Jul 21, 2020


The Tuesday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Seven


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.


Geelong (35) v Collingwood (57)

Isn’t it great to have Jordan de Goey back! Five goals! We can’t lionise him enough.

Hang on a second, hasn’t he been charged with indecent assault? What an awkward hiccup that is.

Now, de Goey has the right to a fair trial and is innocent until proven guilty, and I know nothing of the circumstances, so for all I know he’s either as guilty as sin or has been falsely accused, but read the room media.

The way women are treated is a problem that society has been incredibly slowly working towards addressing and acting like an indecent assault charge is no big thing is cringeworthy.

Celebrating de Goey’s return like he’s making a comeback from an injury doesn’t really cut it, it sends a message that what’s going on isn’t a serious matter.

All the commentators and media need to do is turn the hero worship down a couple of notches. That goes for the Collingwood Football Club too, who tweeted out some tone deaf celebrations about De Goey’s return.

I don’t mean to go on about this, but I’m just in shock that the footy media didn’t handle this matter with sensitivity. They’re usually so thoughtful on these issues. If only Wayne Carey had been commentating, we would have got some balance.

Cats fans knew they were in for a long night when Joel Selwood went off injured.

Geelong’s problem is they are only ok. Being ok, doesn’t really cut it for Geelong fans, so used to success.

The Cats can turn it on but rarely for long periods and not week in week out like they used to.

With Selwood and Ablett missing for the next few weeks, it will be interesting to see what the younger players do. At least they have Tim Kelly.


Essendon (51) v Western Bulldogs (93)

It turns out having everyone injured or suspended doesn’t help your chances of winning. I figured that all by myself and didn’t even need Champion Data’s help.

As we all know, all Essendon’s injuries and suspensions are the result of an AFL conspiracy to ruin the club, and the Bulldogs, obviously in league with the league, capitalised on this.

Personally, I’ve never believed in an AFL conspiracy, mainly because I don’t think they have the skill to execute one. After all, this is an organisation who brought in wide ranging rule changes to increase scoring, only for scoring to decrease.

If a conspiracy against Essendon was proven, a part of me would be impressed that the AFL had managed to come up with a plan and execute it.

The Bulldogs ran all over Essendon who looked for long periods of this game like even getting the ball was unlikely, let alone kicking a goal.

Tim English continued his rise with some nice ruckwork and even better work around the ground. In the spirit of how you need to overreact to every game, he is the best ruckman in the game right now and possibly the best of all time. He may already be the best player of all time.


Greater Western Sydney (68) v Brisbane (88)

Before Coronavirus (BCV), the biggest fear Victorians had was the Giants winning the premiership and their coffee being of unknown origin.

Those were fun days. We were so young and carefree.

Now the Giants sit 13th place on the ladder and seem to be a bit lost at the moment.

We’re all a bit lost at the moment, but luckily, unlike the Giants, we don’t have a ladder to remind us each week by how much.

This is a massive relief, as I suspect my percentage is in terrible shape this year, and this week I decided that I will be requesting a priority pick at the end of the year.

The Giants biggest problem seems to be mental. There were several moments where they just appeared to not be paying attention to what was going on.

You would think paying attention is a minimum standard for an AFL player.

Brisbane showed they remain a premiership threat this year, helped by the fact Harris Andrews almost singlehandedly held off the Giants until the Lions midfield got on top as the game went on.

Harris Andrews stops everything; nothing gets past him. He really should have been the Andrews in charge of the hotel quarantine system in Victoria.

Sydney (60) v Gold Coast (92)

I hope you can all understand what I’m writing, because I’m wearing a mask which can make you a bit difficult to understand.

It’s compulsory here in Melbourne now, and I’m thrilled because my two favourite things are saving people’s lives and having something to complain about. I’m in heaven.

As a bit of a test, I watched this entire game wearing a mask to see what it was like.

I had no trouble breathing, it felt a bit awkward, but it wasn’t like I was about to pass out, a sensation I used to be familiar with, usually in the Uber on the way home from the pub.

When I heard about the compulsory wearing of masks, I thought that hiding my face might make me more appealing to other people, but then I realised it would bring my personality more into focus.

It’s no coincidence that the people complaining about masks have the worst personalities, they’ve figured this out too.

The biggest problem about wearing the mask was that I have glasses, and pretty quickly they fogged up making this game very difficult to see.

I decided to stick with the test, because I knew it was a Swans game, so I wasn’t missing much.

The good news is that even though it was like watching a game in the fog, I could still bring my sharp observational skills to bare. I even did votes:

Votes:            3-  Matt Rowell

                       2-  Izak Rankine

    1-    Tom Lynch

I give wearing a mask three stars. Big points for saving people’s lives but loses points for comfort. That said, masks are worth sticking with as dying painfully gets no stars.

Richmond (77) v North Melbourne (22)

Rhyce Shaw said after this game, “at the moment we probably just don't have enough blokes rowing the boat."

That might be the problem right there, this is football. No one should be rowing at all.

But if we continue with Shaw’s analogy, North not only don’t have enough people rowing, they don’t even have a boat at the moment.

North’s lack of effort made Kyron Hayden’s act of bravery going back with the flight of the ball stand out even more.  

It treaded that fine line between brave and crazy, the two come together rather alarmingly.

If only his teammates showed that level of commitment, but they seem about as committed as a contestant on Bachelor in Paradise.

Richmond seem to be slowly getting their act together, but against North it was hard to judge if they’ve improved against AFL sides yet.


Carlton (61) v Port Adelaide (64)

It hasn’t been a great century for Carlton.

Tired of ‘honourable losses’ it seems the Blues have ‘pivoted’ to use a horrible phrase, to ‘heartbreaking losses’.

They don’t get more heartbreaking than this. Carlton had taken it to Port all day and in the dying moments led by three points. It looked like they’d turned a corner.

This was despite Port blowing multiple chances to go ahead in the dying moments. It seemed that the Blues had dodged a bullet and would hold on.

Enter Robbie Gray who marked on the boundary line, with the siren sounding moments later. Blues fans knew what was coming. As calm as you like, Gray went back and slotted it.

This game reminded you that watching football can be an enjoyable experience, and overall, this round was a lot better than all the others we’ve had since the restart. 

Even Carlton fans can take something out of this. They almost beat the top side at home, they’re young players are coming on and they seem to have the semblance of a game plan, all new exciting stuff.

The Blues may actually be coming this time, but it’s like when UberEats messages you to say your food is on its way, you don’t get off the couch just yet.

Hawthorn (48) v Melbourne (91)

It’s been awhile since Melbourne put on a performance like this, where their selections supported their structure, which in turn supported their strategy.

It was jarring.

The big difference this time is the Dees had something resembling a forward structure. Sam Weideman has been a significant upgrade on Tom McDonald.

Weideman doesn’t always take the mark but he gets to the contest, and at least brings it to ground, McDonald would be unsighted most games.

While this was easily Melbourne’s best game since 2018, the big qualifier was it was against a Hawthorn side that put up as much fight as I do when someone offers me a drink.

A lot of the Hawks players might as well have waved big white flags but that would have least required more physical effort than they put in.

Those not waving white flags seemed to be kicking it to Max Gawn like he was their key forward. It was a strange tactic, but you can’t fault the Hawks players for their commitment to executing it all day long.

How much this result was Melbourne and how much it was Hawthorn is difficult to tell, it’s probably a little from column A, a little from column B.

What is true is for the first time in a long time, Dees fans had a replay worth watching, and Hawks fans are grappling with a brand-new sensation, supporting a mediocre team.

Fremantle (32) v West Coast (62)

Western Australia are just showing off with their ‘crowds’ and ‘people having fun together’.

Imagine being able to go to the footy, surrounded by other fans, buying an outrageously expensive beer and savouring that awful taste as the mid-strength monstrosity hits your lips.

I miss it so much.

There are two things I miss in the lockdown, going to the footy and going to the pub. This has taught me that I like to drink alone, but with other people around.

Fremantle made history in this game, being the first team in a derby to not score in a quarter. It’s probably the highlight of the season for them.

Not scoring in a quarter in AFL is actually quite hard to do, but the Dockers made it look effortless.

Adding to the Dockers pain, this was the tenth loss in a row to the Eagles, and based on this, getting to eleven losses seems assured.

The Eagles have now righted the ship after a horrible start, and now sit in the eight.

Let’s hope all of us can turn our year around like the Eagles have.


Adelaide (55) v St Kilda (78)

After watching this, Crows fans may wish that they weren’t allowed to go watch their team.

The positive for Adelaide is they at least tried in this game, it’s just their ability holding them back now.

It seemed at stages that they were going to be completely blown away, but to their credit they fought back.

Taylor Walker seemed reinvigorated, but at times when it counted, he missed goals he had to kick.

It means this is the worst beginning to a season for the Crows, a 0-7 start, putting Crows supporters into the ‘is it really worth continuing this season?’ camp.

As for Saints supporters, the mini-Crows comeback had them screaming at the TV after last week’s collapse against the Dockers. Doing that two weeks in a row would have been more painful than opening Twitter each morning currently is.

Luckily, the Saints seemed to have learnt a bit from last week and held on, going on to win comfortably.

It’s a win they need to bank ahead of us going into the crazy schedule we’re about to get where there are games every day.

I’m kind of looking forward to having footy on all the time, I need something to do, and I’ll be shifting from the weekly preview/review columns to daily reviews of the game from the night before and previews of that night’s game.

I expect these to be even more rambling and off topic. It should be fun

At the moment I’m barely able to work, so you can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. It’s greatly appreciated. Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus



Jul 21, 2020

Was that 8 correct tips, Titus? Keep that up and you'll have to rename the 'Highly Unhelpful Guide'.

Holden Broke

Jul 21, 2020

bringing some much needed balance to your ritual criticism of the Fremantle Dockers:

They currently play without a recognised defence, 8 experienced 1st choice players are injured and at least 6 of the replacements don’t look old enough to shave yet.

Yet, somehow, this almost-an-AFL team restricted the “mighty” West Coast Egirls to scoring less than 10 goals, which they only managed with the help of an umpire so one-eyed he may as well have been wearing a joke pirate eye patch.


Jul 21, 2020

I know this is all fun and games, but I feel it's a little hypocritical to go flying off on your moral crusades against gambling, violence against women, etc. but then regularly glorify the irresponsible drinking of alcohol. You do realise the harm that it causes in our society right?


Jul 21, 2020

Very good call Steve. That's just what this sports comedy podcast and blog needs, endless tirades against the evils of alcohol.

Christopher Cooper

Jul 21, 2020

Steve . For a long time Demon supporter such as Titus to occasionally find himself in need of alcoholic comfort, responsibly administered of course, is quite understandable. In the event that he has avoided raging alcoholism he is to be admired unreservedly.

Long Johnmire

Jul 21, 2020

This is getting ridiculous. Alistair Clarkson shouldn't have to tell the umpires what to do every week. We thought he'd sorted it out after round 5 when he directed them to start paying holding the ball and incorrect disposal again. They did what they were told and it was great. For one week. It's not fair on Clarko, he's trying to coach a footy team and now we need him manage the umpires every week too.

Wayne Carey

Jul 21, 2020

Come on Titus, Give Jorden De Goey a break. In my day, what he did I used to call a Tuesday night.

Clark Alistairson

Jul 21, 2020

Actually Long Johnmire, I only wanted the umpires to pay holding the ball to Hawthorn. I don't think my message was clear enough.

A fan

Jul 21, 2020

"The way women are treated is a problem that society has been incredibly slowly working towards addressing and acting like an indecent assault charge is no big thing is cringeworthy."

You're a stand-up bloke, Titus. Thank you for acknowledging this.

And Steve, comparing alcoholism to violence against women is a disgrace. Alcoholism is certainly a persistent societal concern, but using it in an attempt to divert attention away from the way we treat women as less than and consider sexual assault a bit of a joke is transparent and tedious.


Jul 21, 2020

I am getting really really concerned about your mental health Titus, to the point that I think we might be related! Satire and Seriousness.
Brilliant work.👏🤣


Jul 21, 2020

I am looking forward to using the Harris Andrews Security company.

Bloodstained Angel

Jul 21, 2020

Congratulations team, the comments just about matched the article for entertainment this week! And Steve - Titus' comments do anything but glorify alcohol. Yeah, I get it....reading the room, its a fine line sometimes


Jul 21, 2020

Excellent as usual Titus. Could I have your unbiased opinion on whether the umpires this year are whistle happy and liable to hand out free kicks with a view to an umpires prize in the rooms after the game for most free kicks given? Even supposed non contact sports like basketball have body clashes where there is no need to blow the whistle as a knee jerk reaction.


Jul 21, 2020

About as funny as a burning orphanage.

Not the Carlton one

Jul 21, 2020

Is a knee jerk reaction reportable?


Jul 21, 2020

Holden, old buddy, old mate, hold up just a second. Complaining about the umpires? Blaming injuries to key players? You're in danger of affirming a stereotype.

Max Powa

Jul 21, 2020

The Gabba is not Port's home, now Metricon on the other hand... 🤩

peter lake

Jul 21, 2020

As always Titus, I love your work BUT back off a bit with Collingwood and De Goey will you. The commentators are there to do their job, that is to call the game. What goes on outside of the footy bubble can be left to others to adjudicate.

Josh Nagel

Jul 21, 2020

Using the words "Crows" and "camp" in the same sentence is very cruel.


Jul 21, 2020

I'm thinking of grazing some cattle in the North forward 50, cos heaven knows North aren't using it.


Jul 21, 2020

I was one of the 18 thou who risked their lives to go to the game on Monday night. I’m calling for a Royal commission to explain how a group of Saint Kilda supporters managed to get into South Australia and were allowed to sing their hateful song.


Jul 21, 2020

Peter Lake the issue was the hyperventilating commentary outside of the actual play. That was acknowledged by McAvaney and he apologised.
Titus can write what he pleases, and what he wrote here was a pretty fair snd eloquent take on it.
Canberra bubble, footy bubble - imaginary constructs for the “shut-up and move on, nothing to see here” brigade. Sport is part of life last time I checked.

Amber Turd

Jul 21, 2020

How can Titus comment about the treatment of women in society and the problems that alcohol abuses causes with addressing the climate emergency? If climate change isn't addressed then there'll be no footy to watch.

the g train

Jul 22, 2020

Titus is at his best when Melbourne are losing deplorably. If their winning streak continues, I hope that a lazy haze of contentment does not waft over him, thereby blunting his genius. I agree with Matt Rowell getting the three votes in the Sydney v Gold Coast game. Not so spectacular this time but still very effective, albeit in a very discreet manner. (Steve's comment, in my opinion, was fair enough considering irresponsible consumption of alcohol and irresponsible gambling and domestic violence are correlated).

Tamara Lewit

Jul 24, 2020

Really looking forward to extra previews/reviews! Thanks Titus

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