedy, you want an AFL team, AND a place to live? Talk about entitled.
The interesting thing will be what to call the new club. My suggestion? The Tasmanian Tasmanians. So much alliteration!
The only other thing of note in this match is that Freo’s Matthew Johnson is likely to come under scrutiny from the match review officer after a dangerous tackle.
The MRO will probably take into consideration the tackle was on Dayne Zorko.
Sydney (106) v Greater Western Sydney (107)
Sydney are really taking their fans on a journey through all the different ways you can lose a game.
Against Geelong it was a good old fashion belting; this week, it was losing to your cross-town rival by one point.
And this was despite being up by 24 points early in the final quarter.
And even worse, Toby Greene kicked the winning goal.
Talk about organising the worst weekend possible.
Losing like this is bad enough; Greene being the one to kick the winning goal is like pouring a pallet full of salt into the wound, then pouring a swimming pool of lemon juice into it. An Olympic swimming pool.
Really, it was impressive how the Swans managed to lose this; it was the less likely outcome.
It had all been going so well for them, except when it mattered. With the fourth quarter underway, the Swans gave up the final four goals of the game.
The Giants aren’t having a great season, but a win like this shows they haven’t given up all hope; they fought back hard here.
Or Sydney are just really, really bad. Maybe both.
Western Bulldogs (94) v Hawthorn (65)
Marcus Bontempelli celebrated his 200-game with a victory over Box Hill at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It was a real celebration for the Doggies faithful, even though the Bont was not at his best.
For once he didn’t need to be, as the Doggies were light years ahead on talent.
Usually he carries the team, so it was nice to see his teammates do most of the heavy lifting.
Hawthorn had a good attitude throughout; they gave it their all.
But like your co-worker at a karaoke night, enthusiasm only goes so far to mask a lack of ability.
Footy is a lot like karaoke; many have tried, few succeed, and it seems easier when in the crowd than it is on stage.
I remember doing karaoke once and picking Europe’s The Final Countdown. If you don’t know who Europe are, they were to the 80s what The Beatles were to the sixties.
Anyway, the real problem with that song for karaoke is the singing doesn’t start until 1:27 into the song. That’s a long time to be on stage just uncomfortably waiting, for me and the audience.
Especially as I’m a middle-aged white man and my dancing ability matches up exactly with my looks. There’s no surprise, like, ‘oh I thought he’d be bad, but he’s actually quite good.’
Melbourne (139) v North Melbourne (49)
The only interesting thing about Saturday night was seeing who would lose by more, North or West Coast.
In the end, it was West Coast but there was a lot of brutality before we got there.
Even Genghis Khan would have called for mercy if he’d watched these two games.
“This is barbaric,” he would have yelled, and if he’d been at the G everyone would have heard him.
If anything, Melbourne did show mercy, exploding out of the blocks, scoring 50 points in the first quarter, and then using the last three quarters for a warm-down.
It continues the good times for the Dees.
First, Grange signs on as a sponsor, then Kysaiah Pickett re-signs. Add in the stage 3 income tax cuts and what a time for Demons supporters.
North looked about as bad as you can look, and as someone who’s been on the other end of these things, I know Kangaroos fans will be hurting.
One positive is that with Tasmania getting a team, people may stop trying to move them there.
West Coast (44) v Carlton (152)
In a one-sided affair, Charlie Curnow booted nine goals, equivalent to kicking three goals in an AFL match, as Carlton showed how good they can be if under no pressure whatsoever.
In the spirit of fairness, West Coast requested this be a no-contact game, which suited the Blues, as they had the ball the entire time.
Perhaps the only thing of note in this was 47,940 turned up to watch it. I can only assume the Eagles will be ringing them all offering them a refund this morning.
You can’t advertise an AFL match and then present this. It would be like promoting a Broadway show, only to put on a grade one school play. And worse, it’s a musical.
Again, these two Saturday night games underlined the very real problem of the talent pool having to stretch to a nineteenth team.
In fact, it’s got to the point that some of these teams aren’t really in the pool anymore.
They don’t even have a pair of bathers.
Essendon (104) v Geelong (132)
I tipped Essendon, and I got a lot of thanks for that, even before the game, from Cats fans, which shows you how well my tips are going.
I also got a lot of Essendon fans not thanking me in the strongest possible terms.
It was my bad, I’d thought Essendon had changed, and it seemed they did too because they really got ahead of themselves early on in this one.
The Cats slept in at the start of this season, but have now woken up, none more so than Tom Hawkins, who booted eight goals, an amazing performance considering his contemporaries, like Dick Reynolds and Fred Fanning, have retired.
He just keeps going.
Essendon had no answers early; Patrick Dangerfield seemed to be almost handed the ball at every centre clearance, while the Cats barely needed Jeremey Cameron.
Jake Stringer was one of the few Bombers who stood up, but it was disappointing how the majority of Essendon’s players just didn’t put up a fight.
I mean, not disappointing for most of us, just Essendon supporters.
Richmond (48) v Gold Coast (72)
I’m not one to make broad, sweeping statements early in the season, but this is probably not going to be Richmond’s year.
Even factoring in that Richmond had to travel for this, their performance was awful.
The whole game was awful, but the Tigers managed to also kick poorly for goal, finishing with 6.12.
At numerous times I wondered why I was still watching this, and to be honest, for a lot of it I was just flicking through my phone.
I got up and ate something at one point, a toasted cheese sandwich.
Being a Melbourne fan, it took me most of the third quarter to select which of the numerous cheeses in the fridge to use.
I went with a Montgomery cheddar and Taleggio combination, and I was glad I did.
I paired it with a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Riserva 2018.
Adelaide (58) v Collingwood (59)
This is getting a bit ridiculous now. Like the T-1000, the Pies just don’t give up, and like the T-1000, they don’t stop running.
And like the T-1000, a vat of molten steel may be required to stop them.
The Crows were up by 16 points at three-quarter time, which everyone knew wasn’t enough. I mean, why bother to even play the last quarter, just give the Pies the points.
Really, the Crows only have themselves to blame; their goal-kicking kept the Pies in the game. At halftime, the Crows had kicked 3.10.
Personally, if I were coaching the Crows, I would have told them to kick accurately and not completely fall apart in the final quarter because, apart from that, they were great.
The Pies though, have the self-belief of a South African billionaire who thinks they’re funny.
To be fair though, it must be something more than just self-belief. At numerous times in my life, I’ve believed in myself; the problem was reality didn't.
In the end, this was another famous victory for the Pies.
I just hope Crows supporters don’t spend the entire week thinking about how easily this could have all been different.
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