Footy is a passion, not some cold hearted, spreadsheet 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.
Melbourne (50) v Sydney (85)
This week, Melbourne’s players were either injured, drunk or belting people. They were more bad 21st party than footy team, and the result proved that.
We spent last week debating how out of character Bachar Houli hit on Jed Lamb was.
This week, they’ll be no such similar debate. If you had to guess which Melbourne player would punch someone in the head and you knew Jesse Hogan wasn’t playing, you’d guess Jordan Lewis.
But your next guess would be Tomas Bugg.
Everyone is in agreement that Tom Bugg’s hit on Callum Mills was very much in character.
As well as being a low act, it was also a spectacularly stupid one, given the previous week. He really should get a loading of two weeks for idiocy.
Sydney dominated this game, as the Demons struggled to contain their midfield. Only the Swans terrible accuracy at goal gave Melbourne any hope of staying in touch.
It means the Swans are now very much in the September hunt. It turns out you can take the first month of the season off and still make it work.
Western Bulldogs (80) v West Coast (87)
The reigning premiers playing West Coast at Etihad Stadium. Finally, an easy game to tip. But there are no easy tips this season. This season is out to ruin your tips and you. Yes, you personally.
Especially when the Bulldogs are playing at home against a team that travels worse than tired toddlers.
It took until the Eagles had a thirty-point lead in the third quarter for the Bulldogs to even realise the game had started.
Their fans had certainly noticed the game had begun a few hours earlier and had been trying to let them know by yelling at them.
Once the Bulldogs woke up, they gave winning a real crack, coming back with fighting fury before Nathan Vardy stopped them just short.
There are certainly question marks over the Dogs premiership defence. For instance, they made Jack Darling look like the best player in the game. Even Eagles fans thought that odd.
For West Coast though, this was a great win. Losing at home a few times meant they had to pinch a few on the road if they’re to stand any chance of staying in the eight.
With this win, it’s safe for the Eagles players to fly home.
Carlton (77) v Adelaide (89)
There’s a lot to like about Carlton. I mean, not the club, or their fans, or any of the people involved, they’re all awful, but as a football team, they are heading in the right direction.
Brendon Bolton said he has no interest in honourable losses, which I read as meaning he prefers ‘dishonourable wins’. How quickly he’s adopted to the Carlton culture.
Against the Crows, a team with a lot more talent, the Blues worked hard all day, even after falling behind early.
Considering many thought Carlton wouldn’t win a game this year; the Blues are certainly a team that makes you earn a win.
The Crows at times this season have looked like a team that’s not so keen to earn a victory, so in many ways, this was a pleasing performance.
Sure, they didn’t boot one of their 140-odd totals, but they won on the MCG against a team that never gave up.
In this weird season, it no longer matters how well you win, just winning is a bar many can’t jump.
Gold Coast (118) v North Melbourne (99)
Even though he hates them, the Gold Coast help deliver a win to Gary Ablett in his 300th game.
Ablett, of course, contributed 37 disposals to the win, in a sign that he is far from done. He obviously isn’t aware that you’re meant to decline as you get older.
I know I’ve certainly declined in every area as I’ve got over and it was off a very low baseline, to begin with.
In pleasing news for Suns fans, Tom Lynch returned to form with five goals. Let’s hope Lynch has got everything working again, although we can’t rule out it was just the fact he was playing the Kangaroos.
North started off terribly before mounting a late challenge which fell short. It showed another way the Kangaroos can manage not to win. They’re creative in that regard.
North now sit 17th on the ladder and may be the most frustrating team in the league.
They don’t feel like the second worst side in the competition, but I guess they’ve earnt the right to be called that.
Greater Western Sydney (68) v Geelong (68)
Whoever is writing this season must have watched a lot of Lost growing up. Just as you think you’re about to learn something that will fill in some of the gaps, nothing is resolved, and everything gets more confusing.
This game was at least meant to give us some sense of who is better out for two serious premiership contenders, so of course, we get a draw.
Both sides had a lot of outs, so this probably wasn’t a fair representation of what a meeting in September between these two would be like.
Pleasingly, for other supporters, there were lots of negatives for both sides to take away from this game.
For GWS, letting the Cats get a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter when playing at home makes their claim to the premiership seems as shaky as ever.
Despite coming back, if Tom Hawkins had kicked a goal after the siren the Giants would have recorded an embarrassing loss.
Geelong will be rueing missed opportunities. Leading by twenty with eight minutes to go, while hardly a sure thing this season, should get a premiership team home.
At least both teams will get a lot of players back, and in Geelong’s case, their young players seem to finally be stepping up. Won’t it be great to see Geelong finally taste some success?
Port Adelaide (63) v Richmond (76)
Port’s inability to beat the top sides has long been discussed and it turns out they can’t beat Richmond either.
Are the Tigers a top side? There seems to be a body of evidence building that they are, but my tiny brain still struggles to accept it.
Richmond fans certainly deserve some September success. Like any group of people who go through traumatic events on a regular basis, you hope things turn for them at some point.
We’ll all feel good for them too if it happens, even though we’ve taken far too much pleasure in watching their world regularly fall apart.
I watched this game with a Richmond supporter, and it was fun watching them when the Tigers looked headed for another disappointing loss. It became less fun as the Tigers turned things around, to the point I stopped filming them altogether.
This game was so mistake-riddled, it had more physical comedy than a Jim Carey movie.
In the third quarter, Richmond managed to reduce their errors from ‘unrelentingly’ to ‘only fairly regularly’.
That was enough to overrun the Power.
Port’s terrible goal kicking certainly didn’t help and the fact they are so soft inside they should be a flavour in a box of Roses, was highlighted again as Dustin Martin just ran over them.
Oh, I forgot to mention that Alex Rance is the greatest defender ever, as required by legislation
Essendon (82) v Brisbane (90)
Now, to the best of my knowledge, Etihad Stadium has a roof. It’s a trade-off for it having a terrible surface. One of the great benefits of rooves, in fact, all solid objects, is they can be used to deflect the Sun’s rays.
The Sun is a sphere of hot plasma at the centre of our solar system. A portion of the electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun reaches us here on Earth in the form of ‘sunlight’.
Almost all this sunlight streams directly into Etihad Stadium, and when it hits the eyes of players and fans, it tends to blind them, temporarily at first but permanently if they keep looking at it.
It turns out, being blinded by the Sun produces some awful football, not that these teams always need any assistance from nature.
The AFL, in their quixotic wisdom, decided not to close the roof, despite knowing full well that not doing so, turns the stadium into a sun temple of which the Maya would have been proud.
Why? Well, the AFL always prefer complex fixes rather than simple ones, and simply shutting the roof is so simple a solution, they’ll never do it.
Anyway, solar blindness issues aside, this was an entertaining match. Essendon appeared to be cruising towards an easy win and seem surprised when the Lions midfield started to offer some resistance.
So surprised, that they watched on as the Lions kicked six of the last seven goals, recording a morale-boosting win for the young team.
To win in Melbourne, against a team like Essendon means everything to the Lions.
It’s like seeing a green shoot in the desert. There are finally some signs that footy in Brisbane may be slowly coming back.
An apology from me too. I misjudged the Essendon marketing department.
When the laughably tried to position this season as some sort of ‘Comeback Story’, we all assumed they were still delusional about what happened at their club.
It turns out after the past few weeks; they were talking about their opponents. I got that wrong.
Hawthorn (118) v Collingwood (94)
I thought we were safe. I’d begun sleeping at night, and people said commented that I no longer looked like someone on the cusp of having a joint stroke-heart attack.
But now Hawthorn are in touch of the eight.
I’m not too worried yet. Hawthorn played so poorly that Collingwood had to help them out to win.
But the danger is there, like a great white circling beneath, sure you’re in the boat, but I’ve seen Jaws, I know what can happen.
The Nathan Buckley era seems to be over. While sad, we opposition fans probably got two more years of it than we could have ever of hoped for. Any other coach who inherited a good side and drove them south would have been gone long ago.
Imagine if Bucks hadn’t been a club legend, a good media performer and regarded as a nice person? He would have been Collingwood’s, Mark Neeld.
There are still some that think he is a good coach, like Japanese soldiers, stuck on an island, unaware the war is already over.
What is true is this mess isn’t all of Buckley’s making. From the decision to replace Malthouse, to the list management ever since this has been a collective stuff up but will Buckley be the only one who pays for it?
Michael Walters (80) v St Kilda (89)
Credit to St Kilda, who only a few weeks ago looked like meekly exiting finals contention.
Now, after getting across the line against Michael Walters, they remain in the hunt for September glory.
Walters had 32 touches, 18 of them contested and kicked 6.2 in a performance so exciting that it was shocking that it was occurring in a Fremantle jumper.
The Dockers lost Aaron Sandilands in the first quarter after he’d already been out for six weeks and he won’t play again this season. It’s not surprising that hamstrings that hold up a person the size of a tree might struggle from time-to-time.
St Kilda created plenty of controversy during the game, with Jake Carlisle pushing Haydn Ballantyne when he was on the ground after a heavy fall. The Fremantle fans were filthy with Carlisle, but their booing said, ‘we’re angry but understand it’s Hayden Ballantyne.’
Nick Riewoldt also faked a free kick when the ball was thrown back to him after a free while the umpire wasn’t looking, so he didn’t catch it and pretended it wasn’t returned properly to him.
Some would call it gamesmanship, but those people are awful, it was a low act. Not Tom Bugg low but still a low act.
Still, the Saints won’t care, this was a hard-fought win, with Sam Gilbert stretchered off the ground.
For the Dockers, this was the signal to start training for AFLX.
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