The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Twenty

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.

Richmond (92) v Collingwood (77)

For Friday Night Footy, is there anything better than watching the strategic masterminds, Buckley and Hardwick go at it? It was a privileged for all to see. Like watching two three year olds trying to figure out how Connect Four works.

This was like a VFL game but without the skill.

The Pies got off to a good start only, as Buckley described it, ‘to play the worst three quarters that we’ve played all year’.

That’s a big call, as there’s a lot of competition for worst quarter of football by Collingwood this season. A Melbourne Cup field.

To have three of them in one game is probably what the Pies needed to lose to the Tigers.

I must have missed the bit where Collingwood became one of the best teams in the league.

I had to assume this was the case after the way Richmond responded to this win, like it was a total vindication of Damien Hardwick and the Board’s strategy.

The fact the acted like this was a huge achievement and proved everyone else wrong just further underlines the fantasy land currently occupying Punt Road.

Collingwood were terrible and Richmond weren’t much better, this isn’t even a controversial statement outside of Tigers HQ.

Sydney (100) v Port Adelaide (33)

I haven’t seen David Koch throw the whole team under the bus yet but he’s looking for the keys.

Perhaps the Power players were still confused after watching the Rio Opening Ceremony. I know I was. The giant goon bags where nice but what followed made me think I’d drunk a whole one.

Given this was Port Adelaide, that may have been what actually happened.

Considering the Power didn’t even play the first quarter, this arguably could have been worse. They were 0.0 at quarter time. If there was negative scoring in the AFL it would have happened here.

Sydney looked awesome and that was probably a bit from their own efforts and a lot from the lack of any effort from the vast majority of their opponents.

The Swans just ran everywhere at will, with Isaac Heeney showing his mid-season slump is completely over.

Add the Hawks loss and this was a nice little weekend for Swans supporters.

John Longmire should send Ken Hinkley a box of chocolates to say thanks for the percentage boost.

Melbourne (110) v Hawthorn (81)

Was this the best day of my life? Yes. Yes it was. Not a lot of competition for that title though.

Am I still drunk? Well yes but that’s just Monday for me. At least I’m happy drunk, which is a pleasant change.

I’m not getting carried away by one regular season win though but I am keen for marriage equality so I can marry Max Gawn’s beard.

This was a momentous game for Melbourne, suddenly, all the promise came together.

Not since 2006 have the Dees beaten the Hawks and it’s been a decade of embarrassment for Melbourne fans.

Hawthorn tried their usual ‘push Melbourne around’ thing. Sam Mitchell even punched Jack Watts while he was on the ground, which is like shooting Bambi.

Amazingly, Melbourne pushed back and then some.

It was a bit like when (spoiler alert) George McFly finally clocks Biff Tannen in Back to the Future. And yes, Hawthorn are totally the Biff of the AFL.

In fact, this was such a momentous victory for the Dees that it’s taken all the gloss of Hawthorn’s recent premierships.

Well, not really. Hawthorn are still really, really good.

They’re also not ‘finished’ like some claimed after this. After all, they’re still top of the ladder and actually playing finals, unlike Melbourne.

Still, Melbourne fans can at least begin to see what being a good team feels like.

Gold Coast (84) v Greater Western Sydney (92)

This was unexpected. Considering the Giants have already been pencilled in for the next ten premierships by the panic merchants in the media, barely beating the Suns was not on the cards.

Especially when the Suns had their seven best midfielders on the sidelines.

Gold Coast even had injuries in this match but continued to work hard to push the Giants to the very edge.

It was something the home crowd would have admired, if there was a crowd at this game.

The AFL said there was 9,000 people at the ground but they counted the players 4,000 times.

Leon Cameron said after the game that there was no doubt that for a few of his player their ‘energy levels are a little off’.

That’s a nice way of saying they were a bit lazy because they thought they would win easily.

Western Bulldogs (61) v North Melbourne (47)

The Kangaroos tried to physically intimidate Marcus Bontempelli early on in this one but it didn’t work.

Instead, he was brilliant. Chalk that up to another thing North aren’t good at, right next to beating top eight teams.

This win meant a lot for the Bulldogs who have been receiving more bad news recently than a journalist at a Kitty Chiller media conference.

The Kangaroos just really struggled to get any sort of rhythm going, like drunk dads dancing at a 50th birthday. Coincidentally, that’s about the average age of this team.

North obviously need to go older. Double down on their strategy of bringing in players in their thirties.

Perhaps Mark Jamar or Travis Cloke would be good fits at Arden Steet?

Either way, best to start focusing on the offseason for North, the finals aren’t going to be pretty if this is what they’re brining.

Adelaide (177) v Brisbane (39)

I’ve seen some brutal things in my time, Bec Hewitt’s ‘singing’ career, Bec Hewitt’s wedding poem, Bec Hewitt’s ‘acting’ career, but this was something else.

Brisbane’s whole season has been pretty brutal actually.

So much so they’ve started blaming the AFL for it. Leppitsch said the AFL have given the Lions ‘nothing’, which is rich coming from someone who played in their golden era following the merger.

Blaming the AFL because the club has been run with the professionalism of a Colin Sylvia offseason is missing the heart of the matter.

The Lions have now said they’ll have a ‘review’ at the end of the season, which is footy administration code for ‘find another coach’.

Adelaide kicked 27 goals in this, which points to a few concerns with this Lions defence.

The Crows players are to be commended for keeping their focus for the entire game.

Everyone watching this got bored and switched off but it was obvious the Adelaide players were keen to have a big percentage party.

It worked too, the Crows now sit in third and along with the Swans, while the Lions sit nowhere.

Carlton (51) v St Kilda (122)

This felt more like a retro round for Carlton.

Perhaps it was their way of paying tribute to Andrew Walker’s final game, make him remember what the majority of his time at the Blues has been like.

Walker got a guard of honour coming off the ground because we must be just doing that for anyone now.

The Blues looked like it was just all too hard after a long season and with the Saints having a real crack.

It was their biggest loss of the season which is actually a positive, many predicted this would be the norm this season.

St Kilda looked like a team that could make the finals if the keep winning and North keep losing.

Seeing the way North had played the night before probably made them feel pretty confident that’s not just a ‘mathematically possible’ chance.

Really, it means the Saints just need to keep winning, North should take care of the rest for them.

Geelong (100) v Essendon (34)

James Kelly almost missed this game because of traffic and he probably now wishes he had.

A whole afternoon’s work for four goals is tough work and I think the Essendon fans cheered when the finals siren went, like when the final bell goes at school.

Any half of football where you don’t score a goal must make you wonder why you just don’t stick to the A-League. At least there you can light a flare to pass the time.

Even worse for the Bombers, is that Brendon Goddard went off injured and now they’ll have to select someone else as captain. Apparently, finger pointing tryouts started immediately after the match.

A deep analysis of where Essendon are going wrong is not only beyond me but also kind of pointless. We all know why they’re struggling.

Instead, let’s ponder why Channel Seven are still showing Sunrise while the Olympics are on. I don’t know about you but I kind of want to watch the Olympics while they’re on.

Sure, Channel Seven have three channels but how often have you already flicked between all three and had an ads hat trick? If that was a drinking game you’d be dead.

Anyway, Geelong got the percentage they needed and were perfectly fine.

Fremantle (64) v West Coast (110)

OK, now that we’ve lost all the Victorian readers, what is with that whole ‘Victorian teams over everyone else stuff? I mean, that’s a policy that could lead to you barracking for Collingwood, Essendon or Hawthorn.

That can’t be morally right. That’s the thing about footy, it’s your team and everyone else’s team is the worst.

That’s something supporters of these two teams know. When the other Western Australian team loses you’re happy, if they win you want to throw something.

A bit like the Richmond win, the Eagles getting over the Dockers is hardly cause for celebration or reason to believe West Coast are back on track.

The Dockers haven’t put together four quarters of footy since 2015, so it was hardly surprising that they dropped off in the second half after being pretty competitive.

Josh Kennedy’s seven goals made the real difference and he made the Fremantle defence look like, well the 2016 Fremantle defence.

The return of Nic Naitanui was a positive and the Eagles fans must be pinning their hopes on him adding the missing piece for their finals tilt, no pressure Nic.

The Dockers fans aren’t pinning their hopes on anyone, they don’t have hopes.

Titus O’Reily is doing a live show 2nd September at Yarraville Laughs. Tickets on sale now athttp://www.yarravillelaughs.com/gig/titus-oreily


  1. Gary Bruce

    I must have missed the sea of giant goon bags during the Opening Ceremony. But the giant Nimbin Wind Spinner around the Olympic torch made for a lasting memory. That must have cost a fortune at the local craft markets

  2. johndjames

    Couldn’t get down to the Dees v Hawks game but I watched it on Fox footy and was so sure we were going to win at 3q time I started recording the game,I nearly lost my voice by the end,fantastic.

  3. JosephShizbags

    Gary Bruce The goon bags were right at the start of the ceremony, Friday or even Thursday I think it was.

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