The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Finals Week Two

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.

Hawthorn (135) v Adelaide (61)

Before we get into things, what’s with the sudden bizarre spate of ‘deliberate out of bounds’ calls?

In the past you could go centuries without seeing one. A player would have to actually yell out ‘I’m doing this on purpose’ to actually get one paid against them.

Suddenly though, in one of those bizarre crackdowns umpires do from time to time, every time the ball dribbles over the line it seems to be called.

There was another cracker in this game but it’s part of a broader stupid trend. Stop it umpires.

To the game itself, which was typical of the AFL; scheduling another terrible game on a Friday night.

This game really showed that those people writing Hawthorn off obviously know nothing about football. I would have never done something like that, especially not less than a week ago in a Wednesday column.

If week one of the finals was a blockbuster success, this week was it’s disappointing sequel.

This first game was disappointing because it was over before it really started and the Saturday night game was terrible because its skills were more something you’d usually see in the NAB Challenge.

The Hawks were just relentless from the opening bounce and the Crows cracked under pressure like Mal Meninga launching a political career.

There were a few notable exceptions. Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield was great and Scott Thompson, Rory Laird and Josh Jenkins all played well.

Unfortunately, there were just too many weak links in the chain and the Hawks just exploited them.

Eddie Betts did a Trent Cotchin impression and Tex Walker was so bad he played James Frawley into form.

It’s sad to see the Crows go out like this but it’s certainly true that they’ve won plenty of admirers in what has been a season like no other.

The thing about the Hawks is that you can’t give them any opportunity, let alone let them stroll down the center square like it’s some beach boulevard.

The Crows combined a lack of pressure on the Hawks with turning over the ball when Adelaide did get it, a bad combination.

Elbowing and drinking driving aficionado Luke Hodge, showed why the Hawks took the expedient option and played him rather than make a statement about road safety.

Hawthorn now head over to Perth for the Festival of Western Australian Footy.

They’ve shown that when doubted they are even more dangerous, so let’s all spend the week pumping up their tyres.

Sydney (51) v North Melbourne (77)

Now we cross to the worst stadium in the known universe.

Shortly before this game, I heard future Brownlow Medalist Robin Nahas was an out and I instantly thought the Roos were no chance. Footy surprises you though.

In some cases, it surprises you when it really shouldn’t. North winning here really shouldn’t have been a surprise. They’ve been in better form recently, the Swans had big outs and the Kangaroos made the Preliminary Final last year.

It was a surprise to me though.

For some reason, I just haven’t been able to bring myself to trust the Roos. Years of inconsistency have not only ruined my tips on an almost weekly basis; it’s also left me with trust issues.

It makes me wonder, are North Melbourne actually good? I know it’s a crazy idea but people thought Copernicus was crazy when he formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the center of the universe.

Suggesting North Melbourne are good is just as big a shift in thinking, if not bigger. It’s a ‘paradigm shift’, as dumb people who want to sound smart say.

The real sign North may actually be good is that Jarryd Waite is playing well when it matters.

It shows you the nature’s iron clad rule that ‘anyone who leaves Carlton is instantly a superstar’ works here too.

This is a big step for me but I’m now ready to take it; North Melbourne are actually a really good team.

Sydney however not so much. Injuries, a fanciful trade ban and general decline saw the Swans put an end to a season they would probably prefer to forget.

It wasn’t a good night.

Lewis Jetta confirmed he is a specialist at going missing in September and he should really be off to Richmond not West Coast next season.

What’s changed for the Swans is their role players, a past strength, are now more and more just passengers.

Rhys Shaw’s retirement underlines this as he was a good example of a player doing exactly what was expected of him each week.

Adam Goodes is a different case. He is a superstar of the game and what’s happened to him this year has been one of the saddest things I’ve seen in football.

I’ve never been in the ‘Goodes is a saint’ camp. He’s human and at times has done a few things I haven’t loved on the field but it’s pretty hard to name a footy star who hasn’t done similar or worse. Hodge would have lapped him on this year alone.

The reality is that the booing of Goodes took a nasty shift this season and unfortunately a lot of people didn’t pick up that this made it something it may not have always been.

It did become racist. I’m sorry if you were one of the people doing it for ‘pure’ reasons but idiots coopting things is a pretty regular occurrence.

For example, the Future Music Festival finishing up because a bunch bare chested idiots ruined it.

The news Goodes is not doing a lap of honour, unfortunately shows again that idiots in big enough numbers can achieve things.

It’s the same phenomenon that explains why we’ve had eleven series of Big Brother.

North are now off to Perth and it will be interesting to see how they’ll go against the Eagles.

The sad outcome though is that there are no Preliminary Finals in Melbourne this year.

I’m disgusted this has happened. What is this, a national competition?

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  1. Bryan Monck

    Teal Hinkow – “Shortly before this game, I heard future Brownlow Medalist Robin Nahas was an out and I instantly thought the Roos were no chance. Footy surprises you though.”

  2. tassie_JR

    Titus, how sad is it that the football public at the GF don’t get a chance to say a well deserved farewell to a champion in Adam Goodes. I can understand his concern because even if  just one person booed him the day would be spoiled.

  3. Nicole Hunt

    Love your work Titus. I’m new to this caper though, what will you do in the off season? Write about the cricket? Take a well deserved end of season trip to somewhere cheap with dodgy drinks? Or start your preseason run down without a pause for breath? I hope it’s the latter. ☺

  4. Des Lee

    Well said Titus. My Swannies are out. We just weren’t good or lucky enough this year and that’s fine. Onto next season. But I agree that the treatment of Adam goodes was awful. I’m guessing we haven’t seen the last of him though, the man still has something to say.

  5. PatRourke

    Didn’t Robin Nahas already win a Brownlow Medal? For years I’ve had sweaty nightmares with the voice of Demetriou snarling “NAHAS 2 VOTES”, surely he got enough to win the thing

  6. Gary Bruce

    sweet Meninga reference. Don’t see enough of them from AFL journos

  7. katieoh9

    TitusOReily Don’t worry, North will be true to form next week and all will be once again right with the world.

  8. tonyb1971

    Goodes needs to accept he’s being booed because he’s a plonker, and no other reason.

  9. Bonjour_Pippy

    TitusOReily How much more viable would a Tasy team have been especially in finals. Imagine the European League, wouldn’t put up with this

  10. Teal Hinkow

    “Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield” and
    “iron clad rule that anyone who leaves Carlton is an instant Superstar”

  11. Teal Hinkow

    Particularly like ur “…footy surprises u though” quote.

  12. pivotubi

    TitusOReily I love what you said about goodsey. Swans fans will give him a joyous farewell next year at scg.

  13. pivotubi

    TitusOReily I also dont condone booing anyone but agree on hodge.

  14. bustoff7

    TitusOReily time to lay off Cotchin Titus it’s getting less funny everytime you use it.

  15. Kiriana Meha-Bettison

    Alex McCormack where are you watching the weagles game? I want some A-Mack commentary in my life

  16. Mick_EFC

    tonyb1971  Plonker: a foolish or inept person.

    Goodes is a dual Brownlow medallist, dual premiership player, a 4 time All-Australian player and is a guaranteed entry into the Hall of Fame when he’s eligible. Regardless of a few silly things he’s done on field, history will remember him as a legend of the game.

    Your comment has only proved that you are the plonker.

  17. Mick_EFC

    Thank god someone else picked up the horrible skills in the Roos-Swans game, I wanted my 2 hours back after watching that chore of a game. People are actually giving the Roos a chance next week! After what the Eagles did to the Hawks last week you have to question the national memory retention rates, goldfish might have us beat.

    As for Goodes, the quote at the bottom of your site describes the situation to a tee.

  18. Geoff Schaefer

    A friend of mine in Adelaide saw Dangerfield mowing his lawn. The surest sign yet that he’s clearly heading to Geelong…

  19. Bombres Away

    bustoff7 TitusOReily Think you better unsubscribe then Buster!

  20. Bombres Away

    tonyb1971 So you’re saying that you would boo Adam Goodes doing a lap of honour on GF Day? Please explain, Mr Hansen!

  21. tonyb1971

    Mick_EFC tonyb1971 Thanks for resorting to personal insults- I admire keyboard warriors like you. 
    I’m not taking anything away from his achievements- i actually admire his achievements on the field, and as a person, but you can be a gifted sportsman and a plonker at the same time. 

    Anyone that cries the ‘race card’ every time they’re booed….well, I’m sorry….is a plonker.

  22. tonyb1971

    Bombres Away tonyb1971 No way- i would never do that….I’m not quite sure where i said i would- if you could point that out to me, it’d be appreciated. 
    I admire Goodes as a sportsman and a good citizen & role model for indigenous youth everywhere- I just think that him ‘pigeonholing’ the booing to being all about race is wrong.  
    Anyone that does a ‘war dance’ at the crowd, then complains when they boo about it needs to realize they’re not booing because of the colour of his skin- they’re booing because they don’t appreciate what he just did.

  23. Bombres Away

    tonyb1971 Bombres Away Yes … the audacity of an indigenous player, playing an indigenous code, doing an indigenous dance after kicking an indigenous football through indigenous goals during the Indigenous Round … I’d be indigenous … errrr indignant too!

  24. ReadBTheLines

    TitusOReily the sun’s the centre of the solar system, not the universe. Like calling Melbourne the centre of AFL when we all know it’s WA!

  25. tonyb1971

    Bombres Away tonyb1971 Each to their own. I personally had no problem with Goodes’ actions, but clearly the crowd did. My problem is that Adam Goodes relates everything back to the colour of his skin- he needs to understand that some people may actually simply not like him as a player- and there’s nothing wrong (or racist) with that.
    My opinion still stands that the booing has nothing to do with the colour of his skin, or every indigenous player would be booed. I dont see Eddie Betts (or- any other indigenous player, actually) getting the same reaction.

  26. Mick_EFC

    tonyb1971 Mick_EFC C’mon Tony, you called Goodes a plonker but take personal offence to being called one yourself? The keyboard warrior tag’s a bit drastic too, I didn’t threaten you with bodily harm. For someone so eager to talk s–t you’re being a little precious when some comes back your way.

    I won’t argue (nor will many I’ve seen) that the booing is ALL racially based but there’s a large contingent who’ve taken the opportunity to join in under the guise of a few bad sportsmanship lapses. 

    Plenty of players have played for free kicks and they haven’t been booed weeks/months later. There’s more to it than you’re willing to admit.

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