The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Nineteen

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.

Geelong (103) v Western Bulldogs (78)

Patrick Dangerfield has been a handy pick up for the Cats this year. It just goes to show you that if you keep your eyes peeled there are still some real bargains out there in free agency land.

Dominant from start to finish, Dangerfield had 33 disposals, 10 inside 50s and booted three goals.

When Patrick does well, the Cats do well but they were certainly helped by the fact that someone at the Bulldogs must have recently walked under a ladder while holding a black cat straight into a mirror, instantly shattering it.

The Bulldogs bad luck seems to know no bounds and continued here with Tom Liberatore suffering an ankle injury and Jack Macrae a hamstring.

It will be easier this week for them to just name their healthy players.

Not that they didn’t give it their all. In fact, Cats coach Chris Scott even acknowledge that the Bulldogs injuries had a role in the outcome.

The win meant the Cats faithful got to celebrate milestone men Corey Enright and Jimmy Bartel in style.

Great to see those Geelong fans finally have a reason to celebrate.

Greater Western Sydney (111) v Richmond (23)

Does 23 points seem low? It seems a low score in an AFL match but I’m no statistical expert.

At times it looked like the Tigers wouldn’t even crack that troublesome milestone of double figures.

Apparently, it’s their lowest score in 55 years. That’s pretty bad when you consider all that’s gone on in their past 55 years.

It was a disgraceful performance by the Tigers. Saying they phoned it in would be false.

Phoning it in requires some level of effort. You have to dial the number and everything.

After the game, in a performance perhaps worse than the one on the field, Damien Harwick conceded they may not win another game this year. Good news to all those Tigers fans who supported their club and bought a membership.

Hardwick also said he is already working on 2017, something that must fill Tigers fans with a powerful sense of dread.

The Giants on the other hand should probably send the Tigers a bottle of something nice for the easy day out and the nice percentage boost. This wasn’t even the equivalent of a simulated match at training.

Hawthorn (74) v Carlton (55)

In some ways, this could be seen as the Hawks not being as strong as some people believe but I tend to think it’s an example of how they can win even when they’re not playing particularly well.

Both sides failed to covert opportunities at such pace it reminded me of my love life. The score at half time was 2.8 to 1.8.

In both cases, troublesome wind played a significant part.

There’s no doubt Bolton has drummed into his charges that effort plays a significant part in being a good AFL side. A factor that is often forgotten in the heat of the battle.

In fact, Carlton seemed to be better organised all game, with Patrick Cripps again their best player. He could really work out for them.

One thing I like about Bolton is he occasionally walks out of the coaching box when he’s about to lose his cool.

Perhaps the Scott brothers could adopt a similar tactic when it gets too much for them? I guess you can’t spend the whole game in the corridor out the back.

Collingwood (91) v West Coast (72)

Oh West Coast. Not only have you continued the whole ‘they can’t win away’ thing, you made Collingwood look good. Unforgivable.

The loss was even worse for the Eagles considering Collingwood lost Darcy Moore, who was tearing West Coast apart, to injury in the second quarter.

The Eagles class kept them in it all game but they just didn’t work hard enough, something the Pies were only too willing to do.

This could be a sign that the Pies are finally getting on the right track or it could be contributing to a sense of false hope that will cause them further problems next year. Here’s hoping.

It’s a costly loss for the Eagles, making a top four finish no sure thing but also showing they perform away from home about as well as a kid on grade five camp.

After the game, Adam Simpson insists the Eagles’ season isn’t a lost cause but he sort of has to say that.

Brisbane (79) v Port Adelaide (173)

Justin Leppitsch described this performance as ‘embarrassing’ and ‘unacceptable’ but I think he was being kind.

One of my pet peeves is when coaches throw the team under the bus like they are somehow not involved in the preparation of that team. A big part of the job is getting the team up to play.

Still, try it at work. If a project you’re responsible for goes wrong, just say at the meeting ‘it’s embarrassing and unacceptable’ and see where that gets you. Even better, add in Hardwick’s approach and say ‘I can’t see me successfully delivering a project for the rest of the year’.

I’m not going to waste too much time on telling you how the Lions were so inept they looked a danger to themselves.

All I’ll say, is that if Port’s new Chinese fan base saw this they would get a very inflated sense of how good the Power are and would probably never watch a game of AFL again.

North Melbourne (85) v St Kilda (62)

Channel Seven did their best to make Boomer Harvey seem like a likable guy but even the very best montages can’t fix that.

This was a terrible game to watch. Skills on both sides were poor and the constant nice things being said about Boomer made me consider watching something else but a few moments with the Lions and the Power had me switching back.

It was a very disappointing performance from the Saints who had a real chance to close the gap on the Kangaroos but instead saw themselves bundled out of finals contention.

The Saints weren’t helped by some very strange umpiring decisions, especially towards Josh Bruce who must have killed an umpire in a past life.

Still, the Kangaroos had the class in the fourth quarter to pull away and look like they’ve secured their spot make up the numbers in the finals.     

Melbourne (66) v Gold Coast (64)

Perfect conditions at the ‘G meant skills were always going to suffer and suffer they did, almost as much as anyone who watch this.

No one ‘won’ this. It was a defeat of anyone who loves footy. A mess of a game between two sides who seemed to have never touched a football before in their entire, spectacularly uncoordinated lives.

The Suns, it could be argued, at least had the excuse that almost everyone who’s ever played for them is injured.

The Demons has no excuse and all this talk of improvement isn’t going to amount to a hill of beans if they use the footy like they did in this game.

The idea that these players (on both teams) get paid to practice each week makes you wonder where the money is going.

There were exceptions of course. Tom Lynch continues to show how insanely good he is.

For Melbourne, it was Jack Watts, who I’ve never had any doubts about, who ended up booting the winning goal and saved the Dees in defense a few time too.

I suppose it’s a step forward that Melbourne can at least win when they play so badly but progress seems very slow at the moment.

Fremantle (47) v Sydney (137)

Considering this was Matthew Pavlich’s 350-game, a 90-point loss doesn’t seem fitting for this champion of our game.

Channel Seven must have agreed, so upset by the loss they cut to the news and failed to show Pav being chaired off by teammates.

Given how those teammates had supported him in his milestone game, it was a minor miracle they didn’t drop him.

The Dockers were so bad it was like the Swans were playing a game with the difficulty set too low.

Josh Kennedy for example had 45 disposals and three goals. It was like putting a fifteen-year-old into an Auskick game.

It was a handy percentage boost for the Swans and really keeps alive their chance of securing a top two spot, although who knows in this crazy top eight.

Ross Lyon perhaps summed up Fremantle’s game the best in his understated way when he said, ‘we have some genuine concerns out of this’.

I’ll say. We all knew the Dockers were really bad this season and lack a lot of their key players but this was awful stuff from a side that still has a lot of core players still in the side.

Adelaide (143) v Essendon (61)

Two terrible Sunday games and then this.

It was hard yards on the couch during this one.

I so wanted to flick around but I knew people would never forgive me if I didn’t give an insightful tactical analysis of this game. So I brought my considerable willpower to bear.

Watching Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, I just couldn’t believe how bad it was.

How does Zack Snyder continue to be allowed near a movie camera? I wouldn’t let him use the camera on my phone.

Everything looks as fake as a George Lucas Star Wars prequel and the dialogue is so bad it made me long for AFL commentary.

The whole thing was terrible. So terrible, I even flicked back to the Crows-Bombers game fairly regularly.

How is Ben Affleck Batman? And what’s with that costume? It looks like a rather artistically stunted kid had a crack drawing Batman and someone handed that to a costume designer.

Seriously, what a waste of my Sunday night AFL and Warner Bros. Lift. Seriously lift.

Titus O’Reily is doing a live show 2nd September at Yarraville Laughs. Tickets on sale now at


  1. CammyD1975

    Dangerfield was NOT dominant from start to finish in the game against the Dogs.
    He started to play well when Liberatore, the most dominant player on the field, was injured halfway through the second quarter.

  2. MiloC

    Finally someone’s said it: “Channel Seven did their best to make Boomer Harvey seem like a likable guy but even the very best montages can’t fix that.”  Glad you’ve got the Robbies to say it Titus!


    Thanks Titus, how is it that Ross Lyons, Hardwick, Rodney Eade & BT can get it so wrong every week but the press only attack Brisbane and Melbourne?  No justice, as a Lions fan I guess I can say ‘at least we’re consistently bad’.

  4. tamrapalmerTP

    Thanks for giving the Swans 2 lines Titus. More than the whole of the Melbourne fraternity do each week. Not sure if you’re all aware of our little team up here in Sydney? They do pretty well. Have a few good players (other than Buddy). Really fortunate to make finals almost EVERY YEAR SINCE 2002. (Take that Richmond)  Won the flag n 2005. Won in 2006 (if AFL followed suit with the rest of sport and handed over the medals when drug cheats were outed) AND in 2012 and have come close a few other times. You should check us out.

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