Aug 05, 2019


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Twenty


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.

North Melbourne (86) v Hawthorn (64)

North Melbourne must not have got the memo that with Rhyce Shaw signing a three-year deal this week, they could relax and take it easy.

It seemed like that was the case early on, as Hawthorn absolutely tore apart North’s midfield and went into quarter time three goals up. The Hawks should have probably been up by more.

The Kangaroos then did something I’m not that keen on. They worked really hard. 

I hate people that work hard. They make the rest of us look bad. You end up resenting them, thinking ‘we could all be at the pub if that idiot wasn’t working like they care about this stupid job.’

The Hawthorn players seem to begin resenting the North midfielders too. Suddenly, getting the ball started to be really difficult.

It was a shame to see the Hawks drop off so quickly given Shaun Burgoyne was breaking Adam Goodes' record for most games by an indigenous player.

North themselves were celebrating 150-years. I feel this has been a bit underdone in the media.

The Kangaroos have been a great club over the years. They’ve had a better record than many and have overcome enormous odds to stay alive. After all, they had the VFL actively trying to send them broke and run them out of the competition for years. 

Anyone that defeats the governing body deserves our respect.

Essendon (67) v Port Adelaide (126)

One of the worst things for a person is being on the end of inconsistent behaviour. 

Studies have shown that people can’t handle situations that are highly unpredictable. 

Anyone who’s had a boss that is nice one day and horrible the next, knows this is worse than someone who is always horrible. Uncertainty kills you.

This is why Port Adelaide might be the worst club to support in the league. Port fans have no idea who is going to show up. 

Is it the Port Adelaide who would struggle to win a game in the SANFL? Or is it the team they got here? An exciting, high scoring, skilful side.

Port fans would be thinking, this is great and all, but this means we’re going to lose to Sydney at home next week doesn’t it?

For Essendon, trying to entrench themselves in the top eight, this was a disappointing outing. 

How disappointing? Well, their highlight was Essendon fan Ben Simmons being in attendance. 

Ben didn’t make it as an AFL player but has managed to fall back on a $241 million deal in the NBA.

It’s some consolidation I guess, but playing in the NBA is all well and good but knowing you’ll never get to go to the Brownlow would eat away at a person.

Greater Western Sydney (83) v Sydney (81)

This was a highly entertaining game, with the Swans refusing to let their cross-town rivals run over the top of them, only for the umpires to again ruin it for everyone.

In the dying moments, Sam Reid took what appeared to either be a mark or a free kick, only for the umpires to put the whistle away.

There’s been so many clangers by the umpires this year, which I blame on the increased load the AFL puts on them and the amount of nonsense they now need to keep an eye on.

We always notice the umpiring errors late in the game, giving them more weight than the ones in the first quarter, so I never like to say a win or loss came down to a couple of late decisions. A good side take the luck out of the game.

The Swans, when they had their chances didn’t put the Giants away, and if you fail to do that, you’re always rolling the dice.

Luckily for the game we all love, with the sport becoming harder to umpire, we have a terrific video review system in place.

Fremantle (95) v Geelong (61) 

I’m not sure why the Cats don’t want to win the premiership. They seemed so keen a few months ago, but recently, they’ve been playing more like Gary Ablett’s old side.

My theory is that when Brad Scott finished up at North, Chris, who was keen for a break and thought he’d had enough wins in the bank, got his brother to fill in until finals.

What else can explain the fact the Cats just gave up the minute the Dockers started to push back on them in the second quarter?

A complete acquiescence like that usually needs the French Army involved.

Geelong don’t even have injuries. And Freo had lots of them.

Yet Fremantle played like the top of the table side, bullying Geelong all over the ground. 

The downside for Dockers fans is a win like this means Ross Lyon could be around a bit longer. The only thing worse than hope, is false hope.

Melbourne (60) v Richmond (93)

I went along to this and the steady rain that descended on the ground was the perfect accompaniment to my misery.

Like all things, some losses are harder than others but what got me down about this one was the pure inevitability of it.

Sure, Melbourne did some nice things at times, they even appeared competitive for a lot of the game, but the complete ease with which Richmond pulled away had me wishing this godforsaken season could be over.

How I long for summer when I can spend some time relaxing and recharging my batteries and convince myself that next year will be different.

As for Richmond, they are looking in good form, although a bit wasteful up forward. 

A Tigers’ premiership this year is no longshot. I mean who else could win it? 

West Coast are a real chance, Brisbane are looking good, Geelong have decided they don’t want it, Collingwood will be lucky to be able to even field a team in September. The Giants probably aren’t consistent enough, while Essendon are a longshot. 

What about Adelaide? I hear you say. Oh, you are funny.

Adelaide (92) v St Kilda (70)

To their credit, the Crows didn’t lose to St Kilda at home. This should have been seen as a regulation win but there’s no such thing with the Crows of late. 

Adelaide began the game more nervously than me having to make small talk with people I don’t know. 

They kept chipping the ball backwards, with their own crowd booing them. The players however didn’t seem that fussed, having grown used to being booed by their own supporters in recent months.

For the Crows, there were some positive signs. Tex Walker kicked four and the returning Eddie Betts had three.

That’s the thing about the Crows forward line, they can seem quite competent every five to six weeks.

As for St Kilda, this wasn’t a great outing but not a disaster either. 

Right now, what happens on the field this season isn’t as important as what’s happening off the field. Will the board make a bad decision when appointing a coach, or a really bad decision?

Collingwood (120) v Gold Coast (51)

The Pies sure needed a week off but what they got was even better, a week off while also boosting their percentage.

Stuart Dew said after the game he didn’t think this performance was a step backwards for the Suns and I agree. You have to have taken a step forward at some point to be able to take one backwards.

The Suns again looked about as interested in this as I would be watching a musical. 

Speaking of steps, Nathan Buckley said this was a step in the right direction for his club and I guess it was. Yet belting the Suns isn’t really that good practice for the finals. 

It’s like training for the Winter Olympics by drinking gin and tonics with ice cubes in the glass.

Carlton (75) v West Coast (99)

A bit of a reality check for the Blues, but hardly a depressing one. 

The side that played the first part of the season would have got belted by 100 points. Under David Teague, this was a competent, committed side who were just outgunned by a more developed and accomplished side.

I’m a bit torn at the moment. I want Teague to get the Carlton job because the idea that he doesn’t deserve the job is just idiocy. On the other hand, the humour in the Blues Board making a terrible decision would fill so many people with joy. 

As for the Eagles, they continued their strong claim to be favourites for the flag. They’ll likely get home finals, they can win at the MCG, they’ve got a proven record in finals and Champion data don’t rate their list.

They’re powerful credential I think you’ll agree. 

Liam Ryan also added to his impressive reputation, hauling in a mark running into a pack with no fear of his physical safety. It was a beautiful thing to watch and a reminder that despite all the nonsense that surrounds it, this is a wonderful sport.

Brisbane (98) v Western Bulldogs (80)

Seven straight wins in a row. It’s been an impressive two months for the Lions. 

Think about it. When was the last time you’ve put in two months of excellence at work? I’d be lucky to string two hours of good work together. 

Especially if I achieve something. If I ever get something done, I rest on my laurels for weeks. 

Hell, I even rest on failure too.

The Dogs, who were entertaining a finals run, just didn’t do enough. 

They hung around, but like me at a speed dating night, they were there just to make up the numbers, at no stage did anyone take them seriously. 

There’s no reason the Lions can’t go the distance this year. They will at least inject some excitement into the finals. Their enthusiasm reminds me of my youth, before reality was brought to bear and crushed any hope out of me.

Titus is touring around the country in the upcoming months, visiting Canberra, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Hobart and Brisbane. Tickets available here:  

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.



Aug 05, 2019

Glad to see you back in the saddle, Titus - we missed you on Friday!

Mitch Robinson

Aug 05, 2019

Geez I'm playing my pants off at the moment, right?

Brenton Davy

Aug 05, 2019

"I’m a bit torn at the moment. I want Teague to get the Carlton job because the idea that he doesn’t deserve the job is just idiocy. On the other hand, the humour in the Blues Board making a terrible decision would fill so many people with joy."

Teague has no hope of getting the job. Carlolton still have delusions of grandeur, a throwback from an era where brown paper bags full of cash were enough to guarantee success, and a belief they are still a "Big 4" club. It will be Voss or nothing, almost an ironclad guarantee of future mediocrity.

Just where we want them to be.


Aug 05, 2019

Indeed, Mitch.

Which is probably better than playing with your pants off.

Although that could kick start a new fashion.

Phil is Retired

Aug 05, 2019

Re: Adam Goodes and Sean Burgoyne, there is a bloke called Barry Cable who played 383 games ( some with North Melbourne). And if you question the level of the WAFL in those days, who flogged who in Sate of Origin?

Flank Rroyd Wlight

Aug 05, 2019

Two (2) predictions:
(1) Carlton will dump David Teague in favour of someone more famous but less effective.

(b) Gary Ablett Jnr's grandson will be Gary Ablett Jnr III.


Aug 05, 2019

Fair theory regarding Scott brothers. That mess has Brad written all over it!

Sven from Sweden

Aug 05, 2019

I’d be drinking schnapps if I was training for the Winter Olympics.


Aug 05, 2019

What happened on Friday? I was about to either ring the Parole Board or the hospitals....I got all worried because I thought “it’s not me, it’s him “ then after checking the latest “forced arrivals” list on Manus Island (you have said some things about Lachlan and Lachlan is mates with Potato Head who heads up our internationally embarrassing Portfolios On Putting People Away For Life... geez it makes me sick to the guts the way this country is no longer about a fair go for anyone but all about the dollar...
Anyhow, then I thought “it’s not him, it’s me” whereby I reviewed as to whether I had unintentionally unsubscribed .... and my memory is getting so bad that I couldn’t even recall my browser or email history. Unfortunately I asked my wife and she seemed to know an awful lot about my browser history..... not a good day Friday.

Would GA’s Grandson be known as “3 Sticks” as in Gary Ablett III?

And Barry Cable has fallen into the unspeakable category with his conviction history therefore all records will probably just gloss over his on field accomplishments. Another of my heroes falling from my pedestals.....Ben Cousins etc.

Good to have you back Titus. I was worried like a Gold Coast Suns t-shirt vendor in March.... or a Docker’s one in March, April, May, June etc. And the Dockers win (or more correctly the Geelong loss) was a statistically aberrant event that does happen but it is random as to where and by whom.

Flank Rroyd Wlight

Aug 06, 2019


No, Gary Ablett's grandson would be Gary Ablett Jnr Jnr.


Aug 06, 2019

Footy club boards who get enticed often by the media are stupid sacking a coach mid season. They only sack when no chance of making finals and then appoint a caretaker coach. Almost always the caretaker gets better results and pressure comes on the board to appoint them coach. They get seduced again by media and long suffering fans to bypass process and appoint the caretaker as permanent coach.

They create their own problem by looking weak if they appoint the caretaker even if he is the best person for the job, or they look stupid if they dont appoint him and get another coach and he doesnt work the miracles they expect. To boot they then expect that other coach to have the caretaker sitting next to him instead of the person he wanted around him. You end up with discontent despite the denials throughout the club.

Why they dont let the coach serve out the remainder of the year and then take action without the drama playing out in the media one will probably never know but ego of individuals on the board is possibly the answer. Cant wait for a board to tell the media that they make decisions for the club instead if this constant "we have 100% confidence in the coach" when everyone including the coach knows its bullshit. The moment the board says that you know the positions in play and expect a sacking in a month.

Rhys Mc

Aug 06, 2019

Freeo & Port players must be avid readers of your site, Titus. Having read my "Keep Our Coaches" campaign posting, Freeo & Port duly responded by belting their respective opposition. A couple more results, like this, and other clubs can be spared the trauma of Roos or Ken making havoc with their club's list.

Come on St Kilda, a couple of wins will keep Brett in control and avoid your supporters worst nightmare, 'The return of Ross'.

Frosty from Collingwood

Aug 08, 2019

Eddie McG really is everywhere. Here he is working for the Mounties in Canada, supervising the search for the two blokes wanted for the murder of Lucas Fowler and his US girlfriend. (Link is safe)

Mad Dog

Aug 09, 2019

Channel 7, East Coast media, Victorian ex-footballers and Melburnians do not see Eagles coming in 1992. Eagles win flag.
Channel 7, East Coast media, Victorian ex-footballers and Melburnians do not see Eagles coming in 1994. Eagles win flag.
Channel 7, East Coast media, Victorian ex-footballers and Melburnians do not see Eagles coming in 2006. Eagles win flag.
Channel 7, East Coast media, Victorian ex-footballers and Melburnians do not see Eagles coming in 2018. Eagles win flag. Channel 7, East Coast media, Victorian ex-footballers and Melburnians do not see Eagles coming in 2019.

Is there a random pattern forming here?
Is it cause and effect?
Is it something to do with the cosmos?

The future's not ours to see. Que sera sera.


Aug 09, 2019

Where is the unhelpful guide for round 21? Lazy git...

Pie tragic

Aug 12, 2019

What has happened to your tips on a Friday.always insightful?

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