The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Twenty-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.

Geelong (62) v Collingwood (110)

Finally, it’s safe to predict the Cats will collapse this season. It’s great because I’ve been doing it every year since 2007 and finally I’m right! Take that haters.

I do feel for the nine-year-old Cat fans who are still coming to terms with the idea Geelong don’t play finals automatically. It must be tough for them.

Things looked bad early for Geelong with Travis Cloke injured during the warm up and then Jesse White started kicking goals.

It got so bad the commentary team spent the last three quarters predicting that every Geelong player would be retiring at the end of the year.

On this performance, Geelong are going to need more than Patrick Dangerfield to become a powerhouse again. Perhaps they need all the players that are rumoured to be going to Collingwood. I think that’s half the league.

For Pies fans, they have to be wondering where this effort and accuracy in front of goal has been for the second half of the season.

Perhaps they should have their President show them how to hit a target before every match.

Greater Western Sydney (132) v Carlton (51)

I hope for Brendon Bolton’s sake that those employment conditions had a cooling off period. He looked on like a man who has accidentally ordered a vegetarian meal on Saturday.

John Barker on the other hand looked about as interested as you’d expect someone working their second last shift would. It was a mixture of disinterest and relief that these problems were no longer his.

Basically, all the hopes of Carlton fans now rest with Patrick Cripps. It’s a lot of pressure for the young man but he seems to be more than up to it. He had 29 possessions while his teammates basically stood around and watched.

GWS showed that they are at least better than Carlton after last week proving they are a lot worse than Sydney.

Jeremy Cameron had seven goals which is not a bad effort for someone who had zero touches in the first quarter.

The AFL say there were 9,538 people at this game, which is a bit like when I say I’ve had ‘heaps ’of girlfriends. Everyone knows it’s a lie but they go along with it because the truth is too sad.

Hawthorn (134) v Brisbane (62)

Hawthorn smashed the Lions and they did so with no Hodge or Mitchell and managing to not play the first quarter.

When the Lions went in with a three goal lead at quarter time they must have wondered if they could cause a massive upset.

Instead, Clarko asked his team to start actually trying and it was all over, with Gunstan kicking four and James Frawley booted three with a run up forward.

In someway it was a bit cruel, like an adult pretending to let the kids win before brutally destroying them or as I call it ‘family Christmas backyard cricket’.

Tom Rockliff was the only player for the Lions that fought for all four quarters, amassing 45 possessions. I’d have a divisive captaincy style if I was the only one willing to do any work. I must remember to call him.

North Melbourne (73) v Western Bulldogs (96)

The Bulldogs continued to show people why you should believe in them, while the Kangaroos reminded us all why you shouldn’t.

This was very impressive from the Bulldogs who played in Perth last week yet still finished with all the running.

If only they could play a final at Etihad, except the AFL seem to want stadiums that have grass as a feature. It’s a double standard if you ask me, it never bothered them with ANZ Stadium.

This game had a finals-like intensity, which means people were actually interested in it and it was close.

A lot of dates I’ve been on have had a finals-like intensity, in that I sweat a lot, there’s lots of pressure and they end with half the people there happy and the other half bitterly disappointed.

This result has to worry Kangaroos fans who could face the Bulldogs in an elimination final. I guess they can take some comfort from the fact Brad Scott is working on the game plan.

Shaun Higgins kicked three goals against his old side but he must have spent most of the post-game thinking ‘I’ve made a huge mistake’.

Essendon (47) v Richmond (74)

Bombers players have a funny way of showing they wanted to play for Hird. Since he left they’ve put in something bordering on effort.

Against Richmond they seemed to actually give the Tigers some genuine trouble. The rain was coming down for a lot of this so there were few highlights.

At one point some Irish guy kicked a goal and everyone got really excited about it. The commentators only mentioned he was Irish about 4000 times, which is restrained for them.

There are two amazing things about Conor McKenna. The first is that he only played his first game of AFL last year, the second is he choose Essendon as the team he wanted to play for.

I’m assuming he’s not a big consumer of media or a believer in doing due diligence before making a decision.

I think Richmond are premiership favourties.

I say that because I think I’ve predicted almost every other team winning the Grand Final in other articles. Regardless of who wins I’ll just point to the particular article I predicted it in. I think every other footy writer uses a similar trick.

Seriously, writing about AFL is all care, no responsibility, I highly recommend it.

Gold Coast (51) v Port Adelaide (88)

Rodney Eade had a little go at the umpires after this but I think it was more a result of his team not being very good.

To be fair, which I sporadically am, the Suns have a pretty impressive injury list this season, it’s better than most teams’ list.

Against Port though, the healthy few were poor but at least there was a bit of life before halftime with a melee that threatened to become a brawl.

There were a few punches thrown and Tom Lynch’s jumper somehow ended up in the crowd. Luckily it was returned, that thing is worth almost the cost of the material.

The melee is excellent news for the AFL who can now afford at least three more rounds at their Christmas party once the Match Review Panel have gone to work.

Next week, Port play Fremantle who are apparently sending their ‘B’ team, Port have confirmed they’ll play their ‘B’ team too, more commonly known as their 2015 team.

Adelaide (126) v West Coast (69)

So obliviously we have to write the Eagles off now, after all we’ve believed in them for at least a fortnight now.

The Crows came out firing and it was apparent they weren’t just settling for making the finals. An eight goal to nil opening quarter certainly grabbed everyone’s attention.

Adelaide are a team that always had some nice pieces but it often felt like they hadn’t worked out how to use them all together. In this game everything seemed to click.

Patrick Dangerfield was inspirational again and Josh Jenkins booted six to show the Crows have multiple avenues to goal.

Can the Crows go all the way? I’m predicting they will right here because I just realised I haven’t tipped them to win it anywhere else.

Same goes for the Eagles, they’ll win the Premiership too.

I’m really getting on board with the Crows. IT would be the stuff of legend if they go all the way. It would be right up there with Brendon Goddard’s movie in terms of drama, except it’s got more chance of not being complete fiction.

St Kilda (38) v Sydney (135)

So Canada beat the USA in a sport that doesn’t involve ice, a puck and something called a ‘Zamboni’. And yes, I know some of you want to now write a comment saying ‘maybe it did involve ice Titus!’

What is it with commentators being beyond excited with players from overseas? Sure, they’re interesting stories but you’d think they’d cured cancer they way people go on about them.

I’d like someone to get that excited over a player because they were from some random suburb, like Croydon.

“We’ll he’s from Croydon and how exciting is it to have a player in the AFL from there? I understand his parent are here tonight after making the long trip. I’m told Croydon has both a Coles and an Aldi and the people speak a dialect that is almost English.”

St Kilda finally looked like they are over this season after sticking with it a lot longer than other teams near them on the ladder. Unfortunately for them, Sydney look like they’ve woken up in time for the finals.

The Swans looked like they are getting serious, which is ominous. Franklin got through his comeback and was put in cotton wool during the third quarter when he was subbed off.

Can Sydney win the premiership? It’s certainly possible and I’m predicting it right here.

Fremantle (108) v Melbourne (54)

As ordered, I’ve become a more positive Melbourne fan this week. For instance, I’m positive the Demons were beyond awful in this one.

It was sad how lackluster they were considering it was Nathan Jones’ 200th game. Seriously, that guy has been stuck in the worst group assignment ever.

He went off injured too and it was a shame his teammates didn’t decide they were going to emulate his attack on the footy.

The Dees did their ‘we don’t do first halves’ thing again. The Dockers kicked the first ten goals of the game which would be ridiculous if it was the norm for teams playing Melbourne.

It’s especially surprising given the Dockers had some big outs too.

Still, I’m remaining positive and I believe Paul Roos has just decided he is going to earn all his money in his last season.

I don’t think Roos should be sacked though as some are saying. If I have to watch another year of this, he does too.

The Dockers should be congratulated for finishing top even though everyone continues to write them off. I’m not, I’m picking them to win the whole thing right here.

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  1. Joel Cuming

    Melbourne players are still trying to work out who the player in that photo is.

  2. Aaron Grogs

    whats the record for lowest attendance? giants/dees at etihad will go close surely

  3. lauradeg22

    commentators get excited over jarryd blair as the “boy from wonthaggi” lol

  4. Bonjour_Pippy

    TitusOReily Massive problem if Sydney get past prelims. In a GF televised around the world, crowd would be forced to wear mouth gags!

  5. sb1193

    TitusOReily As a slightly-ashamed Croydonite, “a dialect close to English” is perfect.

  6. Aaron Grogs

    Theyd probly get more there considering how bad dees are at etihad

  7. RauriDonkin

    TitusOReily so both sydneyswans and freodockers will win the flag?

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