The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Finals Week One

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 (96) v Hawthorn (64)

So now we know that the AFL finals are really just another excuse to troll Carlton fans and I’m OK with that.

It’s terrific that in a year the Blues have provided so much amusement they are still going strong in September.

Blues fans have been quick to point out over the weekend that they got Chris Judd for Josh Kennedy, which I guess is a worthwhile trade considering all those premierships Judd won them.

Watching these games, it occurred to me that it must be terrible being distracted from crazy trade speculation because your team is in the finals.

At least those fans whose teams are not participating can focus on what’s really important; who manages to dodge recruiting Matthew Kreuzer. It’s like a game of Russian Roulette.

This was a very entertaining game, mainly because it’s always fun listening to the commentators learning the Eagles’ player’s names in real time.

Only Dennis Cometti and Basil Zempilas had them covered and they were a nice counter balance to the pro-Hawthorn commentators.

For Hawks fans, this would have been a bizarre experience, not winning that is. I really hope they are supporting each other through this difficult time.

It mustn’t have been easy for them watching this. James Frawley even gave them a taste of what it’s like being a Melbourne fan.

He wilted so quickly under finals pressure that he really should have gone to Richmond.

Considering West Coast were without Brownlow medalist and Soul Glo ambassador Matthew Priddis, this was pretty scary. The Eagles have the forward set up to kick winning scores but also the midfield to put any team under enormous pressure.

The midfield just runs so deep and they just rotate people through who can all get the job done. They also play as a team. Watch them run for each other, to support or create options.

You can talk about the Eagles being better rested than the Hawks but that gap is only going to get bigger now that West Coast get a week off and the Hawks have to play Adelaide this week.

Damn these Perth clubs, they come over here and win a premiership every decade or so. Ruining the game and all that.

Fremantle (69) v Sydney (60)

The worst thing about the booing of Adam Goodes is how predictably boring it has become.

Yes, yes, you’re proving a point that you can boo whoever you want and yes, you’re totally not doing it for racist reasons. Good on you champ, you’re a real Aussie hero.

I’m sure there were many Dockers fans who thought those doing the booing were embarrassing themselves and the club. Ross Lyon slamming them should be applauded and so should the many Dockers fans that did the same.

For Sydney, this was a night of missed chances. Their goal kicking was woeful and 18 behinds when you lose by nine points really tells the whole story.

A lot was made of the fact it was quite windy. I guess they don’t have wind in Sydney then.

Fremantle weren’t that good either but managed to somehow get across the line. People keep saying they can’t win the premiership but stranger things have happened. I can see them winning it all and people saying ‘they weren’t impressive but they still managed to win’.

The conventional wisdom is that the Dockers can’t win it all because they don’t kick high enough scores but Lyon has had low scoring teams in the finals before and… oh, I get why everyone is saying that now. That totally makes sense.

I should add that Kurt Tippett is finally showing his worth after much deserved criticism in recent times (not from me of course, if you don’t count the stuff I wrote from 2014 to 2015).

Never doubted you Kurt!

Western Bulldogs (102) v Adelaide (109)

This was a bit like the old arcade game NBA Jam, defence was sort of a secondary consideration.

That didn’t make it bad though, it made it one of the greatest games I’ve seen and one of the rare times the saying ‘it’s a shame one of these teams had to lose’ was actually true.

AFL gets a bad rap and that’s mostly because we’ve got too many teams and too many spuds running around. Put the top teams against each other and its magic.

Fast, skilful, non-stop and tough, this was a reminder that we have an amazing game and don’t need to go around tinkering with it all the time.

This was a great match to convert people to our great game, which I did when two Jehovah’s witnesses knocked on my door in the second quarter.

Inviting them in, I converted them to the true religion by not allowing them to leave until it was over.

Unfortunately, they’ve selected Richmond as their team, so that will teach them for interrupting me during a final.

The Doggies have been just about the best thing in footy this year. It was fitting they went down all guns blazing. It was a true shoot out and they did not die wondering.

It’s cold comfort now but they look like they are going to be great in future years and hope is a wonderful thing for a footy club.

While watching the Sons of the West go out was heartbreaking, watching the Crows win was pretty great.

We all know the year they’ve had but perhaps one of the best things about this in a footy sense is this team is living up to it’s potential, a potential that last year looked like being squandered.

It was such a big win that in Adelaide, the bars stayed open until 11.00pm on the night.

Richmond (88) v North Melbourne (105)

After kicking into the wind last year, I guess the Tigers decided to take a risk and not play Trent Cotchin.

They seemed to omit quiet a few other key players too, which in hindsight was a mistake.

It makes you wonder why Richmond hates its fans so much. The torture they put their supporters through is just brutal. I can only assume Tiger supporters are suffering from some group Stockholm Syndrome that makes them forgive the mental anguish this team visits on the annually.

The more you look at the stats of this game, the more alarming the failure of their top players stands out.

Sure, there were some terrible umpiring decisions against the Tigers but overall, it was their players that were the authors of this disaster.

In fairness, it was co-authored by North who were fantastic. They negated the Richmond midfield in a way that was embarrassing, while playing their own game.

A lot will be made of the Roos being rested while the Tigers weren’t but that doesn’t explain the fact that most of Richmond’s key players didn’t fade, they didn’t show up at all.

Really, North should have won by more and deserved the victory in every way. The Kangaroos will now face Sydney but the bad news is they have to go to ANZ Stadium, that feels like something the loser should have to do.

Richmond now needs to make some big decisions regarding players and coach. May I suggest a five-year plan?

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  1. 20thCenturyDan

    TitusOReily I know your jokes sometimes are stale, but seriously, the ‘Adelaide bars open until 11:00pm’ one was dead in 1960.

  2. 20thCenturyDan

    TitusOReily And not a word about how BT shot his load over and over all over Jakey Stringer?

  3. AzzaDunton

    20thCenturyDan TitusOReily Yet you read it. Not exactly rocket science champ

  4. iseedumbpe0ple

    TitusOReily ur stuff about the tiges is so funny, coz it’s true. Im crying & laughing at the same time. Oh the pain, make it stop! #gotiges

  5. chowgi

    “This was a great match to convert people to our great game, which I did when two Jehovah’s witnesses knocked on my door in the second quarter.” – Being a ex JW this made me laugh harder than i should have #mysideshurt

  6. Geoff Schaefer

    A wonderful Crows win soured by the rankings of BT and Giggling Lingy! I nearly did a Chopper Read and took my own ears off…

  7. Snert Underpant

    Lingy’s like the four year old who gets to the party first and finds the red cordial.

  8. Brys On

    Is it still too early to start taking the eagles seriously?

  9. Anthony Smith

    This paragraph was amazing!
    ‘The conventional wisdom is that the Dockers can’t win it all because they don’t kick high enough scores but Lyon has had low scoring teams in the finals before and… oh, I get why everyone is saying that now. That totally makes sense.’

  10. keynesy

    TitusOReily no Ross has this team primed to be runner up joke this week?

  11. Carly Gerreyn

    Finally Matthew Priddis has been recognised as the ambassdor for SoulGlo. I can stop trying to convince the haters now. Thanks Titus O’Reily

  12. GGMacDonald

    TitusOReily Can you do a Tuesday knee jerk reaction to the liberal spill going on tonight? Voting public feeling like Richmond supporters

  13. 73simmo

    TitusOReily smellylouie have a read of this fella quality with a capital K

  14. schmoopsgirl

    TitusOReily thanks for recognising Priddas role as SoulGlo ambassador. He will appreciate the recognition #datboygood

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