Jun 24, 2024


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: Round Fifteen


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 (138) v Geelong (75)

It’s disappointing, but I have to admit, Carlton are a good side, and might even be on the verge of becoming a great one.

If you’re under thirty, this will all seem new and confusing to you. It’s as if suddenly the sun didn’t come up or the AFL admitted it was wrong.

And you are right to be worried. Essendon and Carlton are both in the top four and it’s not March, but late June.

As someone that was alive when these two sides were last good, let me just tell you what it was like; human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... Mass Hysteria!

And this was an absolute belting of Geelong. It was the new prisoner sending a message by beating up the toughest guy on the block.

Like an aging silverback, Geelong’s reign is coming to an end. It’s their sixth loss in seven games and was compounded by Patrick Dangerfield receiving a one-match ban for a dangerous tackle on Sam Walsh and an injury to Tom Hawkins.

Like Geelong, Hawkins have defied age. But like the movie Tangled taught us, you can only do that for so long.

The greatest tagger in life is Father Time. Even better than Will Phillips.

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Port Adelaide (73) v Brisbane (152)

Brisbane are back.

It didn’t make sense that they started the season like a stoner riding an e-scooter. Their list is just too good.

Finally, things are starting to click, they have remembered how to play football, and the way they destroyed Port was brutal.

I’m talking Chuck Norris in Lone Wolf McQuade brutal. A movie I saw when I was far too young, but it was the 1980s, and parents didn’t really supervise you beyond checking in every few hours to see if you were still alive.

Port made a few mistakes; one being letting Brisbane kick 12 consecutive goals.

Power fans, never a chilled-out lot to begin with, could be heard booing, as their team looked more confused than an inner-city barista on an oil rig.

The Sack Ken Hinkley Brigade, who I believe are an official supporter group, will have plenty of material.

The problem is, there are a host of teams, from fifth to thirteenth on the ladder, who are all capable of handing out a belting or being belted, 

The difference between them all is paper thin.

Sacking Ken might work, but the problem with sacking coaches is you then have to rely on your board to make a good choice for the next coach.

Boards get this right about 15 per cent of the time.

Greater Western Sydney (75) v Sydney (102)

Once again, Sydney toyed around with their opposition before deciding they’d had enough and kicked ten goals in a row

That was sort of the end of it, although the Swans did then use the last quarter to basically warm down, which made the score look more flattering to the Giants than it should.

Concerning for the Swans was the fact that Joel Amartey kicked nine less goals than he did last week. That’s a massive drop-off in performance.

What’s so annoying about the Swans this season is they have so many players who can step up.

It’s like a teenager fighting acne, just as you see off a few pimples, ten more arise the day you have a date.

That brings back some memories. Not the date, but the acne.

It was a rough time for me in adolescence.

Being called ‘pizza face’ every day was traumatic.

What’s worse is my parents have never apologised.

Luckily, adolescence passes, replaced by adulthood, a more stressful time, but with slightly less acne.  

Melbourne (70) v North Melbourne (67)

Melbourne might be putting together one of the most ham-fisted seasons in history. I’m not talking about just being terrible, they’ve done that before.

I’m talking about making bonehead move after bonehead move.

There’s the preseason from hell, trading away Brodie Grundy for next to nothing, letting James Jordan go, the doctors who thought a grey-faced Petracca should go back out on the ground, an inability to fix forward entries despite years to do so, and now Steven May staging.

Melbourne may not be able to kick goals, but they can kick own goals.

This was certainly evident in the fourth quarter, when Melbourne didn’t score, at all, while North booted five goals.

North fans are well over plucky losses, but at least there’s enthusiasm around the club, a sense that finally things are changing.

It seems each week they turn over a rock and find another talented young player.

They even got stuck into Melbourne, with a rare all-in melee, although it was a very soft melee.

Even the Auskick kids looked on with disdain plainly evident on their faces.


Essendon (122) v West Coast (92)

In previous years, with a West Coast team quickly improving, the Bombers would have dropped this one in heartbreaking fashion.

But they did not.

Previous rebuilds at Essendon have tended to fall over with alarming regularity.

The slightest bit of pressure and they went down in exciting and unpredictable ways.

Like the Three Little Pigs, the Bombers seemed to do their rebuilds using straw.

They wanted the rebuild done quickly. Of course, anyone with a kindergarten-level education knows that the minute some wolf comes along with a decent lung capacity, you’re rebuild is going to be in trouble. 

Many Essendon boards have lacked a kindergarten-level education.

This board seems to be a bit more advanced. They are doing things properly.

The question is, are they using sticks or bricks?

It’s a bit early to tell, but it’s a nice change for Essendon supporters, who have had to get used to their club making decisions so bad they’d begun to wonder if they were doing it on purpose.

Fremantle (85) v Gold Coast (65)

Gold Coast may be the most relatable team in the competition. They don’t like going out.

They just want to stay at home where it’s warm.

They haven’t won an away game since May 12th, 2023, and this was their 14th away loss in a row.

Look, I get it. Going out is exhausting. There are people. There are more people. You have to put on pants.

It’s a nightmare. Unfortunately, you just have to get on with it.

Fremantle needed this win.

Last week, the Bulldogs treated them with contempt. Luckily for the Dockers, the competition is so close you can stuff up badly and still stay relevant.

It’s like the Australian media in that way.

Sitting in fifth place, every Dockers fan is looking at the rest of the season and thinking ‘Whatever happens next is going to hurt from here.’

BYE: Adelaide, Collingwood, Western Bulldogs, Hawthorn, St Kilda, Richmond

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



Tarax Club

Jun 24, 2024

Mercifully Collingwood had the bye so didn't have to 'read' the sycophantic dross.

the g train

Jun 24, 2024

Brilliant irrational idiotic hysterical reaction this week, Titus. Agree with everything you wrote.

"Port made a few mistakes; one being letting Brisbane kick 12 consecutive goals". That's a 1 in 4096 event. And it all happened from the second half of the second half of the first half to the first half of the first half of the second half. It only took 2 halves for Brisbane to absolutely smash Port. The other 6 halves were actually very even.


Jun 24, 2024

Being called pizza face by your parents would indeed be unsettling & then barracking for the Dees, no wonder you’re sensative?


Jun 24, 2024

"Sycophantic Dross" won the last at Fleminton.

Son of Plugger

Jun 24, 2024

Really good, Titus.

I had no acne as a teenager and was mercilessly outcasted because of it. I had really bad acne much later in life and was mercilessly outcasted for it.

North Melbourne is getting there. They've won a game, should have defeated last year's premier and came perilously close to defeating highly fancied Demons.

North learnt a lot from the Collingwood game. They also tried to come from an unwinnable position in the third quarter to snatch victory at the death. And it almost worked. But they forgot to factor in that they wouldn't get any help from the umps at the death to push them to victory. Another painful lesson learnt.


Jun 24, 2024

"Hawkins have defied age," you say?

Well, maybe he have and maybe he haven't. Time will tell.

Tom Mannion

Jun 24, 2024

In fairness May has a huge head on his shoulders to match his ego in his mind it would have hit the ground

El Guapo

Jun 24, 2024

Might be a little harsh on the Dees there. They played 10 players under 22 on the weekend, the most of any team. Rebuild is happening before the big slide. Some kudos due there.
Grundy is a moot point, he wasn't staying to play at Casey and Melbourne had no leverage to get more. Jordan was no great shakes in 2023 & Sydney offered game time and cash. It paid off, good luck to them.
As for the lack of cohesiveness going forward, you'll get no argument from me.


Jun 24, 2024

Having your own parents call you pizza face must have been tough.

I suppose every year they made you take the family photo. That way you wouldn't be in it. And when you asked your old man to take you to the zoo he said, "If they want you they can come and get you!".

It must have been tough.

Fifth umpire

Jun 24, 2024

Umpire’s award for the week goes to the one who allowed a Fremantle player to deliver an overarm quarterback pass to a teammate in the goal square. Mercifully the recipient was too surprised (or embarrassed) to do anything with it.
Have to feel for the umps though with the AFL constantly changing the rules. Now you can allow your opponent to swing you round 3 times before you get rid of the ball. It’s like some blokey folk dancing festival.

Paul Dalby

Jun 24, 2024

Is it just me or is having four umpires like having four TV channels, you get a lot of TV, but you don't necessarily get better TV.

Running Dog

Jun 24, 2024

Indeed, an inner city barista would be terribly confused on an oil rig. There he/she/they is, working in the canteen, sporting the de rigueur uniform of the breed, and in walks Dangerfield Hinkley and asks for 'black coffee'. Now, Pizza Face the barista can make a skinnysoylatteflatmoccachinoespresso with the best of them. The organic lactose free fair trade goat's milk and nectar sourced by the Sugar Plum Fairy from rainforest alliance honeytrees is right there, at his/her/their fingertips. But when FIFO silverback asks for 'black coffee'... what on earth is that? Aren't coffee orders meant to be bespoke, like fingerprints, demonstrating one's unique identity? What would you do in such a non-binary situation?


Jun 24, 2024

With your umpires = TV channels analogy, I think I speak for most footy fans when I say that we really want is four channels all showing the same program at the same time.

I am jet lagged

Jun 24, 2024

If I hadn't been awake for 48 hours, I would have snorted my coffee at "Even better than Will Phillips."

He is bloody good, and would have won the game against Naicos if not subbed off.

What a way to not so much wake up as crawl out of death in London to read this!

Mosis Syndes

Jun 24, 2024

Are you saying Brisbane are singing from the same song sheet, now, O'Reily? And if that's the case, Melbourne's learning of the gazoo off Youtube could well be ill conceived?

Fat Side

Jun 24, 2024

You're sposta wear pants when you go out?

Norm The Dog

Jun 24, 2024

Running dog and the barista need not worry on oil rigs so long as they can open a tin of Continental Roast No-one will drink it anyway. It is better used as LCM (lost circulation material) mixed in the drilling mud to prevent down hole fluid losses.

Fat Side

Jun 24, 2024

Is that a new rule, or a new interpretation of an old rule?

Floreat Pica

Jun 24, 2024

On the basis that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" I shall not judge you on your failure to quote your sources.
"human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... Mass Hysteria!"

saint peter

Jun 25, 2024

A great weekend. The Saints didn't lose to anyone. Although we did not play at least we didn't lose. That's a positive from a St.Kilda supporter. So we aren't always resigned to fact we will lose. We only need 10 more matches like last week and we are guaranteed to sow up 14 on the ladder. Go Saints I think you can do it.

Johnny Geo

Jun 25, 2024

That last comment re Dockers is just cruel. Fair, but cruel.

Blake Dorshorst

Jun 26, 2024

Good review Titus

Myk Aussie

Jun 26, 2024

Yet another reason for me to continue to think Steven May is one of Biggest flogs in the AFL. I reckon I know why Dees got flocked in Alice Springs. They weren't game to take their Coc e Cola on the plane and was nowhere to buy it in Alice.


Jun 27, 2024

Yep. Supporting Freo is like getting back with your ex. You think things will be different this time. They never are. Still, we'll see, again.

Doug Piranha

Jul 02, 2024

"That brings back some memories. Not the date, but the acne."

That sounds familiar. And I was a Dees supporter back then too. I managed to solve the latter of those problems by declaring myself a free agent and transferring my allegiance to the Hawks. Acne proved a harder nut to crack.


Jul 03, 2024

"... but it was the 1980s, and parents didn’t really supervise you beyond checking in every few hours to see if you were still alive."


Jul 07, 2024

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