Jun 06, 2022


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Twelve


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.


Western Bulldogs (70) v Geelong (83)

With the benefit of hindsight, the Bulldogs would have to concede letting Geelong get 40 points in front was a mistake.

This looked like it was going to be one of the great beltings, as Geelong started off kicking everything, while the Doggies looked like they couldn’t hit the side of a barn even if you laid every barn in the world side-by-side.

Up the other end, Jeremey Cameron was having a field day, helped by the fact the Bulldogs' defence is undersized to the point where quite a few rides at Luna Park are off-limits to them.

This all changed when Tom Stewart, a one-man defence system who should be deployed to Ukraine, was concussed while attempting to tackle Bailey Smith.

Suddenly, the Doggies could score, just like when my friend at school Simon Waterson got his braces off in year twelve, just as his acne cleared up. I didn’t see him much after that.

With the Bulldogs now on a tear, Geelong tried to hold on.

Bailey Smith, suddenly with a taste for concussing opponents, decided to headbutt Zach Tuohy as they scuffled at three-quarter time.

This resulted in footy journos dusting off the phrase ‘nervous wait’.

Touhy of course stuck to the players' code, denying there was anything in the incident, claiming he grazed his head on the grass, and that there was no game of footy and he was home in bed with a cup of tea by 7.30pm.

Despite Smith’s best efforts to take out every Cat player one-by-one, the Cats held on.


Adelaide (88) v West Coast (57)

Horrible. Just horrible.

Less a football game and more an exercise in extinguishing anyone’s love of this great game, the AFL should offer compensation to anyone who saw this, let alone anyone who paid to be at it.

The Crows had lost five in a row, so this was a chance to boost confidence, and in the first half they did, helped by West Coast looking like an interpretive dance troupe performing a work loosely based on Australian Rules Football.

So bad were the Eagles early on that Adam Simpson was covering his eyes and while we would all like to not watch the Eagles, it’s not an option if you’re their coach.

By halftime, Adelaide would have been feeling pretty good about themselves, only for the second half to happen, a half the Eagles would win.

Fittingly, the Crows did win the entire game but was still a game where everyone was a loser.

Both sides have a bye next week and in this troubled world, we should be thankful for small mercies.

Gold Coast (109) v North Melbourne (47)

Getting North Melbourne the week before a bye is a bit like the boss giving you a week off before you go on holiday.

To make things fun, the Suns let the Roos lead by 17 points at quarter-time, which was like the bad guy in a horror movie letting the victim get a head start in the woods.

The second quarter saw the Suns pour on seven goals, while North didn’t score at all. This was not good from a Kangaroos point of view.

Many top footy analysts believe scoring lots while limiting your opponent's score is a big reason for success. I believe only Champion Data don’t see this as important.

North’s ability to completely disappear for large parts of the game would make them one of the best hide and seek teams in the world, but unfortunately, they’ve chosen Australian Rules Football as their sport.

Is it possible that’s why they let their recruiting manager and list manger go? Had they mistakenly been building a world-class hide and seek team?

I’d say that was a fanciful idea, except for the fact North are involved.

Melbourne (61) v Sydney (73)

Is it panic stations yet?

I would say so. Two losses in a row has seen the Demons plummet to first on the ladder and just one game clear.

Probably a sensible option would be to trade Petracca and Oliver for draft picks and start playing the kids.

While Melbourne’s dynasty is now a distant memory, the plaudits must go to the Swans, who managed to come back in this with a suburb defensive effort and something called ‘tackling’.

The Swans had 75 to 53 tackles, with Callum Mills finishing with ten, as did Sam Reid, while Luke Parker had nine and Tom McCartin had seven.

The Dees seemed to not enjoy this, with the major outcome being the Demons completely inability to score after quarter time.

Their forward line looks impotent, and I get it, it happens to a lot of forward lines, but you must do something about it.

Often, it’s mental more than physical, or so I’m told.

And while the focus will be on Melbourne’s troubles, if you’re a Swans supporter, that was a pretty great weekend.


Hawthorn (68) v Collingwood (72)

Umpiring remains a hot mess this season, but to be fair, the players don’t help themselves at times.

Take for example players like Jack Ginnivan and Cody Weightman who stage for frees, then also complain when they aren’t given them.

Weightman throws himself so far forward in his attempts to get a free, he could win an Olympic long jump event.

Ginnivan is learning that if you duck all the time, you sometimes don’t get the ones you should, only Joel Selwood gets away with that.

Personally, I think if you cry wolf all the time, I can’t mourn you that much when you then get eaten by a wolf.

While Pies fans weren’t thrilled with some of those non-decisions, they’d be happy about everything else.

They’ve won their third game in a row for the first time since 2019, proving not everything was bad during lockdown.

They’d also be happy with Nick Daicos who had 36 disposals and was best on ground. It’s early, but by the time his career is over, I predict the name Daicos will be a famous one in football.

Hawthorn will be happy to have responded after last week’s game, and it turns out having a ruckman makes a difference.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, they get the 2022 premiers, Fremantle next week.

Fremantle (99) v Brisbane (85)

If you want to convince people you are the real deal, beating Melbourne and Brisbane in a fortnight is a good way to do it.

How have the Dockers accomplished this miracle?

Partly through having really good players, and then having them all commit to defending across the entire ground.

This is the blueprint for every premiership, yet people seem amazed when it works.

In fairness, most AFL teams know this is the blueprint, it’s doing it that’s the hard bit, and the Dockers are doing it.

And Brisbane do that very well too.

Watching Lachie Neale and Andrew Brayshaw go at it was worth the price of admission alone.

Then you had Zac Bailey up one end and Bailey Banfield up the other duelling it out.

No wonder the crowd was electric watching this, it was a great game.

So big was the crowd, it got me thinking, with the success of Fremantle, is it time for a second AFL team in Western Australia?

Bye: Carlton, Port Adelaide, St Kilda, Essendon, Greater Western Sydney, Richmond.

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



Kafka’s Ghost

Jun 06, 2022

Time for a second team in WA? Ouch.

Mr B

Jun 06, 2022

Interesting. Melbourne (Naaaaaaarm) have won precisely the same number of games as West Coast in the last fortnight.

Vic Parkes

Jun 06, 2022

I'm not as good at English as you Titus. Is it 'ironic' or 'hypocritical' that Jack Ginnivan and Cody Weightman are staging floppers and Joel Selwood, Buddy Franklin, Tom Hawkins and Paddy Dangerfield are four of the best players in the modern game?

Andrew Collison

Jun 06, 2022

Good to see the return of the Melbourne supporters own dedicated train service. The one that "beats the traffic" by leaving 10 minutes before the siren.

Nth Qlds only Dockers supporter

Jun 06, 2022

We really want to celebrate but as lifelong Freo supporters know, crushing disappointment is only just around the corner..

Fat Side

Jun 06, 2022

Has Ginnivan possibly misinterpreted his older team-mates and coach telling him to pull his head in?


Jun 06, 2022

Today's comments are good enough to have been written by the Master himself


Jun 06, 2022

Simon Waterson "never say never"

Tracy Carter

Jun 06, 2022

That last line. Sublime.

The g train

Jun 06, 2022

There’s an old footy saying—you’re only as good as your last two games. Melbourne are in deep trouble. Now it’s a race between StK, Fremantle and The Suns for the flag.

Agree that the Bulldogs tactically blundered in allowing themselves to get 40 points ahead with plenty of time left. A lot of petrol was spent and the end result was inevitable. When StK are 40+ points ahead with plenty of time left on the clock, it’s a guaranteed loss.

A great Victory of sorts to West Coast. To lose by less than 50 points shows they are getting back to being an AFL team again.

“They entertain…the put on a show”, enthused Jason Dunstall during the Gold Coast game. It’s a different Gold Coast this season and are now The Big Show. All kudos to Gil, CEO AFL. And Stewie Dewie.


Jun 06, 2022

@vic parkes you can’t seriously put Buddy in the same category as Joel Selwood? Over a pretty similar number of games Selwood has had 869 frees and given away 444. Buddy has had 421 frees and given away 641!


Jun 06, 2022

West Coast really only lost because they gave the crows a 20 minute head start.

Freo Phil

Jun 06, 2022

As a life long Freo member, I have found that I have developed a nasty habit this year, watching Eagles games. As you say, down right awful footy, but the facial expressions from players, the coaching box and crowd have been priceless. You could make a wonderful montage of Adam Simpson’s reactions. Ps. What’s the Eagles Chaplin doing about all this?


Jun 06, 2022

Well done Simon Waterson, but was your success based on no braces or acne or the fact that you cleverly ditched your wingman!🤫


Jun 06, 2022

Warm up the Range Rovers Dees fans, winter (snow) is coming!

Con Cushion

Jun 06, 2022

Turn it up Titus .... a wolf wouldn't eat a pie. Processed food is a no no, vegetarian pasty maybe at a stretch! Con.

Saint Peter

Jun 06, 2022

Titus, I think you may be getting a bit carried away with your analogies. "while the Doggies looked like they couldn’t hit the side of a barn even if you laid every barn in the world side-by-side". Put the side of a barn more than 80 metres away & no Bulldog is going to hit it, even in strong wind.
I agree with your assessment of the Demons. They have gotten ahead of themselves. I think they thought it was all down hill to the finals after being able to get over the Saints. What they Demons didn't realize is the Saints were using Ali's old trick of playing rope a dope before the finals start.
Fremantle are looking very good & proving to be a very serious contender. However my team has worked out their kryptonite. If we play them in the finals, you may find sprinklers accidentally turned on overnight before the game.

Snag Cleaver

Jun 06, 2022

Melbourne are yet to win under an Albanese-led government, while Sydney are unbeaten.


Jun 06, 2022

Pure brilliance Titus -
“So big was the crowd, it got me thinking, with the success of Fremantle, is it time for a second AFL team in Western Australia?”


Jun 06, 2022

"Players like Jack Ginnivan and Cody Weightman who stage for frees could win an Olympic long jump event."
Maybe they should work on this as a team and go for the Synchronised Diving.

Julieanne Bonnici

Jun 06, 2022

Can't believe no one has commented on what a great game "Ben" Reid played the other night.


Jun 06, 2022

By David Noble's metrics North did well in Darwin by winning the 1st quarter convincingly. However most clubs use the metric of winning the game as a measure of success. Disappearing isn't a metric Noble acknowledges.

Simon Waterson

Jun 06, 2022

My new girlfriend just told me that she’s only dating me so that she can get to meet you. Turns out being a witty, unfit footy journalist is more appealing to a Honey Birdette model than a retired special forces commander.

Mac Hawk

Jun 06, 2022

I think Santa's problem is that his AFLWP doesn't suck.
Ps Hawks are coming. Be concerned.


Jun 06, 2022

Finally some serious footy analysis ,with out all the fluff and puff. Thanks Mr Titus


Jun 07, 2022

Titus if you laid every barn in the world side-by-side then of course you wouldn't be able to hit the side, they'd all be covered by the next barn. What you wanna do is lay them end-to-end.


Jun 07, 2022

suburb / superb? Surely deliberate!


Jun 07, 2022

"a suburb defensive effort" Which Melways map? BTW, are street directories still published?


Jun 07, 2022

BIG FELLA. I agree it is not a good look for the dees at this stage of the season but if you look back at last season we went through a very similar run.I know we have not played great footy all year but i am confident this is just a little hiccup in our season.We have already put a bit of fight back into the team if we are to believe the may/melksham fraccas.GO DEES

Son of plugger

Jun 07, 2022

Flagmantle: Agree and well spotted. But everything Titus writes is for a reason, irrational or otherwise. The reason this time, as in most times, we’ll never know. That’s the genius of Titus. Keeps you constantly guessing and questioning your sanity. He gets away with it because he’s very funny.


Jun 07, 2022

Would love Freo to jag a flag just for the reaction of the Weagles fans. Dees are cooked. No forward line, fumbly and no frothies May is on the beers again. Oh well, at least I saw them win once in my lifetime. Go Dees


Jun 07, 2022

Thanks Titus,

It was a magnificent game of football to watch at Optus, just a shame the Lions did not win. The Dockers are a genuine football team & their fans were impressively gracious in victory (in complete contrast to Eagles supporters ).

I say to the gracious Dockers supporters I sat amongst to keep dreaming because the Bulldogs proved in 2016 that all things are possible.

Season 2022 may amount to the sum of Eagles supporters fears where the Dockers are premiers & West Coast get the Spoon.

Macca RB

Jun 08, 2022

Jezzalenko ya bewdy.
Now come home to GWS.


Jun 08, 2022

Always a witty and clever read!
Thank you Titus.

Free eo

Jun 09, 2022

@Freo Phil - well...the Eagles Chapl(a)in is doing nothing about all this as he left before the 22 season and is currently building water wells in villages in Africa.

So it raises the question, is the West Coast cliff dive due to no longer having God on their side, or is it due to no longer having a bloke that thought he was God (Dean Margetts) helping their side. The jury's out.