Aug 07, 2023


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Twenty One


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.


Western Bulldogs (126) v Richmond (71)

Having Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin out wasn’t a great start, then Dylan Grimes was a late out, Jacob Hopper got concussed, and Daniel Rioli was getting around on a dodgy ankle.

Things only got worse from there for the Tigers.

There was the nine goals to two opening term, with Jamarra Ugle-Hagan kicking four.

Then Marcus Bontempeli and Tom Liberatore ran around like a couple of toddlers on the red cordial, causing almost as much damage.

Adding to a night that was going from bad to worse, a fan grabbed Marlion Pickett during the third quarter.

Now given we can’t commit summary execution in this nanny state, we have to look at other possible punishments for the fan.

Pickett knocked the drink out of the guy’s hand, so assuming he bought that at Marvel Stadium, the guy is already down about $80.

My preferred punishment is being locked in a room for several days with nothing but Cameron Ling special comments being played, but the United Nations says that’s illegal.


Essendon (73) v West Coast (72)

How to win but still lose by the Essendon Football Club.

Up by 30 points in the third quarter, this should have been a percentage-boosting win, only for the plucky team from the WAFL to come back and lead in the final two minutes.

If it wasn’t for Kyle Langford, this could have been an incredibly embarrassing loss, instead of an incredibly embarrassing win.

Langford can rest easy, he booted five goals, but around the contest, the Bombers seemed overawed by the Eagles, who haven’t really troubled anyone this decade.

A win would have seen the Eagles off the bottom of the ladder, as they battle it out with North Melbourne to see who can upset their fans more.

Their win over the Kangaroos gave them some confidence, and I felt for likely #1 pick Harley Reid, watching out and having to work out in real-time if going to West Coast or North is better.

The real story, however is the complete drop-off by the Bombers this season. Not a new story.

The closer a finals berth seemed, the more they wilted, like an Englishman when the temperature approaches 24.

Adelaide (89) v Gold Coast (61)

The Suns were without Touk Miller, after the AFL let it be known that they take a dim view of grabbing another man’s testicle and giving them an almighty squeeze.

Talk about taking all the fun out of the game.

That said, it is a workplace, and that sort of behaviour would be frowned upon in most workplaces, except for that place Uncle Simon always went to and Aunt Jessie left him when she found out.

Miller’s absence was notable, as the Crows kept their slim finals chances alive.

Along with Essendon, they are in the Bradbury position. Someone has to fall over for them to get through.

That’s said, this season is proving anything can happen, and you wouldn’t be giving up yet. They just have to beat Brisbane, Sydney and West Coast. Easy.

The loss means Suns supporters must now face up to the possibility their club could not play finals! How will the adjust?

Hawthorn (105) v Collingwood (73)

This year has been so much fun for Collingwood fans.

Constant winning, manageable injuries, journalists losing their heads and saying how much they like Collingwood, others writing columns about the Daicos brothers that read like a teenager love letter to Harry Styles.

That sort of thing can’t last forever. Two losses in a row, one to Carlton, and now to Hawthorn are not ideal, but losing Nick Daicos for at least six weeks is a disaster.

Even more worrying was at the scan, Finn Maginness was still standing right next to him. When the doctor went to look at the x-ray, Maginness knocked it out of his hand.

Perhaps this is the wobble the Pies had to have, and it’s better to be having it now than in the finals.

Hawthorn though, showed letting Nick Daicos run around and do whatever he likes is not the best idea, and you have to be impressed with how hard the Hawks played.

It’s not ideal. I was sort of hoping Hawthorn would go away for twenty years like Carlton and Essendon have.

What has turned things around? Perhaps it was the 1999 Ansett Cup retro jumper.

Although pretty much every Hawthorn player who played probably had no idea what the Ansett Cup was.

“What’s an Ansett?”

“I believe it’s an old shoe brand. I think my cousin wears them ironically.”

Geelong (97) v Port Adelaide (85)

Four losses in a row now, and it’s starting to seem careless. Port are like the friend who binge drinks for most of the year, then doesn’t touch the stuff for a month.

It’s not a lot of fun for those around them.

What also wasn’t fun was the commentators mentioning Gryan Miers being the goals assist king every two minutes.

They’ve never mentioned that stat before and suddenly it was all they would talk about.

It’s like when your kid gets into Pokémon. Their excited and that’s great, but you don’t want to hear about it.

Trent McKenzie was subbed off at quarter time with a knee injury. Taking no chances, the Port Adelaide medical staff sent him off for a series of concussion tests. 

Both sides had a lot of key outs, but it was the Cats who had that bit more composure in the dying stages.

Greater Western Sydney (85) v Sydney (96)

Sydney achieved a lot on the weekend, simultaneously keeping their finals hopes alive, while keeping the door to the eight ajar by defeating the Giants.

And defeating the Giants has not been easy lately.

Robbie Fox kept Toby Greene, to just three goals, which you’d take every single time. It’s a fair sign of how good you are when three goals is a quiet performance from you. 

Errol Gulden wasn’t quiet, putting on an absolute show. Watching him kick is like watching Leonardo da Vinci paint, or Donatello sculpt, or Michelangelo eat pizza.

It’s a thing of beauty.

Not only can he hit a target, but his kicks open up the game, and some of his goals in this game were silly to attempt, and kicking them was just showing off, and I am here for it. 


North Melbourne (71) v Melbourne (103)

North Melbourne hit the Dees hard in the opening quarter and were up by 33 points early in the second quarter.

It slowly dawned on Melbourne that they were going to have to work hard to win this.

To their credit, that’s what they did, grinding the Kangaroos down with the tenacity of a kid asking their parents if they can get an app on the iPad.

Like a parent, eventually, it broke them.

The price though was steep with Harrison Petty injuring his foot, just as the Dees seemed to have sorted out their problematic forward line.

Still, a win when everyone around them was losing was important, especially as the run home doesn’t look as easy as it once did, with them meeting Hawthorn, Carlton and Sydney.

I’m no expert, but if I was a coach, I would tell the players to win all those games so they finish top two.

St Kilda (54) v Carlton (73)

Carlton fought back from 22 points down early in the third quarter to claim another victory as the Blues look in real danger of playing finals.

I’m confident they can’t stuff it up from here. They have my full support.

St Kilda’s strategy of letting Carlton go forward all the time was probably a mistake. It took a while, but eventually, the Blues started converting their chances, and given St Kilda see scoring 60 points as a stretch target, they were destined to lose.

Perhaps the Saints could learn from Carlton renaissance. We knew the Blues got together around the fire for some honest discussions that bonded them, but we’ve now learned getting nude together for some skinny dipping was also involved.

It seems a bit unfair. When I insisted everyone at work get naked, I wasn’t thanked, but instead, I got hauled before HR.

While Voss gets hailed as a great leader, I get let go! Well, you’ll regret it Baby Bunting!

Fremantle (74) v Brisbane (77)

A chance to boost their percentage, instead became a panicked fight for the four points for Brisbane, as the Dockers decided this would be a game they’d turn up for.

Both midfields battled insanely hard throughout the game, refusing to let the other side get on top.

Fremantle were in the ‘mathematical chance’ zone going into this, and a win would have made things at least interesting for next week, but they just could capitalise when they had the ascendency.

The Lions won ugly. They aren’t in the best form at the moment, and the play the Crows next week and then Collingwood in Melbourne.

Luckily for them, that’s not at the MCG, but is scheduled for Collingwood’s natural home ground, the MCG. That’s a great idea. They can run a fixture the AFL, that’s for sure.

As I write this, they also haven’t given us the Round 24 schedule. I think that’s coming out today.

No rush AFL house, we’ll all just jump in our private jets for the interstate games, shall we?

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This week’s Sports Bizarre episode is Mob Football, available wherever you get your podcasts.



Aug 07, 2023

Never have I seen, apart from the othe games played over the weekend, such woeful umpiring as that in the Freo-Dees game. Call me old school, but for example, if your foot fails to make contact with the football, isn’t that still dropping the ball? And since when is pushing in the back and holding the ball only operating at one end of the ground and not the other? Is that an efficiency issue?

Anthony Browne

Aug 07, 2023

7 in a row for Carlton, first time since 2000. Shows how crap they have been for 23 years. Please be kind, Carlton have at last worked out what to do now the monied Board seems to be kaput. I love watching them play, I don't have to pretend I like watching Collingwood play now.

Colin of Sandy

Aug 07, 2023

Cameron Lyng is a joy; being locked up enjoying Dermott’s comments much stronger torture. So ponderous as he ages

John Allison

Aug 07, 2023

The news just gets worse for West Coast. Rumour has it that Harley Reid has accepted a job offer from the Broome Numbats.


Aug 07, 2023

Ponderous is SO good for Dermie. Everything he says comes across as cerebral and with such gravitas.


Aug 07, 2023

If you think Lingy and Dermott talk crap, you don't want my opinion on Professor Julius Sumner Watson over analysing everything he thinks is interesting. Why not tell us how performance enhancing substances are good for your team and Brownlow prospects, and the penalties unjust for said actions.
Agree hole heartedly about the umpiring, do they get picked randomly from the spectators arriving at the ground.

James Gee

Aug 07, 2023

Finn Maginness did a great job of ‘tagging’ Nick Daicos, if tagging is holding and blocking, both of which I thought were against the rules.
And if half a dozen bullies were seen roughing up one guy in a schoolyard or parking lot like the Hawthorn heroes who got stuck into Nick, they would be called Cowards and probably charged with assault.
Beat Nick at football, then you will deserve accolades. Until then, all I saw was a pack of thugs!

The g train

Aug 07, 2023

“this could have been an incredibly embarrassing loss, instead of an incredibly embarrassing win.” But an incredibly embarrassing win is actually more soul destroying than an incredibly embarrassing loss. You’ve won, you feel utterly abysmal about it and your central nervous system doesn’t have any neural pathways to deal with that. Incredibly embarrassing losses are much easier to deal with. Such losses are hardwired in to our nervous system and we deal with it quickly and move on to the next incredibly embarrassing loss. I am a StK supporter.

Titus—how is your new book going: “The hilarious story of how England cheated to win the 5th Ashes test to level the series by getting an almost brand new replacement ball that was manufactured 5 years ago”? A good follow up to your highly acclaimed “Cheat: the not-so-subtle art of conning your way to sporting glory.”


Aug 07, 2023

Hey James Gee, I seem to remember your lot giving the same treatment to Jack Watts in his first game.

Sam J

Aug 07, 2023

Why do they still delay the fixturing for the last round when there's a pre-finals bye anyway?


Aug 07, 2023

"My preferred punishment is being locked in a room for several days with nothing but Cameron Ling special comments being played...."

I heard the Americans tried that technique at Guantanamo Bay. Except it was a subterranean cell, not a room.

Atrocious Conditions

Aug 07, 2023

Titus, you've opined that

Perhaps this is the wobble the Pies had to have, and it’s better to be having it now than in the finals.

I think I speak for most people here when I say





لا مفر!

We want the Colliwobbles in the Finals, where they belong.

The Dirty Bludger

Aug 07, 2023

I know the Dee's would have preferred Petty not get injured, but is going into a finals series with Petty your key forward really a position of strength?

Con Cushion

Aug 07, 2023

Turn it up Titus ... Cameron Ling has made a few telling and pertinent comments about himself, a couple of times, post legislation! Con.


Aug 07, 2023

Agree completely, James Gee. Kennett said Hawthorn played "anti-social football" and he was right. The shoulder charge by Blanck into Nick Daicos after he took the mark would have had him rubbed out in the NRL, but not even 50m in AFL.
And then Dunstall happily saying "The bump is back". Mate, the bump is when you are contesting the ball, not after you have taken a mark.
Anyway, the AFL must be thrilled. One of the most exciting ball players for years, scrupulously fair, wonderfully skilled, gets injured and misses 6 weeks by a monkey whose name, Blanck, will be the answer when people ask what did he do for football.

Mac Hawk

Aug 07, 2023

James Gee...there was another Colliflog we on the Hawk fan pages were pissing ourselves laughing at who even wanted Daddy Daicos to file a law suit against is called a tag, an old retro tradition fhat had Kane Cornes all emotional and wanting to adopt Finn as his son....I am going to add your comment here to the other on our fan page..hilarious

Peter White

Aug 07, 2023

Mr James Gee,

"And if half a dozen bullies were seen roughing up one guy in a schoolyard or parking lot like the Hawthorn heroes who got stuck into Nick, they would be called Cowards and probably charged with assault."

You should have seen Hawthorn in the 60's, 70's & 80's. Glenferrie Oval had a sign - "Enter At Own Risk!" One of their bloke's was actually charged & convicted for assault - 'Lethal' Leigh - overturned on appeal. Later named 'Player of the Century'. See YouTube for education.

I think their brutality is to compensate for having a jumper matching Piss & Poo.

Alan stone

Aug 07, 2023

Firstly I was very surprised with the comment from jerry gee about thugs beating up on poor nick ,I thought it was very similar to the treatment dished out to young Henry from the cats when they played earlier this season,but hey what would I know . Anyway back to the main story my DEES have found themselves 2nd on the ladder behind the unbeatable pies. How they will cope being a one man team short of their one man for the rest of the home and away series is going to be interesting. But they have to keep winning or DO THEY? Would love them to falter without the said one man team player. But Jesus wouldn’t it be good for the WORLD ? Anyway GO DEES !

Darren J Ray

Aug 07, 2023

Jerry Gee, Ed Langdon says hello.


Aug 07, 2023

I was going to say Finn Maginess is the hardest traveller since Brad Pitt, but then checked his bio and realised it’s not all in the name after all.


Aug 07, 2023

ATROCIOUS CONDITIONS: We want the Colliwobbles in the Finals, where they belong.

I'll second, third and fourth that!

Al Gatiss

Aug 07, 2023

Brereton speaking as though with gravitas: exploding defensively to his co- host ( female) about being kicked by her in the “Jatz” when being asked for an opinion is so lacking in class . Maybe he thought he was n bed with a news reader


Aug 07, 2023

Finn Maginess sounds like a great name for an Irish Pub or an Irish Beer or Both.
Welcome back you unsociable Hawks, I missed you.


Aug 07, 2023

Titus, in re Carlton FC:

"I'm confident they can't stuff it up from here. They have my full support."

Can any of you who have been reading Titus' scribblings for longer than I have translate this for me? Is Titus sincere in his hopes for the Blues? Or are these two sentences the kiss of death...?

On a different note: I was pleased to see how well the Swans played in their first match of the post-Lance Franklin era! Titus is right; Errol can kick a bit!


Aug 07, 2023

James Gee..............I know it's hard for you youngsters who've only been watching AFL since 2021, but "The Tag" used to be hard back in the day. If you seriously think Nick was hard done by, bullied, thugged (sic), you should take it up with your Mum who obviously home schooled you for your entire life!

Who Flung Dung

Aug 07, 2023

Six weeks for gently moving aside an umpire who comes front on to pick a fight but only 1 week for squeezing ones nuptials seems a grossly disproportionate response.

After two decades of playing catch me f--- me footy in packs like a rugby scrum we finally have someone introduce minor foreplay into the equation and gets banned for natural behaviour. Bit rough afl supporting same sex marriage then banning foreplay.

Nick sandwiched and hurt is a fact of football life. Being in wrong spot at wrong time is a receipe for Murphy's law application.

So easy too be critical of the tag but bloody hard to do a tag. Full marks to Hawthorn who reserected the old fashioned tag and the bump in same incident. Nick will learn from this and he will get revenge next year. He was only a side step away from two hawks colliding front on and serious damage to each other.

Football is a game of survival

The Hawkes being unsociable is a receipe for a threepeat, been there done that.

Carlton finally going to make the finals legitimately. Last final they won they didn't make finals so even more special this time.

Essendon played as if they were on "special water" can we all get a sample we have to watch this crap.

Patrick Talty aka Don Pateerico

Aug 11, 2023

Titus howdy, I have not received this week's wisdom. Have I been banished>