Mar 29, 2021


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Two


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.


Carlton (85) v Collingwood (106)

Carlton seems to have the amazing ability to get better but still lose. It’s not an ideal skill in a footy club.

For the ninth straight year, the Blues start the season 0-2, making you wonder why they bother to play the first two games. They should just rest up, although that seemed to be what their defence was doing in this game.

That’s probably, unfair, they don’t really have a defence.

The Blues stayed in the game for some time, with a miraculous goal from Michael Gibbons being a real highlight.

It was miraculous as he kicked it from the Frank Grey Smith bar on the third level of the MCC.

The umpires, perhaps sensing the Blues needed all the help they could get, allowed it.

Not that Collingwood didn’t get a few umpiring assists. It seems being spun 360 degrees and then incorrectly disposing of the ball is no longer two separate free kicks, as it should be, but no free kick at all. Luckily that didn’t affect any other games this week.

Collingwood’s performance was marred by Jamie Elliott suffering another injury, proving the footy goods have as much empathy as a sociopath.

The real highlight of the night was Harry McKay and Darcy Moore’s battle, just two great players going at it all night, both having their moments.

It does seem the game is better this season, far more free flowing. Have the AFL finally got things right with the rule changes? Was I wrong to criticise them so much? It’s possible I could have been wrong.

Anyone that pays attention to my tips each week will be saying, “Titus, you’re wrong more than you’re right. Of course, you were wrong.”


Geelong (81) v Brisbane (80)

More a series of controversies than a footy game, this was certainly entertaining, as long as you’re not a Lions supporter.

For Brisbane fans, it was a travesty of justice so heinous that Bob Dylan should write a song about it.

In the last 30 seconds, Zac Bailey was not awarded a holding-the-ball free kick on Cat Mark Blicavs right in front of goal.

Even the AFL admit it should have been a free kick, but given the Lions didn’t turn up until halftime, you do take your luck in your own hands.

Beyond that, this game had everything. An announcement that people who had been in Brisbane recently had to leave, saw a raft of commentators leave, most notably Wayne Carey, the perfect example of addition by subtraction.

Let’s hope asking Wayne Carey to leave becomes a new footy tradition.

Unfortunately, BT remained, despite me ringing triple 0 numerous times to say I’d seen him in Brisbane this week.

On the sixth occasion I rang, the operator told me it was a crime to waste their time, to which I responded, “The only crime being committed is against the ears of innocent footy fans, madam.”

We also had Gary Rohan floor Lachie Neale in the first quarter behind play. Rohan will face a murder trial this week.

Chris Scott then got into a verbal stoush with a few Brisbane players at quarter time, again Chris Scott’s face giving us a new meme. Is there any AFL person who has given us more memes than Chris Scott? It real is the face that launched a thousand memes.

Joel Selwood will also get reviewed for a dumping tackle on Tom Berry. My theory is the Cats are giving their aging stars rests via suspensions.

Selwood though didn’t play like someone aging, willing his team over the line.

For Brisbane, now stuck in Melbourne due to the Queensland lockdown, will be wondering how to get their season started. Of concern is Lachie Neale, who was shut down by Mark O'Connor.

I’ve been in relationships with less touching than what went on Friday night between those two.


Sydney (121) v Adelaide (88)

The return of Buddy was overshadowed somewhat by the frankly unfair number of gun young players the Swans are now showing off.

This is meant to be a year for improvement, not winning everything and frankly it’s unfair. I’ve always resented the Swans for the relentless competency.

Errol Gulden was ridiculously good again and Logan McDonald looked scary at times and seemed to not care this was meant to be Buddy’s big return.

Buddy himself was solid, and the main thing was he got through his return.

The Crows themselves seemed slow at times but are not the basket case of the last few years.

Tex Walker has turned back the clock, booting six and most impressively turning holding the ball turnovers through sheer pressure.

The Crows are improving but compared to the Swans their rebuild looks slow.

Port Adelaide (119) v Essendon (65)

For Port Adelaide it was business as usual and for Essendon, it was business as usual.

The Power’s key forwards and speed moving the ball sharply contrasted with the Bombers, who tried hard but looked a side that had brought a spoon to a gun fight.

Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti booted six, as he suddenly became the entire Essendon forward line.

Bombers supporters would be well within their rights to wonder how much longer they have to put up with a side seemingly designed just to torture it’s fans.

Their injury list from the game was longer than their best players list.

For the Power, everything thing seems to be going pretty well, Mitch Georgiades, who was only a late replacement kicked four and he’s a teenager.

That just seems unfair.

St Kilda (73) v Melbourne (91)

What the hell is this Melbourne?

Falling behind in a game, coming back, absorbing the pressure of an opponent without conceding runs of eight goals.

It’s very confusing.

It was certainly helped by key outs for the Saints, but these are things the Dees usually never do no matter the opponent.

Then up forward you have Kysaiah Pickett who seems to have the energy of the Sun, and who’s every touch seems to be potentially the highlight of the year.

It’s one thing to win, but for it to be exciting? I’m not built for this kind of stuff.

I’m not getting ahead of myself, but does anyone know any good tattooists?

St Kilda’s night was best displayed on Brett Ratten’s face, which oscillated from frustrated, to angry, to a furious stare that scared me, even watching the replay on TV.

I would prefer to be in the Brisbane lockdown than St Kilda’s player’s review today.

Gold Coast (98) v North Melbourne (39)

David Noble looks like a man who has a 10,000-word essay to do, thought he’d written 200 words of it, and just discovered someone had deleted them.

North is so far off the pace, there are VFL sides with better odds of making the eight.

Even more worrying, the Kangaroos were basically beaten up by a bunch of teenagers, my biggest nightmare.

Teenagers are scary, what with their bass and drum music and dancing the hip hop to their rap music.

Noah Anderson tore North apart with 35 possessions and seven clearances and looked like he’d been playing for ten seasons.

Not since Karmichael Hunt has a Sun racked up so many possessions.

Whatever happens this year, Suns fans have something to look forward to as this group develops.

And whatever happens, it seems Kangaroos fans don’t.


Hawthorn (49) v Richmond (78)

Here’s my hot takes from this game: 

·      Richmond are a better team than Hawthorn

·      Richmond has better players than Hawthorn

·      Hawthorn didn’t give up

·      Footy is better with a crowd

·      Watching footy with Richmond supporters was funnier when they were terrible

·      Watching footy with Hawthorn supporters is funnier when they’re terrible

·      Not buying your shout when you’re in a round should be illegal with significant jail time

·      Dustin Martin seems to be trying to clock Goal Assists this season just for something to do

Western Bulldogs (100) v West Coast (93)

A classic.

A game that seesawed, well, like a seesaw, the Dogs managed to come from 14 points down in the final term to win this, thanks to a host of contributors.

The whole game had players trying to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and drag it across the line.

Nic Naitanui was more force of nature than ruckman, while Jack Macrae showed he’s not a bad midfielder, finishing with a lazy 40 disposals and nine clearances.

What got the Doggies across the line was the sheer amount of players achieving or surpassing their personal best.

For a Bulldogs fan, the hardest decision in the upcoming few years is what number to get on your jumper. There is a lot to choose from.

Adding Adam Treloar has given the Doggies another gear, he was huge in the midfield in the last quarter.

Collingwood should feel proud of this victory, considering they contributed financially to it.

The Eagles will want to work on their composure a bit, but it’s nice to get some variety and lose in Melbourne instead of Queensland.

Fremantle (87) v Greater Western Sydney (56)

It finally happened. A player was subbed out of a game for a concussion, the reason the rule was brought in.

Unfortunately for the Dockers it was captain Nat Fyfe, who was blindsight by Sam Reid, in a bump that could at best described as unnecessary.

Reid will probably get a couple of weeks plus whatever loading you get this year for injuring a star.

It summed up the Giants approach, physical first, but this became harder to do as the match progressed. They were just unable to match it with the skill and speed of the Dockers.

It was lucky for the Dockers that despite their midfield being depleted after the hit, the Giants’ midfield had gone missing.

Watching it on TV, I was amazed the number of times the Giants midfield wasn’t even in the frame, except when they showed the bench.

The Dockers were overall very impressive and made it look easy, given their name, could we get them over to the Suez Canal?

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Andrew Taylor

Mar 29, 2021

Disappointed you misspelled Harmichaels name but enjoyed the line immensely!


Mar 29, 2021

Titus, you are in a rich vein of form. My day can be summed up as avoiding work and constantly refreshing your page waiting for the Knee Jerk Reaction and it didn't disappoint. Numerous laugh out loud moments throughout. The Wayne Carey and BT stuff is hilarious, but I find it less funny because it's too painfully true. I'm also convinced that your grammatical errors are simply a great man trolling and I love them as much as your carefully crafted prose e.g. "Not since Karmichael Hunt has a Sun racked up so many possessions" which took me a double take but was all the funnier second time round. Only request I would put in would have been for you to roll in the Adelaide Cows and give us some stock updates. Does much cattle shipping go through the Suez? I feel like this is territory that needs more research please.

Edi Winkler

Mar 29, 2021

"I’ve been in relationships with less touching than what went on Friday night between those two."
Why does this resonate with me so much?


Mar 29, 2021

For what it's worth Titus, Tippa only kicked 3 for the Bombers, not 6. Cale Hooker also kicked 3.

Been good to have these Knee Jerk reactions back. Thanks for the laughs Titus.


Mar 29, 2021

Chris Scott - startled prawn face


Mar 29, 2021

Chris Scott : "You using the whole first Doc?"

Ash Callander

Mar 29, 2021

Love reading this every week. The only thing I would queery is the loading on taking out a star. There is a fine print in that unwritten rule that states, "unless that player is from Fremantle". Then the whole thing actually goes uncited by the match review and is deemed null and void. See Pavlich's nose versus Judds elbow as the legal precedent.


Mar 29, 2021

Did someone ask for a tattooist - go ask Dusty!


Mar 29, 2021

You can tell it is an extraordinary week when you tip the Saints, as a Dees supporter who has been disappointed far too many times, only to miss out on 9 correct tips as a result!

Judy Haynes

Mar 29, 2021

Very funny. Love your comments.


Mar 29, 2021

Interesting Blues/Wobbles comment:
"It seems being spun 360 degrees and then incorrectly disposing of the ball is no longer two separate free kicks, as it should be, but no free kick at all."
Just proves two negatives do make a positive.
The 360/720 spin before disposal needs to be seriously paid to the tackler....It make my head explode.

A little behind

Mar 29, 2021

It might have been different on the TV but in a game where 35 behinds dominated the score board, this was agony in the stands! Both teams seemed to think the object of Australian Football is to kick more behinds than their opposition. In a game of 'death by a thousand cuts' it was not until Reid took out Fyfe in what appeared a hard, deliberate, and direct attack (mean contact) that Toby Green even bothered the goal umpires. If I dare mention it, the AFL will consider it for 2022, but thankfully there is no 'professional foul' rule in AFL.


Mar 29, 2021

To be fair, a friend of mine pointed out that Greene kicked three behinds before his two goal purple patch. In the scheme of that game it was a significant contribution to the score board of behinds.

The g train

Mar 29, 2021

“For Brisbane fans, it was a travesty of justice so heinous that Bob Dylan should write a song about it.” Dylan HAS written a song about it: “Murder most foul”. Out now.

Ok—he adores Melbourne. But Titus should be neutral in his position as an influential and well known AFL commentator. Like Eddie. Instead he blatantly showed his bias by tipping StK over Melbourne. Disgraceful. In my vengeance, it is hereby stated that Melbourne are Dead Set Premiership Favourites.

Mac Hawk

Mar 29, 2021

Ali good but I thought you might give Jiath's fend off on Dusty a line.

Saint Peter

Mar 29, 2021

Your comment about BT was spot on. What a great idea calling 000. What a shame it failed. I wonder if we can shout him a 2 week stay at the Park Royal Hotel in Melbourne or the Holiday Inn.

Good comment by The G-Train. I hope Titus is satisfied with his tipping of St.Kilda. It is not fair having the gods work for Melbourne and against the Saints. Seems ironic to me.

David Eglit

Mar 29, 2021

Due to Dusty looking bored most games because no-one can touch him, should he have been rushed to the Suez to release the stricken container ship?


Apr 02, 2021

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