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.
West Coast (125) v Richmond (57)
We were spoiled this week with good games. This game wasn’t one of them though. It was one of the other ones that was at least full of comic value.
To sort of paraphrase Damien Hardwick, this was certainly ‘one step backwards, two steps backwards’.
If he lasts until the end of 2018, the Tigers will have done more walking backwards, while pretending to move forwards, than Michael Jackson.
This weekend was a reminder that effort is the single biggest factor to a side doing well. Just look at the Saints. Richmond put in about as much effort in this game as I did writing this column (they may also have been drunk).
The Eagles just simply got the job done. They would be pretty happy to have not lost again to Richmond at home, ending a rather odd recent trend.
Add in Fremantle’s problems and it was a nice little weekend for West Coast supporters.
Essendon (42) v Geelong (72)
Essendon may be missing half their side but they showed again that effort alone can actually take you pretty far in the AFL.
It also helps that Geelong were more inaccurate than a ‘fact’ on Big Footy.
The Bombers showed that they are at least going to give it a shot this season and it was only when Geelong decided they better take things seriously that the Cats pulled away.
The Cats are yet to really impress me yet. They were great against Hawthorn but the Hawks had a lot of injuries. They’d want to show a lot more if we’re going to take them seriously.
To think, Collingwood now face the Bombers for the ANZAC Day clash. Suddenly that looks like a game worth watching for the laughs alone.
Hawthorn (87) v St Kilda (84)
Oh umpire. In fairness, asking a bunch of people to guess a variety of distances during an AFL game is asking for trouble and trouble is what we got.
St Kilda were very unlucky to have a couple of calls go against them for not travelling the required distance when they probably did.
Perhaps we could stop the game every time and get a measuring tape out? It would give the broadcaster a chance to put in more ads and Australians also love games that are stop-start.
The Saints had their chances to win this though and you can’t blame the umpires for everything, as much as it’s fun to do so.
Yet again, the Saints showed they are progressing well. I said this all last year, they try the Saints and the skill level is slowly rising. This for me was a big tick for their progress.
Hawthorn will have been pretty happy to flee Tasmania with the four points, as they seemed at numerous points to be destined for a loss.
They don’t give up the Hawks and their ability to hit targets under pressure is probably what separates them from the rest of the league.
Next week, they take on Adelaide in what may be the best Friday night game we’ve been offered in some time. Won’t that be nice.
Brisbane (107) v Gold Coast (94)
This was impressive from the Lions, especially since they lost James Aish in the off season who is currently having so much success with the Pies.
What was especially nice about this victory is that the Lions completely deserved it and it was a nice bit of karma after serial thug Steven May ran through Stefan Martin, knocking him out. There was nothing tough about it, it was a childish act by a man-child.
This was a pretty spiteful affair overall; who knew people cared that much about being the best AFL team in Queensland? It was nice to see actually.
The Lions showed they could handle all aspects of the game against the Suns and perhaps they can build off this.
The Suns however are another story. So far they’ve played Essendon, Fremantle, Carlton and Brisbane.
They haven’t been tested at all and if they are meant to be finals bound they shouldn’t have lost this game.
Next they play North Melbourne and then Geelong in Geelong. It could be a tough few weeks for the Suns.
Carlton (49) v Western Bulldogs (85)
Carlton’s season, for the first time in a long time, is going exactly to plan. It helps that their plan is to not win any games. Perhaps that’s been the problem all along, right results, wrong plan.
The Bulldogs will be a bit disappointed despite the win with Jason Johannisen doing his hamstring. It must have been tempting to rest the entire side in this one.
Still they did have a few VFL players in the team. Tom Boyd did one of the all-time great falcons I’ve ever seen. The ball bounced off his head and landed several suburbs over.
Finally, he’s provided us with a highlight,
Adelaide (113) v Sydney (103)
Now this was a game. Both sides gave this everything and I broke my 10pm bedtime to stay up and watch the end of it. Something I never do lightly.
It was a game that showed the Crows may be a bit different this year. Sydney came at them so hard that I thought at some point Adelaide would wilt but the Crows stood up to them and matched them.
Toughness was probably a bit of a question mark I had over the Crows and they’ve answered that and then some.
Yet disappointingly, while the Crows might be good at football, they’re not going to play in China, which is what fans really want from their team.
Sydney would be disappointed with the result but not the effort overall. This was such a good game it makes me itch to see the finals this year. Although that itch could be a result of not showering for a few days.
Greater Western Sydney (151) v Port Adelaide (65)
All this talk of China is nice but Port might want to consider playing a regular season game in Australia.
This was embarrassing for a side that was supposedly on their way back this season. It made a mockery of them claiming they ‘never give up’ as they folded faster than a Malcolm Turnbull tax plan.
It does make you wonder what is going on at Port Adelaide. This was a performance of a side so far off the top eight they may as well move to China permanently and take up a different sport.
The Giants showed that they can finish off a side when they need to. This was brutal stuff from them as they toyed with the Power.
Are they now the good expansion team? Is there a good expansion team?
Next week, Jeremy Cameron is available so we will now get a sense of how far the Giants can go this year.
Collingwood (67) v Melbourne (102)
Whoever lost this was going to come under enormous pressure and in the end it wasn’t even close.
Collingwood made a strategic mistake going into the season without a forward line and it certainly showed here. They probably also made a mistake not having a defence too.
The Pies are bad. Really bad. There were several periods of play were they reminded me of Melbourne a few years ago. They found creative ways to manufacture stuff ups.
Adam Treloar at one point was in front of goal and kicked into an opponent which capped a comedy of errors that denied the Pies a certain goal.
Melbourne on the other hand showed they can crush a team if that team isn’t willing to work. The question for the Demons is, can they bring this effort consistently and against an opposition that has an actual game plan?
Will Buckley last the season? Who knows but there were points in this one that made me wonder if he’d last the game.
North Melbourne (132) v Fremantle (101)
People are going on and on about the Dockers decline, mainly because it’s really fun. Turns out Ross Lyon’s attempts to ruin football have earnt him some haters.
Those haters may now include Dockers fans who have every right to wonder what the hell has happened.
Is it possible a few rule changes have destroyed Ross’ stoppage heavy style? If it is, it’s the first time we can be happy with the AFL’s rule tinkerers.
North on the other hand have found a consistency they have previously lacked. In previous years they would have lost at least one of these first four games but instead they sit undefeated on the top of the ladder.
They’ve got the whole team functioning well.
Even Jarrad Waite is thriving, proving again that if you want a great forward, get a decent one from Carlton.
Can the Kangaroos keep this up? It suddenly appears they may do so. What is this madness?