Aug 14, 2023
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Twenty Two
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.
Collingwood (109) v Geelong (101)
The World’s hopes that Collingwood might be in trouble were tempered on Friday night, as the Pies broke their two-game losing streak.
Looking in trouble early, the Pies rebounded despite Darcy Moore going off at quarter-time with a hamstring injury.
The Pies had a lot to overcome. Patrick Dangerfield was at his best in the midfield, but he was nothing compared to the display Jeremy Cameron was putting on.
Jeremy Cameron was marking everything, with one of his marks being paid despite him taking it in Clifton Hill.
Sure, Clifton Hill is several suburbs away from the MCG, but that’s mere details. The boundary line can’t contain Jeremy Cameron.
The umpires were just in awe of his seven goals, and I thought it a bad look when they openly clapped whenever he kicked a goal.
Luckily, the Pies had Brody Mihocek firing up forward with five goals, although disappointingly, all his marks were in the field of play. Open your mind Brody! Realise the truth. There is no boundary line.
North Melbourne (77) v Essendon (86)
Essendon continues to fall upwards.
In an amazing defiance of gravity, the Bombers move up to ninth, despite, losing three of their last five, and defeating West Coast by one point and then struggling to fall over the line here.
They only need to beat Greater Western Sydney and Collingwood to play finals, so don’t just pencil them in; get it tattooed on your forehead; they are a dead cert.
North have extended their losing streak to 19 games, a fair effort, but it’s not their best ever; that’s 33 losses in a row back in the early 1930s. It’s going to be tough to beat that one after all, North don’t beat anything these days, but they’re a chance.
Unfortunately, Ben Cunnington won’t be part of that effort, as he played his last game on the weekend.
There can be no greater compliment to him than the fact opponents will be thrilled he’s retired. He was a hard man, and it speaks volumes that even in his final game he was one of the best out there.
Sydney (114) v Gold Coast (90)
Two months ago, the Swans were entering into the ‘mathematically possible’ phase of their season.
Seven wins in the past eight games now has them in seventh position.
Gold Coast started well, and there was no more nervous man in the SCG than Errol Gulden, when the returning from suspension Touk Miller came and tagged him.
No wonder Gulden’s mind was elsewhere in the first half.
The Swans started to get on top in the second quarter as Chad Warner and co got on top in the midfield.
After that, the Swans took control of the game.
They are the wildcard in the top eight. Who knows what damage they can cause in the finals?
The loss means the Sun can now wave goodbye to their very faint finals hopes.
It makes you wonder, if Damien Hardwick didn’t want to play finals, why didn’t he just stay at Richmond?
Brisbane (99) v Adelaide (93)
Adelaide can blame Charlie Cameron if they end up missing finals, as it appears likely they will do.
With the two teams in lockstep on the scoreboard, Cameron used the third quarter as his canvas to paint a masterpiece, booting three goals, and setting up another three.
If only Adelaide had drafted a player like Cameron!
Unfortunately for the Lions, an injury to Jack Gunston could not come at a worse time.
With the season tighter than that mate who seems to go missing whenever it’s their shout, injuries could decide this whole thing.
The Crows keep doing this, almost beating top teams on the road but just coming up short.
While frustrating, they seem to be on the right track; why, I haven’t read one article about that preseason camp this season, something I never thought would happen.
A lot of the good signs have been the young players coming through, but consider Tex Walker kicked his 64th goal for the season in this game. That beat the 63 goals he kicked back in 2012.
2012 was a long time ago and was also the year the Mayans predicted the world would end. Luckily it didn’t, as Tex is thriving, the world less so.
Carlton (60) v Melbourne (56)
People laughed when Collingwood ended up paying Brodie Grundy to play somewhere else, but now their cunning plan to sabotage Melbourne’s season has been revealed.
With him, the Dees are hopeless; without him they thrive.
So it was again on the weekend, although a lot of credit has to go to the Blues, who matched the Dees for intensity, and individually held a lot of Dees players to season-worst performances.
It was a strange game to be at, as barely anyone was paying attention in the first half, it seemed the players included, as the Matilda’s battled France in a not stressful at all penalty shootout.
You could hear it around the ground when they won as everyone celebrated.
It was an amazing night for sport, and it made me wonder, are there other important jobs in society we could get women to do?
Once everyone focused on the game, they got an incredibly tight tussle. No side would back down, and no side could so any real damage on the scoreboard.
Christian Petracca’s shot for goal became the controversial moment, ruled a behind, and then there was “insufficient evidence” on the review.
There’s two key points on this moment. The first is that it remains ridiculous the AFL don’t invest in the technology to fix this, when they throw money away on less important things all the time, AFLX, the Gold Coast Suns, salaries for their executives, etc.
How the AFL have blurry inconclusive images when teenagers on YouTube have better equipment is beyond me.
The AFL says costs tens of millions of dollars to fix. Whoever is giving them those figures saw them coming.
The second point is Melbourne can’t get too annoyed about this. The simple fact is it was inconclusive, and the Blues had a heap of key outs.
If the Dees are going to put a dent in September, they need to play better than this.
Carlton were just better when it mattered; there’s no controversy here.
West Coast (33) v Fremantle (134)
Once upon a time, the West Coast Eagles were a professional football club. I know, it seems fanciful but it’s true.
Now they can’t even get ready in time for a game.
After Brady Hough didn’t train all week due to illness, they still named him, got him suited up, and then pulled him in the last minute.
It was amateur hour stuff from an amateur club.
This late switch caused a delay because despite knowing Hough was unwell, where was his replacement, Jack Williams?
According to alleged senior coach Adam Simpson, he was “up in tier three having a pie.”
Such a slick unit the Eagles.
And why did they persist with Hough when it seemed obvious to everyone he wasn’t well enough?
Apparently, they thought he was ok but “He has Ventolin. He took too many puffs (from his inhaler) on game day,” said Simpson.
That sounds like an excuse someone gives to get out of PE class, not something that happens at this level of professional sport.
It didn’t matter anyway, as a bunch of asthmatic primary school kids would have performed just as well as the Eagles, who at one stage gave up 17 unanswered goals, proving they can match the amateur hour shenanigans on or off the field.
Hawthorn (67) v Western Bulldogs (64)
Hawthorn have become the chaos agent of the run home to the finals, despite them not participating in them.
When you’re down the bottom of the ladder, all your fans want is to have some hope for next year, and if you’re a Hawks fan, you’ve got all the hope you need.
Hawthorn’s new (or not so new) strategy is to take out one of the opponent’s key players. Last week it was Nick Daicos, this week, it was Tom Liberatore, who went off early with concussion.
It looked like an accidental knee, but that’s what they want you to think!
Hawthorn were also helped by the fact James Sicily didn’t have to do all the work, with Jai Newcombe chipping in with a handy 40 disposals, a goal and two assists.
Not bad for someone picked up in the midseason draft.
For the Doggies, this was a harsh loss and left them in eighth position.
They have a bye next week before a crucial clash against Geelong.
St Kilda (93) v Richmond (57)
I don’t want to shock you, but St Kilda almost scored 100 points on the weekend in a rare display of offensive firepower.
They were helped by Max King booting six goals and playing Richmond at Marvel Stadium.
Richmond hate Marvel Stadium about as much as most Victorians do.
They also looked slow, as the long campaign seemed to tell on a lot of their older players.
With Trent Cotchin announcing his retirement and Damien Hardwick gone, the era is finally over, but what an era!
I’d take that one every time.
And while the Tigers fading is not a surprise, the fact the Saints will probably play finals is. I’m used to them pulling off a few fancy moves to miss out on finals, but time is running out.
Port Adelaide (136) v Greater Western Sydney (85)
Just as Power supporters were dusting off their ‘sack Ken Hinkley’ campaign, Port snapped their four-game losing streak with a brutal display against the Giants.
It was just what they needed, as the Giants are a team in contention for finals, and to belt them like this suggests Port still have it.
You knew the Giants were in trouble early as they moved Toby Greene into the midfield early, the ultimate break glass in case of emergency move.
It didn’t really matter, as Zak Butters, Ollie Wines and Connor Rozee ran all over them with a wild abandon not seen since BMX Bandits hit the silver screen.
The Giants major problem is this became a shootout, and you don’t want that against the Power.
If you let them run, they run over you.
Port fans will be hoping another 13 game win streak is on the cards.
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This week’s Sports Bizarre episode is on surfer Bunker Spreckles, available wherever you get your podcasts.