Jul 04, 2022


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Sixteen


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.


Brisbane (108) v Western Bulldogs (67)

Am I to believe you’re not allowed to push your opponent into an umpire anymore? What a nanny state.

Why, one of the great joys of childhood was shoving an opponent into an umpire and watching them both go down in a heap.

Now those killjoys at the AFL want to take that away. First, they take away a player’s right to abuse umpires, and now they want to take away the joy of pushing a player into an umpire.  

Eric Hipwood has been directly referred to the AFL Tribunal for pushing Ryan Gardner into an umpire in the third quarter.

Hipwood, with his opponent tangled up with the umpire, then ran forward took a mark and kicked a goal.

To me, this should be a fun new way to lose an opponent.

One person who didn’t need to push their opponent into an umpire, because bhe didn’t seem to have one, was Charlie Cameron, who had four goals and five goal assists.

With the Bulldogs looking well in the fight, Cameron tore them apart in the third quarter and made it look easy while he was doing it.

It wasn’t all good news for the Lions, Dayne Zorko lasted five minutes before injuring his hamstring, and Daniel Rich also went off with a hamstring.

For the Bulldogs, after working so hard to make it into the eight, they drop back out again. A reminder that sometimes it’s not worth trying because things will turn out badly anyway.


Carlton (78) v St Kilda (93)

I’m not sure I know what to make of this result.

I mean, obviously, Carlton’s season is over.

Even stranger, St Kilda’s season may not be over.

After three games where the Saints played so badly that even their own fans discovered new ways to be embarrassed, they suddenly pop up and beat Carlton.

Even more astounding was the fact that in a game where one side kicked atrociously for goal, it wasn’t St Kilda.

This is a miracle. St Kilda and bad goalkicking are like bacon and eggs.

The Blues, risking copyright infringement, decided to miss shots that the Auskick kids were slotting at halftime.

Carlton really spread the load with multiple behind kickers, but Charlie Curnow booting 1.4 was a highlight.

Perhaps even more surprising, is that when the Saints needed goals, they kicked accurately.

It was like seeing a goldfish conducting heart surgery. It just felt unnatural.

Carlton fans shouldn’t worry too much, they’ve won two of their last five matches and just lost to St Kilda who had lots of injury issues during the game. Nothing to worry about.


Dylan Shiel (95) v Luke Parker (86)

If St Kilda beating Carlton was a surprise, then this was, well, more of a surprise.

It’s my way with words that’s got me where I am today.

Sydney embarrassed Essendon back in round nine, but Essendon has been embarrassed a lot this season.

It was Luke Parker mocking Dylan Shiel that made it, well, more embarrassing.

It turns out that all the Bombers need to be motivated to win is their opponents openly mocking them.

If I was Ben Rutten, from now on I’d pay opponents to mock my players.

Because Essendon was as good this weekend as I’ve seen them this year, and while that’s a bar so low a baby could crawl over it, it would have been heartening to see for Bombers supporters.

Less heartened would-be Swans supporters who just saw their team lose to a 16th placed who lost to West Coast last week.

That’s not an outcome that would fill you with confidence heading into the finals weeks of the season.

The Swans started strong, and this really looked like a belting coming the way of the Bombers, only for Essendon to then kick five straight goals in 13 minutes.

If you’re new to AFL, that’s an impressive turnaround, and it made the Swans look like they were new to AFL.

The Swans fought back however and led by 16 points nine minutes into the fourth, only for Jake Stringer to suddenly ignite his team with two goals.

This being Stringer, he also then gave away a fifty-metre penalty that almost cost them the game.

Luckily for him, the bombers held on, making this a victory for Essendon fans to saviour and wonder where this performance has been all year.

Adelaide (65) v Melbourne (94)

These big, long-term contracts just mean players take the foot off the accelerator once they’re signed.

Take Clayton Oliver for example.

Signs a monster contract during the week and then what does he do?

He phones in a disappointing 36 disposal performance, with 20 of them contested, has seven clearances and just 13 tackles.

He’s going to need to lift if he wants to earn that salary.

I could analyse this game, but the only thing I will remember about it was Darcy Fogarty dislocating his finger, then running around for what seemed like forever with his finger sticking out in a way that was very unsettling.

He even came back on after that, which is brave, given if anything did that to my finger, I would never do that thing ever again.

The Crows showed a lot of heart all night but probably let themselves down with their strategy of relentlessly kicking the ball to Melbourne’s defence.

If I was Matthew Nicks, I probably would have let the Crows players know at some point during the game that Jake Lever no longer played for them.

Geelong (144) v North Melbourne (32)

Geelong held an open, non-contact training session on Saturday, and they were kind enough to let the North Melbourne Football Club watch on. I assume it was part of North Melbourne’s review they’re currently holding.

It’s tradition, if you write about footy, to offer solutions on how to fix things, even if you’ve never run a club before and have no qualifications for doing so.

With that in mind, here’s my five-point plan for fixing North Melbourne: 

1.     Stop losing by so much

2.     Get better players

3.     Get rid of the bad players

4.     Start winning

5.     Win lots of premierships

You’re welcome North Melbourne’s Board, I just saved you a lot of money.

Geelong did well to not look bored during the game and in many ways being made to participate in this is beneath them.

Gold Coast (62) v Collingwood (67)

If you’re Collingwood, putting Peter Daicos out to stud must be a top priority.

There are probably a few legal issues to be worked through, but he’s already provided the genetic material for two of Collingwood’s best team, so just twenty more offspring to go. 

I’ve long argued players after retirement should be put out to stud, only for people to claim it would be ‘morally wrong’ and ‘a legal minefield’.

But none of those complaints have come from current or ex-players.

Collingwood may not have an official breeding program, but you wouldn’t know that watching Nick and Josh Daicos running around, helping the Pies get across the line in this one.

It was a hectic final quarter, where Collingwood fought back from 14 points down to get in front, but they lost Darcy Moore to what looked like a serious knee injury.

Despite that rather large negative, this was Collingwood’s sixth win in a row, so things are getting serious now, and I’m keen to see what our new Federal government are planning to do to stop this.

Surely fixing our relationship with France is a distant second to what’s happening in our own backyard. The fact Collingwood are sixth on the ladder and play North next week, so are about to get their seventh win in a row.

As for the Suns, this loss probably means they won’t play finals, but you feel they have the core of a very good team there.

Is competency in danger of breaking out up there?


Richmond (128) v West Coast (93)

Dustin Martin has suffered what people in the AFL refer to as ‘hamstring awareness’, and they say it with a completely straight face.

The fact clubs say this stuff and AFL media types don’t laugh openly at it, but repeat it, is all that’s wrong with the industry. Well not all, hiring Wayne Carey tops it.

Hamstring awareness is trying to sound smart but proves you’re not. It’s the same as corporate jargon. Just say a ‘tight hammy’.

That said, I have often suffered from ‘hangover awareness.’

One thing the Eagles season has taught me is that you are better when your good players are playing, and conversely, you are worse when your good players aren’t playing.

The return of Nic Naitanui certainly made a difference straight away, and Tim Kelly enjoyed his return, with 40 disposals and two goals.

That’s how I imagine we’ll all feel when we get back to having enough hospitality staff so that getting a beer at the footy won’t take four quarters.

And before people start telling me that hospitality staff don’t get paid enough, I couldn’t agree more.

If it was up to me, their wages would be linked to politicians’ salaries, so they would always get pay rises, even when no one else does.

Actually, bar staff should get paid what the politicians get, because bar staff do something positive for the community.

Greater Western Sydney (72) v Hawthorn (50)

As we all suspected, category B rookie and former Gaelic footballer Callum Brown was the big difference in this game, finishing with four goals.

It was an impressive performance given players had to don snorkels with all the rain falling.

There was further good news for the Giants, alongside the win, with James Hird ruling himself out of their hunt for a senior coach.

That leaves the chance of a fairy tale return to the Essendon top job, and as someone who doesn’t barrack for Essendon, I couldn’t be keener for this to happen.

For Hawthorn, they have lost nine of their past 10 matches. It’s what I call a good start.

The occasional good display of footy from them this season had me worried, but Sam Mitchell has steered them through that, and I think they’re on the right path now.

Fremantle (99) v Port Adelaide (91)

This was a cracking game, the match of the round by some margin, with star performances from Ollie Wines, Travis Boak, Andrew Brayshaw and Rory Lobb. 

It didn’t start off that way. Fremantle were cruising early, but they’re nice guys at Fremantle.

Up by 40 points late in the third quarter, they stopped and let Port Adelaide catch up.

It was a display of sportsmanship rarely seen these days.

Disappointingly for Fremantle, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t change its spots.

Despite giving Port every chance to win, they had to watch Todd Marshall and Robbie Gray miss easy shots to seal the win.

Therefore, reluctantly, and despite their best efforts, Fremantle took the four points, but you could see they were disappointed with Port, which is how every Power fan feels about this season.

The good news for Fremantle fans is they are now in the top four and anyone that got a Flagmantle tattoo can hold out hope it can still come true.

Getting a tattoo early is a great way to manifest something into reality. You'll never regret it. At least that’s what reading The Secret taught me.

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




Jul 04, 2022

I saw some of the Cats’ backine pull a large jacuzzi into the back pocket and take a hot bath, a full 63 minutes, before they were ordered out by the club physios concerned about wrinkled skin.


Jul 04, 2022

*******For the Bulldogs, after working so hard to make it into the eight, they drop back out again. A reminder that sometimes it’s not worth trying because things will turn out badly anyway.*******


The Gabba was their Waterloo.
Their season now is all but through.
Their second half made Bevo spew.
Their finals' run they really blew
By playing like titus without the u.


Jul 04, 2022

It wasn't so much Dylan Shiel defeating Luke Parker that surprised me, more Essendon beating Buddy. After last week's (total lack of) effort, Essendon continues to confound me. This is why I refuse to watch them live - selected replays only for me. Now where are those '84 and '85 Grand Final tapes...?

Con Cushion

Jul 04, 2022

Turn it up Titus ..... when are you going to start using real speak, terms like LEARNINGS, GOING FORWARD, TO BE HONEST? Dusty and his hamstring awareness; perfect opportunity! Con.


Jul 04, 2022

You got me thinking about breeding top players Daicos/Ablett/Rioli should be arranged marriages.

Scott McKenzie

Jul 04, 2022

Does anyone know if Champion Data records the number of times a player falls over? I just wanted official confirmation that Ryan Gardner was in the elite category in that particular stat. (Hipwood push notwithstanding).

Clem Fandango

Jul 04, 2022

Essendon's good recent form coupled with being favourites to win the trade period again. They must be Mick Malthouse's tip for the 2023 Premiership.

merimbula bomber

Jul 04, 2022

Essendon VFL Women's Team has won the Grand Final, undefeated all year, the EFC's AFL team, now can take it easy, can stop worrying about not winning a flag or getting into the eight. They can play for the love of the game, just like they did when they beat Sydney Swans and Buddy.

Also, thanks to Luke Parker, the boys completely shat on his parade for his 250th. Yahoooooooooooooooooo!!!


Jul 04, 2022

Bombs (not a typo) V Swans - I normally only watch until halftime for Bombers games and did so this weekend. Just as well I turned off, I don't think the heart would've taken the last quarter pressure.

Stay retired Bruce McAvaney

Jul 04, 2022

FULL MOON OVER NUNAWADING - now looking forward to the poem as much as Titus's knee jerk. Keep it up !

Merlin's Mother

Jul 04, 2022

Pretty sure the Crows fans still remember that Rick Lever nolonger plays for them - we could hear the booing up here in Northern NSW. 7NotYourMate didn't televise the Crows v Dees game but a range of radio stations provided good coverage.

Got my footy fix by watching the Oranges and Lemons go around yesterday (GWS v Hawks) in pouring rain - made me feel quite at home as we have had at least a metre of the stuff in the past six months.

I really enjoyed the post match interview by former Gaelic footballer Callum Brown who kicked four goals. I couldn't understand a word he said but he looked very nice in the uniform.

Will the AFL be running language classes so we fans can understand all of the Irish imports??

The g train

Jul 04, 2022

Great stuff, Titus. In the specialist category of “fearless boldly ironic satirical provocative socially aware comedic footy commentators”, Titus is still the best one going around.

North Melbourne are giving worsening worser performances by the round.

StK’s victory surely is the most courageous and “against the odds” victory by an Australian sporting team of all time. In the decades to come, none will scarcely believe that such a victory was possible.

“A reminder that sometimes it’s not worth trying because things will turn out badly anyway”. Respectfully Titus—but do we need to be reminded of the blatant obvious?


Jul 04, 2022

The AFL should have retained the push in the back rule, because it was pretty fundamental to the game. Charlie Cameron didn't push his opponent into an umpire, but apparently it's okay for him to push everybody in the back as often as he liked.

David O'Leary

Jul 04, 2022

CARN SAINTERS!!! Apologies everyone, just HAD to get that out. Man, that felt really good. Especially after being completely tormented, demoralised and depressed by the Red, White & Blacks at the SCG the Saturday before last. What a shockingly dreadful performance that was. Ooops, sorry, gotta rush off guys ... almost time for my 2hr therapy session.

Floreat Pica

Jul 04, 2022

"You can lead a horse to water but you can't change its spots".
Brilliant. I'm using this in my next yr 10 English unit.


Jul 04, 2022

"......the bombers held on, making this a victory for Essendon fans to saviour......"

Everyone knows there has only been one saviour in human history, and that was Barry Breen in the 1966 VFL Grand Final.

Fat Side

Jul 04, 2022

Was it a victory to saviour, or just a very naughty boy?
Touché re Oliver post-contract signing. He is something special.


Jul 04, 2022

Anybody with a 'Flagmantle' tattoo can easily change it to 'Fragmantle' given how fragile they looked in the last quarter.

Son of plugger

Jul 04, 2022

More comedic satirical poetry, please. A comedic satirical poet obviously has comedic satirical poetical license. That’s a lot of license.


Jul 04, 2022

I've long thought that moderately successful female Olympic swimmers would be ideal targets for the female half of the father son breeding program, their careers tend to tail off around 25 with their child baring years still ahead of them.

I mean, the twiggy models AFL players prefer seem to do alright in the production department, but put elite sporting genes on both sides and the sky is the limit.

Could anyone even imagine the Daicos/ Shayna Jack offspring? Absolutely terrifying, dynasty guaranteed.

Ms Maggie

Jul 04, 2022

You’ve really done it now Titus! Tipping the Magpies to beat North this weekend is sure to see our winning streak come to a halt. Thanks for nothing. (Aside from that, keep up the good work)

Ms Inseminator

Jul 04, 2022

As a vet specialising in artificial insemination services at Ovens Valley Equine, I’ve often thought about branching out into the football industry. For any AFL clubs who would like me to extract and freeze the special sap from stallion footballers in order to breed top quality future stock, call me on 555 4321 and I’ll make sure that they are taken care of comfortably.

Macca RB

Jul 04, 2022

Big Fella, you've got it all wrong.
We don't need artificial insemination or a breeding program. Can you really imagine the result of a Daicos mixed with a Collingwood lass - it defies reality
I know their geeks, for good cause, but enroll a team of genetic scientists to clone footy players - exact replicas.
Yes, we all know that they prefer to clone sheep - when the rest of us blokes would prefer supermodels, but these geeks do have form and experience within this field.


Jul 04, 2022

I suspect Clarko rang around and told the Hawthorn players to stop playing well and making him look bad.


Jul 05, 2022

Here’s me thinking that tattoos were reserved for Collingwood supporters, heaven knows what a Flagmantle tattoo will look like? More importantly how is the snow looking Titus?

Geoff Walsh

Jul 05, 2022

Thanks Titus, I am ready to submit your 5 point plan to the board. Only issue at the moment is Clarko won't return my calls.


Jul 05, 2022

BIG FELLA, I pleaded with you a couple of weeks ago (knowing how much power you have ) to have the filth taken from the eight by any means possible (reasons like the fans are inbred already and they refuse to go to a dentist ) and you have let me down so far. i am putting a plan together to get Mcrea the arse and noble to take over at the filth i just hope i can get this done by round 18 or so just in time for them to fall as low as possible. Now the main focus is what about the trifecta of power ie,petracca/oliver/viney and still to get max and a few others back.GO DEES