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.
Adelaide (88) v Richmond (52)
Ladies and Gentlemen, normal programming has resumed.
The minute I heard Brett Deledio was a late withdrawal, I thought the Tigers might be in a bit of trouble. In fact, there should be a rule that if you tip Richmond and Deledio suddenly doesn’t play, your tip should automatically be reversed.
I guess we should have all seen this coming. Richmond beat the two-time premiers last week and Adelaide didn’t even really bother showing up against Sydney. Of course the Tigers would lose and just as I started almost believing in them.
Some people called it an upset and that’s because a lot of us fell for the false hope trick Richmond pull on their fans regularly.
It could have been a lot worse too. The Crows had 33 scoring shots to Richmond’s 12 and only Adelaide’s magical ability to conjure goals into points kept the Tigers in it.
In the end, this game raised more questions than it answered, are Richmond still just Richmond? Are the Crows better than we thought? What the hell happened to the Aussies in that first innings?
Collingwood (105) v Carlton (87)
While I miss the traditional big Sunday twilight blockbusters between these two, it was nice to have this on the MCG on a Saturday afternoon. This was a wonderful example of how Collingwood’s coaching transition continues to bring joy to many.
This game was close enough to make Carlton fans feel good and Pies fans wonder what is going on.
It was nice seeing Ben Reid back and he booted four goals in his 100th game, he started playing in 1963 but he’s finally got there.
Neither side excelled as a team but there were quite a few individual performances worth mentioning. Patrick Cripps was good again with 35 disposals, 18 contested disposals and 11 clearances. He continues Carlton’s policy of having just one good player in the team at all times.
For Collingwood, Scott Pendlebury had 37 touches and nine tackles while Dane Swan was in vintage form with 41 disposals and three goals.
While we all had our fingers crossed for Collingwood to lose it’s seventh in a row, I also didn’t want Carlton to win. In a way this was a fitting end.
Collingwood won but in a way that would leave them pretty unhappy.
Western Bulldogs (128) v Port Adelaide (64)
Just as I predicted, the Bulldogs are in the top four late in the season.
That may only be sort of true. I definitely picked at least four teams to finish top four and it’s technically possible I had the Bulldogs in there.
Really, what’s happened is both these teams have lived out what was predicted for the other in the preseason.
See it goes like this; the Bulldogs, a top four side have an exciting running game, while the Power, are a making up the numbers team but with some talent here and there.
The thing about Port is how much Power fans picked this scenario. Credit where credit is due, a bunch of Power fans told me before the season that they weren’t that good and couldn’t understand why the media thought they were.
Why didn’t I listen to them? I guess it was because they were Port supporters and I was fleeing them at the time.
It’s an insightful lesson for all of us, sometime the media get it wrong, even the footy media!
Now we’re all left wondering how far this Doggies thing can really go. It feels like they might not mix it with the top sides but that’s based on a lot of preconceived thinking.
The real answer is ‘who knows?’ Not even the footy media it turns out.
Brisbane (100) V Gold Coast (114)
Given the debacle that was The Ashes, it turns out the QClash wasn’t the worst sporting event of the week.
In fact, even having 14,000 umpires on the field didn’t make this the complete disaster I was expecting.
There are a lot of umpires now though, in fact, if you haven’t been offered an AFL umpiring gig yet, you may be unemployable.
The Suns managed to win bragging rights in this one, if being the best AFL team in Queensland is something you brag about at the moment. It’s a bit like someone saying you’re the best singer in Justice Crew. Really, you’ve already lost the game of life.
Gold Coast won because they’ve been given truckloads of talent by the AFL, while the Lions have all their best players playing at other teams, which is an odd strategy. I think Carlton pioneered it.
Tom Lynch was again the best for the Suns and booted five goals. He is increasingly becoming a scary prospect for opposition defences.
Their other key forward, Charlie Dixon, has said he still hasn’t made a decision on where he’ll play in 2016 but it’s increasingly looking like he’ll got to the Power.
South Australia is the perfect place for a player that admits he likes drinking red wine the night before a game.
Geelong (95) v Sydney (63)
This political correct stuff has gone to far. Now we have Geelong people showing the rest of the country how to behave.
The lack of booing was a nice sign that sanity might be returning to footy and not a moment too soon. We’re now heading into the most important part of the year, when all the various drug cases get heard.
It’s such a magical time in the season.
What I am glad about is we can finally put behind us all this talk of ‘staging’ for free kicks that was a big part of the Goodes debate, so moving on to Joel Selwood.
It was his 200th game and he came to play (although he always does that). His 35 disposals, with 20 of them contested, highlighted the much greater level of desire that the Cats showed in this one.
Sydney just seem off of late, actually most of the year. Some are writing them off completely but they still have a lot going for them. They just don’t seem to get all the pieces working together at the same time.
Buddy’s absence was especially noted, mainly due to the Swans lack of another expensive key forward.
West Coast (74) v Hawthorn (88)
This is why you can never write the Hawks off. They are probably the best in the competition at adjusting to their opponent during the game.
The Eagles were looking good for a lot of this but the Hawks did some of those tactics things.
If your talking tactics in the media, the trick is to make what you’re saying so confusing that people assume you know what you’re talking about, even though it’s drivel.
Basically being an AFL commentator is like being a management consultant. You need to talk nonsense, hope no one goes back and checks if what you predicted actually came true, wear a suit and wherever possible, be male.
This was actually a really good game and the Eagles proved they are definitely a chance this year.
They were missing ruckman Nic Naitanui flew to Fiji after his mother passed away.
Without Naitanui, the Eagles lacked that silver service they normally receive at ruck contests but they showed they have all the pieces to push deep into September.
On the negative side, the Hawks wore their awful sparkly jumper again and I was hoping the pouring rain would see it disintegrate into a pile of sequins.
Next week, the Eagles take on the Dockers in a game with real meaning. Even over here in Melbourne some of us will watch it.
Melbourne (92) v North Melbourne (127)
I headed off to the ‘G wearing my 2012 Melbourne members scarf to show that I was there man, I saw things, unlike all those people who have jumped on the bandwagon now we’re flying so high.
In fact, the way some reacted after this game, you’d think Melbourne had won. Only Melbourne supporters think losing by 35 points is a ‘good effort’.
What other occupation can you only show up for half the time and people say you did a good job?
Remember, Melbourne haven’t won two games in a row since 2011. 2011!
One day Melbourne will win two in a row. It probably won’t be in the AFL but it will happen.
If they do, I’ll celebrate for several weeks, after all that’s rarer than winning the premiership, which a team does every single year.
If Jesse Hogan and Angus Brayshaw hadn’t come along I would probably give up on Melbourne and just focus on the Australian cricket team and all their success.
While Melbourne were awful for half the game, North fans would have been pretty uncomfortable in the third quarter. The Kangaroos seemed to be reverting to type and the run was all the Dees way.
Luckily, a combination of Melbourne ineptitude and Shaun Higgins brilliance saw North run all over the Dees in the fourth quarter.
Now North sit in sixth place after a run of playing all the worst teams in the league. They’ve got St Kilda next week before they begin playing real teams again and everyone remembers the aren’t really very good.
Greater Western Sydney (93) v Essendon (61)
This was a terrible game and the only thing of interest was watching Hird go from happy to ‘why is coaching so hard?’ in the space of an afternoon.
The Giants are keeping their finals hopes alive but just barely. They were pretty poor against a team that running on fumes and clearly thinking about other things.
In good news, Jonathon Patton got through his first game back after his knee injury.
For Essendon this just continues the pressure on the club. They’re getting no relief on or off the field.
Hird said he was ‘flabbergasted’ by Mark Thompson’s comments that the club’s ‘going backwards’ and ‘drowning’ on Saturday.
If Hird thinks the club isn’t going in the wrong direction, then he’s idea of the right direction is a bit scary.
Essendon fans should think about it like this, every opposition fan should want James to stay at the Bombers. He has run the club into the ground and now he’s bought some digging equipment to finish the job.
St Kilda (59) v Fremantle (96)
Another week of watching sport has me more than a little sick of that ‘a ship in the harbour is safe’ ad. Seriously, they ask him a question in English and he responds in Italian.
He doesn’t even answer their question. I bet that’s the answer he gives every tourist as he overcharges them so much he actually owns the harbour and every ship in it.
He’s worded up the waitress, ‘I’ll play the wise old Italian guy and you just translate it into any old nonsense.’
The couple ask what’s his secret to having a great business and he starts talking about ships.
I know it’s meant to be a profound metaphor but it doesn’t even work as that. What about the fact he’s got a restaurant with million dollar views? And how’s that relate to them?
Unless they run a cruise ship business or a fishing fleet, who cares where a ship is? it’s just silly. Perhaps they are those evil people smugglers we read about and they do need to stop worrying about keeping ships safe.
Watch the ad next time imagining them as people smugglers and it’s a lot better. In that scenario, it’s good advice, he’s telling them to stop worrying about putting safety first and just get the refugees out to sea.
Bloody NAB financing people smugglers. I hope the next ad shows Border Force abseiling through the windows with guns blazing.
I bet the creative director at the ad agency who came up with this just had no ideas for the ad but had one of those awful calendars with a daily platitude on them and just decided to shoehorn one into the ad.
Anyway, Freo smashed St Kilda early then the Saints came back a little bit.