Some random thoughts on a bad morning

All we are really looking for in this life is a connection.

For all the brash talk sometimes of not needing anyone else, all we really want is some connection to other people, to something bigger than ourselves, to the broad mass of humankind.

It’s kind of the reason we follow sport as passionately as we do. Deep down on some level we know it’s silly, pointless really in the scheme of things.

Yet it’s never really about a game where a bunch of people chase a ball around or arguing about whether one grown man properly disposed of the ball or held a mark long enough. It’s the human element, that connection to other people, often people we have never met.

It’s even people we’ve never heard about but we know are out there. That mass of footy fans out there, all riding the highs and lows, all pouring time into something that only has meaning because we all choose to give it meaning.

There are far better people than me to eulogise Phil Walsh. I imagine what we are all feeling is a very poor facsimile of what the people who actually knew him are currently feeling.

So why do the rest of us react to this like we do? To the passing of someone we didn’t even know? After all, it’s a sad fact of life that wonderful people pass away all the time, often to the ignorance of the majority of us.

I think we react like this because what we feel is the breaking of one of those connections.

Someone who cared about something we did, who shared experiences, probably admired people we did and shared the joy and frustrations of this game is gone.

We also sense something that is at the heart of much of life; that it often makes no sense. Searching for meaning where there is none is part of why we all feel a bit lost this morning.

The only comfort I can find in this is that so many others are feeling what I’m feeling today. We’re all connected because of football and we are lucky to be.

Vale Phil Walsh


  1. ManuelCalavera_

    TitusOReily great work mate. You just keep on producing the goods.

  2. Casey White

    This is wonderfully written Beau Greenway Jack Vogan Kelsey Smith.

  3. DMiddleton_04

    TitusOReily You captured it all perfectly. Amazing words.

  4. wooda69r

    TitusOReily this was a brilliant read on such a sad day,, thanks very much mate #loveyourwork #RIPPhilWalsh

  5. ozwinereview

    TitusOReily always hard to write something meaningful when you don’t know someone personally (but care). Nice work.

  6. Andrew Johnston

    Brilliant article old boy, I think you have summed up how we all feel

  7. presentationnight

    Beautifully put Titus. The greatest aspect of football well beyond the number of disposals and hard ball gets lies in how we’re all drawn together as a community. It gives us a common bond, a language that we all speak together and it helps is understand each other a tiny bit better. It’s a very sad day

  8. marvin040

    TitusOReily one of your best pieces on a morning when I can’t seem to make sentences, or sense or things.

  9. Bonjour_Pippy

    TitusOReily Incredible summation & heart warming.

  10. TonyAiscom

    TitusOReily well written, says all that can be said from those not directly involved

  11. Geoff Schaefer

    Your finest work to date Titus. You have nailed it! The most moving thing I’ve read this morning and I’ve read a lot…

  12. Noni Primrose

    Thank you. Just tweeted link to trolling female I follow ed. You got it right.

  13. TalkingCarlton

    TitusOReily Some well considered context given to a terrible tragedy. Thank you.

  14. Natalie Webster

    Danny Webster Paul Webster Cheyne Webster Roger Sutherland

  15. oldcoady34

    TitusOReily thanks Titus. You make sense of the hopelessness senseless feeling. #RIPPhilWalsh

  16. Barry Wong

    An atypical Titus article. Yet as enlightening as ever. Thank you. It helps.

  17. Malcolm Makkinga

    I have no words of my own (I’m sure I’m not the only one). Thanks for articulating this.

  18. catlucas50

    TitusOReily this was so well written. Very true. #RIPPhilWalsh

  19. pgcOneMoon

    TitusOReily Beautifully put Titus. Nailed it again.

  20. 73simmo

    TitusOReily well written piece mate. Portrays the feelings I have currently #RIPPhilWalsh

  21. Daniel Cohen

    Great piece Titus. But unfortunately there were no answers. #Neverwillbe

  22. bryphelan

    TitusOReily thank you Titus, just what I needed to read today. Beautifully said

  23. majorstar11

    TitusOReily outstanding read, very well said! #RIPPhilWalsh

  24. Emmalee O'Grady

    “… a very poor facsimile of what the people who actually knew him are currently feeling.” But the whole thing was perfection.

  25. Cami181

    TitusOReily Spot on Titus. Said what we are thinking better than we could.

  26. dannorto

    TitusOReily thank you for sharing your thoughts. I often wonder why sport is so important to us – you have explained it perfectly.

  27. Rebecca Nicholson

    You’ve tapped into the mood and described it so well. Thanks for the words.

  28. JamieMills2

    Perhaps your best post yet Titus. Well played sir…
    Vale Phil Walsh

  29. Stevo1944

    Thank you Titus for putting into words so eloquently, how we all feel today.

  30. Storeman_Norman

    TitusOReily well done. Your random thoughts sum it up perfectly. Days like today stop us all in our tracks.

  31. Gregory Robert Sparks

    Still coming to terms about this tragic news!

  32. pgoog59

    You are indeed a sage Titus and one most needed at this sad time. Connections have been strengthened. Thank you.

  33. Stephen Edward Cusack

    Thank you Titus. Putting feelings into words for those of us who don’t know what to say at times like these.

  34. michaeldillon

    well said, it is very hard to find the words to explain how I feel today. Thank you your words help make sense out of such a sad sad day.

  35. Gemma Houston

    Spot on. Some of my closest friends have come from being originally a random name on a supporter website. Other still I’ve never met, but we all are connected by our love for footy, even if it’s not the same team. Footy is a family, and the family has taken a massive, unthinkable blow today. Thank you for helping explain it.

  36. DalgleishKD

    TitusOReily Sums things up very succinctly. RIP Phil Walsh

  37. GlennFinkelde

    TitusOReily your funny stuff is brilliant. Your serious stuff is superb. Well done

  38. eatay3

    TitusOReily Very sad news, reminds me we all can look out for each other. Take care.

  39. Nathan Hanrahan

    Beautifully written Titus. What you have put together makes so much sense, whereas this tragedy does not.
    R.I.P. Phil

  40. The Original Buzz

    Thank you Titus, eloquently put and beautifully written. As a Carlton fan and footy tragic, his passing is still felt by me and fans of all AFL clubs including those fans in other countries.

    I feel that something good has been stolen from the game that we may never get back.  He is a widely respected and admired man.

  41. roguebogan

    Thank you for those beautiful words Titus. Well said.

  42. Nick Shady

    Truly well said, made me feel ill this morning when I saw the news.

  43. tonyb1971

    Well said. The whole city of Adelaide is in shock at such a senseless loss, regardless of team loyalties.

  44. MrAFL

    TitusOReily spot on with those thoughts mate. Gutted for all close to him and shocked & sad as one of the football family.

  45. darynepearson

    TitusOReily Thank you. Just needed to hear something like this. For all your sarcasm (and mine), we all feel the same. Loss is numbing

  46. Greg Barfoot

    Well said Titus, I am giving you a standing ovation.

  47. Mr Wisdoms Whopper

    Your thoughts and words are spot on. Thank you.

  48. TheRawFanatics

    TitusOReily well written and sums up pretty much what most feel

  49. JulieHuckin

    TitusOReily Beautifully written, moving to read. Thank you

  50. bjannan

    TitusOReily forget drugs, throws are ruining our game. “Quick hands” we call them, umpires ignore them. Been one million by Hawks tonight.

  51. randompersonno4

    Pretty much sums it up. I think a lot of us turn to footy as a means of escape from the real world, and at times like this we are reminded that footy is part of the real world and can hurt just as much. Very well said

  52. juleseadams

    TitusOReily Thanks Titus. Lovely words on a sad day. #RIPPhilWalsh

  53. steve_dost

    TitusOReily nice piece mate. Really sums up what we’re collectively going through.

  54. MichaelCahill

    TitusOReily beautifully written Titus. #valephilwalsh

  55. mattgoudie

    TitusOReily good article. ‘Intense’ seems to be the adjective to describe the man

  56. adriansal

    TitusOReily this is the best one you’ve done mate.

  57. misanthropicfcuk

    On point Titus, glad to see a pause in the laughter to acknowledge the tragic loss of a fellow member of our collective passion. 

    We do all separate into our little groups whilst claiming to hate the enemy but instances like this prove when real life stuff happens, we drop the facade just for a bit to stand as one.

    I didn’t see much of Phil so I don’t know him as a person but the little I saw of him in interviews and as a Coach showed him to be as thoughtful and passionate as any person who came before him in Football. 

    Obviously the loss is mostly with his family/friends/loved ones and to a lesser degree the AFC. But the game as a whole and we as followers of it lost a great contributor.

    RIP Phil.

  58. revdanichols

    TitusOReily you write extremely well. That was next level stuff. Vocalised what so many were feeling.

  59. velvet_pancakes

    TitusOReily loved it, also loved that you got on with the funny business, & at the appropriate time. Laughter is truly the best medicine U0001f44f

  60. Clairej305J

    TitusOReily Beautifully said. Usually it’s your wicked tongue I admire, but in this, such eloquence & heartfeltedness. Thankyou

  61. TheGarvis

    TitusOReily it really was beautifully written, we are all going through this together #weflyasone

  62. msanniemac

    TitusOReily Yep you’ve hit the mark. Also it’s rare to have someone we feel a connection with – however distant – suffer such a violent end

  63. Brim63

    TitusOReily I love your sarcasm & wit but that article was poignant & just lovely #weflyasone

  64. Hotwillydog

    TitusOReily was very well written.
    On another note i’d like to thank Melbourne for giving the Eagles the 4th quarter off last night!

  65. selthy15

    TitusOReily Your best ever piece. Your mastery of words is brilliant.

  66. mr_d4

    TitusOReily WOW! 4 all your wit & humour, that was out of the box.Sport is reality TV & u perfectly summed up the source of this connection

  67. Tonks105

    TitusOReily so proud of my club over the past few days!! Thank you!

  68. pat_renwick

    TitusOReily top effort Titus, love your gags but really thought provoking piece on a crap day, quality stuff

  69. elkniwt

    Stick to your very funny cynical analysis of AFL, Titus and spare us this psychobabble. There’s no “deeper” meaning to footy – -its just entetainment.

  70. Andrew Johnston

    I loved this article Titus. On a rough morning, reading this made me feel so much better. Still the article I remember most.

  71. Dylan Fisher

    This pretty much summed up the feeling that day! Well written Titus

  72. Geoff Schaefer

    You nailed what many of us felt Titus. Top effort mate!

  73. Anthea Miller

    Well said Titus O’Reily I remember reading this at the time… It helped.

  74. Camille Heckley

    This was my favorite of yours. Great writing on a day we all struggled to find words.

  75. Scott Mclaughlin

    Best piece mate. Still hard to believe he is no longer here.

  76. Steph McEachen

    An amazing piece of work ‘Mr O’Reily’ It was such a moving week of football borne out of such a tragedy and I am so proud of how it was handled. RIP Phil Walsh.

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