Aug 21, 2023


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Round Twenty Three


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.


Collingwood (100) v Brisbane (124)

If a top-of-the-table clash doesn’t get you interested in football, how about Deven Robertson running around with his top off for what seemed like ages?

In the pub I was in, everyone stopped what they were doing as the drama unfolded, as first Brayden Maynard tore off Robertson’s top, and then the man himself finally ripped off the remaining bit like we were watching Magic Mike.

Robertson seemed to be in no rush to put a top back on, and I get it; who doesn’t like taking their top off? But unlike when I do it, the people around him weren’t screaming for him to put his top back on while averting their eyes and retching.

In fact, the women in the pub were actively encouraging him to leave it off and booed when he put it back on. It was disappointing to see. We men get sick of being treated like pieces of meat.

If the reaction in the pub was anything to go by, having a team play shirtless could do wonders for ratings, and really if you were going get rid of a particular AFL club’s jumper, whose would you get rid of? Say it with me, Hawthorn’s.

Robertson did finally get a replacement shirt, the Lions won, the Pies are cooked and it’s Brisbane’s Grand Final to lose.


Richmond (101) v North Melbourne (72)

The Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt farewell match didn’t see the Tigers lift, but they didn’t need to, as North can limbo under anything, even the West Coast Eagles.

It truly was the end of an era for a group that arrived when Richmond was a laughing stock, and dragged them to the very top multiple times.

Dustin Martin certainly wanted to pay tribute to his teammates, pulling out a vintage performance with 31 disposals and three goals, which is impressive, even against North.

It was also North Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell’s final game, who unfortunately was attacked outside a bar later that evening as he celebrated his retirement.

There are some people out there who really suck.

One shining light for North this season has been Nick Larkey who kicked six goals in this game and has booted 62 for the season.

Sixty-two goals in this North side! He must feel like Mel C did, being the only one who could sing in the Spice Girls.

Imagine if he played for an AFL side! He’d have 100 goals this season.

Really, we can’t give North enough credit for beating the Eagles for the wooden spoon. That is an astounding achievement.

Gold Coast (87) v Carlton (91)

Carlton have made the finals, and this time they didn’t need Essendon to get caught running a drug program to do it.

It’s the nightmare scenario we’ve all been dreading. I warned people it would happen.

With the Blues down by 40-points in the second quarter, it did seem their usual allergic reaction to playing finals was kicking in, but seven consecutive goals are a great prescription for such a problem.

A big reason they came back was Charlie Curnow, who booted five goals and took a match-saving mark late in the fourth quarter.

The win means the Blues have now won nine games in a row, a run of form not even the most optimistic Carlton fan would have imagined a few months ago.

One Carlton fan has gotten a Premiership tattoo for this year already. Some would say that’s over the top, but I can’t see it backfiring. I mean, I don’t regret my Melbourne Premiers 2008 tattoo at all.

Carlton got lucky in this one at times, the Suns seemed to be trying to get as close to winning, without actually winning, and if that was their aim, then mission accomplished.

Now they get Damien Hardwick who has to fix the mess that is the Gold Coast Suns.

He did fix Richmond, so he’s a chance, but he had Brendon Gale and Peggy O’Neal there and that Dustin Martin guy.

Sometimes I think Hardwick left Richmond in a hurry because he knew he had this job sown up and wanted a holiday in between, but that’s just silly. 

Greater Western Sydney (162) v Essendon (36)

How are Essendon getting worse?

The coaches change, the players change, and they still turn in disappointing season after disappointing season.

Usually only a family member would let you down this much.

This was just a straight-up surrender. They may have well walked out carrying white flags.

You could tell within about two minutes that the rout was on; the Bombers seemed completely disinterested in running, or making contact with their opponents.

After barely getting past West Coast and North Melbourne, a loss like this has you wondering if the Bombers fans would have any faith in the direction of the club.

The Giants couldn’t have been happier with the Bombers indifference for the game.

Jesse Hogan took advantage booting nine goals and taking 17 marks, while Toby Greene was subbed out just to rest early in the third.

To their credit the Giants saw this early as the percentage lift it was, and never let up, resulting in their percentage going from 98.6 to 105.6. When you go from one end of the FM dial to the other, that’s impressive.

And with the Dogs’ defeat to West Coast, the Giants now just need to beat Carlton to play finals.

St Kilda (88) v Geelong (55)

Patrick Dangerfield had 13 disposals and Jeremy Cameron finished without a goal as the Cats premiership defence ended with a whimper, and against St Kilda!

Yes, the St Kilda Football Club will play finals and didn’t blow up the second half of their season in a new and exciting development.

Geelong’s season never ran smooth. A terrible start, injuries and no Joel Selwood, added up to a lot of pain.

Yet, the Saints started the season with a horrendous injury list, but have made things work, surprisingly for a Ross Lyon coached side on the back of a stingy defence.

And it’s a style of football that can hold up in finals, as long as every final is played at Marvel Stadium.

That shouldn’t be a problem, should it?

Oh, technically, the Saints could miss finals, but only if they lose by a lot to Brisbane next week, and fall out of the eight on percentage, but it seems silly even mentioning it. St Kilda have got this!

Adelaide (73) v The AFL (74)

I don’t want to fan the flames, but obviously the AFL hates the Crows and engineered a corrupt outcome to have them lose and miss out on finals.

Why else would they not review Ben Keays’ kick for goal on Saturday night?

I’ve seen them review whether something was out of bounds on the full or a point in games where a team is up by 60 points.

But in this instance, with finals on the line, the umpires suddenly decided to back themselves. Never back yourself kids.

The AFL reviewed it, and said it was human error, not the technology, which is their way of throwing someone else on the bus, while giving themselves a big pat on the back.

Except, the technology also doesn’t work very well, and the AFL are still responsible for the whole mess that is the ARC, including when it has to be used.

It must be nice to be the AFL and investigate yourself. Even when you find you’ve done the wrong thing, you still give yourself a pat on the back like its kindergarten.

I’m sure Crows fans are thrilled the AFL has said this was no big deal, just a small blip and everything with the system is great.

Missing the finals will cost them millions.

The Crows made their own mistake in this game, going 44 points down in the second quarter.

The Swans will be thrilled with the outcome, usually the AFL’s incompetence hurts you, not helps you.

But the Swans did enough at Adelaide Oval to make this a game of millimetres, and their recovery to make finals is one of the great stories of the season.

Make the game close, then hope the umpires stuff up, it’s a surprisingly effective strategy.


Western Bulldogs (85) v West Coast (92)

Facing the Eagles, at Marvel, and the chance to keep their finals destiny in their hands, the Bulldogs were sure things.

Like a one-centimetre tap in on the green, it was all too easy.

After all, the Eagles have plunged new historical depths this season, often looking like a random sample of the population has been made to play AFL with no prior notice.

So, it came as quite a surprise to see the Bulldogs up by just nine points at three-quarter time.

Oh well, an easy job to finish off the Eagles. Except, like Greg Norman was coaching them, the Doggies choked so hard that people rang triple zero.

Marcus Bontempelli and Adam Treloar seemed keen to win this, but the rest of the team seemed uninterested in proceedings.

West Coast were highly energised, and it certainly helped having Jamie Cripps, who booted five-goals.

You would have thought it was the Eagles playing for finals if you didn’t know better.

It’s a horrible position Bulldogs supporters have been put in. They not only need to win down at Geelong next week, but they also need Carlton to win.

Making your fans hope Carlton wins is just cruel.

Melbourne (87) v Hawthorn (60)

It was a special day at the MCG, with the Breast Cancer Network Australia’s Field of Women event, which saw a giant pink lady formed out of 10,000 poncho-wearing people.

It looked fantastic, but I did overhear one kid say, ‘they are promoting the Barbie movie’.

Hawthorn continues to be super annoying in the run home to the finals, making life incredibly hard for Melbourne on Sunday.

They did it with Jai Newcombe out as well, making the future look bright down at Glenferrie, a terrible outcome for humanity.

It was a lot of fun watching Jake Melksham and James Sicily going at it all day, just two super chill guys competing.

Finn Maginness did the job again, this time on Clayton Oliver, only for the Hawks to stop the tag in the fourth quarter, which made no sense whatsoever.

With Oliver free, he kicked a key goal from a stoppage as the Dees finally managed to break away late.

It wasn’t pretty but the Dees got the job done in Max Gawn’s 200th game, and they locked in the double chance.

They just need to play 100 times better in the finals if they’re going to win.

Fremantle (58) v Port Adelaide (74)

A good weekend for Power supporters, keeping their top two hopes alive and getting to watch the Crows be completely screwed.

What a day it must be in South Australia for them. The few that have jobs would have been thrilled to go to work today.

Port hadn’t beaten the Dockers at Optus Stadium before, but the Dockers and the Eagles have been giving lots of teams a chance to do that this year. Thoughtful.

Fremantle did what they’ve done all year, underperform. They were fine, without doing enough to win.

Excitingly, the loss seems to have locked them into a bottom-five finish, so at least there’s a top prospect coming their way.

Port now plays Richmond and will be hoping St Kilda can defeat the Lions. As anyone who barracks for St Kilda knows, relying on them for your happiness is a great position to be in.

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

This week’s Sports Bizarre episode is A Drunken Le Mans: Part One, available wherever you get your podcasts.



Con Cushion

Aug 21, 2023

Turn it up Titus ... the bloke with the flags in Adelaide did just enough to sit with Buddy in the motorcade for retirees on Grand Final afternoon. His new Specsavers contract will see his retirement is comfortable! Not as dumb as he looks, obviously! Con.

WA Bogan

Aug 21, 2023

Some things officially worse than the West Coast Eagles team, include the:
- Kangaroos;
- Thugs who beat up Ziebell - hasn't this bloke suffered enough from a playing career at North?;
- Essendon and the Bulldogs;
and, coming in very last but too hard to split them, those bastions of incompetence and ignorance, the:
- AFL; and
- WCE Eagles board.

Julie S

Aug 21, 2023

I thought I read somewhere that Adelaide Oval doesn't have the edge / snicko technology at the ground to check if it hit the post. Can this be possible? That's a new state of the art facility that's just recently been completed. That tech on the goalpost would have been a definitive answer. That said, as a Swans fan, I'm happy with the result, BUT I can't understand the hate and "we hope you get smashed in the finals" (which we probably will) thing, we did nothing to influence the result (except let Adelaide come back at us).


Aug 21, 2023

I think you’re wrong about Damian Hardwick - after all he didn’t need a break between Mrs Hardwick and the marketing chick.


Aug 21, 2023

Apparently the Brisbane Lions were weighing up whether to bring out Dev Robertson a new jumper or a black bow tie. The Chippendales are looking for new recruits.


Aug 21, 2023

Titus.....I need to bring you into the 21st century! We no longer have dials for FM/AM on our radios. We have apps on our phones.

Paul B

Aug 21, 2023

"What a day it must be in South Australia for them (Port fans). The few that have jobs would have been thrilled to go to work today." 😂

Marsy Griffin

Aug 21, 2023

Totally agree with the paragraph about Hardwick: knew the job was coming and needed a holiday in between!
I live in Melbourne but am a Swans supporter who is currently visiting Adelaide. I’ve been too scared to leave the house. They don’t seem to be taking the whole mistake, I mean loss, very well at all according to the Adelaide Agoniser today but I refuse to read such piffle.
Great work as usual Titus.

Greg moss

Aug 21, 2023

Titus (or tight as, is that a Sam panga nism) why no mention of the blind boundary umpire at the Gee?

The g train

Aug 21, 2023

Kingdoms Rise and Kingdoms Fall
All on a dodgy goal umpire call

Still, Gil formally apologised to Adelaide and reminded us that many mistakes occur doing any game of footy. Ya can’t ask for any more than that.

So, North finishes bottom. After Titus gave them premiership favouritism after round 2. At least Titus applauds North’s outstanding achievement finishing below WCEs, where everybody else just sees the negative. If something is really really hard to do it’s nearly always not worth doing. So all kudos to them for making the impossible possible.

John Pearce

Aug 21, 2023

Geelong are certainly missing Selwood. They're also missing Ablett pere et fils, Newman, Farmer and probably Ian Nankervis. Just saying.


Aug 21, 2023

Week 2 without Nick and football just isn’t the same. I mean Josh did a great job distracting the football world last week. And that young stripper Brisbane hired this week provided some titillating entertainment on Friday night.

Honestly, I’m just treading water till his return. Sniff…

Port Authority

Aug 21, 2023

So glad I took a break from looking at Seek to read your Monday piece! As a Port supporter I first laughed then then cried at the truth…. Finding another exec gig in Adelaide is tough. Thinking of starting a new career as a goal umpire, I hear there’s a local opening.

Macca R

Aug 21, 2023

Scotty's post-match presser was a ripper.
He blamed the "Gather Round" for Essendon's loss - the team was tired from all of the travel around Australia.
He blamed the long season - one extra game, which hadn't been played.
He seemed to be blaming everything under the sun rather than his own illustrious multi premiership career at, where was it, North Melbourne.
He really fooled the Essendon recruiting team with that one.

Lachlan McGillon

Aug 21, 2023

Titus - I clearly recall that a couple of years ago the AFL dropped a million on a fancy pants exec recruiting mob to do a global search for Gil’s replacement. They found their man. In the office next door. He was hiding there all along. I remember them doing a big press conference and announcing it.

So how come Gil is still running the joint and apologising for some of their stuff ups? What’s it take to get this bloke to move on? He’s looking a bit like Putin.

Go Doggies

Aug 21, 2023

Not sure that many Doggies fan actually want Carton to win. To do that we would need to have some hope that we could beat Geelong in Geelong. Given we can't beat Wet Toast at Marvel it would be an optimistic Bulldog fan (do they even exist) to think we can beat Geelong.


Aug 21, 2023

Hasn’t been a great season for the Cats but it’s nothing a new stand won’t fix


Aug 21, 2023

I am not Deven Robertson.
So, if this happened to me,
I would have had the whole stadium pouring buckets of water on me
to try and roll me back into the ocean.

Oh, and that Carlton fan with the tattoo
has every year since 1996 with a strike-through line


Aug 21, 2023

So the AFL & Gil apologised to Adelaide for the goal ump error, Richmond is still waiting on theirs from the elimination final last year that did cost them millions!

Rachael Davis

Aug 21, 2023

Lisa comment up above 😂😂😂😂😂😂 classic!


Aug 21, 2023

Surely the AFL can trial a cricket style DRS for goal reviews. I’d love to see a captain ask politely for an umpire to review a goal/point and be pinged for 50m dissent penalty in the process and then both decisions go the correct way.


Aug 21, 2023

You think Adelaide were hard done by the umpire what about West Coast and the Leo Barry mark in the last seconds of the 2005 GF. Oh the pain still wont go away

Kafka’s Ghost

Aug 21, 2023

Last week proved that the boundary line was only a figment of the imagination when Geelong scored two goals from beyond it, this week showed that a goal line, or post, is equally nebulous. Not to be outdone, the non-existent boundary line made a second appearance in the Melbourne/ Hawthorn game. From memory I think a score rapidly followed this incident as well.
If the AFL weren’t so foggy themselves, perhaps a harsh dose of reality could be applied to these “now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t” demarcation lines. The last two weeks of AFL white line fever has shown up what a truly shambolic organisation it is that Gillon refuses to leave.


Aug 21, 2023

Up until that Adelaide "poster", Sydney had been ahead for 1 hour 8 minutes and 5 seconds to 1 minute 26 seconds.

Peter Dermody

Aug 21, 2023

Cant bear a year of Adelaide whingeing without something positive coming from goal line fiascos.
Change the rule. Simple and no cost.
If it goes through the goals or points, the score stands whether it touches the post or not.
If it bounces from a post back into the field, play on. It works in other sports. Just do it AFL!

WA Bogan

Aug 21, 2023

The AFL should implement Sydney's, albeit extremely well disguised, "No Dickheads" policy.

Alan stone

Aug 21, 2023

The boundary and field umpires from the dees v dorks game have followed the ridiculous standards set up for them from previous decisions or non decisions this season. I am quite sure both of the aforementioned clowns did the Geelong game last week. I mean how else from 5 metres directly in front of jack viney can they not see he was out of bounds and pay a free against him for holding the ball.? I mean he was that far over the boundary line he high fives a kid in row two.! After the dumb call against the blues last week and the Cameron decisions last week nothing surprises until the next stupid call that comes up, off to sin city for a pre finals by warm up against the swans next week, GO DEES

saint peter

Aug 21, 2023

I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer but the Saints are in the eight & will play finals. Irrespective if we lose by 100 points, it makes no difference the Saints will play finals. Well at least one game in the finals is good enough, just to make the finals is a really good effort for a team that doesn't have anyone with an Ä' grade beside their name.

As everyone else has debated the poor guy who wore the brunt of the AFL wrath over forgetting to go to the video replay for that decision is exactly what the AFL wanted. It wasn't his fault anyway as he had to see through the ruckman of the swans . But it is nice the AFL apologized all the same. So no harm no foul.


Aug 21, 2023

Be careful Titus, the last Melbourne person who tried to get rid of the Hawks jumper made Don Scott very very angry. Do you want Don Scott very very angry at you? No, you do not.

Steve Dank

Aug 21, 2023

"Lisa" with the comment of the season - she gets the 3, 2 and 1 Brownlow Votes for that effort.

Orson Cartte

Aug 21, 2023

What a weekend, struck the treble Collingwood getting beat on the Friday Night, Crows losing on a suss decision on the Saturday night and the icing on the cake the poms losing the Womens World Cup


Aug 21, 2023

Bit harsh on the Swans Titus.....they played way better than Adelaide for 3 quarters....and let's face it, the AFL usually go out of their way to hurt the Swans (as revenge for having the cheek to recruit the now retired Buddy Franklin and not letting him go to their pet project, the Giants), so it was brilliant to be on the end of a fortuitous piece of AFL incompetence for a change. If the Crows had won it, it would have been an unfair steal, so they can sook all they like.....especially Judas Dawson.

Mad Mick From The Mountain

Aug 21, 2023

The AFL threw the umpire "on the bus". Was it the 3am Nightrider to Ringwood that was considered worse punishment than throwing them under the bus?

Alan stone

Aug 21, 2023

BIG FELLA I made a post before and neglected to add a MAJOR point.The freo first pick as early as it is belongs to MELBOURNE FOOTBALL CLUB as compensation for losing JACKSON from last years draft ! GO DEES

E B’s Shorts

Aug 21, 2023

Apart from the result, the shirtless interlude was the most pleasing part of Friday’s game. Let’s get rid of jumpers. Club colours can be painted on torsos. Tattoos would be preferred for numbers except for backs already covered by snakes and dragons. I wouldn’t rule out the full Monty either though not when playing in Tasmania and/or against the Gold Coast Suns.

Jim Tilbrook's Cheque

Aug 21, 2023

Titus, I implore you take action in relation to one of your commentators having a sensible idea. Peter Darmody's eminently sensible and actionable suggestion is so contrary to the spirit of this forum, let alone the mission of the AFL, that it must be extinguished now.

On another matter, "Disinterested" vs "Uninterested": are you just messing with our minds by using both in the same report and knowing that we sticklers will be grinding our teeth, about the former?

Mrs Beckham

Aug 21, 2023

So which one was Mel.C?

Fat Side

Aug 21, 2023

Re: the Adelaide Swans game, Gillon said "I want to acknowledge that was a mistake and want to take accountability for the mistake on behalf of the league."
In future I will be taking accountability for any speeding fines in the same manner, i.e. by saying I take accountability, but not paying the fine, not making reparation for any harm caused and not changing my behaviour.

Son of plugger

Aug 21, 2023

Very few seem interested in the disinterest vs uninterested debate. Told my wife I was disinterested in her discussion. She thought I meant uninterested. I tried to explain the difference but it only made things worse. In the end, I just told her let’s not re-cover.

Congratulations to the StK coach—Harvey&Hayes.


Aug 21, 2023

Your inability to give the Dees any credit at all is wearing very thin, Titus, and it’s just so boring. Top 4 for three years running not enough for you? Try giving it a rest, huh.

Sheldon Wiebe

Aug 21, 2023

Note" Last year, the "experts" said the Cats were too old and too slow. The Cats then won the Premiership.

This year, the "experts" figured the Cats for top four. The Cats then proved themselves too old and too slow.

Just sayin'


Aug 21, 2023

Yeah Lisa!!


Aug 21, 2023

I live in Adelaide and have a Swans sticker on my car. Been looking in the rear vision mirror a bit this week…

Adrian Wilson

Aug 21, 2023

I was left confused and happy after watching the Crows v Swans game. Can’t believe the non-goal is the only talking point. The umpiring was was again hard to comprehend. Did anyone see Florent mark the ball one on one only to get called play on as an example? Pay this mark and the Keays boundary line snap doesn’t happen. The game changes on every umpiring decision whether it be 1 minute into the 1st quarter or 1 minute before the final siren.
The Crows may call foul on the goal umpires mistake, but what about Tex not making the distance from 40m out? He can kick 60m in his sleep!
Crows had plenty of chances which they made plenty of mistakes. The goal umpire made 1 mistake and gets hung. The AFL is responsible all for this and all the other interpretive rules umpires are supposed to enforce, which is impossible. Make the rules simple (especially holding the ball) and let the only form of torture for fans be goal umpiring mistakes!

97 Prelim Revisited

Aug 22, 2023

Terribly bad luck Adelaide Fans!!! At least you can console yourselves with the fact that the howler goal umpiring decision wasn't in a preliminary final...
As I recall there was no such whining when you won the 97 Flag.

Kafka’s Ghost

Aug 22, 2023

Adrian Wilson that is the most logical piece I’ve read on this whole saga. Since it’s logical, sensible and shows great insight, it has no place whatsoever in the AFL media. That is a realm of hysteria, hyperbole and sanctimony; which is why Titus is the only real AFL coverage worth reading.

Across the Face

Aug 22, 2023


Un... vs Dis...

That ship has already left the station. Scholars have burned the midnight oil at both ends trying get people to understand the difference or even notice there's a difference.

Any further discussion on this issue would just be flogging a dead horse after the stable door has bolted.


Aug 22, 2023

On behalf of Caleb Marchbank I'd like to thank Gill, the AFL and the Adelaide crowd for taking the heat off. Already looking forward to next year's rule changes and the chaos and pompous self-justification they'll come with.

And as for Gold Coast, well let's just say I'd put medical marijuana, a new wife and the Gold Coast brain-baking lifestyle ahead of any chance of Dimma saving that club.

Halftime Spray

Aug 22, 2023

I can vouch for that, Bluedot. Gold Coasters have to work up the energy to take it easy.

The g train

Aug 22, 2023

Which is why Titus’s AFL coverage is the only AFL articles I ever read. So the last few weeks, when Titus’s unhelpful guides have been completely and utterly unhelpful, I go into the round blind and clueless. Apart from AFL knowledge, Titus has led me towards knowledge of Sanskrit, Hinduism and Zen, quantum mechanics and genetics; but most of all through him I have learnt about misery, despair and the human condition. And voodoo.


Aug 23, 2023

Always love to read new talent.
Lisa and her wit get the Australian Of The Year award !

Adrian Wilson

Aug 23, 2023

Read and understood Kafka’s ghost. My logic and insight will no longer grace this platform.