Apr 06, 2021
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Three
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 (72) v Brisbane (73)
What a weird long weekend of footy. We had this game, a comedy, and the Good Friday game, a tragedy.
If you think this round was designed just to ruin your tips, you got that right, unlike your tips.
Collingwood actually led this game for all but three minutes, yet somehow still managed to lose this in the most painful way possible.
It shows the club’s commitment to torturing their own fans is not just confined to the offseason.
Brisbane’s start to the season has been less than ideal. Losing, being stuck in Melbourne, and then this game shifted to Marvel, all put the Lions behind the eight ball.
It looked for much of this match they were well and truly snookered, and that’s putting it nicely, but they didn’t give up, with Mitch Robinson deciding he was having none of this 0-3 nonsense.
As the Lions kept coming, the Pies seemed to be holding them off, which made the pain, of Zac Bailey marking on the siren and kicking truly to win the game by one point, all the more painful.
It was a vital win for Brisbane after their losses to Sydney and the Umpires.
North Melbourne (39) v Western Bulldogs (167)
It’s not fun to kick someone while they’re down, but it is easier. Kicking someone while they’re standing up is actually quite hard, and even worse, they might kick you back.
But while this was a crucifixion worthy of the day, I’ve got a lot of empathy for North supporters.
I’ve been where they are and it is a place so desolate, so full of sadness, it makes Moomba seem like a fun event.
Reviewing the game itself is hardly worth it, this was a training session for the Bulldogs and a light one at that. Even the Bulldogs fans looked bored watching the second half of this.
The question is, should North lose Good Friday? I don’t see why. If blockbuster games rotated all the time, based on ladder position then fine, but that’s not what happens.
It seems if you’re a smaller club the calls come for you to lose it, but less so if you’re a bigger side.
That’s just a recipe for the bigger clubs to stay big and the smaller ones to be relegated to also-rans.
I know that’s not very funny but nothing was in this game.
Adelaide (95) v Gold Coast (85)
It’s early days, but the Adelaide Crows are in the top eight. That would have been unthinkable this time last year when it appeared the Crows might go a few decades without a win.
Tex Walker should send the AFL a bunch of flowers for the rule changes, which seem to have revitalised his career, he booted another six in this and was a key reason for the victory.
A big shift in the Crows seems to be they are finally in a happy place again. For so long, the Crows seemed to have the enthusiasm of a group of petty criminals on a graffiti clean-up crew.
As for the Suns, they have enthusiasm but don’t seem capable of winning.
They weren’t helped when their ruckman Jarrod Witts went down in the third quarter, but their brand seems to be the expansion team that is constantly rebuilding.
Fremantle should sue them for copyright infringement.
Richmond (72) v Sydney (117)
Footy is like a wild horse, just when you think you’ve mastered it, it bucks you off and then tramples you.
Not many of us would have thought the Swans could beat the reigning champions on the MCG, but no one would have thought they would do it easily, and with style points thrown in.
At times, the Swans played the role of the Harlem Globetrotters, just showing off.
But you don’t get the Globetrotters without someone playing the role of the Washington Generals, and the Tigers seemed only too willing to do so.
It was like Richmond had forgotten everything that made them one of the great sides of history.
I’d say their players were selfish and forgot the system that made them a great team, but they didn’t even seem to be doing that. They seem genuinely perplexed at what the Swans were doing.
While the Swans attack dazzled, it was their ability to negate almost every Richmond star, to the point the Tigers didn’t have any. Even Dusty seemed a shadow of his formal self, a tattooed apparition floating around the edges.
Tigers fans will be hoping this was the wake-up call their team needed, while Swans fans will spend the week wondering how you can possibly fit Buddy Franklin, an honest trier, into this star-studded forward line.
Essendon (143) v St Kilda (68)
Continuing our ‘footy makes no sense’ theme, the Essendon Football Club won a football game and not only that, belted the living suitcases out of an opponent.
Last week, the Bombers entire season was a write-off, now, Bombers fans are wondering if they might achieve victory in one of those finals their mythical texts speak of them once winning.
Such was the size of the victory, no one will raise this week where the coach was sitting during it.
The Bombers just smashed the Saints in the middle, and the longer this went on, the less interested in the game St Kilda appeared to be.
There were children in the stands on iPads more interested in the game than a lot of Saints players.
St Kilda started the season with hope, a real sense the club was moving in a positive direction, now it seems they have thrown off the mask to reveal, they are just St Kilda.
For Essendon, it’s was the shot of false hope this club was so desperate for.
West Coast (108) v Port Adelaide (71)
With Eddie gone from Collingwood, we now get lots of shots of David Koch when his team is losing, and I have to say, it’s not as fun.
Eddie would go that hue of red, deeper the colour of the surface of Mars, but during this, Koch just looked like a father who would say, “I’m not angry, just disappointed.”
And he should be disappointed, the Power were outclassed in every facet of the game, effort being a clear example.
The Eagles just dominated them across the entire ground.
I’m no statistical guru but being down by 52-points at half time suggests to me you are struggling.
For the Eagles, everything just worked. Their forward line did forward line things, their defence was really defency and Liam Ryan locked down mark of the year.
I actually think gravity and Liam Ryan have a different relationship than the rest of us.
It must be nice to know you can jump half-an-hour early for a mark, and just wait up there for the ball to arrive.
Carlton (109) v Fremantle (64)
Carlton and Essendon belting sides this week made it feel like the 90s, I half expected to turn on the radio to hear Blur and Oasis dominating the airwaves.
Some credit has to go to Fremantle, it takes a lot of work to make Carlton look this good.
And they did look good, positively competent at times, which is what worries me.
Carlton are not competent.
I may be being harsh. We could assume Carlton are good, but trust is not something the Blues have yet earned.
The Blues certainly showed some promising signs, Cripps was dominant, Harry McKay looked like someone’s potential arriving, and Sam Walsh was classy all day.
Yet this was against a Dockers side without Nat Fyfe and a host of other players.
The real sign that Carlton are taking the next step is when this happens several weeks in a row and against quality opposition, until then this is probably another false dawn, trust me, I’ve had some experience with those.
Fremantle are in real trouble though. It seemed last season they were going somewhere, now they aren’t.
Greater Western Sydney (68) v Melbourne (102)
Melbourne being undefeated in round three is not a scenario I’ve been forced to grapple with on a regular basis in my life.
I file it up there with ‘having a girlfriend’ and ‘being happy’ for its scarcity.
Yet here we are, and while I’m excited, especially given Ben Brown and Sam Weideman are out, there are a few caveats.
Their first victory was against Fremantle, which doesn’t look that impressive, the second was against St Kilda, a win much devalued after what Essendon did to them, and this involved significant injuries to the Giants.
That all said, you can only beat what’s in front of you, and Melbourne has shown an ability not to go to water when they fall behind, which is like teaching a dog how to talk.
They also don’t seem to give up eight goals in a row regularly and seem committed to playing every quarter, including the third, which is new.
The Giants dominated early on, but injuries to Stephen Coniglio, Phil Davis and Matt de Boer, made this almost an impossible task. Even with the emergency sub, it’s pretty tough to cover that.
Such is their injury toll, that the release of the documentary Making their Mark is no longer the worst thing to happen to them this year.
In a time when the Giants need a little bit of luck, it seems they are getting none.
As for Dees fans, we aren’t getting in the Lake of Hopeful Waters, but we have driven up to its shores in our Range Rovers, and for the first time in a while, the water does look inviting.
Geelong (69) v Hawthorn (64)
It is ridiculous how often this rivalry delivers.
Neutral fans would have got a lot out of this, Geelong didn’t look that good, Hawthorn still lost, and we got a close game on Easter Monday.
In fairness to Geelong, it should be noted that Jeremy Cameron and Patrick Dangerfield were both not playing, but that didn’t stop the latter being mentioned more on the broadcast than some players actually involved in the game.
Hawks’ fans booed Isaac Smith, which some criticised, given he is a three-time premiership winner with the Hawks, but he did leave them to join their great enemy of recent times.
I mean, Judas did some good things before betraying Jesus, would these same people criticise us booing him now?
In the end, the Cats held on, partly through luck and partly through desperation.
Luck and desperation, there’s my love life summed up in three words.
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