Jul 08, 2019
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Sixteen
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.
Hawthorn (67) v Collingwood (63)
The joy of the Magpies losing was slightly offset by the fact Hawthorn won, but all things considered, it was worth it.
Something seems to be not quite right at Collingwood. Perhaps Jaidyn Stephenson’s suspension has rocked the group, but they were struggling before that.
Personally, I believe that with Mercury going Station Retrograde in Leo, the signs aren’t good for the Pies. Buckley has never handled Mercury retrograde well, being a Leo with the linked element of fire, Buckley is aware of the universe being the biggest and best partner but like all Leos he dislikes almost every change.
The Collingwood board were negligent not checking Buckley’s horoscope charts when organising the transition.
The difference between the Pies’ current form and earlier in the year, was they were winning games like this.
Hawthorn themselves weren’t amazing, but like so much of life, they showed the benefit of just hanging around.
Some weird umpire decisions, Collingwood imploding and there’s your four points.
Just being around is such a low bar to jump in life but so few people do it.
Essendon (76) v Sydney (66)
Speaking of hanging around, Essendon has been loitering outside the eight like me trying to get into an exclusive nightclub. You’d think they’d go away given everyone knows that even if they get in, they won’t be impressing anyone once inside.
Still, Essendon fans won’t care, there’s a chance, a chance the Swans don’t have.
It was a great result in a week when there was speculation Orazio Fantasia was interested in returning home to South Australia. Everyone was instantly suspicious, people usually leave South Australia, not return to it.
The rumour was shut down as completely false, meaning one of two things, either the media was lying, or the club was. The media were quick to point out that clubs and players had lied about these things before.
The problem is, it’s equally plausible either of them would lying. What I’m sure of is that at some point in time, Fantasia will either leave Essendon or won’t. I’m not saying he will but he could. See, I’m a news breaker too.
Weirdly, the Swans managed to dominate almost every statistic except the scoreboard, reaffirming my view that the score is an underrated stat in football.
Gold Coast (58) v Richmond (150)
For large parts of this game the Gold Coast crowd were barely paying any attention, in this respect they were simply following the lead of their players.
It’s hard to convey in words how bad the Suns were. Often, their players weren’t watching their opponent, or the ball, and tackling was a foreign concept to the entire side. They were an embarrassment to anyone who has ever pulled on a football boot in anger.
Actually, that wasn’t that hard to convey in words.
Calling them the Suns is ironic, given they don’t have a single star in the team.
Richmond were, of course, very good. I think.
It’s hard to say. Like playing FIFA on a much lower setting, it’s fun but hard to take much out of it.
At half time the Tigers were over 100 points, so you could argue they took their foot off the pedal. I hope Hardwick gives them a stern talking to.
Adelaide (44) v Port Adelaide (101)
Which Adelaide based club was going to disappoint their fans this week? It was the Crows! I totally had Port in the sweep.
It makes sense I suppose, as Port were labelled unreliable and you can’t be unreliable if you always fail, Bernard Tomic is very reliable.
You have to impress sometimes, so everyone starts to believe in you, then you let them down. Our political system is based on this model.
The Power certainly enjoyed having Tom Rockliff back but considering that was offset by Travis Boak being out, I like to think most of this was the Crows fault.
Crows board member Mark Ricciuto said during the game “The Crows fans are walking out and so they should.”
It’s that never say die attitude the Crows brought to this game.
Such was the performance of Adelaide, that Collective Mind would do well to offer this game as evidence that last year wasn’t all their fault.
Western Bulldogs (71) v Geelong (55)
There were memories of Footscray’s victory over the 20-0 Bombers in Round 21, 2000 at the then-named Colonial Stadium in this one.
It wasn’t as big but defeating top of the ladder Geelong and in the way they did was huge. Bulldogs fans certainly celebrated in a way they haven’t since the 2016 Premiership.
What the Bulldogs did was not give the Cats anything. Geelong looked to be on song early, but as the Doggies kept refusing to go away, they seem to increasingly go out of tune.
It didn’t hurt the Bulldogs that Aaron Naughton was marking everything kicked in his general direction, finishing with four goals.
It was also very enjoyable to watch. There was I, alone on a Saturday night, thinking I’d have to watch Geelong destroy the Dogs. But instead, I got an entertaining game with a surprising outcome.
Sure, it didn’t take the loneliness away and when it was over, I was still sitting at home on a Saturday night. Luckily the Derby was still on and Fremantle are always a fun watch.
Fremantle (31) v West Coast (122)
In pouring rain, Dockers supporters were forced to sit through this, and worse of all, they’d paid to do so.
Imagine sitting in the rain while your team kicked 2.19. Yes, you read that right. Fremantle booted two goals and 19 behinds.
It’s like a reverse masterpiece. Surely a team of professional footballers, who after all, train for this sort of thing as a full-time job can’t have done this if not on purpose?
It’s truly astounding. I’m still marvelling over it. I mean, you could save a lot of money if you wanted to hire people who can’t kick goals. Just pick people from the crowd.
I feel for Dockers fans, ever since Fremantle entered the league, they’ve managed to pull off a very passable impression of my team the Melbourne Football Club.
Recent weeks have been particularly harsh, losing to Melbourne, Carlton and then being thumped by your cross-town rivals is the footy gods way of not just testing you but being rather mean in the process.
At least Dockers fans can comfort themselves with the fact that Ross Lyon’s rebuild is still full steam ahead.
For the Eagles, all of this was great, Nic Naitanui returned and looked good, they beat their rivals by 91-points, and they’re now 2ndon the ladder.
That’s a nice little weekend.
Carlton (100) v Melbourne (105)
There was not a lot of winners in this. Carlton didn’t win, football certainly lost, and Melbourne, while technically getting four points, didn’t really win.
Carlton probably came the closest to winning, they had Patrick Cripps, Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow all missing and still almost won.
If they managed to learn how to start games, they’d be unstoppable.
The game itself was a glorified game of kick to kick, as both teams turned the ball over with such regularity they might as well have all been wearing the same jumpers.
Melbourne dominated for large parts of this game and had a 38-point lead in the third quarter and still managed to give up their lead.
Now to be fair, Melbourne had lost Marty Hore after he suffered a broken collarbone, Tom McDonald, who’d booted six until he went off after hurting his knee and Harry Petty who was on the bench with a concussion.
Add to this Max Gawn was an out before the game.
Still, it’s hard not to think there were plenty of times Melbourne could have finished the job early only to not convert their opportunities.
When a Mitch Hannan kick from beyond 60m bounced all the way to an unguarded goal square, only to stop dead, millimetres from goal, every Melbourne fan saw it as a metaphor for our cursed existence.
Luckily, Jayden Hunt can kick straight, or this might have been it for me.
Well, not really, I’ve sunk too much into this to pull out now. Yes, I know it’s the sunk cost fallacy. That’s Melbourne’s business model.
The Melbourne Football Club undermines every economist who has ever advocated Rational choice theory as a way of modelling society.
As for Carlton, Teague certainly has them fighting. The Blues could certainly do worse for a coach and have, frequently.
North Melbourne (112) v St Kilda (73)
A seven-goal to one opening quarter to the Kangaroos had me wondering if Alan Richardson wouldn’t see out the game, let alone the season.
Perhaps the best moment, was when Cam Zurhaar, who finished with five, booted a goal, only to then kick another immediately after because Jake Carlisle abused the umpire who awarded a free kick against him. You can always rely on Jake.
The Saints certainly lifted after quarter time, with Josh Bruce almost single-handedly rescuing Richardson for at least this week with six goals.
But the alarming part was the lack of intensity early and then the terrible skills after that. St Kilda’s big problem is they just seem to be going nowhere. There not even going nowhere fast, they are going nowhere in a meandering, drifting fashion.
Where they’re drifting to next is Geelong, not exactly an ideal place to try to bounce back.
North now sit tenth on the ladder and Rhyce Shaw, like a co-pilot grabbing the controls after the pilot fell asleep, has them out of their steep decline.
If Longmire says no to North, Shaw should negotiate hard, after all, he knows they’re willing to spend big on a coach and there’s that vacancy at St Kilda coming up.
Greater Western Sydney (74) v Brisbane (94)
These Brisbane chaps seem to be reasonably good. Chris Fagan doesn’t get mentioned that much but surely, he’s been coach of the year.
Winning at the Gabba regularly is still a novel thing for Lions fans, but now they go and get a huge scalp on the road and do it in style.
Lachie Neale played his 150thand showed that not playing at Fremantle is a lot of fun.
Add in Hugh McCluggage, Harris Andrews, Lincoln McCarthy, Charlie Cameron, Dayne Zorko… I don’t really have a point here; I’m just getting a thrill out of being able to name Lions players, something I couldn’t do twelve months ago.
The Giants are like an Italian car, stylish, lots of ability but they just aren’t reliable.
They did struggle with injuries to Josh Kelly (calf) and Stephen Coniglio (knee), but these happened after they’d already been dominated early on.
The Giants need to do better than their club motto, ‘At least we’re not Gold Coast’.
Titus’ new bookPlease, Gamble Irresponsibly: The rise, fall and rise of sport gambling in Australia will be out on 5th November 2019. You can pre-order it now.
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