Jul 10, 2023


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Seventeen


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 (88) v Sydney (75)

Jacob Bauer didn’t have the best debut ever; it was over in minutes due to a hamstring injury.

It reminded me of a guy I once knew who in the opening minutes of a date, reached for something and set his shirt cuff on fire on a candle.

The date went home with the waiter who had been looking after them and continued to look after one of them.

The good news for Bauer, is he has plenty of time to try again, as did my friend, who is now happily married, although he was significantly helped by the man drought and the bar for what passes as acceptable behaviour being so low for blokes.

At the other end of the spectrum, we had Buddy Franklin playing what was almost certainly his last game at the MCG.

Unfortunately for Buddy, it wasn’t a final win there, as Jack Graham rescued Richmond from itself.

The Tigers had been wildly inaccurate, and having enough, Graham grabbed the ball out of the centre and kicked a goal to square up the score, then he swooped on a ball in the forward fifty and sealed the game with another goal.

While the Tiges were inaccurate up forward, Toby Nankervis aimed true when he clipped Jake Lloyd high. Perhaps what stood out most about the bump was how completely unnecessary it was.


Western Bulldogs (77) v Collingwood (89)

You shouldn’t be allowed to walk into the league and by your 41st game, be the best player in the competition.

I mean, really, you shouldn’t be in the top 100 because AFL is hard. Like, incredibly hard.

It’s harder than opening a Chupa Chup.

But when Peter Daicos built Nick in his secret underground laboratory, he accidentally overpowered him.

It’s like when you create a player in NBA 2K with an overall of 99, then realise the stats they produce are so cartoonish it takes the realism away.

That’s what Nick is doing.

He had 29 disposals, 15 contested possessions, 11 clearances and six tackles and two rather lovely goals.

And the Bulldogs were playing incredibly well, and still Collingwood won.

It’s very depressing. Unless you’re a Pies supporter, then it’s the best thing in the world since you got a tattoo with your boyfriend’s name Bodhi, but you then broke up only for you to meet another Bodhi.


Brisbane (116) v West Coast (35)

Twenty minutes. That’s all it took the Lions to beat West Coast. When teams are beating you faster than it takes to make a fettuccine carbonara, you’re in trouble.

Damn, now I want a fettuccine carbonara. Which is fine; I do need to carb load while the Ashes are on.

At the end of twenty minutes, Brisbane were up by seven goals when the Eagles finally troubled the scorers.

But they didn’t trouble them much.

The trick with making fettuccine carbonara is not to scramble the eggs when you add them to the pasta.

Just keep the heat low and work fast to ensure that the eggs are well-mixed into the pasta.

And the final margin was flattering to the Eagles, with the Lions booting 16.20.

That was the only real negative for the Lions.

Jack Gunston booted six goals, after taking some time off from the AFL, and while this technically wasn’t an AFL game, it’s a promising step in the right direction.

Greater Western Sydney (85) v Hawthorn (72)

A fifth win in six matches takes the Giants to the edge of the top eight, which is something given some of their performances this season.

The Giants shouldn’t really be close to playing finals, they struggled here against Hawthorn, and it reminds me of the ridiculous calls we get to have wildcard entries for the finals.

I’m not sure how watering down your best product makes things better. It’s almost like money is all some people care about.

Hawks fans are treading that very thin tightrope between wanting to win and wanting to have the best possible draft pick and the Hawks did that very well in this one.

They were competitive, but just not quite competitive enough.

If I were a Hawks fan, I would find solace in the fact you have a player named Denver Grainger-Barras.

St Kilda (58) v Melbourne (79)

St Kilda may not have won the game, but like Mick Foley in his Hell in a Cell match against the Undertaker, they won a lot of fans.

They lost Max King (shoulder), Seb Ross (hamstring) and Zaine Cordy (concussion) before the first quarter, which means they had no right to even get this close to the Dees.

But they did, through constant pressure and Rowan Marshall. 

Marshall was a machine all night, up against Gawn and Grundy, and he was constantly there when the Saints needed him.

Despite their superiority in numbers, the Dees couldn’t handle the Saints pressure, they tried by constantly over-handballing, and the more that didn’t work, the more they tried it.

They needed Steven May to rescue them time and again like an annoyed dad stopping his young children from falling in the pool.

What’s a fun day at the pool for the kids is a stressful day of preventing drownings for the parents.

Up forward, the Dees managed to kick more goals than behinds in a nice change of pace, but the forward line was hardly effective.

Christian Petracca had to go forward to kick four of their twelve goals. The Dees are really missing Bayley Fritsch and Kysaiah Pickett.

There’s no guarantee either of them will be back by finals.

The highlight of the game was Mattaes Phillipou managing to bounce the ball off the top of the goalpost. I think you’re meant to have a shot of tequila when you do that. Another missed call by the umpires.

Port Adelaide (106) v Gold Coast (73)

At halftime, the Suns were up by six points and it looked like an upset was on the cards; I mean Port are ‘due for a loss’, right? That’s a thing.

But 32 minutes later, the Power were up by 43-points, after a brutal display of firepower not seen since the days the British would park a warship next to some wooden huts of some tribe that was bothering them by existing.

Port would boot 9.2 to the Suns 1.1 in the third quarter, but the score doesn’t tell the whole story. It was the sheer showmanship of it.

Sam Powell-Pepper thought launching a 70-meter torp at goal was a worthwhile thing to try, which it was, and Connor Rozee decided to win goal of the year with a dribble kick from the boundary.

It was all a nice way to honour Charlie Dixon in his 200th game and Jeremy Finalyson in his 100th.

For the Suns, it was all just another wasted second half, both in the game and their season.

It certainly doesn’t help when Ben King has one possession late in the third quarter and has to be dragged.

Someone playing against their will could probably get one possession.


Geelong (125) v North Melbourne (63)

When you’re hanging around the bottom of the eight, seeing North on your fixture has got to cheer you up.

And it did cheer the Cats up, as they belted the Kangaroos, and then got to see Adelaide drop a game to the Bombers, making this a highly successful weekend.

They next face Essendon, in what would be a huge match and crowd in Geelong, if not for the fact they’ve forgotten to finish building the new stand.

The Cats were celebrating Zach Tuohy breaking Jim Stynes' record for the most games by an Irishman, one of the key stats in our game.

All stats should be race-based, in my view.

Most kicks by a Belgian, most goals in a game by a Ghanaian, most tackles by a North Korean and most intercept marks by an Icelander. Then we could rank all the races…wait, this doesn’t seem like a good idea after all.

One thing that made me feel old was watching both Cooper Harvey and Taj Woewodin debut.

The stages of life are: 

·      AFL players are giant adults;

·      AFL players are the same age as you;

·      You are watching the children of AFL players you grew up watching; and

·      You are now telling the nice man who rang trying to sell you insurance how you used to watch so-and-so’s grandfather play.

I am now firmly in the watching the children of AFL players you grew up watching phase.

It doesn’t even console me that Boomer Harvey played AFL for forty-eight years.

Essendon (115) v Adelaide (97)

Essendon are in the top five at the end of round seventeen and everyone, including them, are surprised and not sure what is going on.

It’s like a deer running into a supermarket. You can tell it’s not sure what to do next. It’s a weird energy. The deer knows it shouldn’t be there, while everyone else can’t understand how it even got in.

The Crows tried to win the first half by not getting the ball. A counterintuitive strategy, which didn’t work at all.

Instead, it allowed the Bombers to basically put the game away in the first half.

After that, the Crows just had too much to do.

Now the Crows sit outside the eight looking in, like the small orphan boy who started at me through the window while I ate dinner in one of Melbourne’s finest establishments.

Only after I had the maître d' call the police could I eat in peace. What is wrong with this world?

The Crows now get the Giants, who are in tenth, making that a key game, to see what club misses out on finals but the closest margin.

Fremantle (45) v Carlton (98)

Nice try Fremantle, but you’re still not the most disappointing team in Western Australia.

They have given it a red-hot go.

At home and against Carlton, this should have at least been a contest. Instead, they didn’t even fire a shot in anger, even having eight unanswered goals booted against them at one stage.

It was horrible, horrible stuff.

The Blues, however can be thrilled. They travelled and came back with the four points.

And they are back in the hunt for finals. The whole league is quivering as the Carlton has sent a powerful message, defeating Gold Coast, Hawthorn and Fremantle in the past three weeks.

They know we’re coming!

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus

This week’s Sports Bizarre episode is Sport’s Biggest Family Feud, available wherever you get your podcasts.




Jul 10, 2023

*and adding some pasta water.

Halftime Spray

Jul 10, 2023

***And the Bulldogs were playing incredibly well, and still Collingwood won.***

Collingwood seem to have that magic touch these days, and it's hard to see it fading this year.

The Western Bulldogs, on the other hand, are flattered by their 7th position on the ladder. There are three sides outside the Eight, including 15th-position Sydney, with a better percentage, indicating the Bulldogs have fundamental problems. Alarm bells must be ringing. 

***·      You are now telling the nice man who rang trying to sell you insurance how you used to watch so-and-so’s grandfather play.***

And you reminisce about how goal umpires used to be indistinguishable from mid-20th century cricket umpires.


Jul 10, 2023

"Essendon are in the top five at the end of round seventeen..." Yes, as a long-suffering member, I'm bewildered as well.

Running Dog

Jul 10, 2023

The deer in the supermarket was probably just looking for some new headlights. Way cheaper than Repco- would have saved quite a few bucks.

The g train

Jul 10, 2023

Gracious comments towards StK? Mind bending. Thanks, Titus.

Reckon StK on the weekend were like Australia’s opening batsmen, Usman Khawaj and Marnus Labuschagne. Usman and Manus opened their team’s innings well enough. Gave their team a chance in difficult circumstances, but not enough in the end. But we don’t really blame them.

Fat Side

Jul 10, 2023

... and if you bring actual cream anywhere near the carbonara, you can throw it straight in the bin and never again consider yourself either a chef or an honorary Italian.


Jul 10, 2023

Fremantle cost me the 9th leg of my multi. I have to stop taking the Columbian before making these crazy bets.


Jul 10, 2023

Another week, another 3 votes for Nick Daicos. It’s like that movie with Bill Murray and he wakes up and it’s the same day everyday. Caddyshack.

Anyway looking forward to awards season, Nicks calendar will be fuller than than Joey Chestnut after a quiet bite at Nathan’s hot dog eating contest.

Pav's Lova

Jul 10, 2023

"Nice try Fremantle, but you’re still not the most disappointing team in Western Australia."

And we're feeling warm and cozy now we've closed the Flagmantle window


Jul 10, 2023

I’d argue that Fremantle are in fact the most disappointing team in WA. You can only disappoint when there are expectations.

Con Cushion

Jul 10, 2023

Turn it up Titus ... Peter Daicos would have gone to a sperm warehouse, closing down sale and got a beaut, little "knock off" test tube of the stuff. Just as your parents would have done ... Laboratory, DIY concoction? Phooey, O'Riely! Con.

Rick McClean

Jul 10, 2023

Despite their "biggish" win, the Cats blew the chance to really boost their % which will likely make a big difference in September. Should have won by 100+ points!

Derek Fletcher

Jul 10, 2023

@HOTPIES. Not that it matters , but to be accurate , the movie you refer to isn't Caddyshack. Try Groundhog Day.


Jul 10, 2023

West Coast are living proof that their isn’t enough elite players for 18 competitve AFL teams.


Jul 10, 2023

Can't accuse you of being racialist, Titus, seeing as Irish, Belgian, Ghanaian, North Korean and Icelander are all /nationalities/.

Ashes-lag Sufferer

Jul 10, 2023

Damn you O’Reily! I knew I shouldn’t have read your game reviews at 4am, while still recovering from Ashes-lag. I woke my wife with my laughter! I won’t ever read your blog in the middle of the night again. It’s bloody cold in my garage!

Across the Face

Jul 10, 2023

@ FLOREATLION:West Coast are living proof that their isn’t enough elite players for 18 competitve AFL teams.

Good point. And soon to be 19.


Jul 10, 2023

I'm reading this every week now! Good stuff Tinnitus!!

Daniel Broadbridge

Jul 11, 2023

Fro the love of dogs proof read s your post Tits!

Across the Face

Jul 11, 2023


He did!

Bloke from the outer

Jul 11, 2023


Collingwood seem to have that magic touch these days, and it's hard to see it fading this year.

This is collingwood youre talking about - there's always a grand final to lose.

Halftime Spray

Jul 12, 2023


Collingwood seem to have that magic touch these days, and it's hard to see it fading this year.

This is collingwood youre talking about - there's always a grand final to lose.

Few things would please me more. But I have a nagging fear that this team (and its horde of obnoxious fans) will be smiling right through September.