Jul 08, 2024


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: 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.


Collingwood (80) v Essendon (92)

Normally, a Collingwood loss brings nothing but pure joy for most of us, but this time it felt weird.

After almost a quarter of a century, Essendon have emerged as a competent football club.

I had thought this was a thing of the past, like when you used to ring your friend on their home phone and had to talk to their Mum and Dad while you waited for them to come to the phone.

Make no mistake, this is a huge change.

Try explaining to anyone under thirty that Essendon where once a powerhouse club and they can’t even get their head around it. 

You get the same look you get when you tell them about Blockbuster Video or their being no internet.

They nod but they don’t really understand or believe you.

I spoke to a heap of Essendon supporters last week and not one thought they could beat the Pies, and the first quarter seemed to bare that view out, but then the Bombers fought back.

It’s not something we thought they could do.

Like seeing a snake play the piano, people were stunned, as the Bombers not only got into the game but outworked the Pies.

I would like to point out though that the Pies have a lot of problems.

Not for any great reason or to make a point, it’s just fun to point out that Collingwood have a lot of problems.

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North Melbourne (87) v Gold Coast (83)

There were times when it seemed North could struggle to get two wins this century, but now, they have two wins in just sixteen games. Take that doubters!

And they played some exciting footy, like when Tom Powell launched a torp from half back that set up a goal.

It proved the matra everyone in the crowd lives by, ‘kick it long’.

The Kangaroos have a heap of great young talent worth learning the names of, like Harry Sheezel, Luke Davies-something-or-other and that tough kid people talk about.

They were helped significantly by the fact Gold Coast travel so reluctantly you’d think they were Americans.

Damien Hardwick was so angry with the Suns that he swore after this game.

Great, now young kids can’t watch the coaches’ media conferences, which they never do now I think about it.

They’re always on their bloody iPads playing computer games and gambling on sports.

Port Adelaide (102) v Western Bulldogs (54)

Keen to avoid seeing Ken Hinkley crying again, Port’s midfield destroyed the Bulldogs, in a brutal reminder that the Bulldogs aren’t that good.

Connor Rozee was so keen to avoid any more post-match emotion he had 18 possessions in the first quarter.

This would suggest the Bulldogs were probably not tagging him. At least you hope they weren’t.

It did raise the question, why weren’t they?

The Bulldogs problem is that ‘having Marcus Bontempelli’ is not in itself a strategy.

He’s good but unlike cricket, football is a team game.

The Bulldogs do have a tall forward line. It’s handy if you need to get something off the top shelf, but not for kicking winning scores. 

Geelong (110) v Hawthorn (59)

Hawthorn had a gaping James Sicily-shaped hole in their team on Saturday, and the Cats exploited it to the full.

There were no concerns for Geelong, as they ran all over the Hawks and cruised to an easy win.

Geelong’s real problem is not on the field, it’s off the field.

Where are they going to put all the taxpayer dollars governments keep handing to them?

Pablo Escobar had a similar problem and was forced to bury cash as he just had too much.

They announced the redevelopment of GMHBA Stadium, but the State Government gave them so much money they had to keep announcing new phases. They ended up with more phases than the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The State Government ended up giving them $260 million and even the Cats had to admit they probably had done everything they could short of covering everything in rubies and emeralds.

The problem was that even after that, the government still wanted to hand them money. I mean, it’s exhausting.

So, the Cats say, fine, give us $4.1 million for a new scoreboard. The state government says 'great', and puts it in the May budget.

But the Cats know the government is going to want to throw more money at them, like a drunk bank executive at a strip club.

So, they come up with a new $60 million training centre.

It must be exhausting. If the Cats want to come up with a way to not drown in taxpayer funding, just announce they are now a regional hospital.

Greater Western Sydney (116) v Carlton (104)

Regular readers of this column know I have long said that you shouldn’t lead by 39 points in the first quarter and then let your opponent kick 14 of the next 16 goals.

Sadly, Carlton failed to heed this advice.

Going against my normally held view, Carlton fans shouldn’t panic and assume the crash position they’ve held for the past twenty-plus years.

The Blues just had an off day. The pieces are all still there.

What is wrong with me? Why am I saying nice things about Carlton? Do I believe Carlton are now a good team? Am I losing what little cognitive function I had? Is it time I run for the US Presidency?

The Giants are now in the top eight, which shows you how tight this competition is, given they haven’t played like a top eight side for some time.

Yet it’s an even competition, which is astounding because the AFL have designed it to be even. Usually, when the AFL tries to enact an outcome, we get the complete opposite.

Fremantle (105) v Richmond (54)

Very rarely, I get invited to a birthday party or a wedding and in the weeks afterwards I bump into other attendees, and I say, ‘Wasn’t that a great night.’

Almost always, the response is ‘Were you there?’

That is how unmemorable I am. 

Fremantle can relate. They sit third on the ladder and the footy media and fans have even noticed them.

Even the media in Perth don’t really notice them. Harley Reid gets about thirty times more coverage than the Dockers, and the Dockers ARE SITTING THIRD ON THE LADDER.

Richmond had more media this morning, and they lost and are bottom of the ladder.

Being the Dockers media manager must be the easiest job in the world.

You could forget to take the work mobile into the office, and you probably wouldn’t worry about going home to get it.


Melbourne (112) v West Coast (58)

Adam Simpson and a lot of those in charge won the premiership in 2018 and it’s been a disaster since, yet they seem to wonder why the fans are angry with them.

They’re like the husband who emptied the dishwasher a few years ago and can’t understand why their partner is annoyed with them about not doing any housework.

“But what about that time I emptied the dishwasher?”

Against Melbourne, a team they destroyed not that long ago, they looked lazy and clumsy, like an overfed labrador.

The Dees didn’t have to do too much to secure the victory, helped significantly by the Eagles mistakes. 

Worryingly, Max Gawn went off injured.

Melbourne’s medical team said that either his humours were imbalanced, or he has scurvy and that a good leeching should help.

St Kilda (84) v Sydney (82)

Nothing can stop the Swans, except perhaps Logan McDonald.

To be fair, the Swans as a team kicked 3.11 after halftime, so you can hardly blame McDonald for missing his late shot at goal.

He just doesn’t want to make a habit of it.

The brilliant thing about Ross Lyon’s game plan is that it occasionally works, especially if your opponent can’t kick straight.

The Saints just out hustled the Swans at key moments.

Take St Kilda’s Dougal Howard, who went over the fence and landed in the Sydney cheer squad.

If it was Collingwood’s cheer squad, he’d have left with a few bruises but all he left with were some helpful tips on purchasing property on the North Shore.

Things could get worse for the Swans with Isaac Heeney a chance to be suspended for swinging his fist behind him and hitting Jimmy Webster in the nose.

I hope Heeney uses the defence you use with your siblings as kids, ‘I’m just swinging my arms, if it hits you, it’s your fault.”

Brisbane (97) v Adelaide (86)

Brisbane are in the eight and storming home.

Starting the season like a group leaving a nightclub as the sun came up, they have in recent months got back on track.

They’ve not yet back to last year’s heights, but if they keep improving.

Brisbane have a good midfield, an OK defence and a forward line that occasionally works.

They could go as far as losing in a qualifying final. The dream is very much alive.

Adelaide can’t aspire to something as spectacular as that, but at least they weren’t terrible, which is the stretch target for the team.

“Guys, I want you to go out there and perform to a level that our fans can say ‘well, at least they weren’t terrible.’

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




Jul 08, 2024

_Yet it’s an even competition, which is astounding because the AFL have designed it to be even. Usually, when the AFL tries to enact an outcome, we get the complete opposite. _

You have struck the tack precisely upon its cranium there, Titus. The AFL's tendency to innovate in order to make improvements will eventually result in them improving the league until there's nothing left.

John Richardson

Jul 08, 2024

Kick it looooog. Yes!


Jul 08, 2024

ahh the cats have found another way to spend break the new scoreboard. looked like a pixel is missing

Pupper Mum

Jul 08, 2024

How right are you Titus about the Dockers?! 3rd....When did this happen? How did we miss it?


Jul 08, 2024

FRE has just been sneaking up on the teams above them like an angry librarian who's just spotted a bunch of noisy teens.

Big Mick

Jul 08, 2024

You can get a beer and freshly carved roast beef roll in Selwood stand now. The nice little chef in the puffy white hat carves it right in front of you. Makes the multiple salts at Marvel look a bit lame.

Anton Grodeck

Jul 08, 2024

"Take St Kilda’s Dougal Howard, who went over the fence and landed in the Sydney cheer squad.

If it was Collingwood’s cheer squad, he’d have left with a few bruises but all he left with were some helpful tips on purchasing property on the North Shore."

This is comedy gold. You should try your and at being a comedian!

The g train

Jul 08, 2024

Agree with everything you wrote, Titus. But just to add Blockbuster Video still exists—in Bend. Which, regardless of age, very few would know this.

When the husband, even a good husband, empties the dishwasher, he simply can’t envisage it ever filling up again.

GCS have won 8/8 at home, and 0/8 away. IF there’s no home ground bias, the probability of this is 0.000015. Anyway, Stewie Dew would be having a good laugh now.

Barbara Paroissien

Jul 08, 2024

Sorry - just a grammatical/spelling error - seems to bare that view should be 'bear' - at least it shows I read the commentary - go Bombers!

Darren W-B

Jul 08, 2024

The recognition for Freo is so poor that multiple media outlets all reported that “Freo have climbed into the top four” after beating the Tigers even though they were in exactly the same ladder position from the previous week after beating the Swans. When Freo win, the main discussion for Vic media is focused on the opposition and how poorly they played.

Son of Plugger

Jul 08, 2024

Terrific KJR, Titus. Just terrific.

If I asked for and then received $324.1 million from government to build stuff for myself and those that supported me, I'd happily take it too.

Lyon's perfect plan is to kick 8 goals and win. At half time, StK kicked 4 goals and were well on track. But Sydney had kicked 8 at half time. Lyon adjusted--to his credit. After the game, he said: "It didn't go according to plan, and we have to do much better. But at least we got the 4 points and will try harder and better to execute our game plan in the upcoming rounds."

The Grouch

Jul 08, 2024

"Like seeing a snake play the piano, people were stunned...." I have just finished a couple of your books (which were excellent) but this line is pure genius. But given you follow Melbourne, I am guessing you plagiarised it.... Thanks for providing such quality analysis, whip smart prose and some good laughs on a dreary Monday. GOODONYA TITUS!

Putting a load in the Dishwasher ;)

Jul 08, 2024

Shattered that Ess. V Coll'd wasn't a draw.
Perfect scenario would be Coll'd down by 6-7 goals, come back and think they're going to steal another one, one of their darlings hits the post after the siren and it's draw.

This world sucks sometimes.

One of your best KJRs BTW.


Jul 08, 2024

Highlight was the Ch9 Sunday Footy Show review of Freo's win where Matthew Lloyd turned it into a discussion about the North Melbourne forward line. We didn't even play the Kangas. We are a WAFL team playing in the VFL being judged by experts who think that nothing footy exists outside Melbourne. And we are coming to get you...

Harbouring doubt

Jul 08, 2024

As a long-suffering Fremantle member, I never go into any match with confidence of a win. I wasn't confident on Saturday and the Tigers' quick 2-goal jump had me thinking: having come off such a narrow escape, holding on to a win from the top of the ladder, we would lose to the bottom of the ladder. I wonder if it's better that the Perth media don't pay attention to Fremantle. I'm not sure they know we exist.


Jul 08, 2024

Too true re Freo I have just spent 2 weeks in WA and read the Weststralian every day they get at best one third of the coverage Harley Reid gets


Jul 08, 2024

The problem with the Bulldogs could either be too much Marcus Bontempelli or not enough Marcus Bontempelli.


Jul 08, 2024

Geez I wish you'd get someone to proofread your work.


Jul 08, 2024

@John you're bang on the money. @Titus it was initially a funny gimmick being crap at spelling, grammar and punctuation as part of your persona, but frankly it's just tedious now. Consider this a half-time spray from the coach and lift your game.


Jul 08, 2024

I’m sure Melbourne were probably planning a tax payer funded ski training centre before they surprised themselves by starting to win games a few years back.

Mosis Syndes

Jul 08, 2024

Let's turn the sods of the earth on this Bombers thing, O'Reily. Was knitting a thing when Essendon where any good?


Jul 09, 2024

Against Melbourne, a team they destroyed not that long ago, they looked lazy and clumsy, like an overfed labrador.
Titus, just so that you know…. A Labrador can never be overfed.

Perpetually hopeful

Jul 09, 2024

Brisbane played the first 5 games
Like they just got off a plane from a 10 week bender in Vegas
Now they’re running around like they have a chance to go to Vegas in 12 weeks if they win it all


Jul 10, 2024

JOHN JUL 08, 2024
Geez I wish you'd get someone to proofread your work.

Good stuff

Jul 12, 2024

Great work Titus. And if there are no grammar errors or spelling mistakes, please pop a couple in at the end before publishing . I love seeing the 1% lose their marbles and all perspective when they spot something.


Jul 12, 2024

I doubt he needs to be reminded to do that.

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