Jun 03, 2024


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: Round Twelve


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.


Port Adelaide (71) v Carlton (107)

The AFL’s new interpretation of holding the ball delivered what we all hoped for, greater confusion.

The new interpretation of holding the ball issued by the AFL reads:

An umpire will rule ‘holding the ball’ after considering the following factors: 

·      How the umpire is feeling at that exact moment

·      The phase of the moon on the day

·      Are we in an El Niño or La Niña? 

·      Is it an odd or even day?

·      Has the Soviet submarine captain you are following done any ‘Crazy Ivans’ and were they to the port or starboard?

·      Is the umpire hangry?

·      The star sign of the player being tackled

To me, these all seem sensible tweaks and further proof the AFL is not just making the rules up as they go along.

A few weeks ago, I was cautiously optimistic that Carlton’s resurgence had faded somewhat.

Alas, thanks to Port Adelaide hating scoring, that hope has at least been put on the back burner.

The Power keep wanting to be taken seriously, but like Simon in procurement, they then turn in this performance in front of everyone on a Thursday night.

Port wasn’t helped by Patrick Cripps deciding he wanted to win the game in the final quarter, so they did.

Imagine being that good at something. Imagine just being good at something.   

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Collingwood (82) v Western Bulldogs (100)

The Bulldogs continued to be the most perplexing side in the league.

One minute the coach is about to be sacked and half the players are in rebellion, the next they are beating the premiers.

This game had a fair bit of heat in it, with Sam Darcy taking out Brayden Maynard in a completely unnecessary moment of madness.

Darcy was rightly suspended, and Pies fans were outraged given Maynard’s record as a cleanskin who always plays the ball.

The Pies looked good at many points, with Nick Daicos amassing 16 clearances.

Really, the kid is just showing off now.

Not to be outdone, Marcus Bontempelli responded with 38 disposals, 10 clearances and two goals.

Sam Darcy also starred up forward with three goals as the Bulldogs pulled away late despite Harmes and Vandermeer both being off injured.


Hawthorn (107) v Adelaide (80)

In a year of depressing events, the rise of the Hawthorn Football Club is right up there.

If they’d held on against Port, they’d have won their last five games and five of their last seven.

For the billions of people around the globe who were hoping for an Essendon/Carlton-like decades in the wilderness for the Hawks, this has been a crushing few weeks 

The Hawks were full of energy in this, while the Crows made multiple simple errors throughout the game.

They just didn’t look well drilled. Simple things like manning the goal square in defence seemed not to occur to them.

But really, I mean, Hawthorn are good again? We have to mentally prepare for that?

It’s just relentless.

West Coast (68) v St Kilda (82)

Harley Reid has been suspended!

Without winning the Rising Star, how will Reid be able to grow his profile or get media coverage?

Will he even get offered another contract without the Rising Star award on his mantlepiece?

Does this raise questions about whether we should change the rules of the Rising Star to fit the narrative that he was going to win it?

Sam Darcy is also going to be out of the running which means some absolute loser will probably now win it. Boooo!

Really, we should just scrap the Rising Star and replace it with a new award for the best first-year player, the Harley Reid Medal 

I can see The West Australian getting right behind this idea.

To give some comfort to Harley, no one good has won the Rising Star anyway.

Oh, St Kilda won this game.

Geelong (99) v Richmond (69)

The Tigers were plucky, which no fan wants to hear said about their team.

The Cats first half was messier than a billionaire’s divorce. It was so bad that Richmond were actually winning at halftime.

Geelong fans were shocked and the Tigers fans were surprised.

Richmond fans also knew it couldn’t last. We fans can sense these things.

And it didn’t last.

Even worse, Mykelti Lefau ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament, in a further sign that the Tigers are cursed this year.

They are getting into ‘just name the players who aren’t injured’ territory.

Finally, the Cats got moving in the second half, but it wasn’t what you’d call a convincing result.


Melbourne (40) v Fremantle (141)

The Melbourne Football Club gifted the Dockers a surprise bye on Sunday, turning in a performance so bad even Simon Goodwin couldn’t defend it.

To be clear up front, Fremantle were fantastic and are a team that is only going to get better, but the Dees performance had 2009 levels of effort.

Melbourne have been trying to convince everyone they are not very good for weeks now, and Fremantle was only too happy to help.

For a midfield so vaunted, the Melbourne midfield can sure lose a lot of clearances, and in this one, they just waved the white flag.

Given the skills of the team, it’s amazing they didn’t poke someone’s eye out with that white flag.

Fremantle realised early on that if they waited 0.00000453 seconds, the Dees would turn the ball over.

As the Dockers got away in the second half, the Melbourne players, with less than a handful of exceptions, got down on the ground and assumed the foetal position and waited for the game to be over.

Not to overcook it, but not since the French Army in 1940 have a group of people so shambolically surrendered so quickly.

It’s probably the reckoning the team had to have (if the West Coast loss wasn’t that).

For the past few years, they’ve been cruising off the 2021 premiership, while the improvement across the team has been minimal, and the entry into, and the forward line problems, have never been fixed.

It’s hard to admit that whatever you’ve been doing hasn’t worked.

Melbourne’s problem is they have kept thinking they were close when everyone else could see they weren’t.

Every Melbourne supporter has known this for a while.

The only silver lining is you can’t go out of the finals in straight sets three years in a row, if you don’t play finals.

I’ve got a show in Melbourne this Friday June 7. There are a few tickets left and I’ve added another show on Friday 21 June. You can get tickets here.

Shows in other states to be announced soon.

Gold Coast (91) v Essendon (80)

It’s June, and Gold Coast are in the eight, and so is Essendon.

And neither team should give up on staying there after this display.

Essendon, still SECOND ON THE LADDER, may not have got the win, but this was a close game and both sides not only played good footy, but they were also entertaining.

As every footy fan knows, the reason we go to the footy is to see umpires award free kicks for player’s returning the ball to the wrong person.

The footy media keep trying to convince us the mark is the most exciting play in the game, but it pales in comparison with the pure majesty of the moment when Touk Miller was awarded a fifty-meter penalty after Jayden Laverde failed to return the ball correctly.

I just hope I live long enough to be able to tell my grandkids about it.

Essendon will also wish they had kicked a little straighter but given many thought they would soon fall off a cliff (OK hoping), the Bombers showed they are made of solid stuff this year.

As for the Suns, they need to solidify their spot in the top eight, but it’s exciting to think that soon, their fans may learn about a little thing called finals.

BYE: Brisbane, North Melbourne, Sydney, Fremantle, Greater Western Sydney

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



Go Doggies

Jun 03, 2024

Who cares about the rising star. Considering Marcus Bontempelli didn't win it, it has only diminished the award's prestige. Try googling the award winner in 2014. No I haven't heard of him either.

Lilac Mist

Jun 03, 2024

I’m conflicted Titus. I logged in to gloat but your dejected ranting about Melbourne’s performance makes you sound one of us after yet another Freo false dawn. If only we had a recent (or any) premiership to cling to.


Jun 03, 2024

Fremantle listed in the teams who had a bye this week? Now that’s funny, Titus.

Alan Wellington

Jun 03, 2024

Melbourne arrived at the Springs and the locals invited them to a Corrobaree. Melbourne over stayed the celebrations and missed the game.

Greg March

Jun 03, 2024

Titus - you forgot to mention the brilliant Sydney Swans - by not playing they enhanced their ladder leadership...imagine if they had played a game...

John Russell

Jun 03, 2024

An abysmal performance by an over rated team. Get real, 110% effort from now on or back to the 2OOS

The g train

Jun 03, 2024

Agree with pretty much everything you wrote, Titus. Especially the clear implication that there is one “holding the ball” rule for N Diacos, and a completely and utterly different one for everyone else.

Melbourne’s performance was WCE circa 2022-23. Astonishing. The lift heading downwards is in free fall. Will it even stop before 50km?

Sam Snead

Jun 03, 2024

The difference between the 2019 Eagles and the current crop reminds of my younger self. I use to be able to ‘perform’ anywhere, anytime but these days I can only ‘get up’ if I’m being told that I am amazing and getting constant affirmation for executing basic skills.


Jun 03, 2024

Sadly Titus, your description of the Demons is !00% correct and the best summation of the performance I have read. There's so much wrong at Melbourne. Against the Magpies next week, I predict they'll fly the flag for about two quarters before the Pies run them over with a bus.

Worst Austalian News

Jun 03, 2024

Strangely the Worst Australian newspaper (ok... rag) only devoted the back page and a bit more to Harley Reid this week rather than the usual 6 page wrap around. The journos (I use that term lightly) seemed not to notice once again that the Dockers won another game and this time by 92 points. Seeing as the Worst think there is only one player in the Eagles team - will they forfeit as they can't field a team?

Son of plugger

Jun 03, 2024

Excellent summary, Titus, of WCE vs StK game. StK won. Even Ross Lyon acknowledged that. He was still a bit upset—he said that his plan was to kick less than 70pts and (hopefully) win the game. Kicking over 80pts wasn’t the plan. “Our plan was to kick the ball going forward to Max King, no matter how many defenders were on him. It’s not an excuse, but we had no way of knowing he would go off injured. This freed up our forward line and we scored more often than we would have liked”.


Jun 03, 2024

"If they’d held on against Port, they’d have won their last five games and five of their last seven."

Fair odds that this was meant to say "six of the last seven."

Robbie C

Jun 03, 2024

Thanks Titus you went on and on about Harley read but no mention of the mighty Saints, the team who has the coach with all the excuses.


Jun 03, 2024

Hahahaha. Fremantle in the teams listed as 'Bye' this week. Gold.


Jun 03, 2024

Hi Titus,
The Melb performance reminds me of the year Barassi was coach. We won one game for the year by a point. We bought in Kelvin Templeton, Peter Moore. Hope we're not heading back to those days.

Hamstring Harry

Jun 03, 2024

The Western Bulldogs also successfully employed the tactic, highlighted previously by Titus, of kicking (and handballing and tapping) the ball to Darcy Moore. Carlton has also recently used this tactic with Mac Andrews and Alir Alir. Many teams also adopt this successful tactic with Tom Stewart, and others such as Steven May and Harris Andrews

Mosis Syndes

Jun 03, 2024

To be honest, O'Reily ... and being honest is the go; wouldn't Darcy think twice about making contact with Maynard's head considering GRENATITE measures at 4,200 density??


Jun 03, 2024

Hey Titus for all the disrespect you've shown the Dockers over the years, in the words of Nelson HAHA!


Jun 03, 2024


That seems about right. With Titus O'Reily the Dockers don't get no respect.


Jun 03, 2024

56 years of support for this team. Worst performance ever seeing that 15 players have premiership medals round their necks. Numbers 1, 3, 5 ,7,11, 13, 15, 17, 25, 31, 35. Is there a pattern here?

Fat Side

Jun 04, 2024

Umps deliberating at the conclusion of the game:
Ump 1 - "Smith was very fair today; helped his opponent up after a tackle, but Collins congratulated his opponent on a great mark"
Ump 2 - "Yes, but Jones admitted that he didn't touch the ball on the goal line and Harris thanked me at the end of the game"
Ump 3 - "Of those four fairest-on-the-ground players, Smith probably played the best, so we'll give him the 3 Brownlow votes"


Jun 04, 2024


How odd!