Mar 10, 2024


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: Opening Round


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.


Sydney (86) v Melbourne (64)

Melbourne had done everything right.

An ongoing legal stoush at the board level, a star player with behaviour issues, another player with an alleged positive drug test and accusations of trafficking or attempted trafficking of cocaine and a player retiring on the eve of the season for medical reasons.

These are the rock-solid pillars a successful season is built on, and yet somehow, astoundingly, the Demons still lost.

In doing so, the Demons became the first team to lose a game for premiership points before Round One even started.

It’s an exciting time at Demonland.

In some good news, the Demon’s forward line woes seemed fixed after struggling for a couple of seasons.

All that preseason effort working on not bombing it in paid off and Melbourne fans can look forward to the season knowing they have nothing to worry about.

In further good news, despite being unable to play this week, Josh Schache and Jacob van Rooyen should be available next week.

So under control are things at Melbourne, that they traded away Brodie Grundy for nothing, and are secure enough in themselves to have him then beat them.

Grundy even got stung by a jellyfish that morning and still played better than most of Melbourne.

Not that the Swans were perfect, the ball was as slippery as former Maryland State Senator Clay Davis, and they had their fair share of fumbles.

A better team may have caused them problems, but they weren’t playing a better team. 

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Brisbane (85) v Carlton (86)

This is my tenth season of doing the Knee Jerk Reaction, and in that time, Carlton have not exactly set the world on fire.  

In that entire time, their only highlight, was when their hovercraft sank on the Yarra.

A five-goal lead at quarter time to Brisbane had me thinking the same old Carlton had returned and a 46-point lead in the second quarter only seemed to confirm this.

And then a miracle happened. Not a good miracle because it involved Carlton winning, but the Blues mounted an astounding comeback.

Even Harry McKay kicked a goal from a set shot to win the match, adding to the rather strange feeling this game produced.

The order of people being shocked by this comeback: 

1.    Carlton Fans

2.    Lions Fans

3.    Carlton Players

To be fair, the Lions played a role in this, you don’t give up a 46-point lead and not have a few questions for yourself.

It seemed like the Lions tired themselves out after an intense effort in the first quarter.

We’ve all been there, going too hard, too early.

The Lions were the mate telling you to ‘drink faster’ and pointing out you ‘are double parked’, only to require you to carry them out of the club a few hours later.

It’s a worrying sign for the Lions, after all, it was Plato who once said, ‘never give up a 46-point lead to Carlton in Round Zero.’


Gold Coast (99) v Richmond (60)

2024 Premiership favourites the Gold Coast Suns cruised to a win against the Tigers, after Richmond decided to score just two goals in the first half.

I always think you should aim for higher than one goal a quarter. Advance stats support this. Actually, basic stats support it too.

The Tigers didn’t seem to like playing against Matt Rowell, who not only seemed to bring his own ball, but took theirs too.

He had 20 clearances, as the Richmond players acted more like ushers than opponents when he was around.

Add to that a firing Ben King up forward, and you get the sense that Damien Hardwick can’t believe he gets to start at a new team with all these weapons at his disposal.

Not since Hulk Hogan joined the NWO has there been such a powerful re-alignment.

New Tigers coach Adem Yze must have wondered why he left Melbourne, he could have stayed there to watch a misfiring forward line, but at least he has Tom Lynch returning in the future.

The Tigers did show some signs of life with a comeback in the second half, meaning they only lost by 39 points.

Wait, that’s still quite bad.

Greater Western Sydney (114) v Collingwood (82)

If there’s one thing launching the season in the Northern States has going for it, it’s this Collingwood loss.

The other thing is that it has completely vanquished the NRL and anyone who was a League fan on Thursday morning now hates it and only loves AFL.

In fact, sales of Andrew Dillon posters have skyrocketed in Queensland and NSW, as primary school kids swear allegiance every morning and before they go to bed at night.

Collingwood got off to a good start when Mason Cox decided to run through the Giants warmup before the game.

Amazingly, Shane Mumford was part of the group of Giants, and Cox is still alive, mainly because Mumford doesn’t play anymore.

Cox received such a death stare from Mumford that he made it up to him by avoiding the ball throughout the game.

He was not alone among the Pies, who seemed a little overwhelmed at the ferocity the Giants bought in the midfield.

Obviously, I’m not one to overact after one round, when most teams haven’t even played, but Collingwood are obviously going to win the wooden spoon, and the Giants are premiership favourites.

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Lilac Mist

Mar 10, 2024

Sheeeeeit! A Wire reference to start the season! welcome back Titus.

Doggie Dancer

Mar 10, 2024

After the death of cricket as we know it, finally something to laugh about after a long hot summer.

guru bob

Mar 10, 2024

Hit the ground running, one of your best pieces.

Melbourne are not the first team to lose a game before R1 though. 1979 R3 Ess v Carl played prior to R1, also R2 1982 Fitz v Rich and R3 1985 Haw v Ess were also brought forward and played prior to R1. Although they pale somewhat with the Carlton v Collingwood Millennium match in the 2000 Ansett Cup which was played in the preceding year.

Mosis Syndes

Mar 10, 2024

The LEARNINGS to be taken here O'Reily are; Cox needs a re-spelling of his name. Drop the X and replace with CK.
Mosis Syndes.


Mar 11, 2024

Welcome back, Titus and the rest of the reaction team!

I was unhappy to see my Lions lose after such a positive head start. Same issues from last year: so many behinds, getting cocky before the end of the game, and just not playing all the quarters. Especially when the loss was at the 'Gabba!

It's only the not-even-first-round, but not good signs from the premiership favourites so far...

Looking forward to another great season!

Tom Mannion

Mar 11, 2024

Can,t wait to 50,000 Blues Brothers at the MCG with their new pre game song shake your tail feather and goal celebration song need some lovin.

The g train

Mar 11, 2024

Agree with everything you have written, Titus. What I love about Titus’s KJR is that it tells you EVERYTHING you need to know. From the trivial (Grundy getting stung by a jellyfish) to the profound (Plato’s “never give up a 46-point lead to Carlton in Round Zero”). Thank you, Titus.

Suns kicked 11 unanswered goals. The a priori probability of that event is 0.00009. And we, on our lounge chair, were witness to it.

Still Buzzing from Friday Night

Mar 11, 2024

A one point win is still a win and 4 points on the ladder, and even more special after coming back from 46 points down in the second quarter. But the cherry on top was the Blues Brothers. they've set a new standard for supporters making an effort that even the Swifty fans would appreciate!


Mar 11, 2024

Classic comment about Melbourne being the first side to lose four points before Round One! Great to have you back for another season.

Tamar Lewit

Mar 11, 2024

Fantastic to see Knee Jerk Reaction back! We’ve missed it over summer


Mar 11, 2024

Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. Nice Wire reference...


Mar 11, 2024

Gold Coast the 2024 premiership favourites? Seems legit, or it will seem legit after their big win next week

David Wilkes

Mar 11, 2024

The MCC has issued a warning that the Blues Brothers fans will not be allowed into the members' reserve area this Thursday as their suits have fake collars! Although the hats will be accepted.


Mar 11, 2024

My wife couldn't believe it. Why is the footy on! It's only march. And now this gem. Glad to see you're back. I'm sure Melbourne won't implode like the Eagles in 2008.


Mar 11, 2024

Cannot believe how much I missed you Titus.
Welcome back & please don’t ever leave again

Nth Qlds' only Dockers Supporter

Mar 11, 2024

nice to see my boys not get towelled up in the first round of the year... fantastic initiative on the split opening round....nothing footy fans enjoy more than not watching their team play... but at least rugby league doesn't exist up here anymore...

Fat Side

Mar 12, 2024

Best thing about that phony Round 1 is that for the first time ever I'm only 4 off the lead in the tipping comp.

Who Flung Dung

Mar 14, 2024

How can a team with one game one loss be ahead on the bloody ladder of teams with no games no loss after the first round.

Is this confirmation that a loser is better than a team skilled enough to draw their first round zero points to zero points and if the other 10 teams drew 0 to 0 should they not be above losers after the first round.


Mar 15, 2024

Mosis Syndes.
You nearly got the spelling correct.
I would add "head" after the ck and replace the Co with Di.