Aug 10, 2021

AFL

The Tuesday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Twenty One

26 Comments

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.

Friday

Geelong (65) v Greater Western Sydney (84)

Hello everyone, those not in lockdown, those still in lockdown, those back in lockdown, those just out of lockdown and those that are not really sure anymore if they’re in lockdown but are just staying home anyway.

I hope you’re all doing well. As a veteran now of six lockdowns, I’ve learnt the one trick is to just get through each day.

Sure, achieving things is a nice concept but I call that a stretch target in lockdown. Crying is good. Staring at the wall for a few hours is perfectly normal. Going down a rabbit hole on the internet on 80s sitcoms is a productive use of your time.

I set myself a target of watching about 18 hours of sport a day, and I’ve found this is a target I can hit more often than not, but I warn you, I’ve had years of practice to get to that point.

Recently, we had both the Olympics and the footy, meaning if you’re like me you had sport on the TV, the iPad, the computer and your phone.

My eyes are so tired.

For this match, I had it on the phone, expecting Geelong to win easily, but it progressively went onto the iPad, then the computer and ended up on the TV.

Toby Greene was the main difference between the teams, turning in a peak Toby Greene performance, which means kicking four goals and being suspended for two matches for elbowing Patrick Dangerfield in the throat.

Some say Greene gets heavier penalties just because he’s Toby Greene, but they say that like it’s somehow unreasonable. Greene has made his bed.

What is not ok is others don’t get suspended because of who they are.

Buddy Franklin got off the other week and this week Joel Selwood got just a fine for a high bump on Sam Taylor.

The difference is, when Selwood acts like a thug, he’s being ‘brave’. In fact, it was the most courageous running past the ball and collecting a guy in the head who’s not expecting it I’ve ever seen.

Saturday

Carlton (57) v Gold Coast (76)

After this loss there were media claims David Teague had been sacked, a claim Carlton denies.

I think the media just got the timing wrong, David Teague hasn’t been sacked yet.

It’s ok, we’ve all gone early before.

Really, the question is, how long will we have to go through the charade that Teague is going to be at Carlton next year?

Last week, the Suns could barely get their hands on the ball, and when they did, they seemed confused about what the strange object in their hands was.

Considering that, I would have thought even Carlton couldn’t lose to the Suns, but I’d forgotten there’s no expectation the Blues can’t limbo under.

The Suns were much improved on last week, but it helps when your opponents don’t seem to really have much of a plan, and don’t even seem that committed to whatever that is.

Teague shouldn’t feel that bad, better coaches than him have been destroyed by Carlton.

Richmond (89) v North Melbourne (56)

The first half of this seemed to add to the story of the rapid decline of the Richmond Football Club.

Down by 20 points at halftime, there was no indication the Tigers were about to turn this around.

At this point, I would have stuck a fork in them because they seemed done, which would have made it awkward when they stood up pulled that fork out and confronted me with it.

The third quarter saw the Tigers pour on seven goals to North’s two, as Richmond realised letting the North have as many possessions as they wanted wasn’t going to work for them.

The other positive for the Tigers was the debut of Maurice Rioli Jnr. There must be fewer people in the Rioli family who haven’t played AFL than have.

Adelaide (51) v Port Adelaide (55)

It’s hard to talk about Adelaide’s game without mentioning Tex Walker’s suspension for a racial slur.

In fairness, to Tex, we’re all learning.

We’ve only had Eddie Betts having a banana thrown at him and multiple social media incidents, the Do Better report, Adam Goodes suffering multiple racism incidents before being booed out of the game, Nic Naitanui being racially abused on Twitter, both Majak Daw and Buddy Franklin being racially abused by spectators, Justin Sherman being racially vilified by a Gold Coast Suns opponent, Peter Everitt racially abusing Melbourne's Scott Chisholm and Nicky Winmar standing up to racist abuse at Victoria Park all the way back in 1993.

So how could he know?

Luckily, based on the rather inconclusive list above, I’ve got every bit of faith the AFL are going to send a strong message. After all, they’ve drawn a line in the sand about no tolerance for racism before. In fact, they’ve drawn so may lines they could be Picasso.

Walker has since released a video with Robbie Young where he apologises. It has all the enthusiasm of a hostage video.

One thing I would note, is again an indigenous person, this time Robbie Young, has to be the one to take the higher road, even though that must be exhausting by now.

And Tex did admit his comment was racism, no qualifiers, which quite a few AFL types have failed to do in the past and continue to this day to offer nothing but excuses and qualifiers.

But there are no winners in these things, only losers.

St Kilda (93) v Sydney (64)

Another example of the Saints frustrating their fans, by losing to Carlton last week, then producing this against the Swans.

What was lacking last week, pressure, was here in spades, and the Swans, who have been on the road for weeks, looked as tired as we all feel these days.

The Swans can blame the slow vaccine rollout for their woes, as all of us can.

Jack Higgins got some vindication, last time they played he booted 1.6 in a loss, but this time he kicked 4.1. I’m no statistical genius but that seems better.

The Saints now need to beat Geelong and Fremantle for any chance of playing finals, so they won’t be playing finals.

Sydney now seems unlikely to finish in the top four, but given they weren’t going to get a home final, that’s not the end of the world. 

In fact, no one may get a home final when they’re all played in Tasmania.

Sunday

Hawthorn (97) v Collingwood (78)

Alastair Clarkson seems intent on ensuring Hawthorn regret letting him go, but if I can offer some solace to Hawks supporters, they’ve managed to hold on to Jeff Kennett.

I know who I’d prefer.

Oh, it’s not Jeff.

The Hawks set this up early, and despite some attempts by the Pies to get back in the game, they had too many players who are just not that good.

Not being very good is perhaps the biggest factor in preventing you from having a long AFL career, although there are some glaring exceptions.

The Pies need for a new coach was highlighted when Clarkson started doing some coaching things, like denying the corridor to Collingwood, and the Pies coaching staff threw up their hands, looked at each other as if to say ‘well, there’s nothing we can do here.’ 

No wonder Pies fans would like to get Clarko, but he doesn’t get along with some of the top administrators at Collingwood, which means the Pies need to get rid of some administrators.

Tom Mitchell seems to be getting back to his peak, he had 44 disposals and eight clearances. Tom treats the ball like it’s his and seems offended that anyone else is even trying to get it.

Western Bulldogs (84) v Essendon (97)

Not an ideal weekend for Doggies supporters, who not only lost to the Bombers but lost Josh Bruce for the season with a ruptured ACL.

Footy is cruel. The Dogs looked the team most likely a week ago, and then this all goes down.

I can relate. I remember talking to a friend of mine in January 2020, and both of us, coming off tough 2019, said 2020 would be our year. We were slightly off on that prediction.

Bombers fans though are ecstatic, I know, several of them rang me just to tell me, even though I’ve asked them repeatedly not to.

It’s not that I’m anti-Essendon, it’s just when I discover my friends are happy, it makes me feel small.

It’s boring to say again but it’s almost impossible to contain Peter Wright, who had seven goals as he continues his very late charge for the Coleman.

Wright was certainly helped by the Bombers midfield that is quietly becoming one of the best in the league.

When will people wake up? Essendon might be good again. I don’t think I can handle climate change, covid and Essendon being good.

Fremantle (54) v Brisbane (118)

Brisbane needed a win, and thanks to the Dockers they got one.

To break this game down is simple. Fremantle didn’t wear their retro jumper and so they lost.

Sure, other pundits might point to Brisbane’s superior pressure, their tackling, Dayne Zorko’s midfield dominance, Joe Daniher’s four goals and the Lions’ spread of goalkickers.

But they’re wrong.

It all comes down to clothing. The Dockers retro jumper had character.

“But Titus, Fremantle lost in that jumper all the time when they used to wear it.”

To this I say, “how dare you bring logic into this safe space.”  

Monday

West Coast (63) v Melbourne (72)

After a dominant third quarter by the Dees, the fourth quarter saw this game delayed due to lightning.

In my day it was an honour to be struck by lightning while playing for your team. But footy has gone soft.

No longer are players willing to risk being struck by 1.21 gigawatts.

While we all waited for the lightning to clear, we were lucky to have the Channel Seven commentary team provide us with their meteorological thoughts.

Like “how do you know the lightning won’t come back” and “this has never happened before,” only for social media to point out the numerous times it has happened before.

Then they went from “This has never happened before,” to “what if this happened during a cracking preliminary final?”

Suddenly, the Channel Seven team saw the whole competition under threat from the magic sky electricity.

When the game restarted after a 29-minute break, the Dees momentum had gone, and the Eagles had used the break to realise if they try, they can be quite good.

It led to a tight finish as Dees supporters cursed the weather gods, while Eagles supporters wondered why their team hadn’t played like this before the break.

In the end though, Melbourne managed to hold on, no one got superpowers after being struck by lightning and I got to bed way later than normal, which is a problem because in lockdown, I had a whole lot of nothing to do today.

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

 

 

COMMENTS

Timmo

Aug 10, 2021

The Dregs of Humanity arc in the Jason Bateman show It’s Your Move (1985) is worth a look.

Jason

Aug 10, 2021

Mate, what's your problem? Just hate Essendon like the rest of us MFC folk.

Richard

Aug 10, 2021

Hi Titus,
I note that the game last night was delayed due to 'lightening'. My viewing of the game led me to understand it was lightning that caused the delay. But maybe there was somthing else going on.
Lightening is the descent of the uterus into the pelvic cavity, occurring toward the end of pregnancy, facilitating breathing by lessening pressure under the diaphragm.
Clearly this raises a number of questions. Which player, or players, were affected by this condition. How did they come to be playing in this condition? Where is the duty of care by the clubs/AFL? Isn't the AFLW season over? Is this a miracle?
Please advise,
Richard

Nut Cracker

Aug 10, 2021

What Tex said was wrong. He has unreservedly apologised, and will live with this for a long time. Let's hope that he is remembered for other things. In the words of Forrest Gump, "that's all I have to say about that." In other news, Showdown 50 was brilliant. Aliir Aliir played magnificently, so magnificently that even Crows players decided to kick the ball to him to ensure a well deserved Showdown medal. As a Crows supporter, I can't say I agree with that particular tactic. However this would be one of the first losses that I came away feeling very positive about. The future of my team is looking amazing, once the young kids get a few more games under their belt. Well done to both teams for such an entertaining & enjoyable game.

Landowners Calrissian

Aug 10, 2021

Love the little Back to the Future reference...'what the Hell is a gigawatt??'

Harry

Aug 10, 2021

Magic sky electricity. In the last quarter, Melbourne realised that tackling their opponents while the opponent got struck by lightening might result in being electrocuted. Better to play safe. Also they had seen that meme on Facebook that shows the only thing you are more likely to die from compared with a COVID vaccination is being struck by lightening.

Walter P. KOMARNICKI

Aug 10, 2021

I read Cheat (the book) so impressed I had to share it one of the most absurd in-your-face books on this ancient art of nobbling that I have ever come across. Many thanks!!!

However, having lived for a few years in both Melbourne and Sydney, I will remain neutral and just say I follow neither AFL nor ARL nor any other groundbreaking sport, other than the geegees.

But occasionally I do sit up and take notice like the story on p22 of today's Australian about Taylor Walker which is beyond contempt.

Our local TAB has a Punters' Club of which I'm a member, and we struggle along with about 3 dozen of us but when it comes to the footy - my word, there's a whole matrix on a huge spreadsheet that's totally beyond me, so I just don't bother. It doesn't help that I'm pushing 77 and wasn't born in this country, but.

Just want to end by saying once again that I found your book utterly fascinating, I couldn't put it down - nor stop laughing!!

Thanks a million for maintaining our collective sense of the absurd!!

Walter P Komarnicki (from the 'Gong)

Lisa

Aug 10, 2021

New meaning to the term "Lightning Round" was shown last night.

Mafioso

Aug 10, 2021

Don Teague was just seen buying a bag of oranges from a street vendor on Lygon street, we all know what happens next. Ciao.

Paul Ingram

Aug 10, 2021

Your next book should be a thorough (if humorous) investigation into the romance between joel selwood and the umpiring/tribunal fraternity of the AFL. It will be a racey read!

TezzaPel

Aug 10, 2021

Well done on calling out Duckwood for his grub behaviour. Most people would not want another person to be hit by the Karma bus, but in Selwood's case.....

The g train

Aug 10, 2021

Respected footy analysts have bagged some Carlton players for doing “ABSOLUTELY NOTHING” during their side’s clash with Gold Coast. I tried doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING during some of my footy games. The closest I ever reached to attaining such an unattainable goal was to have, and I quote, “a very quiet game”. These Carlton lads should be glorified for achieving something that is seemingly impossible.

JennyB

Aug 10, 2021

What is going on with the Dees? I felt sure that after Geelong and the Western Bulldogs lost and opened up top position on the ladder for the taking that Melbourne would succumb to the pressure and lose too.

Pope Paul VII

Aug 10, 2021

Nice work TItey.

2 seasons ago, Saint Bontiface of Footscay actually fractured the larynx of Seaman Haynes' , of HMAS GWS, by merrily letting the ball sail over his haloed head so he could essay a late front on bump. There was immediate sympathy for our hero because it was an "accident" and he was aggrieved and hurt that people though he would deliberately hurt someone. He got a naughty fine which I'm reliably informed his mum paid for him. Meanwhile Haynes faced weeks on the sideline and will never Mongolian throat sing again.

Meanwhile Danger,once again recovers almost immediately the game is over. And is free to recommence rehearsals for The Masked Singer.

Now I'm not saying Toby is a saint but he's not necessarily a sinner. If others have got of for varying degrees of impact then so should he.

Next season,

Just go back to suspending people who donk people on the head regardless of the outcome vis a vis the old striking report.

Running Dog

Aug 10, 2021

Titus, you boast about watching 18 hours of sport a day, and you probably scunge off other peoples' phones while you're on the bus, but you didn't even mention an obscure event that recently occurred in Japan, where you would have seen a man climb a wall like a cockroach, skateboarders who were even better than the grommets at the local park, people disturbing all the sand at the beach, or escaping quarantine to grab a couple of slabs...

You know, one day they might even include some obscure sports at the Olympic Games.

But if all the wisdom you acquire from watching so much sport can lead you to find all sorts of reasons why teams win or lose, which have nothing to do with people actually playing the game, maybe you can answer why the vicious thug Josh Bruce got in the way of the karma bus that should have been heading towards that lovable larrikin from GWS.

Guy Nolch

Aug 10, 2021

Next month's NAB Auskick ads will feature a Selwood kid with the trademark head bandage as well as bloodied elbow, hip and shoulder bandaging because he's so brave.

Ian Dale

Aug 10, 2021

Tom Hawkins, along with Franklin and Selwood, is another that gets a very "fair go" from the AFL judiciary.

BLOKE FROM THE OUTER

Aug 10, 2021

I'm sure the West Coast supporters would love their team to be struck by 1.21 gigawatts so they could all go back to 2018.

Raymond Asparagus

Aug 10, 2021

I've always thought that after an established pattern of behaviour over a number of years, the AFL should just assign certain players, such as Selwood and Greene, a "free hit" designation. This would allow all other players free reign to belt them at any time without repercussion. This would improve the game and be immensely entertaining. I don't see a downside. At least trial it in the pre-season please.

Stoney

Aug 10, 2021

Aah big fella I watched the mighty DEES discard of the western sparrows last night and I must admit to being a little uneasy until The final siren. I know you don't like to refer to umpires but Jesus Christ 28 , 16 frees to the sparrows is really starting to test my beliefs that umpires are not out to get the DEES, I mean this happens every game bugga now I am sounding like a bomber fan..any way get on the DEES train and ENJOY the ride.GO DEES

Fat Side

Aug 10, 2021

After a season of seeing clearly through my one eye that both the rule changes and umpires were actively conspiring to end the Tigers reign at the top of the ladder, and spoiling the few social football-watching gatherings that were possible this year with constant ( perceptive and accurate ) angry outbursts, I decided recently that for the sake of social harmony I would greet every blatantly biased umpiring decision with a hearty and generous "good decision umpire".
I highly recommend it - it has not only made me better company, but it has come in handy for all the stupid decisions I must deal with at work and on the roads. It has also been used once or twice with my partner to good effect, though it is starting to regard it with some suspicion.

Atrocious Conditions

Aug 10, 2021

Which sounds better, Joel Bravewood or Selwood the Brave?

Davemonkey

Aug 10, 2021

I should point out that Sherman did the racial vilifying, he was not vilified. Except in a more general sense by Lions fans, when he was traded. And when he played. Probably by Dogs fans as well. And teammates & coaches likely.

Tarax Club

Aug 10, 2021

Titus in fine form this round. Hard hitting footy journalism at its best. No deservedly dastardly club or individuals were spared. It is often said a change is as good as a holiday. So whilst enjoying the relative freedom of God’s own country, yes we have both kinds of music up here Country and Western. Broke WWW silence back of Alice to catch up up on all the AFL goings on. We were well informed and most amused. With the exception of the performance of the umpiring fraternity, West Coast clearly did not get enough free kicks.

Jim Tilbrook’s cheque

Aug 10, 2021

Thank you Titus for your insights and creating the only sports reporting forum which features obstetric training modules, courtesy of Richard. In addition to ‘lightening’, readers who are contemplating dabbling in this field of endeavour, might also wish to acquaint themselves with ‘quickening’. This normally occurs between 16 and 25 weeks of pregnancy, when the woman, experiences the the excitement of first feeling her baby move.

It’s 21 weeks into the AFL season. The Dees are improbably on top. Max Gawn was not, despite all expectations, struck by lightning. Is it premature for Dees supporters to feel a quickening?

WARNEY

Aug 12, 2021

The synergy some weeks of the comments with the content, is the chocolate dusting to a perfect cappuccino. Well done Jim et. al.

But to serious things...

Titus, if you tip the Dees anytime between now and the Marsh series you are a dead man walking, you have been warned.

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