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.
Richmond (93) v Swans (67)
It was a weekend of footy that proved we don’t need to tinker with the game all the time, but instead, give the players and coaches a bit of time to figure things out.
Despite my tips resembling the Socceroos World Cup campaign, this was a thoroughly enjoyable round.
It included seeing one of the best things I’ve seen at the footy.
I was sitting on the second level at Etihad behind the goals at this game, and the Swans first goal saw the ball land a row in front of me, to be marked in a pack of spectators, by none other than Leo Barry.
A guy right behind me, without missing a beat yelled out "Leo Barry, you star!"
Footy is awesome.
This was a more interesting game than the scoreline suggests. The Swans were right in it until late, but the Tigers just squeeze their opponents so well and make them make mistakes.
And the Swans made a lot of them. Breaking down on their half-forward line in a comedy of errors.
Richmond are a great team to watch at the moment. What they do is apply pressure through their structure all game, and they stick to that structure no matter what. They don’t panic if the opposition are ahead or if they are not ahead by ten goals, even if they’re dominating.
That just stay disciplined. Trap you in their forward half and know that most teams will eventually break.
I was talking to a few Tiger fans after the game, and they sounded like people trapped in the greatest dream you can ever have. I would have liked to have talked to them more, but the police shut the door to the divvy van.
This was tough, physical affair with a dash of spite in it.
Reece Conca did his ankle and had to go off on the cart, Nick Vlastuin elbowed Luke Parker in the head, and Buddy shoved Rance in the throat.
Buddy is lucky he’s Buddy, or he would have been suspended.
Despite the ill will, If this is what finals are going to look like, I’m all in.
Western Bulldogs (103) v Geelong (101)
Now, this is a Friday night game we deserve.
It had everything, lead changes, kung-fu style goals, a redhead setting the forward line alight and another player being injured on the LED signage.
I thought they were going to fix that. Luckily, it was only Patrick Dangerfield, a fringe player and just the President of the players union, so no issues there.
The final quarter was one for the ages; both teams had moments to win the game, with Ed Richards continuing to make the Bulldogs fans fall in love with him, only for Gary Ablett to crumb a goal to remind everyone he’s a pretty decent player too.
It led to an intense remaining few seconds when Geelong went forward and Harry Taylor to take a mark in the 50, with the siren sounding. A gaol would win it for the Cats.
The crowd went crazy. Cats fans lived in hope, while Bulldogs fans prayed Taylor would miss.
To put Taylor off, every Bulldogs player got behind the mark, and it seemed large sections of the crowd as well.
It worked. Taylor sprayed wide, and the Dogs had won a thriller.
Cats supporters couldn’t believe it. An injury-plagued Dogs side had beat them, playing like the 2016 Bulldogs.
Carlton (69) v Port Adelaide (90)
A big thank you to Carlton for being reliable when it comes to tipping.
Even Kade Simpson's 300th game couldn’t get the Blues past Port.
They seemed keen to give Simpson a rare win early on, but the reality of their ability descended like a wet blanket on proceedings.
Charlie Curnow continued his impressive form, and Patrick Cripps was great again, but the Power just had too much polish in the second half.
I feel for Simpson. He’s right up there with Nathan Jones as a player who has given it his all only to watch others around him stuff things up.
I think that’s why those players are so popular; we can all relate to working in such an environment. How often do you do something at work, only to find no one else has done their bit?
Happens to me all the time, and I work alone. Often current me will look back at past me and think ‘why did he watch Netflix all day when he was meant to write this thing?”
Future me will often then look back at current me and thing ‘what this guy wrote is terrible, and now I have to do it again.”
Adelaide (88) v West Coast (78)
It was all Collective Mind’s fault.
A win and no hamstring injuries showed the ‘mental training whatever nonsense they are selling’ company was behind all of the Crows woes.
I would go a step further and say it’s now clear that everything bad in the world is Collective Mind’s fault.
That includes that volcano in Hawaii, North Korea, Barry Hall’s commentary and The Logies.
I woke up this morning to extensive coverage about The Logies in the mainstream media. It was like they believe people care about them.
Being nominated for a Logie is like finding out someone you find creepy is into you.
Just on Barry Hall, I feel good now that we know where the line is.
Thank goodness Triple M reacted so swiftly and sacked a fringe commentator. Like all those sackings of key people when the joked about drowning a woman, or likened Adam Goodes to King Kong.
We need to send a clear message about respect for women, and anyone who has Wayne Carey on their payroll is clearly committed to that.
This is the normal outcome of the idiotic, blokey culture foisted on us by Triple M and in a slightly more watered-down version by Channel Seven.
Football has built and protected this culture, and now they all pretend to be shocked and offended by it.
It a stain on the game that goes against all the inclusion talk the AFL serve up but don’t deliver when it comes to taking on the boys’ club that surrounds the game.
Why don’t they take it on? Because they’re part of it. Taking it on is as unnatural to them as cutting off your own arm. They know these guys behave appallingly but they are all ‘mates’, and that’s more important than anything else in their view.
No one in footy is surprised by this, and again, no one will do anything that addresses the root cause of the problem. Hall in many ways is irrelevant, he’ll be replaced by another version, and we’ll be talking about this all again soon.
Gold Coast (60) v Collingwood (99)
Collingwood are second on the ladder. Second.
Looking at Richmond in first and Collingwood in second place is perhaps the best argument I’ve seen to change all the rules of the game.
It’s tough out there with all those happy Collingwood supporters. People have to work with them and see them around the neighbourhood.
I’ve never been so glad I live in an affluent suburb where that doesn’t happen.
You know Collingwood are going well because Eddie hasn’t attacked the Sydney clubs all year.
I keep hoping this Collingwood resurgence is just a mirage, and they’ll soon hit turbulence, but they’d want to get a hurry on, this is starting to look serious.
Gold Coast have now lost nine in a row. Stuart Dew said he was rapt the team didn’t give up after halftime.
You know the bar is set low when not giving up is seen as a reason to earn plaudits.
In fact, Dew’s post game’s comments seemed more directed at a group of Auskickers, not a professional sporting organisation made up of adults.
Perhaps the major difference between the Suns and a group of Auskickers is the kids have a passion for the game and can hit targets.
Greater Western Sydney (95) v Hawthorn (84)
If it weren’t for their inaccuracy in front of goal, the Giants would have won this by a lot more.
The Giants, in fact, kicked 1.8 in the second term leaving the home crowd sitting in stunned silence.
Well, I think that was why, it was at Spotless so that could just have been the normal crowd noise.
Hawthorn would be regretting taking just one midfielder into the game, Tom Mitchell, who had 50 possessions.
Mitchell has had 50 possessions three times in his career; no other player has done it more than once.
He has a special gene that makes him immune to leather poisoning.
The result means the Giants are now in sixth place and if they keep getting their best players back from injury, they could make a run. I’m not saying panic, but it’s certainly time to start thinking about panicking.
Melbourne (117) v St Kilda (119)
It’s hard to cope with a loss like this. All I’ve got is an entire lifetime of similar experiences to draw on.
This was a game Melbourne simply had to win. There are no excuses. It was an abysmal performance on their home ground, against a side that has struggled all year.
The Dees players in recent weeks have seemed to have forgotten that defending is the job of every player.
Watching the Saints waltz out of the Dees forward half and score every time got old pretty quickly.
The Saints deserve all the credit. They ran harder, tackled harder and played smarter.
Time and again, the ball would go forward for Melbourne, and every Dees player would go up, leaving at least one Saints player on the ground able to crumb and sweep it away.
The end score flattered the Dees. They suddenly got interested in the final few minutes, but it was too little too late.
Melbourne may want to change the narrative about the club, but even a narrative needs actions, not words to change.
Essendon (125) v North Melbourne (108)
This game was like an injection of adrenaline into your brain.
Everything good about football was here, and no rule change had been required.
It was a shootout with players taking risks, and in the main, they paid off.
148 points were on the board at halftime following some of the most frenetic footy you’ll see this year.
North rued the absence of Ben Jacobs, meaning the Bombers midfield ran amok all day, often right up to the centre corridor.
It was another example that makes Bombers supporters wonder what was going on in the first eight rounds.
But they’d take this. Five wins in the past six games, exciting football and Jake Stringer kicking goals.
People would be happy for them if they weren’t Essendon.
Fremantle (64) v Brisbane (119)
The Dockers lost Aaron Sandilands during the warm-up and Nat Fyfe in the second quarter, but this still doesn’t explain being belted by the Lions in Perth.
The Lions, despite showing flashes of competency at times this year, had only won a single game before this.
Brisbane to their credit were excellent, they were the one team showing an interest in the game, and it paid off, with them winning every single quarter.
I have no idea what Freo where doing. They seemed more lost than a couple in IKEA.
In the third quarter, they didn’t even put up any opposition. For such a master coach, Ross Lyon seems to have a team that doesn’t have much structure.
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: http://www.frontiercomedy.com/titusoreily
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