AFL football operations boss Steve Hocking chats to the fans | Titus O'Reily

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AFL football operations boss Steve Hocking chats to the fans

Steve Hocking: I want you to know I get the issues that are affecting you.

Fans: You mean things like how expensive going to the footy is, the price of food, the fact most good games are on Foxtel, how in the bye rounds there’s no games on free-to-air on Sundays, the rather average commentary teams we get, the fact Wayne Carey is on TV at all…

Hocking: …and congestion.

Fans: Hang on, congestion is kind of a thing everyone’s complained about for over a century. 

When Patrick Dangerfield referred to the era where Chris Judd was breaking out of packs and running 30 meters untouched was the same time Demetriou was complaining about the Swans overly defensive style ruining the game. 

Before that ‘flooding’ was going to end the game.

Hocking: So, what I’m hearing is you want more new rules!

Fans: Are you serious? We need less rules. Get rid of the nominated ruck rule for starters. 

The sliding rule is bonkers in its current form, the interpretation of the protected zone is idiotic even for you guys.

And what about the shot clock? Nothing sums you guys up better, an idea no one has needed or wanted in over a century, you bring it in anyway. When it doesn’t work you interpret it again, so now thirty seconds is thirty seconds except the times when it isn’t. 

It’s like you guys have your meetings through the looking glass.

Hocking: But starting positions, zones, two-goal squares! How exciting will it be? Think of the work it will create for my staff implementing, tweaking and eventually getting rid of them! That’s like 40 full time jobs in here for years.

Fans: Surely it all needs more testing anyway before you implement any of this.

Hocking: That’s why we might test them in games that don’t have a bearing on the season in the later rounds.

Fans: Hang on, you’re running a professional competition and you’ll have different rules for some games? What about Brownlow votes, draft positions, stats, percentage, all the things that are affected by that?

Hocking: Look, I’ll be honest with you, I’m just throwing out a bunch of crazy ideas out there so I can then do some of the less crazy ones and you’ll think I’ve listened.

Fans: Oh, we’re all very aware of what you’re doing.

Titus has a new live show ‘Manifestly Inadequate’and new dates to announce.

They are his traditional bye round tour wrapping up the 2018 season and previewing the finals. 

The dates are: 

4 August- Hobart 

27 August- Canberra

29 August- Perth

31 August- Sydney

1 September- Melbourne

2 September- Adelaide 

Ticket available here:

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. I aim to keep as much of my stuff on this site and available to everyone and not behind paywalls. 

Find out more here:



Mark "Yeater" Yeates 25 July 2018

Steve Hocking pre-2018.
Tough and rugged Cats player and beloved teammate.
Smashed that dirty filthy thug Leigh Matthews in the Neville Bruns incident. Should have been knighted for that act alone and made a legend in the AFL Hall of Fame.
Great Geelong administrator.

Steve Hocking post-2017.
AFL puppet.
Gil McLachlan fall-guy.
Possibly suffering early onset dementia.

Sainter One 25 July 2018

Very good.

Buddha's Buddha 25 July 2018

You know they're two different people, right?

Krastil 27 July 2018

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Mike 25 July 2018

How dare you be so sarcastic, Titus?!
These are critical rule changes as the AFL moves swiftly to turn our game into rugby union. It's a difficult, fraught process which needs our support.
Do you know how difficult it is to implement changes which no-one wants and which are entirely self-defeating?
Let's support our leaders - and march over the cliff together.

Opportunityknocks 25 July 2018

I want a rule where each team must nominate 3 'goal kickers' before each game. Only these 3 players can kick goals or points. If a player that is not a nominated goal kicker kicks a score of any kind, even by accident, say a dropped mark that crosses the goal line, he is sent to the 'sin bin' for ten minutes.

In the event that all 3 goal kickers are in the sin bin at once, the team must play 'keepings off' until one or more goal kickers returns to the field.

Similar rules for nominated 'taggers' and players who are allowed to run off their mark while kicking a goal...y'know, because it's naturally the way they kick for goal...are also areas for work.

Season limits on penalties received for head high tackles will mean certain players in blue hoops are fair game from about round 4 onward.

The possibilities are endless.

Equaloutcomes 26 July 2018

I want a rule where each team takes turns in kicking a goal. After each goal, the scoring team is not allowed to kick another goal until the other team has a turn to kick a goal. That way we can teach children the importance of sharing.

Another rule I'd like to see introduced is for any defence to be illegal. Opposing teams will no longer be allowed to stop each other from kicking goals. Instead teams must offer encouragement to their opponent and help them kick goals.

Wouldn't that be swell?!

Lee 25 July 2018

Fans: Food, Foxtel, Carey...

You are so right Titus!

BEFUDDLED 25 July 2018

The AFL is sounding more like a government department every day. Creating problems so that they can solve them!

Ian 25 July 2018

Carey on TV... as if there is any other evidence required that the AFL lost the plot a long time ago - Carey was a great footballer but then so was OJ Simpson.
Watching footy now, I feel like a guy hopelessy in love with an old flame that's turned into a crack addicted hooker - I just can't keep away even I watch her spiral into self destruction.

South Western Coaster 25 July 2018

Hopelessly in love with an old flame whilst watching him/her lying thru their teeth whilst them not even being able to lie straight in a spa/bath/toilet (wherever you were Wayne doing the nasty skewering your mates wife, your mate, your club & your reputation. We shall not forget....

RooBoy's Stockholm syndrome therapist 25 July 2018

AFL to announce exciting new commentary team:
Wayne Carey, Bill Cosby and Silvio Berlusconi

Beau of Beaumiris 25 July 2018

You could also throw in Rolf Harris for some comedy, and maybe Glen Archer too

South Western Coaster 25 July 2018

Titus, where do I press the bloody LIKE BUTTON on these comments??
Nice work RooBoy yet potentially too accurate.

Papaschmidt 25 July 2018

What about Roof Harris and any Catholic priest for"special comments".

Mick 25 July 2018

It’s *LIKE* you guys have your meetings through the looking glass.
You're being too kind to them.

Andrew P 25 July 2018

What the AFL needs is a Bunker video review system; a bunch of officials watching on screen miles away from the actual ground...because that's worked SO well for the NRL.

Beau of Beaumaris 25 July 2018

Andrew P - you also forgot to mention how well it worked in the World Cup Soccer.
You could have play recalled anything up to five minutes after the gurus determined an offence may have possibly occurred ..... would make the suspense far greater and longer lasting.

Jaytch Tee 25 July 2018

Just give us a team in Tassie ya dimwitz!

Knackers 25 July 2018

Like a train that’s left the station on the wrong set of train tracks, the AFL think they can just keep steering to fix this rather than go backwards. Surely with enough steering we will get to the right destination?

South Western Coaster 25 July 2018


South Western Coaster 25 July 2018

Without wishing to sound despicable - Mr Hocking was never ever the sharpest tooth on the blade. A cursory glance at his playing style shows that he was a player who failed to see or understand consequences (repeatedly pinged for being a dirty little shit around the packs....etc) yet his enormous capacity for bearing up against his limitations displays his pugnacious ability to persevere....running past gutsick week in and week out etc.
However it’s clear that dressing someone up in a suit and tie provides that mask of respectability yet does nothing for their glaring cognitive incapacities.
So sad yet bloody disastrous for the game....

Mad Demon 25 July 2018

Lets Elect Titus to represent all of us and turf out these meddling pied pipers! Can we do that?

Tony 25 July 2018

Please send this to AFL House, Titus!

Daniel 25 July 2018

@OpportunityKnocks that last one actually sounds appealing.

Mark 26 July 2018

Go back to the 90s through to 2005 that's when I loved watching football it had balance and you could tackle and hip and shoulder and it wasnt over umpired!!! there wasnt these rediculous rules .I used to enjoy my footy now I can take or leave it!! as they have stuffed with the game too much!!! Needs to go back to its prime!!

Bluetooth 26 July 2018

Very much looking forward to Carlton playing with different rules each week. It will be somewhere between a decathlon and It's a Knockout.

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John. You've got some explaining to do.

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