The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Grand Final

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 (107) v West Coast (61)

Well this was good for about five minutes.

When Ellie Goulding ‘sang’ a song from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, it was perhaps foreshadowing the rather boring and predictable domination we were about to all witness.

Like the movie, most of us probably wanted to leave within ten minutes.

It was a real shame too, I’ve always loved Grand Final day more than any other day; yes, even ahead of Arbour Day.

Perhaps it’s because no one judges you for drinking before noon or the fact the pre-game show starts the day before.

Instead, this day just ended up as another reminder that it’s Hawthorn’s world and we all just live in it.

The game was one constant reminder of how good the Hawks are, punctuated by constant ad breaks.

A mate of mine once had a Grand Final drinking game where he had a drink every time an ad came on. He’s dead now.

The problem with Hawthorn is that they are simply brilliant. You just can’t deny it. They force you to admit it even if it kills you to do so and it does.

Hawthorn are tough, smart and their skills are just insane. It’s like someone playing FIFA on the amateur setting; tons of highlights but not a challenge.

It’s hard to measure Alastair Clarkson’s genius as a coach. He’s so far ahead of the rest it’s actually embarrassing. He’s playing Clash of Clans while everyone else is playing Snake on an old Nokia 3310.

It makes me think that perhaps the only way the AFL can equalise the competition is to have James Hird coach Hawthorn.

Things looked dire from early on when the casual observer would have noticed the Eagles’ much vaunted ‘web’ meant Cyril Rioli didn’t have anyone on him. There were people at home watching the game who got closer to Rioli than an opponent on the day.

After a couple of goals and setting up a few others, you’d think the Eagles might have moved someone onto Cyril but alas that insight seemed beyond the West Coast brains trust.

After a while it became apparent that no Hawthorn player had an opponent. In the second quarter, Luke Hodge slotted an amazing goal from the boundary line like he was mucking around at training. He couldn’t have been more laid back about it.

At that point you just knew the game was over.

Cyril ended up the Norm Smith medalist, meaning we have finally achieved what’s known as the ‘Bruce McAvaney double,’ with Nat Fyfe winning the Brownlow last week.

Has there ever been a better time to be Bruce? Maybe the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

I have to feel for Sam Mitchell missing out again. He is underrated if that’s possible. He just gets the ball and distributes, it all starts with him.

It makes a mockery of Wayne Carey’s comments that he wouldn’t get a game at any other club. He does everything that wins you the game but lacks the flashy highlights that get you the recognition.

Really, this was all about the empire crushing a foe that dared to challenge it. West Coast’s win in the qualifying final was a challenge to the Hawks that couldn’t be tolerated.

Hawthorn were determined to not only win but send a message to anyone else thinking of knocking them off.

It didn’t help that West Coast were about as active as I was while on the couch watching this. They occasionally got up to do something but it was rare, uncoordinated and awkward to watch.

They were so terrible as a group that it’s hard to really determine who was bad and who just got caught up in the brown and yellow tsunami (wow that’s an awful phrase).

It’s one of the things I actually love about our game. It’s such as team sport that if you play well collectively, everyone looks amazing but if you don’t, pretty much everyone looks like they never played footy before.

Basically, AFL is one big group assignment and the Eagles spent the whole time expecting someone else in the group would do the work. Hawthorn by contrast were those annoying people who eagerly set up group study meetings in the library and all chip in.

In the end, we were left with what was the worst result for humanity. Hawthorn fans are already talking about fourth in a row and you just know they’ll pick up someone great in free agency.

It’s enough to make you just want to crawl up into a little ball and sob until the NAB Challenge, which is actually what I’m going to do once I’ve finished writing this.

Despite the fact it appears a pointless exercise, I guess we still need to play the season next year, if only to set up what really matters, trade week.

Sign up to Titus O’Reily’s Electronic Mail Newsletter.


  1. tassie_JR

    Titus, thanks for the year that’s been, as I am a Carlton supporter your weekly Knee Jerk Reactions have been the highlight of my season.

  2. 72nivek

    I know you dislike Hawthorn, but wanting to give us James Hird in against all decency. 🙂

    Thanks for all the write ups, been fantastic to read thru the year.

  3. Gtrain78

    TitusOReily anyone out there game enough to say they’re better than Geelong of 07-11? i’ll say it – they’re better than Geelong of 07-11

  4. 72nivek

    TitusOReily Nice final wrap Titus. Thanks for all the articles 🙂

  5. llenten

    TitusOReily but now that you mention it, I would actually love to see a literal brown and gold tsunami….from a safe distance, of course

  6. Nathan Hanrahan

    Great stuff Titus! BOG for this entire (forgettable) season.

  7. 72nivek

    TitusOReily cheers, just to really annoy people, apparently next year will be “4thorn”…. I’m not happy with that!

  8. Gerard Marquis

    Just read it, got to love this bloke’s writing. Have you seen the BTT of the Eagles road trip yet?

  9. GreenlanternNT

    As a Hawks supporter I would just like to add that next years grand final team will be the “Quad Squad”… Cheers.U0001f61c

  10. Georgie Hillier

    Mike Stastnik Claire McMullen nearly as good a wrap up as you two were doing U0001f609.

  11. Mary Kavanagh

    Have loved your work all season Titus. Don’t tell me we get nothing till next year!

  12. Carlotta Coslovski

    Thanks for a great footy season Titus, love your work. #sweetrepeat #threepeat #fourthorn #always

  13. Ben Osmond

    “It makes me think that perhaps the only way the AFL can equalise the competition is to have James Hird coach Hawthorn.” is my favourite bit haha

  14. 27washedout

    TitusOReily saved your best for last. And some day others will realise just how good Sam Mitchell is!

  15. Gary Bruce

    Another cracking season, Titus. Already looking forward to the next. Keep up the great work

  16. Aaron Sprigg

    Peter Todd Caleb Tang Nic Kerber Andrew Bent Peter Johnson classic article!!

  17. George Britten-Jones

    Tim Earle Nick Rivett Kumar Achu Jeyakkumar Robert Perry “the Bruce McAveney double”

  18. AaronDell2

    I’m trying to teach here, & then I caught up on your tweets for the last week.  My class is wondering why I’ve been crying.  So much gold.  Thank you, Titus

  19. Scott Rubery

    Even as a eagle supporter this bloke is funny and no love the handicap suggestion of getting James Hird to coach LOL

  20. Andrew Nosworthy

    Love your work Titus. Finding the balance between begrudging respect for Hawthorn for their awesomeness and expressing disgust at them coasting to another flag is a challenge for all of us and you nailed it.

  21. whatevsAU

    TitusOReily this article made me feel sorry for Mitchell and I don’t know how to feel about it.

  22. Daniel Pell

    Daniel Mack Clancy Mezz. The Bruce McAvaney double

  23. Travis John

    Some people watching at home were closer to Rioli than West Coast were.

  24. David Booth

    Haha so good, how is his thoughts on Clarko…. Others are playing snake 1 on Nokia 3310, hahahaha

  25. Matthew Keele

    Great article. We have the best comedians in the world here in Australua

  26. sheppo

    If Ross Lyon had the gifts given to him like Clarko did (McAvoy, Lake, Gibson, and the dude from Melbourne), maybe Freo might have demolished the Wet Coke Wiggles too. And let’s not forget Mitchell started the chain reaction that led to Fyfey’s broken leg, the fine he got was justice for all!!!! Oh, and the umpiring was so awesome in the prelim, who could say what might of happened if there was a level playing field? But let’s not let facts get in the way of brown and gold (more like wee poo wee poo wee poo) hysteria shall we.

  27. g_buoyup

    Thanks Titus for helping us in Perth get through another long cold winter with smiles on our faces.

  28. Bonjour_Pippy

    TitusOReily Oh no, it’s now the long drought season for players & fans & worst of all the break from your weekly wraps!

  29. Fremantleking

    TitusOReily brilliant work. All that stands between us and hawthorn doing a 13 peat is your comic genius!

  30. Alix Hauser

    Isabelle Constanze Claire I think you’ll appreciate this U0001f602

  31. Claire Saundry

    How good is the comment about AFL being one big group assignment hahha
    Good article ☺️

  32. Charles Spicer

    Great work this year Titus O’Reily and you’re right, “perhaps the only way the AFL can equalise the competition is to have James Hird coach Hawthorn”! Gold. In Hird’s dreams!!!

  33. Penny Beitzel

    A whole year of nonsensical hashtags: Hawfourn, Fourthorn and H4WTHORN

  34. SeeArePe

    TitusOReily as a west coast fan reading this makes my soul cry tears of burning truth.

  35. Bergeonline

    TitusOReily Thanks for confirming that CyrilRioli33 was actually in our living room making space with no one tagging him.

  36. SeeArePe

    .TitusOReily i wish i could edit my last tweet to include the correct , . Trying to read it makes my soul cry tears of……

  37. AnthonyKelly2

    Australian Football must be the most over analysed simplicity ever. Game plans, webs, etc.,…..Its a simple high scoring ball game so luck and organisation  – -or “game plans”  — are marginal compared to sheer talent.  What actually happens pretty well every time –  when it matters –  is the team with the best players on on the park at the time – -not the best “team” – wins. Hawthorn’s list , all fully fit, is currently much better than anyone else’s. So they win.

  38. pt76oz

    TitusOReily hahaha you’re a funny man, great year from you

  39. Ryland Head

    Craig Bancroft not sure about the coaching change idea

  40. Craig Bancroft

    Yeah I think Clarko still needs to prove himself & win coach of the year haha. Although, the new appointment would be the final step in Jordan Gwynne’s conversion to the Brown & Gold tsunami!

  41. Jordan Gwynne

    Umm guys ✋ essendon for the premiership 2016 ✌️

  42. Ryland Head

    Brown and gold tsunami is one of the better phrases to come out of the whole three peat haha
    She hates Fourthorn, I mean Hawthorn now.
    Go bombs U0001f60f

Leave a Comment