Jun 15, 2021


The Tuesday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Thirteen


Footy is a passion, not some cold hearted, spread sheet dominated rational exercise. 

On a Tuesday, you want irrational reaction. You want emotion to trump reason.

What you really want is idiotic hysteria.

You’ve come to the right place.


Port Adelaide (91) v Geelong (112)

A surprising night, most of all because there was no BT or James Brayshaw, instead we got Jason Bennett commentating.

It was weird listening to someone calling the game instead of carrying on and in a new innovation, getting the players’ names right. 

Bennett game across as both knowledgeable of the game and aware he is not the reason people tune in. I can’t see him lasting long at Seven with that attitude.

He was supported by Luke Darcy who has carved out a career as a commentator despite struggling with a lot of the basic words that populate the English language.

The game itself was a cracker, with the Cats breaking away early, only for Connor Rozee to singlehandedly turn around Port’s fortunes with four goals in the first quarter. 

It was like when a player catches fire in NBA Jam.

Port looked in control for large parts of the game, but the Cats could rely on Tom Hawkins and Jeremey Cameron up front. 

Having those two make the Cats always difficult to beat, and they should go far in September right up to the point Hawkins gets himself suspended.

Port just couldn’t hold off the Cats in the end, and while it wasn’t a terrible performance, they again seem to struggle against the top teams. 

They have more problems than what colours they are allowed to wear. 


Sydney (51) v Hawthorn (89)

As so often happens as the season goes on, you get weird results.

Like the Hawthorn Football Club comfortably winning a game. 

I know I speak for all footy fans when I say it’s been tough watching the Hawthorn fans around us struggle, so it’s heart-warming to see one of the true battler clubs of the league finally get a win.

Tom Mitchell led the way for the Hawks, the week it was announced he was open to a trade at the end of the year.

In response he gathered 34 possessions, 16 of them contested, laid seven tackles, and kicked a goal.

The Hawks should announce they’re open to trading all their players if this is what happens.

Sydney struggled under the Hawks relentless pressure all day, exemplified by Hawthorn’s newest recruit Jai Newcombe who laid 14 tackles. He seemed angry. Probably the failed vaccine rollout.

The Swans also struggled against the umpires; a 26-10 free kick count had the Sydney crowd booing more than the audience at one of my stand-up shows.

But the umpires weren’t the real problem, the Swans just looked rattled by the Hawks pressure.

It’s a reminder that anyone can win in this league on any day, resulting in me getting only one wild guess right this week.


Fremantle (76) v Gold Coast (49) 

Look, I’m not going to lie to you, we’ve got a relationship based on trust and a shared pessimistic outlook on life; this was a terrible game.

I don’t even know why I persisted with it.

At halftime, the Suns were only two goals down, despite only kicking one in the entire first half.

They did manage to kick eight behinds in the half however, surely grounds for Fremantle to sue them for brand infringement.

The second half was a bit better, both teams started scoring a bit, but being ‘a bit better’ doesn’t mean it was good.

In fact, all this game highlighted is how bad Gold Coast are. 

For a team meant to be moving forward, they are doing a fair impression of someone doing the moonwalk.

The good news about footy games is they end, and when the end came in this one, everyone involved breathed a sigh of relief.   

St Kilda (60) v Adelaide (66)

When it comes to torturing your own fans, St Kilda are the undisputed gold standards.

They just always find away, no matter what circumstances confront them.

In this game they were up by 36 points, and it was wet. Surely an allegedly professional AFL side can win from there.

But the Saints see that more as an opportunity than a problem. 

With great focus, the Saints put enormous effort to ensure the Crows could get back into the game.

With a little coaxing, the Crows eventually accepted this invitation.

Where St Kilda’s mastery of torture was on full display, is despite letting their opponents come back, they seemed like they could still win. 

But with a minute to go, Riley Thilthorpe kicked over his head, and with a fatalism usually reserved for a Russian novel, St Kilda fans watched as it sailed over the goal line for the winning score.

It was a great win for the Crows, but really, they should send a nice box of chocolates to St Kilda to thank them for being, well, St Kilda.


North Melbourne (94) v Greater Western Sydney (94)
Everyone got to leave this game unhappy. For starters, the Giants didn’t manage to beat the bottom side, and North blew a 28-point three quarter time lead.

It had a bit of everything this game, including more of Shane Mumford’s playful clumsiness.

Clumsiness being code for ‘being a thug’.

In this case he tried to separate Tarryn Thomas’ head from his body and then drive him six feet under.

Later he threw an elbow at a player but thanks to his ‘clumsiness’ he missed.

The Thomas incident was ruled by the Match Review panel as ‘Misconduct’ proving again that they have no idea what they are doing. Not that we needed more evidence.

North went into the fourth quarter with a four-goal lead, which means they did well to get out of this with a draw.

You just knew the Giants were going to come back but leaving everything to the last quarter is always a dicey strategy.

West Coast (85) v Richmond (81)

Halfway through the fourth quarter Richmond had a 22-point lead, and up against the notoriously flaky Eagles, it appeared a win was just a matter of the clock running down.

But footy is rarely predictable, and the Eagles decided it hates your tips and decided to come back and win the game with a Josh Kennedy kick in the last minute.

Now some might say the kick he marked didn’t go fifteen, but that’s a slippery path to go down. 

The 15-meter rule is about as accurate as your mates’ stories at the pub. I’m not saying Tigers’ supporters shouldn’t be annoyed.

It’s just there are a lot of kicks that don’t go 15 meters and are awarded a mark in every game, I’d say conservatively they’d be at least two thousand a match.

What this game taught us is that West Coast can put up a fight, it’s just it doesn’t happen that often.

We also learnt Richmond are good, but not great like in previous years. I think drastic measures are required. Nathan Buckley is available and just led his team to beat the top of the table Demons, time to sack Hardwick obviously.  


Melbourne (63) v Collingwood (80)

It hurts writing this. 

I mean, I think a servant of the game like Nathan Buckley deserves to go out on a high, I just wish the Demons players hadn’t been so keen to make sure that happened.

Coming off big wins against the Doggies and the Lions, the Dees struggled to get up for this one. That’s ok, I’m told it happens to a lot of teams.

But watching this was incredibly frustrating. Melbourne seemed to be down on effort and made decisions about as intelligent as a teenager in the full throes of puberty.

On the other side, Collingwood were doing things they’ve barely done all year, like going through the corridor and hitting targets up forward.

As I screamed at the TV and threw things at the wall, the Pies managed to pull away, as the Dees faded into their bye with a bit to work on.

The scenes of Nathan Buckley celebrating the win would have been touching to watch if I hadn’t been rage crying.

Buckley got to go out on his high, secure in the knowledge that the Collingwood board will surely make a real mess of choosing his successor.

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



Adrian Freeman

Jun 15, 2021

Couldn't agree more about the Thursday night footy commentary. It was great when Darcy kept his "thoughts" to himself. We just need to keep Jason Bennett away from all the other Morons at 7.

Derek Fletcher

Jun 15, 2021

Before the week-end you said , Titus , you couldn't name more than three Hawthorn players . Hope you have since corrected your ignorance. The Hawks have some good young players getting experience and improving as they go . They will also get Gunston and Sicily back eventually- CHF and CHB , two positions kind of important to team structure i dare to suggest. The Hawks won't make the final eight but they'll play a part in shaping it. And finally , as a long-time Hawk supporter i don't mind the team is 17th. on the ladder. With 13 Flags in 60 years it's time to give other clubs a go. Just not Melbourne though , lol.


Jun 15, 2021

Had a feeling the Roos v Giants game might be close so had a lazy few $$ on a draw, at $71. Thank your mother for the rabbits!

Jacqui Parry

Jun 15, 2021

Oh Titus, Oi Larf at myself as much as Oi larf at you, chucking things at the wall. Despite the loss and the woeful facilities at the SCG, I thoroughly enjoyed my day out with my friend Janet who good heartedly donned the Demon Army hoodie and barracked for the Dees 😻🔥😻 We were so fired up the result barely mattered (though of course it did and we hate losing now far more than the Pies supporters do). It was a fascinating experience hearing that Collingwood chant start in the second quarter and the Pies supporters cheering their side off for the halftime break ??!!?? Very strange.
And though I hate to rain on their parade (or steal the last beer at the Buck’s Party) they did not kick 12 goals in the last quarter. Nor were all the hugs on the turf as passionate as they might have been. Mmmm some things to ponder there and I wonder if H was watching from afar?
We have some work to do at the Dees and look forward to the next clash against the Bombers who are apparently trending in the opposite direction to the Dees!! Oh a Justin Bieber song springs to mind onward and forward for the Dees!!

Tony Robb

Jun 15, 2021

Gee I thought the Blues got up for the bye.

Vic Parkes

Jun 15, 2021

Time for a pet peeve Titus. I must have missed young Connor taking a clean possession in the ruck and sprinting down the ground, shepherding for himself to kick a goal. Four times in the first quarter. No, not singlehanded!

And while I’m bitching, the last goal kicked in the game is not the winning goal unless you don’t count all the others. And you do.

Rant over.


Jun 15, 2021

Please Titus. Meter is something that measures etc, not a unit of distance! Meter is the Americanised version of the word which is a decimal unit of distance. It is almost un-Australian to confuse that spelling with the correct (Australian) spelling METRE.
Please Titus, cease this terrible error!


Jun 15, 2021

I’d rather Melbourne missed the finals than lose to Collingwood.


Jun 15, 2021

You missed the bit where the umpire in the Crows v Saints game thought a good way to make up some ground on Razor Ray in terms of umpire profile was to pay the most perplexing free kick in history to the Crows right on the goal line. When even the AFL apologists masquerading as commentators are speechless you know that there’s a real issue.


Jun 15, 2021

Is it possible that the Dees were trolling the collingwood supporters and hierarchy.


Jun 15, 2021

Yes mate..."The Swans also struggled against the umpires; a 26-10 free kick count had the Sydney crowd booing more than the audience at one of my stand-up shows."
You can put that down to Papley calling Razor Ray a knob. Copped 50 for abuse and nary a free afterwards, who says umps aren't vindictive?


Jun 15, 2021

I found that I love watching footy on a weekend when my team is not playing. Far less stressful. Who'd a thunk it?


Jun 15, 2021

More gold thanks Titus. Bit a bit disappointed you’ve obviously made your last appearance on The Front Bar.

David Hyland

Jun 15, 2021

Jason Bennett is the best commentator of the game currently. Doesn't confuse the sport with nonsense and triviality. Channel 7 surely wont be interested on a long term basis, he's too accurate.


Jun 15, 2021


Atrocious Conditions

Jun 15, 2021

Bennett game across as ... ... a commentator ... ... struggling with the basic words ...

Titus, Titus, Titus. People in glass houses...

Running Dog

Jun 15, 2021

Great write-up, Titus. I especially like way you have identified how Australians seem dissatisfied with having only produced one unique version of football. I reckon this new sport of Umpireball, where officials make up the rules as they go along, in accordance with weekly diktats from corporate spivs, will really catch on. There's more than 7 billion people on this planet, and a lot of them are bound to be Razor Rays. Oh wait, I forgot about Rollerball. Scrap that idea. Not 12.3 meters, play on.

Running Dog

Jun 15, 2021

Great write-up, Titus. I especially like way you have identified how Australians seem dissatisfied with having only produced one unique version of football. I reckon this new sport of Umpireball, where officials make up the rules as they go along, in accordance with weekly diktats from corporate spivs, will really catch on. There's more than 7 billion people on this planet, and a lot of them are bound to be Razor Rays. Oh wait, I forgot about Rollerball. Scrap that idea. Not 12.3 meters, play on.


Jun 15, 2021

What I would have paid to be in the Collingwood board’s box at the SCG on Monday
All would have been staring blankly at each other think WTF have we done, he’s just won two in a row
If only we could bottle the despair of Pies supporters this year so that we could ration it out over aberration years when they have their shut together


Jun 15, 2021

Gold Coast weren’t moonwalking, that would imply that they were going in the direction they intended to go


Jun 15, 2021

Titus, great work. I'm a Pies supporter and after the off-season I have showed little interest the AFL this year. However, I did watch Buck's last game and I thought it played like a regular Queens Birthday match. Have I missed out on much this season?

The g train

Jun 15, 2021

Inevitability masquerading as improbable: 1. StK’s loss after being comfortably ahead of Adelaide in the 3rd quarter 2. NM not winning after being comfortably up at 3/4 time. Although how they escaped losing is bewildering.

Highly respected AFL commentator: the StK supporters have now surely given up hope.
Can you give up hope when you have none?

I hear ya vtrain. Why that “controversial” free kick isn’t the biggest story of 2021 so far is simply beyond comprehension. I would even have taken it as the biggest story of the 2021 AFL season so far.

Angela Rodoni

Jun 15, 2021

Loved your Mumford examples of “clumsiness” comment !!! Buddy is another expert at “clumsines”who also seems to escape any sort of scrutiny from MRP consequences.


Jun 15, 2021

BT - I know they pay him squillions for just being himself, but why is he so disbelieving of the Dees? Perhaps after Monday he was right after all.


Jun 15, 2021

Love the Unsociable Hawks
More please


Jun 15, 2021

firstly i am still baffled as to why none of the commentators have ran with the STUPID free in the goal square for a tackle and the free to the crows where the umpire said the free was because you stopped him trying to mark the ball ? i must have missed the latest rule change about marking and spoiling.NOW THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE.if you look at my post from last week i did say i was worried about the dees playing the filth on the very small scg but i did think we would get our act together and run over them as good teams do to bad teams.late in the game i thought here we come but then the boys said nah put the cue in the rack and get ready for the bye.this loss HURTS more than any other because of who it was against. OH WELL another week off and see if goody can kick them in the coit and fore up for the bombers.GO DEES

G m

Jun 15, 2021

Ooooooohhhhh good call on JB & BT, TO , GM

Jacqui Parry

Jun 15, 2021


I‘ve only got one thing to say to you (aside from “Look a moi, look a moi Mick”) - wash your mouth out! GF is far more important than beating the Pies.


Jun 15, 2021

Big call I know.
But I don’t think the Dees will make top four.
I’ve checked the fixture, checked the stats and listened to Kane Corney’s analysis on everything and it looks grim.
Watch this space.
A deesastrous run to the line awaits.
I told you first.


Jun 15, 2021

Good write-up. As a Swans supporter I’m slightly disappointed that you missed the salient point from our match, which is that my team played out the bye round - just one week too early. You’d think that the presence of an opposition (even in the magnificent livery of the Poo and the Wee) might have signified that it wasn’t a week off, but anyway. The umpires didn’t help as such, but when Swans players are racking up Brownlow votes on behalf of the Hawks you know there’s a problem.

With insights like this it’s only a matter of time before I’m sounded out by the Collingwood hierarchy. Like you Titus I spent quite some time yelling at the TV this weekend so I feel like I have some of the core AFL coaching skills - namely the ability to deliver a poisonous rant filled with expletives.


Jun 15, 2021

Derek fletcher I don’t much like you either. ❤️💙

Darren J Ray

Jun 15, 2021

Titus, thank you on behalf of those of us who cannot stand listening to Brayshaw's hyperbole, Taylor's buffoonery and Darcy's ignorance. Keep up the great work.


Jun 15, 2021

Due to the lack of anything interesting to do, I actually watched the Buckley farewell game. Why why why do so many cameras have to focus on coaches boxes while the game is actually going on??? All you see are guys discussing things in their own world, no relevance to anything happening on the field. The action on the field is much more interesting, FFS 7.
Sad to see the continuing decline of Neale Daniher's health. As much as I like the event itself, the garbage spewing forth from Taylor was nearly enough for me to switch off and read a book. Taylor should be forced to retire and take his dimwit mate Brayshaw with him. Absolutely agree about Thursday night, Jason Bennett is already the best commentator going around and will undoubtedly have the biggest offer of his life to go elsewhere by October, more's the pity.


Jun 15, 2021

Thursday night footy just wasn’t the same without BT wrestling with the definition of an intercept mark every 5 minutes.


Jun 16, 2021

I am concerned that you appear to be the only Aussie Rules fan without an opinion on the David “Wrecking Ball” MacKay’s collision with Hunter Clark! Have you been silenced by the AFL?

We, your public, need to know!

Saint Peter

Jun 17, 2021

Titus, I think you may be getting lazy. It appears when you comment on St.Kilda nowadays that you have simply cut & pasted your comments you had made about Melbourne in years past. We are tracking like the share market, riding the ups & downs & occasionally crashing. Only difference is we don't tend to bounce all the way back to the top. When you think about it maybe we are bit more like a one hit wonder "achy break heart".

So come on write something new, as we have won a flag more recently than Melbourne has. Totally different teams.

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