May 08, 2023


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Eight


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.


Carlton (74) v Brisbane (100)

A concerning loss to Carlton and one that means they haven’t beaten an AFL side since Round Three.

The Blues were in touch for the first half, but the third quarter was a disaster for them, as the Lions booted five goals to Carlton’s; let me just tally this up… zero goals.

Considering both Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow play for them, you would think that would be hard to do, but Carlton made it look effortless.

Actually, Carlton makes a lot of things look effortless.

So bad was the third quarter that Blues fans started booing their team, which doesn’t happen as often as you’d think.

People say you shouldn’t boo, and I didn’t like the booing of Lance Franklin, but the Blues I feel have really earnt their boos. Their fans have two decades of this nonsense.

Carlton did respond by kicking four of the first five goals in the fourth, but it was like closing the barn door after the horse has already changed its spots.

Brisbane fans did not need to boo; their boys ran amok, with Charlie Cameron booting four, as did Zac Bailey.

They just kept the pressure up, secure in the knowledge that Carlton were going to Carlton at some point.

I’ve gone out on this limb before, and I’ll do it again; Brisbane are the best team in Brisbane; probably in all of Queensland too.


Richmond (104) v West Coast (58)

The good news for Tigers fans is they haven’t hit rock bottom; in fact, they were 46 points above it on Saturday.

They could have been up even higher, but they kicked for goal with the steadiness of my hands in the morning before a stiff drink.

If you didn’t catch this game, well done. Like all games involving the Eagles, it was a real test of how much you love footy.

I love footy a bit too much, and even I started to wonder if I should look for another hobby.

The Eagles are meant to be a top club. Rich, heaps of members, a history of success, one of the toughest home-field advantages in the game, and yet they struggle to kick a football.

It’s amazing everyone hasn’t been fired, from the chairman down. Their offices should sound like an episode of The Apprentice.

Richmond can’t take too much comfort from this. At one stage, Dion Prestia booted three goals in five minutes to remind everyone this was not a real game. 

It was like playing AFL 23. Buggy and unrealistic.

Geelong (98) v Adelaide (72)

Patrick Dangerfield went off in this one with ‘hamstring awareness’ a phrase that underlines just how stupid the AFL media industry really is.

The minute any industry starts using overly complicated language, you know it is stuffed.

I’m not saying footy is stuffed, but the AFL media certainly is.

Just say it’s a sore hamstring.

‘Hamstring awareness’ is a longer and less accurate term. Why would you use that instead? I’m aware of my hamstring right now. There’s nothing wrong with them, but I sure am aware of them.

Footy commentators should simplify things, not make things more complicated. If you want to use language so poorly that it is almost impossible to understand, become a management consultant.

Now it wasn’t just the media saying this, it was Dangerfield himself too, but he is more media than player these days.

Remember when he saved that family from drowning in the surf?

“This guy will do anything to get his face in the media,’ I thought at the time.

Oh, Adelaide were plucky in this one.

Gold Coast (85) v Melbourne (90)

Melbourne certainly learnt the hard way that you never underestimate Mal Rosas jnr.

This was a great game, and I can say that because, as a Melbourne supporter, I don’t have the bitter taste of defeat in my mouth.

Suns fans certainly felt hard done by on account of some late umpiring decisions, and I have some sympathy for them.

Overall, I thought the umpiring in this was odd, and for both teams at different points.

In quite a few games this season I’ve felt the umpires have just completely lost control at times.

In fairness, with the complexity of the rules and the constant changes to how they should be interpreted, asking someone to umpire a game is like asking someone to fly a fighter jet when they’ve never been in one before.

What was enjoyable about this game was seeing the two midfields go at it.

Oliver and Petracca on one side, Noah Anderson and Matt Rowell on the other.

Both sides went at this with high levels of pressure, skill and some nastiness. It was great to watch.

The Suns have the makings of a top side; as always, it will be keeping them together that will be the challenge.

They can’t always be like Schoolies; you go up to the Gold Coast, have some fun before returning home to take life seriously.

In the end, the Demons had a bit more composure when it mattered, and the umpires were on their side.

A big negative for them, however is the suspension of Jacob van Rooyen, who has received a two-week ban for ‘clumsiness. 

Tom Green (71) v Marcus Bontempelli (86)

This was in Canberra, a big winner this week in the footy world.

That’s because with Tasmania finally getting a team, Canberra will now be the place people threaten to send underperforming clubs.

No longer will it be ‘send North/Gold Coast to Tasmania’. Now it will be ‘send them to Canberra,’ which is great branding for Canberra, it will really get their name out there.

Plus we already dump all the worst people on them through Federal Parliament.

The AFL already send the Giants to Canberra on a regular basis and yet the government still give the AFL hundreds of millions of dollars. Weird.

This game was worth watching just to see Marcus Bontempelli and Tom Green.

The Bont was his usual dominant self, while Green finished with 38 touches and three goals.

I’m no expert, but that seems good.

So eye-catching was his performance that I decided it was time for me to research him a bit more. After several hours of deep internet research, I discovered a lot.

It turns out that Tom Green is a Canadian-American comedian, actor, filmmaker, podcaster, and rapper.

Green created and hosted The Tom Green Show, which aired on Canadian television and later on MTV between 1994 and 2000

From 2001 to 2002, he was married to Drew Barrymore. Amazing! You’d think that would get mentioned more.

Fremantle (117) v Hawthorn (48)

Brave of the Royal Family to put King Charles’ coronation up against this game.

It’s like the Royals didn’t even consult the AFL fixture before scheduling their little event. A rookie error and one that happens far too often with social occasions. 

I can only imagine how angry Charles would have been when he discovered he would miss this.

This is a man who gets furious when a pen doesn’t work. Imagine how angry he would have been when he discovered he would miss Nat Fyfe’s return from injury. 

I flicked onto the coronation a few times, and every time one of the bishops was whispering to Charles, and I imagine they were giving him the score and other vital bits of information.

“Luke Jackson is having a blinder.”

“Hawthorn’s kicking efficiency is way down.”

“This will make Fremantle feel good, but it is against Hawthorn who would struggle against a light breeze.”


Port Adelaide (92) v Essendon (87)

Port Adelaide set out to make this game as hard as possible for themselves. I’m not sure why. Maybe they thought Essendon on their own wouldn’t offer enough of a challenge.

So they kicked 12.20.

Jeremy Finlayson booted 1.4, while Junior Rioli booted 2.3.

Rioli, a man who controversy seems to seek out, will be in trouble this week after his arm collected Jordan Ridley, concussing the defender.

His biggest issue was just how completely unnecessary it was. There should be a loading on any penalty based on just who stupid an incident was.

Intentional Conduct, High Impact, High Contact, Breathtakingly stupid.

Essendon certainly worked hard all game, and, thanks to Port’s comical inaccuracy, led for a lot of it, but the sense all along was the Power would overtake them at some stage.

The result leaves Essendon outside the eight and with a 4-4 record. No team has for so long done an impression of improving while staying average.

They’ve now lost three in a row, with Brisbane to come this week.

Collingwood (77) v Sydney (48)

Again, people attempted to intimidate Nick Daicos before the game. This time it resulted in a bit of push and shove and then a free kick.

You’d have to say the results are not good. Nick still had 25 possessions and Collingwood still won. It’s not working.

Really, the Swans should have focused on Brody Mihocek a bit more, who finished with five goals, including one stunning goal late when he was being pulled down in the goal square and got his foot to it.

The Swans were much improved compared to their recent games. They worked their way back into this match, and if they had kicked accurately, things could have been different.

They finished 6.12. If you flip that, they would have scored 12.6, which would have seen them win by one point.

But, if you flip Collingwood’s score, which was 11.11, you would have 11.11, which is no difference at all.

Plus, none of this happened, rendering this all a completely pointless exercise, but it could get me a job at Champion Data.

Most worrying for the Swans is they scored just one goal in the second half.

More worrying for the rest of us is the undeniable fact that Collingwood cannot lose this Premiership.

There’s just no way they can stuff it up from here.

North Melbourne (34) v St Kilda (64)

Both sides should be punished for bringing the game into disrepute.

Like an Auskick game but without the fun and enthusiasm.

Clarkson decided that if his team couldn't win, they would just make the game unwatchable, while Ross Lyon always decides that to win, he will make the game unwatchable.

The result? This was unwatchable.

How we let Ross Lyon back into coaching, I’ll never know. The man is like kryptonite to exciting football.

The first half was the worst A-League game of the season, with the score 0.7 to 3.9.

Not even the players seemed to be enjoying things, and both teams probably lost the younger generation of fans.

Seriously, kids were openly crying in the stands.

The only excitement was seeing if North would go goalless the entire game, but even that went away as the Kangaroos pilled on a heady four goals across the whole game.

St Kilda were certainly dragged down to North’s level, producing some awful, awful football.

The won because North managed to find new lows the Saints couldn’t follow them to.

Apparently, the crowd was 22,065, meaning 22,065 people are still processing what they saw, and will be spending the day wondering why they now hate football.

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. Find out more here:




May 08, 2023

As a West Coast supporter when I read "Knee Jerk Reaction" this morning all I thought of was yet another ACL....


May 08, 2023

Titus - you that King Charles went to Timbertop & now plays for Port Adelaide (number 22)

Distinguished Guy

May 08, 2023

I follow Port (score 12:20). My Essendon supporting nephew supports Essendon (score 13:9). After the game he texted me to say if this was soccer they would have won i.e. no points if you miss the goal. I couldn't think of a rebuttal then and I can't now.

Peter Donohue

May 08, 2023

As a Collingwood supporter, let me pint out that, yes, they can stuff it up....

saint peter

May 08, 2023

Welcome back titus. You delivered on every game with your insights & great commentary. From "closing the barn door after the horse has already changed its spots" to "it could get me a job at Champion Data".

I'll leave the St.Kilda game out of it because it was really difficult to watch. Thank God Grant Thomas wasn't coaching against Paul Roos I think it would have been a NIL all draw.


May 08, 2023

Titus, you wrote "Green finished with 38 touches ".
A touch isn't a valid statistic. A disposal is. Even a possession is better although a player can possess the ball without disposing of it.
Please don't sound like the rest of the media.

Japanese Sainter

May 08, 2023

I crossed the code from baseball to rugby union and now to AFL, because of speed and more attacking. On Saturday, I felt like I was not Japanese because I don’t follow baseball anymore. Watching the Sunday Twilight game, I wonder where my aim was. I’m happy to have Ross Lyon in my club, but I got bored and frustrated while watching the game. But as the club’s motto, I keep the loyalty.

Running Dog

May 08, 2023

Who knew a horse could change its spots? 'Lucky buggers', mutters my dalmation. We're always joining his dots with a texta, to see whether he still looks like a dog. Done this heaps of times- we're aiming for 101 different versions, but he refuses to change.

I'm convinced King Charles took an interest in the Fremantle match. Who wouldn't be pleased to see the entire world infested with purple? Luckily there wasn't as much Green at the GWS match as there might have been.

The g train

May 08, 2023

A very, very good unhelpful unhelpful guide, then followed by an even better Knee Jerk Reaction.

Titus—if you thought the adjudicating in the Gold Coast vs Melbourne game was bad, it was exemplary compared to the Stevie Spark vs Valenzuela adjudicating. John Douglas would have been spinning in his grave.

StK vs North. After watching that, one may well ask: what’s the point? Of anything. It was a depressing philosophical breakthrough—that life is utterly pointless.

Paul Roos

May 08, 2023

It was great to be back coaching the Swannies yesterday. Nothing better than the sight of those Bloods kicking it sideways, backwards and around in circles. Going forward is so over-rated. Yeah I know, we were never going to win playing keepings off but it's fun and at least we didn't get done by 100.

Con Cushion

May 08, 2023

Turn it up Titus ... Collingwood fans boo their own mums' when there's fresh fruit and vegetables in the crisper of the Crosley. Con.

Paul Mier

May 08, 2023

Perhaps we need a "Hamstring Awareness Day"!


May 08, 2023


"Apparently, the crowd was 22,065, meaning 22,065 people are still processing what they saw"

I processed what I saw right there and then. Midway through the second quarter I turned to the missus and said, "This is the closest an AFL game can get to imitating a wrestling match between two one-armed midgets."

She then warned me the word "midget" is offensive.

"So is this game," I said.


May 08, 2023

I will never admit it or likely say this ever again, but I attended the Port v Essendon game and it was the most competent umpiring I've seen since Glen James was running the show.

I was in a state of bewilderment that I had no opportunity to abuse them at any stage (even Razor Ray was spared). And this is from a former player who excelled at umpire abuse and getting sent off/reported. I don't think Port supporters abused them either, although it's hard to know given most of them don't have a great grasp of the English language. We also didn't boo Jason Horne-Francis, despite him being the difference between the two sides and hogging the ball. I feel I was shackled.


May 08, 2023

I’ve always held ‘once married to Drew Barrymore’ akin to ‘ comes from a basketball background’


May 08, 2023

My advice is to just hit the booze
If you've pinned any hopes on the Blues.
Their prospects next week
Are certainly bleak:
In Round 9 they'll certainly lose.


May 08, 2023

Titus, in addition to all those thigs you mentioned, TOM GREEN is also a county in Texas.

Truly a man of many parts.


May 08, 2023

Titus: I know you have been ill, but better research is needed. Tom Green, the rapper, is 51, which would make him the oldest player in the AFL. The Tom Green playing for GWS is his son, recruited under the little-known father-son Ballymore Rule (Andrew Dillon was away that day attending a seminar on "How to accept the top job with ultra modesty"). The AFL lackeys confused Ballymore Stadium with Drew Barrymore.

Halftime Spray

May 08, 2023

Yeah, Titus, all that hamstring awareness type of talk comes from the current Americanisation of English. An addiction is a substance abuse problem. A cook is a culinary specialist. Simple things now seem to need complex labels.


May 08, 2023

Over the years the Eagles have just had too many chemists and not enough magicians.

Comments commentator

May 08, 2023

During this break in play, it's worth noting the O'Reily commenting team has shown exemplary form this week, kicking goal after goal. This is despite Distinguished Guy's lack of a rebuttal and Deenee's technical spoil. Running Dog's dog has wandered on to the arena disguised as a Collingwood player with vertical black Texta stripes, and opposition supporters are showing great wit by shouting: "Get off the field, you dog!". G Train continues to speak great truth. And what a scoop for Titus - it is now clear that Roos replaced Longmire as Swans coach while no one was looking. And yes, Paul Mier, the federal government has just tipped in $240m into the AFL coffers to instigate a hamstring awareness day, an ACL awareness day and an osteitis pubis awareness day. But Taking Elsternwick by Storm has kicked the goal of the week with his perspicacious observations of the Saints/Kangaroos game. But very strange that such a defensive game can be, at the same time, so offensive.

Daniel B

May 08, 2023

"Intentional Conduct, High Impact, High Contact, Breathtakingly stupid."

That sounds like a good life motto. In fact, it reminds me of the activities of a former Nationals leader. He made it to deputy PM so it can't be so bad.


May 08, 2023

No preview for Round 8 and I tipped nine. Coincidence? I think not.


May 08, 2023

It was unusual to see Collingwood win without having heart failure. I could get used to that. Nice to see the Swans forgot there was a fourth quarter for the second week in a row.

Snorri Gunderchuckson

May 09, 2023

It is true Titus… we do boo our own mothers- but never our fathers - never quite sure who they are…
But booing buddy is as ridiculous as booing Pendles..!


May 09, 2023

Football commentators making things more complicated than they need to be isn’t a new thing. Engineers where I work call a fan an Air Movement Device or AMD for short. I kid you not!

Halftime Spray

May 10, 2023

"Engineers where I work call a fan an Air Movement Device or AMD for short. I kid you not!"

You might one day wish to point out to those same engineers the inherent stupidity of that kind of thinking. By that I mean, the way they give a device with a simple name a much more complex name, then immediately simplify that much more complex name.

Halftime Spray

May 10, 2023

And then suggest they call an AMD a fan for short.


May 11, 2023

Brings to mind a story I heard about an ancient cost saving measure at a previous company I worked for: excessive requests for purchase of calculators had led to a ban on new requests for them, so one bright spark submitted a requisition for a "hexadecimal to decimal converter" instead.