May 08, 2023
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Eight
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.
Carlton (74) v Brisbane (100)
A concerning loss to Carlton and one that means they haven’t beaten an AFL side since Round Three.
The Blues were in touch for the first half, but the third quarter was a disaster for them, as the Lions booted five goals to Carlton’s; let me just tally this up… zero goals.
Considering both Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow play for them, you would think that would be hard to do, but Carlton made it look effortless.
Actually, Carlton makes a lot of things look effortless.
So bad was the third quarter that Blues fans started booing their team, which doesn’t happen as often as you’d think.
People say you shouldn’t boo, and I didn’t like the booing of Lance Franklin, but the Blues I feel have really earnt their boos. Their fans have two decades of this nonsense.
Carlton did respond by kicking four of the first five goals in the fourth, but it was like closing the barn door after the horse has already changed its spots.
Brisbane fans did not need to boo; their boys ran amok, with Charlie Cameron booting four, as did Zac Bailey.
They just kept the pressure up, secure in the knowledge that Carlton were going to Carlton at some point.
I’ve gone out on this limb before, and I’ll do it again; Brisbane are the best team in Brisbane; probably in all of Queensland too.
Richmond (104) v West Coast (58)
The good news for Tigers fans is they haven’t hit rock bottom; in fact, they were 46 points above it on Saturday.
They could have been up even higher, but they kicked for goal with the steadiness of my hands in the morning before a stiff drink.
If you didn’t catch this game, well done. Like all games involving the Eagles, it was a real test of how much you love footy.
I love footy a bit too much, and even I started to wonder if I should look for another hobby.
The Eagles are meant to be a top club. Rich, heaps of members, a history of success, one of the toughest home-field advantages in the game, and yet they struggle to kick a football.
It’s amazing everyone hasn’t been fired, from the chairman down. Their offices should sound like an episode of The Apprentice.
Richmond can’t take too much comfort from this. At one stage, Dion Prestia booted three goals in five minutes to remind everyone this was not a real game.
It was like playing AFL 23. Buggy and unrealistic.
Geelong (98) v Adelaide (72)
Patrick Dangerfield went off in this one with ‘hamstring awareness’ a phrase that underlines just how stupid the AFL media industry really is.
The minute any industry starts using overly complicated language, you know it is stuffed.
I’m not saying footy is stuffed, but the AFL media certainly is.
Just say it’s a sore hamstring.
‘Hamstring awareness’ is a longer and less accurate term. Why would you use that instead? I’m aware of my hamstring right now. There’s nothing wrong with them, but I sure am aware of them.
Footy commentators should simplify things, not make things more complicated. If you want to use language so poorly that it is almost impossible to understand, become a management consultant.
Now it wasn’t just the media saying this, it was Dangerfield himself too, but he is more media than player these days.
Remember when he saved that family from drowning in the surf?
“This guy will do anything to get his face in the media,’ I thought at the time.
Oh, Adelaide were plucky in this one.
Gold Coast (85) v Melbourne (90)
Melbourne certainly learnt the hard way that you never underestimate Mal Rosas jnr.
This was a great game, and I can say that because, as a Melbourne supporter, I don’t have the bitter taste of defeat in my mouth.
Suns fans certainly felt hard done by on account of some late umpiring decisions, and I have some sympathy for them.
Overall, I thought the umpiring in this was odd, and for both teams at different points.
In quite a few games this season I’ve felt the umpires have just completely lost control at times.
In fairness, with the complexity of the rules and the constant changes to how they should be interpreted, asking someone to umpire a game is like asking someone to fly a fighter jet when they’ve never been in one before.
What was enjoyable about this game was seeing the two midfields go at it.
Oliver and Petracca on one side, Noah Anderson and Matt Rowell on the other.
Both sides went at this with high levels of pressure, skill and some nastiness. It was great to watch.
The Suns have the makings of a top side; as always, it will be keeping them together that will be the challenge.
They can’t always be like Schoolies; you go up to the Gold Coast, have some fun before returning home to take life seriously.
In the end, the Demons had a bit more composure when it mattered, and the umpires were on their side.
A big negative for them, however is the suspension of Jacob van Rooyen, who has received a two-week ban for ‘clumsiness.
Tom Green (71) v Marcus Bontempelli (86)
This was in Canberra, a big winner this week in the footy world.
That’s because with Tasmania finally getting a team, Canberra will now be the place people threaten to send underperforming clubs.
No longer will it be ‘send North/Gold Coast to Tasmania’. Now it will be ‘send them to Canberra,’ which is great branding for Canberra, it will really get their name out there.
Plus we already dump all the worst people on them through Federal Parliament.
The AFL already send the Giants to Canberra on a regular basis and yet the government still give the AFL hundreds of millions of dollars. Weird.
This game was worth watching just to see Marcus Bontempelli and Tom Green.
The Bont was his usual dominant self, while Green finished with 38 touches and three goals.
I’m no expert, but that seems good.
So eye-catching was his performance that I decided it was time for me to research him a bit more. After several hours of deep internet research, I discovered a lot.
It turns out that Tom Green is a Canadian-American comedian, actor, filmmaker, podcaster, and rapper.
Green created and hosted The Tom Green Show, which aired on Canadian television and later on MTV between 1994 and 2000
From 2001 to 2002, he was married to Drew Barrymore. Amazing! You’d think that would get mentioned more.
Fremantle (117) v Hawthorn (48)
Brave of the Royal Family to put King Charles’ coronation up against this game.
It’s like the Royals didn’t even consult the AFL fixture before scheduling their little event. A rookie error and one that happens far too often with social occasions.
I can only imagine how angry Charles would have been when he discovered he would miss this.
This is a man who gets furious when a pen doesn’t work. Imagine how angry he would have been when he discovered he would miss Nat Fyfe’s return from injury.
I flicked onto the coronation a few times, and every time one of the bishops was whispering to Charles, and I imagine they were giving him the score and other vital bits of information.
“Luke Jackson is having a blinder.”
“Hawthorn’s kicking efficiency is way down.”
“This will make Fremantle feel good, but it is against Hawthorn who would struggle against a light breeze.”
Port Adelaide (92) v Essendon (87)
Port Adelaide set out to make this game as hard as possible for themselves. I’m not sure why. Maybe they thought Essendon on their own wouldn’t offer enough of a challenge.
So they kicked 12.20.
Jeremy Finlayson booted 1.4, while Junior Rioli booted 2.3.
Rioli, a man who controversy seems to seek out, will be in trouble this week after his arm collected Jordan Ridley, concussing the defender.
His biggest issue was just how completely unnecessary it was. There should be a loading on any penalty based on just who stupid an incident was.
Intentional Conduct, High Impact, High Contact, Breathtakingly stupid.
Essendon certainly worked hard all game, and, thanks to Port’s comical inaccuracy, led for a lot of it, but the sense all along was the Power would overtake them at some stage.
The result leaves Essendon outside the eight and with a 4-4 record. No team has for so long done an impression of improving while staying average.
They’ve now lost three in a row, with Brisbane to come this week.
Collingwood (77) v Sydney (48)
Again, people attempted to intimidate Nick Daicos before the game. This time it resulted in a bit of push and shove and then a free kick.
You’d have to say the results are not good. Nick still had 25 possessions and Collingwood still won. It’s not working.
Really, the Swans should have focused on Brody Mihocek a bit more, who finished with five goals, including one stunning goal late when he was being pulled down in the goal square and got his foot to it.
The Swans were much improved compared to their recent games. They worked their way back into this match, and if they had kicked accurately, things could have been different.
They finished 6.12. If you flip that, they would have scored 12.6, which would have seen them win by one point.
But, if you flip Collingwood’s score, which was 11.11, you would have 11.11, which is no difference at all.
Plus, none of this happened, rendering this all a completely pointless exercise, but it could get me a job at Champion Data.
Most worrying for the Swans is they scored just one goal in the second half.
More worrying for the rest of us is the undeniable fact that Collingwood cannot lose this Premiership.
There’s just no way they can stuff it up from here.
North Melbourne (34) v St Kilda (64)
Both sides should be punished for bringing the game into disrepute.
Like an Auskick game but without the fun and enthusiasm.
Clarkson decided that if his team couldn't win, they would just make the game unwatchable, while Ross Lyon always decides that to win, he will make the game unwatchable.
The result? This was unwatchable.
How we let Ross Lyon back into coaching, I’ll never know. The man is like kryptonite to exciting football.
The first half was the worst A-League game of the season, with the score 0.7 to 3.9.
Not even the players seemed to be enjoying things, and both teams probably lost the younger generation of fans.
Seriously, kids were openly crying in the stands.
The only excitement was seeing if North would go goalless the entire game, but even that went away as the Kangaroos pilled on a heady four goals across the whole game.
St Kilda were certainly dragged down to North’s level, producing some awful, awful football.
The won because North managed to find new lows the Saints couldn’t follow them to.
Apparently, the crowd was 22,065, meaning 22,065 people are still processing what they saw, and will be spending the day wondering why they now hate football.
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