Jul 11, 2022


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Seventeen


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.


Just a quick note before we start. I’ve got a new podcast and YouTube show launching today, Sports Bizarre with myself and Mick Molloy.

It’s the strangest stories from the history of sport and I can’t wait for you to all listen to it.

You can follow it on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok and let me know what you think of it or if there are any stories you’d like us to do.

Geelong (91) v Melbourne (63)

Don’t be fooled by moments of closeness on the scoreboard. Geelong we’re so far ahead of Melbourne, it was like Melbourne hadn’t adjusted their watches since leaving South Australia.

Geelong booted 12.19, making the Cat’s inaccuracy the Demons best player and were cleaner, more physical and got more ball off the Demons rucks than Melbourne’s midfield did.

Melbourne, coming off a five-day break and playing down in Geelong can lean on those reasons for comfort, but it’s false comfort.

The truth is they’re a step below where they were last year. Their midfield gets beaten in the clearances more often than not, and their forward line functions like Kayo, sporadically and not in a logical fashion.

Melbourne’s defence is so good that these things go unnoticed as games remain close. It’s like someone being good-looking so people overlook their obvious, glaring flaws. At least that’s what I’ve heard happens, good-looking people tend not to talk to me.

The Dees have had these problems before, and have fixed them before, but they don’t have forever, especially when Clayton Oliver is set for surgery on his fractured, expensive thumb.

As for Geelong, they are right in this. They just need to do it in finals, which hasn’t been their preference in the past, but old cats can learn new tricks.


Sydney (120) v Western Bulldogs (67)

An apology to the Bulldogs. I refused to believe they were average, but they have gone out of their way to prove it.

The Swans had lost to the Bombers last week, so they came out angry, and Swans are nasty when they’re angry.

I know this from personal experience when one of them attacked me as a child at a family picnic. Only the quick actions of my nanny, our butler and our gamekeeper stopped me from coming to harm.

My nanny walked with a limp after that incident, which was sad because we had to let her go.

Seven goals to the Swans in the first term set the tone, as the Bulldogs experimented with a game plan that involved no tackling.

Chad Warner seemed a big benefactor of this approach, just running around like no one else was out there, while Tom Papley and Isaac Heeney had fun up forward.

The Bulldogs have had a terrible season. They seem more interested in things off the field than on.

Fans don’t care what’s happening off the field, as long as everything is going well on it.

The Bulldogs need to be less defensive off the field and more defensive on it.


Collingwood (88) v North Melbourne (81)

For a moment there, a miracle looked on the cards.

The Pies, a machine that churns out wins with an alarming regularity seemed to be malfunctioning.

It was like North Melbourne had stuck their wooden spoon in the gears.

I’d tuned in expecting to be tuning out at about quarter time, instead, I dared to believe that North could win this.

Luke Davies-Uniacke, played one of the best games by a hyphenated player in a long time, while Nick Larkey kicked five goals.

By halftime, I had the staff put a bottle of champagne on ice in anticipation, but I now suspect I jinxed it.

The Pies, trailing by 28 points in the third term, realised they were going to have to try to win, so they did.

It then became a slow process of watching Collingwood reel them in, with an inevitability that was depressing.

Personally, I blame those Diacos boys. They keep doing footballing things.

Unfortunately, the Pies have a lot of youngsters that can do footballing things. I was happy for Collingwood to Do Better, but not on the field.

As for David Noble, this performance has bought him another week, but next will they face an angry Richmond.

Gold Coast (94) v Richmond (92)

When people talk about footy being no good anymore (hello ranting incoherently, it is time for a lie-down Rex Hunt) I think of games like these.

You’d be hard press to find better drama outside of British politics than the two Saturday afternoon games.

It began with Shai Bolton ripping apart the Suns like a piñata, with him seeming to put together a career highlight reel in a single game.  He would finish with 29 possessions and three goals.

The Bolton bus, far superior to the one Carlton once owned, saw Richmond up by as much as 40 points in the third quarter. And you’re not losing from there.

The Suns, who had put together one of their worst quarters of the year in the second, began showing something in the third, but still, they were down 29 points at three-quarter time.

And you’re not losing from there.

But then the fourth quarter happened. A mad scramble of football that saw the Suns chase down the Tigers with relentless effort.

And it was the youngsters that did it.

Gold Coast have built a strong team based on drafting and developing players like Mabior Chol.

Nothing underlined the fighting spirit of the Suns than when Jason Castagna was streaming into goal, only to have Charlie Ballard desperately smother the ball.

This proved to be key, as Noah Anderson ended up with the ball as the siren sounded.

His kick, which sailed through for a goal, gave the Suns not only a famous victory but a chance at finals, while for Richmond, like someone after a big night out, were left to try to piece together what just happened.

St Kilda (70) v Fremantle (111)

They’ve done it again those cheeky Saints. They gave their fans some hope last week against Carlton and then they smashed it into a thousand pieces against Fremantle.

Cleverly, the Saints gave their fans even more hope by controlling proceedings in the first half and looking like they’d turned up to play.

Yet despite almost winning every centre clearance, St Kilda led by just eight points at halftime.

Some strange umpiring gifted the Dockers a goal before halftime, but that became a bit of a moot point in the second half, as the Dockers moved small forward Nat Fyfe into the midfield, in what proved to be a masterstroke.

Seven straight goals flipped the game on its head, and even Rory Lobb managed to shake off being attacked with a bottle of peroxide earlier in the week and work himself into the game.

Anyone who reads these columns regularly knows how little I know about football, but even I can tell the Dockers are a serious footy side.

The Saints however look to be throwing away what looked to be a promising season. At least no one can say they don’t know their brand.

Port Adelaide (84) v Greater Western Sydney (29)

If you’re relatively new to footy, you’re correct in noting 29 points is a very low score for a professional football side.

Even more worrying was the fact Connor Rozee finished with more goals than the Giants entire side.

With nothing to really play for, the Giants played like that was the case, fulfilling their contractual obligations by turning up and going through the motions.

The Power have kept their finals chanced alive, partly due to St Kilda and the Bulldogs opting out of playing finals.

Those five straight losses to start the season will haunt Port, like the time I accidentally served a Nerello Mascalese when I meant to pour an Agiorgitiko. I still wince when I think about it.

People assured me they hadn’t noticed but their eyes told a different story.

Port have got a tough run home and I can’t see them making it from where they are. It would require St Kilda totally bottling it (very likely) and Richmond too (less likely), and the Suns to go behind a cloud (fifty-fifty).


Brisbane (90) v Essendon (100)

Two wins in a row! Look at Essendon getting all fancy and stuff.

Sure, the Lions had nine changes from the week before, due to injuries and covid, but these are trivial details to Essendon supporters.

I mean, Essendon have looked like a real-life AFL side in the past few weeks. Sure, it’s taken until the last bit of the season, but it’s nice they decided to show up eventually.

And there were some excellent performances from Bombers players, such as Peter Wright, who booted five and is no longer only known for being tall.

Jye Caldwell also did a nice job on Lachie Neale while also having a big impact like himself, it’s the best performance by someone called Jye outside an outer suburbs nightclub.

For Lions supporters, all the outs were not trivial but huge details. It seems covid is already having an impact on finals.

Staying healthy is going to be key to any finals run and putting players in hermetically sealed containers after every game seems like a smart approach.

The Bombers now have a clear path to victory, have most of their opponent’s top players not play.

Hawthorn (86) v Adelaide (54)

Poor Adelaide. If it wasn’t for some historically bad season, they could be in the mix for the wooden spoon.

Against Hawthorn, who had lost five in a row, the Crows produced some truly awful football, before waking up in the third.

While fighting back was nice and all, losing like this had Adelaide talk back sounding like the end of the world had just happened, which if you’re a Crows supporter it had.

Hawthorn were certainly helped by the return of Ben McEvoy, who worked incredibly hard to get back from injury to play again this season.

To do everything to get back for this particular Hawthorn season proves McEvoy must really love this club a lot.

Personally, I would have taken the year off, but I’m inherently lazy.

West Coast (53) v Carlton (116)

Not ideal for the Eagles, who seemed to be turning a corner but instead found themselves in an alley surrounded by Carlton players wielding baseball bats.

The Blues seemed to be doing an old-school Carlton in the middle of this game, conceding seven goals in a quarter, one of them being Josh Kennedy’s 700th goal as an Eagle.

Kicking it against his old team was a bit of karma, and you’d have to say that the trade that got him there has certainly worked out for the Eagles.

But while the Blues seemed to be reverting to type, they showed they are not the team that used to go to water the moment things started going against them.

Instead, they fought back, and they fought back hard.

Five goal performances from both Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay would be giving defences across the AFL nightmares.

And then there’s the Blues midfield, with players like George Hewett and Adam Cerra proving again that the best way to be a good team is to have good players.

The fourth quarter was a dream come true for Blues supporters, as West Coast went from active participants to inactive audience members.

It’s time we all faced up to the fact that Carlton are going to play finals, and Voss is the first Blues coach in two decades to not look like a hostage in the coaching box.

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




Jul 11, 2022

Up early again, Titus?


Jul 11, 2022

I'd listen to the podcast/watch Youtube, but Mick Molloy? Nah!


Jul 11, 2022

And it thought it was only my Kayo that is able to show glitching, resulting in about a thousand instant replays during play.
Not frustrating at all. Yes, I've turned it off and back on already.


Jul 11, 2022

So Melbourne need to rest Gawn more often given he just kept handing it to Geelong?

Harry Houdini

Jul 11, 2022

Titus - I was thinking about Rex expressing disappointment because he’s not getting enough Wayne. Why don’t they just resurrect the old Foxtel press red feature and have special commentary from misogynist, hypocritical old farts with violent histories? There’s clearly a market there. They could move all the footy gambling ads on to it too.


Jul 11, 2022

I'd love to see a side by side reel of the 50m off the ball jumper pull that saw the Bulldogs get a free kick in the goal square, from which they subsequently scored vs the pull on Buddy's jumper by that great champ Cotchin a few weeks back. The guiding hand of AFL House moves in less than mysterious ways

Daniel Fletcher

Jul 11, 2022

Sorry Titus. Have to agree with TERRY. Would willingly and eagerly watch / listen to you on your own though. Have watched those Front Bar types a couple of times and endured many a promo . They're so far up themselves they make the likes of Trump look modest.

Bryan Bratwurst

Jul 11, 2022

They’ve done it again. The AFL really are geniuses. They create a problem and then come up with a simple and elegant solution.

None of us could figure out how they’d deal with the new generation of Selwoods. The kids that have grown up honing their knee-dropping craft.

The solution was on display on Saturday and it’s brilliant. The head high tackle cap! 2 per player per game. After that, you can have your head removed with a chainsaw and it’s no free for you!


Jul 11, 2022

"like Kayo, sporadically and not in a logical fashion." At last someone else noticing that Kayo is probably the worst streaming service available as well as being the most expensive. And on that note, commercials, commercials, then "Ad Breaks", no wonder Rupert can afford so many wives. Nothing is where you can find it again. Frustrating!!!!!

Con Cushion

Jul 11, 2022

Turn it up Titus ...... I once talked to you. You didn't look at me but I talked to you! Con.


Jul 11, 2022

Obviously I don't mix in the same social classes as you, Titus, so I needed to google the words "Agiorgitiko" and "Nerello Mascalese".

Con Cushion

Jul 11, 2022

Turn it up Titus .... I talked to you once. You didn't look at me but I did talk to you! Con.

Kafka’s Ghost

Jul 11, 2022

Ah yes, Kayo, the multi-instant replay app which ends up missing out all the good bits. Why does it move into “replay” mode just as someone is about to take a great mark or kick a fine goal? Perhaps it was designed by the same boffins who gave us the Australian Digital Passenger Declaration, where you open it at the airport to find all the info you painstakingly entered has vanished?
Regarding the podcast; Mick Molloy is not someone who’ll attract much of an audience. That “Front Bar” show was a self-indulgent shocker.
Otherwise, still the best review going around of a terrific round of footy.


Jul 11, 2022

Agree re Kayo. Start, stop, buffer, start, buffer, stop and repeat. And ads.

Full Moon Over Nunawading

Jul 11, 2022


Gold Coast! ... Gold Coast!
Has earned the right to boast
Of victory
Snatched splendidly
At an AFL outpost.

Saint Peter

Jul 11, 2022

I can't believe what I read. Titus actually had to serve a drink to his friends er sorry guests. Must have given the butler the night off forgetting he had guests coming over. I presume this will never happen again.

The g train

Jul 11, 2022

Talking tennis: Rafael Nadal withdrew from his Wimbledon semi-final match as he said he “couldn’t win or even be competitive”—and therefore there was no point in playing. North Melbourne meditated on this and decided they should at least be competitive. (Yes, Titus—their loss was depressingly inevitable. But everything that happens is inevitable).

Privileged to have watched the two greatest victories in the history of footy over the last two rounds. StK’s win over Carlton and now the second greatest win of all time—Gold Coast over Richmond. Previous seasons would have seen the Suns embarrassingly belted in the second half after being down 40 points early in the third. Yes, it really is a different Gold Coast this season.

“Swans are nasty when they’re angry”. Absolutely. Don’t ever picnic remotely near a swan. They’ll pluck your eye out for a slither (sliver?) of cake.

Good luck with Sports Bizarre. Just hope Mr Molloy knows his place.


Jul 11, 2022

Watching North was an exciting, but scary experience. Excited to see them play a proper style of footy, especially against the filth. But also as scared as someone playing pass the parcel in a Belfast pub. And yep, at three quarter time the bomb went off.
Also the AFL needs to fix both the duckers and ruck lotto. At least the umps are consistent, inconsistently.

Footy Fan

Jul 11, 2022

Don't let a Richmond player walk your dog. They have trouble holding on to leads.


Jul 11, 2022

Titus what your saying is Brisbane have no depth, there injury list no longer the most teams, including Essendon. i’m sure Carlton supporters would agree with hugh outs

Yes i am an Essendon supporter who thinks we were a bit lucky to catch them out of sorts, but all teams suffer outs through the year.


Jul 11, 2022

I have grave concerns about sections of your readership Titus, The Front Bar is compulsory viewing.
I’ll be all over your podcast with Mick. I’m sure you’ll both provide fair and reasonable commentary about my Blues…
Bugger it, I’ll listen anyway.


Jul 11, 2022

I was eagerly looking forward to your new podcast, but the saw the name Molloy ... you can stick it somewhere dark and smelly


Jul 11, 2022

Agree with Andrew that the Front Bar is good. Mick loves to interrupt though so good luck getting a word in with that bloke.

Pope Paul VII

Jul 11, 2022

Nice work Titey esp your appreciation of your brave and loyal help during your terrifying swan attack.

Speaking of days of yore, when you could still (just) get good help, yourself and Micky should look forensically at Bradman's first test after WWII. Where he controversially stood his ground despite appearing to be rather obviously caught at second slip.

Anthony "Fat Tony" D'Amico

Jul 11, 2022


"Voss is the first Blues coach in two decades to not look like a hostage in the coaching box."

Things are not always as they seem Titus. If he fails to beat the Shelbyville Sharks in the championship game, he'll become closely acquainted with the Neuclear waste I dispose of Iat Lake Springfield.


Jul 11, 2022

@ THE G TRAIN: Good luck with Sports Bizarre. Just hope Mr Molloy knows his place.

Maybe Titus is resorting to the traditional wisdom of television chat shows: Make sure you have a sidekick who can never appear smarter than you.


Jul 11, 2022

For all those complaining about Kayo, maybe time to upgrade that 56K dial up modem?

Otherwise, brilliant stuff, ToR.

*Will not be tuning in to Mick Molloy saying "That's bonkers!" repeatedly. Didn't you write a book with that stuff in it? My milkbar keeps trying to give me a complimentary copy with every bag of blue sharks.

Son of plugger

Jul 11, 2022

Full moon: good stuff! Keep spreading the word about GC!

Beau from Beaumaris

Jul 11, 2022

Some seem surprised at Collingwood getting out of jail again ….. given the uniform, and the nature of their supporters, surely this is just the natural state of play.


Jul 11, 2022

Titus, you obviously didn’t read my comment that Geelong was also coming off a 5-day break. I know you’re a wanker but please stop!

Macca RB

Jul 11, 2022

Despite the criticism at the time - trading and paying $500 000 a season to Footscray for no Tackle Treloar, now appears to be a masterstroke of list management from Collingwood.

Excellent game from Gold Coast - and another good crowd.
Isn't it about time all those Vics, living on the Goldy, adopted the Suns as their local team, and when their old Melbourne club plays at Carrara don the old colours for nostalgia's sake.
Two wins:
Gold Coast get a large and regular supporter base.
Traditional fans can still support their original club, too.


Jul 11, 2022

Do you have Clarko's phone number? Asking for a friend .

Johnny Geo

Jul 11, 2022

@KafkasGhost “… Perhaps it was designed by the same boffins who gave us the Australian Digital Passenger Declaration, where you open it at the airport to find all the info you painstakingly entered has vanished?”

Ain’t that the truth! Probably cost the taxpayers a lazy billion that useless app. But what does a billion buy these days anyway? We should ask Titus.

Sun Lion Bomber

Jul 12, 2022

so much in the article and comments section to mention and add to.
Firstly, @MACCARB you've just described me. I can often be seen at Metricon in a Suns Jumper, at the Gabba in a Lions Jumper, just to follow a local team, but Sunday gone, I was the loudest of the lot wearing my '93 vintage premiership jumper!
As for Mick Malloy, yes can be annoying, but so is my wife (only sometimes honey)! Mick is a true staple of the Australian entertainment industry and has been since Shitcared in the 90's, and first thing after reading this article and before hitting the comments section was to download the podcast to listen on tonight's drive home!

The g train

Jul 12, 2022

MACCA RB: yes! GC’s success is good for footy! Keep spreading the word.


Jul 12, 2022

BIG FELLA.Great effort by the suns but jesus how could the roos not beat the filth after having a lead (maybe they got confused about having a lead so late in a game ) I watched the meercats put the dees away and they looked pretty good at home .they say you learn from a loss and i think the dees already know you need a working forward line to kick a winning score but i really think we will show how much we learnt come september on the big MCG unlike the kids ground at mearcat manor. Anyway the lads will be tested this week in alice and probably without clarry but i think we can sort of cover him.GO DEES


Jul 13, 2022

Another "like" for the Kayo comment. The design is completely woeful, but this is the first time I have seen somebody call it out. What a relief to find out it is not just me.


Jul 13, 2022

Was a bit concerned Titus, your Geelong-Melbourne review teetering perilously close to a serious, well considered and insightful examination- fortunately it slipped away back to what we know & love.
As a life long ‘Norf’ supporter with a superior footy intellect I have always felt we have recruited/drafted far too many hyphenated surnamed players - puts the team sheet way out of balance & looks quite messy in the local milk bar window Friday morning

Lion of Floreat

Jul 14, 2022

I was having the perfect weekend on holiday overseas until I took some time to watch the Lions Bombers game in a sports bar in a holiday destination frequented by Australians with crook tatts.

With 9 Players missing I was staggered that the Lions could or would not find a place in the side for Rhys Mathieson who has been playing consistently better than the reserve graders they picked instead.

I live in the hope that next week gives him another chance.