Mar 27, 2023
The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round 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.
Carlton (90) v Geelong (82)
Not since July have the Blues won a game of football, and despite trying to extend that streak, they just couldn’t do it on Thursday night.
Doing it against Geelong made that all the sweeter, as Carlton fans left the ground with a new feeling, happiness.
They have now proven they can win, lose and draw the close ones.
Sure, they make life more uncomfortable for Carlton fans than wearing a mankini, but if they win, they won’t mind.
Don’t ask me how I know a mankini is uncomfortable. Let’s just say this cost-of-living crisis is making us all try new things.
Geelong have not got off to the start they would have liked, and if it wasn’t for Jeremey Cameron, this could have been a belting.
Cameron booted six goals as he threatened to rip the Blues apart. It’s players like him and Dangerfield that show the Cats are just so good at developing players.
A 0-2 start is devastating to Cats fans and enjoyable for the rest of us.
Brisbane (93) v Melbourne (82)
Look, organising the lights to go out wasn’t easy, but it was the only thing I could think to do, as the Dees where in real trouble in this game.
It’s not an original idea; a Detroit Lions fan rang in a bomb threat when his team was losing a playoff game, only he did it off his own phone. Not the sharpest tool in the shed.
For the Dees, with Steven May a late withdrawal, the worst thing that could ever happen happened, with Max Gawn going down with a knee injury.
The vision of him in the rooms was the saddest thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen that clip of Steve Smith trying to sing.
Grant Thomas came out and criticised Gawn for ‘sooking’, which is hilarious from Thomas, who has made sooking a high art form.
Not since Wayne Carey wrote a column on the importance of culture in a footy club has someone exhibited such a lack of self-awareness.
Luckily Max Gawn has escaped a dreaded ACL injury, the one positive for the Dees from the weekend.
Because the Lions made them look ordinary, they were all over them and deserved a much bigger winning margin, the forty-minute delay taking away all their momentum.
Underinvestment in critical infrastructure is a long-term worrying trend, but you know it’s serious if sporting events are being affected.
Collingwood (135) v Port Adelaide (64)
I’ve warned people about Collingwood this year. They are really good and have that positive mindset that good teams have. It’s terrifying and a reminder it’s never a bad time to build a bunker in your backyard.
If you’ve never lived through a Collingwood premiership, think the pandemic combined with the worst person at work lording it over you for 12 months.
Nick Daicos is a terrible role model for youngsters. He makes footy at this level seem easy. It is not.
The way he runs around just getting the ball at will, and then using it almost perfectly every single time, is unnatural.
Then you add Josh, and you have the most terrifying brothers since the Krays.
It’s time the AFL looked into this sinister breeding program the Pies have been running.
The Power not only had no answers, but they also looked like they didn’t even understand the questions.
Probably the most complimentary thing I can say about Port was this was a pitch-perfect impression of the Washington Generals.
Adding more humour to the day was various people acting baffled why Jason Horne-Francis was being booed.
I mean, you can say you don’t like it but don’t pretend you’ve got no idea why it happened.
We all know it’s because he had a tantrum and forced North to trade him. It’s not complicated that many people take a dim view of that.
In other news, a brawl broke out at this game, making us all ask the question, ‘why were A-League fans allowed into the ground?’
Adelaide (76) v Richmond (108)
The Tigers were cruising in this one, up by as much as 45 points, and by halftime, they obviously decided it was time to put the cue in the rack.
The only negative in the first half for them was when Nathan Broad tried to bury Patrick Parnell under the ground in a sling tackle that should see him miss a few weeks.
The second half however saw the Crows run rampant, kicking five goals to one.
The one thing in Richmond’s favour was the Crows decided to boot eight behinds as well. I’m not sure why they did that.
It set up a tight last quarter, except for the fact that Hardwick pulled off a coaching masterstroke; with just over 12 minutes left in the final term, he subbed off that list clogger Dustin Martin.
It worked, with the Tigers kicking away to win a game while only working two quarters.
Just imagine if the Crows had played all four quarters or kicked accurately. I’m sure that’s all Adelaide fans will be doing this week.
Western Bulldogs (41) v St Kilda (92)
If you’re a Saints fan, this is as good as it gets.
Two wins to start the season, and Mattaes Phillipou running around like he’s a ten-year veteran.
It’s enough to make a St Kilda supporter feel positive about things. Well, as much as a Saints supporter can feel positive, what with the sense of dread that always looms over them.
Especially impressive for the Saints is how quickly they’ve improved defensively under Ross Lyon. Could losing a Grand Final be on the cards?
For every single positive sign for the Saints, the Bulldogs had ten negative ones.
They can neither defend nor score, two fairly important parts of the game. If their intention was to give a sense they didn’t want to vibe there, then mission accomplished.
Their forward line is like handing their opponent four extra defenders, and apart from a couple of stars, the rest look disinterested the minute things get a bit hard.
There was so much underperforming from the Bulldogs it was like a group of actors had been hired to pretend to be footballers.
Fremantle (72) v North Melbourne (73)
It must be nice to be the AFL and be able to review and clear yourself whenever something happens.
Imagine being able to do that in a relationship.
“Look, I’ve reviewed my behaviour on Friday night regarding the incident involving me calling your mother a ‘negative black hole that sucks all enjoyment out of life’, and I’ve reviewed it and assessed it was correct.”
I’m sure Fremantle fans feel a lot better knowing the AFL has ticked off insufficient intent not being called due to the siren going before the ball went out.
“Oh, that’s ok then.”
Not that North were unworthy winners, Fremantle were a bit like the kid who left their homework to the last minute.
Under pressure, they committed more mistakes than the Russian military.
The reality is if they are as good as people thought they would be, handling North Melbourne in Perth should not have come down to the dying seconds and a hopeful umpiring call.
The Dockers certainly had no answers for Luke Davies-Uniacke, who had one of the great performances for a hyphenated player.
North’s pressure was far superior and shows how much harder they are working this year.
I imagine his arrival at the club was a bit like when Homer went to work for Hank Scorpio.
“Are you guys working?”
“Yes, sir, Mr Simpson.”
“Could you, um, work any harder than this?”
“Sure thing, boss.”
The good news for the Dockers is they have the Eagles next week, so they won’t start the season 0-3.
As for North, obviously, premiership favouritism has entered the chat.
Sydney (118) v Hawthorn (37)
A light training drill for the Swans, an existential crisis for the Hawks.
Any sense of reviewing this ‘game’ is completely pointless.
The Swans were ruthlessly professional, while the Hawks looked like one of those Tik Tok videos where a dad gets hit in the family jewels while the family all stands around and laugh.
Hawks coach Sam Mitchell said after the game, "We've got some challenges," proving he is one of the greatest deadpan comics alive.
That’s like me saying I have ‘a few character flaws.’
The Swans will be thrilled the Hawks gave Logan McDonald and Joel Amartey some confidence and allowed them to try some things, but they were as untroubled as you can be in a game of footy.
Essendon (108) v Gold Coast (80)
I’ve said it a thousand times, never let Kyle Langford boot five goals against you.
But did Gold Coast listen? No.
With Essendon missing Sam Weideman, Peter Wright and Jake Stringer, this was probably a pretty good chance for the Suns to snatch a victory, enter Langford.
The 2023 Coleman Medallist was the difference in what was a fairly even and entertaining game until the Bombers managed to pull away in the last quarter.
For the Suns, starting the season 0-2 is territory as familiar to them as my couch is to me.
For Essendon, these flashes of competency aren’t familiar, and while the sample size is small, it’s a trend we wouldn’t want to continue.
I mean, I’ve lived through Essendon and Carlton being good before, and it was like hell had opened and we lived amongst it.
That’s not an exaggeration either. If anything, I’m understating it.
Just ask anyone over twenty-five years old.
West Coast (100) v Greater Western Sydney (81)
In a shocking development, the West Eagles won a game, raising concern about just how bad the Giants are.
Perhaps the most relatable Giant is Jacob Wehr, who got hammered by Shane McAdam last week, only for Liam Duggan to clean him up this week.
There are those periods in life when you just can’t take a trick. I call these the moment between birth and death.
The second quarter was when it all happened, with the Eagles booting six unanswered goals, as the Giants midfield provided all the resistance of crepe paper.
The Giants recovered late, when the Eagles were well ahead and looked exhausted, but overall, there were more worrying signs than my annual health check.
For West Coast, this was probably their best performance in years, answering critics who didn’t have them in the best two footy teams in Western Australia.
Next week they play Freo, a chance to prove who is the least worst team in the state.
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