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 (112) v Essendon (51)
Before we start, lets acknowledge up front the inconsistency of the umpiring over the weekend, otherwise I’d have to write about it in every match review.
It’s almost like the constant tinkering with the rules makes it difficult for the umpires.
To me it just appeared a mess overall, I’m sure we all think our team was the worst affected (and of course it was) but I just spent a lot of time just scratching my head.
Anyway, this game was terrible with Essendon remembering the old footy adage ‘you can’t play Melbourne every week’.
This game was being broadcast into China, which must have made a lot of Chinese citizens wonder what the point of living in a country with state censorship if this can still be shown.
This actually felt like propaganda too, Port’s performance will make the Chinese think the Power are a good side when really, playing against Essendon this year is going to make a lot of AFL teams look good.
Oh, and don’t point to Melbourne, they aren’t a real AFL team.
The Power at least got the job done and I think this performance could really cement that top 14 finish they’ve got their eye on.
St Kilda (119) v Collingwood (90)
Oh, we shouldn’t laugh but handing over the senior coach position from Mick Malthouse to Buckley has made more Australians happy than anything since no fault divorces were introduced in 1975.
Sure, the Pies had lots of injuries but St Kilda had more than their fair share too. It’s hard not to think the Pies players just aren’t playing for Buckley. They seemed to want to be somewhere else for the majority of this game.
Are the Pies in crisis mode? No, this is actually the norm for them under Buckley. This is just following the downward trend line.
Not to take anything away from St Kilda. They were celebrating their one and only Premiership’s 50th anniversary and they played with that spirit.
Even with Nick Riewoldt off with concussion, the Saints continued to out work the Pies, who looked like a group of people who thought defending was an optional component of the game.
I was actually thrilled for the Saints. Given their history, I expected they’d have to celebrate the ‘66 Premiership at the special event that night with a fresh loss in their memories.
Instead, they got to drink the night away after beating Collingwood, a happy time for anyone.
Richmond (92) v Adelaide (128)
I’m not on the Crows bandwagon yet but I had a look online at where I can buy tickets. Not that I’m losing my mind over them. They’ve beaten Chinese team Port Adelaide and now Richmond, hardly top four contenders.
But the Crows move the ball well, seem to have some sort of game plan going on and work together in a coordinated fashion.
Richmond appear to do the opposite of these things. A lot of the time they appear to have never played together before and at other times they look like they’ve never played AFL before.
Where Adelaide looked to pass to teammates, Richmond seemed keen to hit Crows players on the chest with relentless regularity.
How Tigers fans aren’t marching on Punt Road, pitchforks, torches and manure held aloft is a mystery to me.
While Collingwood may have erred extending Buckley’s contract, at least it was only by twelve months.
Richmond decided to extend Damien Hardwick until the end of 2018. 2018! He’s been there since 2010 and they haven’t won a final.
It’s not like clubs were circling, desperately wanting to poach him away.
In fact, other teams were keen to help ensure he stayed there.
The Tigers play the Eagles in Perth next week so start drinking Richmond fans.
Oh, yes just continue on then.
Sydney (93) v Greater Western Sydney (68)
For the first time ever, this felt like an actual rivalry and not something Kevin Sheedy and the work experience kid in marketing came up with.
The game was pretty intense with both sides running hard and being very physical in close.
The Giants would have to be pretty filthy with Jeremy Cameron’s suspension. They could have really done with him in this one. He owes them big time.
Sydney are making a mockery of all those Melbourne clubs who keep banging on about ‘rebuilding’. Their list is young yet they play with such ferocity and skill.
They’ve found players from every source too, from the Rookie draft to trades. There’s a reason they do well, it’s the same as Hawthorn. They know what to look for, heart and then they put them into a system that teaches them to be great.
Think about that the next time Damien Hardwick tells Richmond fans they need to be ‘patient’. I think Tiger fans have been pretty bloody patient for a very long time.
In this one, Sydney just had that extra level of class. From Buddy Franklin to Luke Parker, they just had the extra gear the Giants lacked.
Get ready for Melbourne teams to start complaining about the Swans again.
Gold Coast (95) v Carlton (41)
Carlton’s season is certainly going to plan. They’re playing the kids and have a real shot at ‘winning’ the number one draft pick
What’s happened to clubs like Carlton, once titans of the sport?
It’s like they forgot how to play football somewhere along the way. Some will say it’s more they never knew how but could buy their way around it but now they can’t.
I would never say that of course.
This ‘bottoming out’ seems to lead to teams never getting back to the top more often than them doing a Hawthorn.
It’s not exactly a fool proof strategy. It’s like the people running AFL clubs played Madden franchise mode too much as kids and think this approach works in real life.
Still, rest easy Blues fans I’m sure Carlton now what they’re doing.
The Suns are starting to get mentioned as being on the right track and perhaps this is true.
They have however only played Essendon, Fremantle and Carlton, so I’m going to wait a bit before I start pretending I tipped them to be good at the start of the year.
In this match they were solid without being amazing. In fairness, you don’t need to be amazing to beat Carlton, you just need to turn up but Rodney Eade wasn’t exactly thrilled with the performance.
West Coast (92) v Fremantle (59)
The Eagles returned to Perth with their wedge-tail tucked firmly between their legs after that performance against the Hawks.
Luckily, they had the Dockers to help play them back into some form. Not that the Eagles were super convincing.
In fact, the Dockers looked on track to be causing a major upset, right until Aaron Sandilands suffered a punctured lung and some rib damage after a stray Nic Naitanui knee.
The Eagles were also doing a fair job of keeping the Dockers in it by adopting Travis Cloke levels of accuracy in front of goal.
Overall though, the Eagles looked far superior to the Dockers and despite the loss to the Hawks, we have only played three rounds. They still have a few weeks to work on things before finals.
Fremantle may not have fixed all their scoring problems when they recruited no key forwards in the offseason.
They’ve also had some bad injuries so they’ll probably be awful for a few more rounds then cause havoc in the back end of the season. Not enough to win them a premiership or anything but enough to ruin our tips.
North Melbourne (136) v Melbourne (131)
Melbourne may not be able to win two games in a row but they can manufacture two losses in a row, no problem.
Oh, I should be praising them for their effort after the week before but this just showed what they’re capable of. This effort should be standard, not a monthly occurrence.
They blew this too. Jack Watts’ bizarre attempt to pass to Hogan instead of having a shot at goal and Aaron vandenBerg’s running miss both in the final quarter cost the Dees dearly.
Instead, this will be written up as a great comeback after last week’s insipid display and a brave loss.
Melbourne are past being able to point to effort alone. This was a loss, only wins matter for them. Talk of potential and trying hard are well passed their used by date.
North once again lent heavily on Todd Goldstein (who had a great battle with Gawn for three quarters) and Boomer Harvey who booted six goals and was probably the difference.
The Kangaroos play Fremantle next week and have a great chance to set themselves up for the season and arguably put the final nail in the Dockers coffin.
Western Bulldogs (90) v Hawthorn (93)
We should have broadcast this game into China.
This was a classic and not a ‘classic’ as in when a mate trips over something and spills their drink or some other banal event. This was a true classic.
The Bulldogs are just amazing. Their run is like poetry, if poetry was entertaining. They also play with a confidence that is pretty scary in such a young side.
In this game though they saw the extra level a champion team can go to.
It was a cruel lesson and one that was darkened by a possible ACL to Bob Murphy.
Murphy is a champion of our game and also a rare footballer in that he speaks full sentences and displays original thought. Just the idea this could be it for him is genuinely upsetting. I know we are all hoping for some good news on that front.
Hawthorn are just something else. Numerous times I thought they were done in this game and not because they were playing poorly but because the Doggies were just so, so good.
When you consider the Hawks have Hodge and Roughead to come back, you wonder why we bother playing the season anymore.
James Sicily looks to be another star for Hawthorn and aren’t we all just thrilled about that?
But this was a beautiful game to watch. It’s why we all love this sport despite the fact it regularly tries to rip your heart out and show it to you.
I’m hopeful this is the first of many great games between these sides, the Doggies should walk out of this one angry and ready for the next.
Geelong (125) v Brisbane (56)
So there’s a fried chicken shop that has just opened at the end of my street. It’s like a two-minute walk from my front door, maybe less.
It means that now I spend every minute at home thinking, ‘I could sure go some fried chicken right now’ and my usual laziness is not the buffer it once was to stop me.
Basically, I’m now living off fried chicken and I’m putting on weight and my skin looks like the surface of Mercury.
If this keeps up, the only thing stopping me from eating fried chicken is when I get too big to leave the house.
I think the only sensible solution is for me to move or burn the fried chicken store down.
Why am I telling you this? Because it’s more interesting than this game was.
The league desperately needs to get an AFL team in Brisbane.