Mar 25, 2024


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: Round Two


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.


St Kilda (94) v Collingwood (79)

What if I’d told you a few weeks ago that it would be Round Two and Collingwood would have already lost three games?

It’s an exciting time for us all.

I’m old enough to remember when the boundary line was not a rough guideline but a binary boundary.

It’s the woke ideology gone mad! Now players can decide if they identify with being out of bounds or in bounds.

Why aren’t Sky News yelling about this?

This season, it seems players can go a fair way out of bounds and not get called for it, and boy, does it make the game exciting, like when Jack Higgins kicked a 40-metre bomb despite being on a tram heading down Bridge Road.

Creative interpretations of boundary lines aside, St Kilda had the Pies measure for the night.

Partly this was due to Collingwood’s ability to shoot itself in the foot at the worst possible moment every time. It was the only thing consistent about them.

Time and again, senior players would dispose of the ball like a toddler attempting their first-ever kick or handball.

St Kilda were also more committed to the contest, and they ran off halfback constantly.

Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera had the ball for ninety per cent of game time. I think that’s right, I’m not great at percentages.

Collingwood now must ponder the most dangerous question, has everyone figured us out? It’s a question we all wrest with occasionally.

The best approach is to not think about it and say to yourself, ‘I am not the loser my parents make me out to be’ over and over. 

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Adelaide (77) v Geelong (96)

The Crows looked like they might just get there, chasing down a 25-point deficit, only to then let the Cats pull away immediately 

It sums up the Crows, good, but just not good enough.

Part of the Crows problem was Tom Stewart, who marked everything the Crows put into their forward 50.

You’d like to think the message went out ‘hey, guys, stop kicking it to Tom Stewart every single time. Perhaps try kicking it to some other Geelong players, just to mix it up.’

That message didn’t get through.

While Adelaide was poor, they weren’t as bad as Adelaide Oval’s security, who, after a pitch invader ran on during the third quarter, took forever to get him off the ground.

The guy was filming with his phone the entire time, and was grabbed Matt Crouch, who held him waiting for security, only there was none.

Security finally did arrive, with the speed and grace of someone with a massive hangover getting off the couch.

Finally, Ben Keays had to grab the guy and shove him to the ground, meaning Keays should get a paycheck from the security firm for doing their job.

Also, what’s with running on the ground full clothed? I mean what’s the point?

There’s just no commitment to these things anymore.

Everyone who runs on the ground these days is doing it for social media clicks or promoting some bloody website.

It used to be for the purity of making the biggest drunken fool of yourself and nothing else.

The world is going to hell.


North Melbourne (76) v Fremantle (102)

North Melbourne proved once again they can match it with anyone, for an entire half of football.

Leading by 32 points in the second quarter, Roos fans got ready for the inevitable.

Luke Jackson and Andrew Brayshaw suddenly remembered who they were playing, and they were off, speeding past a flat-footed Kangaroos outfit with the ease of a Ferrari pulling away from an electric scooter.

North didn’t have any answers after half time, as the Dockers kicked nine consecutive goals in a third quarter, as North fans yelled ‘ok you’ve made you point, there are children watching.’

At this point, someone from the crowd could have ran onto the ground in the Kangaroos forward fifty and it would have taken a quarter for anyone to notice.

Hawthorn (38) v Melbourne (93)

Hawthorn tried an interesting tactic in the first quarter, kicking the ball to each other as much as was humanly possible, but refusing to go into their forward fifty.

They took 53 marks for just one behind, with the Melbourne players remarking angrily, ‘hey that’s out gameplan.’

The Dees were already 32 points up at quarter time, and with hindsight, they should have just subbed everyone off at this point.

Instead, Steven May went down with suspected broken ribs and a crack in his vertebrae, and Jake Lever went off with a sore knee.

In my day, we just played on with a crack in your vertebrae, but you can’t do that in this safety-first day and age. So soft.

The good news is both Lever and May will be back in time for the Grand Final.

Hawthorn’s biggest problem was they won the possession count. It’s all well and good to have more possession, but not when you dispose of the ball like Hawthorn do. 

Getting the ball less might improve them.

They dispose of the ball like its pouring with rain even when it’s perfect conditions.

Sydney (131) v Essendon (101)

Essendon went out of their way to prove their toughness but forgot to defend in the process.

Peter Wright took out Harry Cunningham early, in a challenge that at best could be described as clumsy.

Some have said he was just protecting himself, which is like saying you were just protecting yourself when you ran over someone with your car.

This set us a spiteful clash as both teams got involved in a lot of off-the-ball stuff.

In the second quarter, a mini-melee kicked off only for Essendon runner, Travis Cloke to come out and tell everyone to stop fighting, and everyone did.

Not since Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse have I seen someone clean up a brawl faster.

The AFL won’t be happy with it, but perhaps they could just hire him and a few ex-players of a similar size to stop melees?

Essendon should probably put more effort into defending, rather than intimidation, as the Swans ran all over them as the game went on. 

Physical intimidation is a lot like trash talk, it only works if you can back it up.

By the end of the game, the Essendon edge looked blunt.

Tom Papley called Essendon’s physical intimidation ‘a façade’, when he cut a WWE style promo after the game, meaning when they meet later this year, everyone will be watching.


Western Bulldogs (115) v Gold Coast (67)

The Suns missed Jarrod Witts like the deserts miss the rain, as the gap between the Suns best and worst needs a ‘wide load’ sign when it’s on the road.

The Bulldogs would have enjoyed the ease at which they could score, and none more so than Cody Weightman who booted six goals.

Every single time the Suns looked like doing anything, the Bulldogs would get a goal, and it was usually so easy it was like taking stamp duty from a homeowner.

It didn’t help that the Suns forgot Marcus Bontempelli is a fairly good player.

He finished with 31 disposals, 10 clearances and two goals.

I’m not a strategic mastermind, but I would have told the Suns players to not let him do that.

Damien Hardwick had the look of someone who had just realised this was going to be a little harder than he originally thought.

Although that’s always been the Suns problem, concentrating week-in-week out.

Richmond (92) v Port Adelaide (122)

Travis Boak played his 350th game, in a move that seemed to be personally aimed at making me feel very old.

Remember when you were younger than AFL players? Now I feel like they could be my kid, and its possible some are.

Just kidding, not with their level of coordination.

And try talking to an AFL player. They are so young.

One told me they admired the work of Fred Again, and I spent two days trying to remember if he played for Fremantle or the Suns.

Richmond got off to a flyer in this one, which was surprising as they had a back line held together with Clag and one dangerously positioned octopus strap.

It gave the Power a height advantage up forward usually only enjoyed by Victor Wembanyama.

Yet, the Tigers defense was helped in the first half by the Power booting 3.7. 

Once the Power got their eye in, it was all over.

West Coast (43) v Greater Western Sydney (108)

The final score probably flatters West Coast, who got a few late goals to make this look terrible but not catastrophic.

The Eagles didn’t even score a goal in the second and third quarters, while the Giants kicked six goals in that time.

To be honest, reviewing this game is fairly pointless. There are no deep insights to be had.

West Coast are still off the pace and acknowledging the Giants are better than them is hardly new information.

What is interesting is that 42,401 people came to watch this, proving there is a great hunger in the West for them to have a second AFL team.

Adelaide friends, I’m performing during Gather Round with Lehmo at the Rhino Room. Tickets available here.

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bob farnarkle

Mar 25, 2024

I enjoyed that, especially the philosophising about boundary lines and the blunted edge. Your best work so far this season! Please please keep it coming. I was so happy when I found you were back a couple of weeks ago.


Mar 25, 2024

Is the Essendon Edge the footy equivalent of Bazball?

Kafka’s Ghost

Mar 25, 2024

If Jack Higgins was on a tram on Bridge Rd when he took his shot at goal, Kyle Langford was on the Manly ferry passing the Heads when he took his “mark”. He then proceeded to play on from the - previously - out of bounds area, making his identification as an “OOB” guy complete. I, too, remember when boundary lines meant something concrete, but those days are clearly passé. Perhaps in the spirit of inclusivity, the AFL could have an entire OOB Round, and dispense with the boundary lines altogether?!

The g train

Mar 25, 2024

Agree with everything you wrote, Titus. As always. But, philosophically, you muse “what’s the point?”. But who said there’s gotta be a point?

And getting off the couch cold stone sober on a good day ain’t easy either.

Thanks Titus for your great work! It gives a point to things pointless.


Mar 25, 2024

“ Remember when you were younger than AFL players? Now I feel like they could be my kid, and its possible some are.”

Wait till you hit the day when there’s players younger than your kids… And you look at yours thinking “if you had enough talent, I could be sitting on a beach living off agent fees”.

Sitting Down

Mar 25, 2024

You state "I’m not a strategic mastermind", and yet, have put forth several strategic strategies that would enhance the result for the teams that hadn't implemented them. Give yourself credit, Titus. After all, you're "not the loser your parents make you out to be"!

Fat Side

Mar 25, 2024

I heard a rumour that Gamble Responsibly are now sending out feelers to the Magpies, Tigers, Hawks and Kangaroos for sponsorship deals to emblazon their jumpers with "Chances are you're about to lose" and "You win some, you lose more".


Mar 25, 2024

good work

Son of plugger

Mar 25, 2024

Hear ya, Titus—about Collingwood’s 3 losses after round 2!

Had a massive falling out last week with grandma over Round 1 being called round 0. Pops came round to sort things out. To bring us back together.

Began with same small talk. The weather. The footy. Pops wanted to know why everyone is raving about StK being so good with 1 victory after round 3. He understands that round 2 is really round 3. So told him: but they’re not 1 win from 3 games, they’re actually 1 from 2. But it’s round 3, right, says Pops, getting a bit aggressive. Yeah, pops, round 2 is really round 3. Pops says then how come they’ve only played 2 games? Pops—they had a bye in Round 0 which was really round 1. Pops is starting to lose it. A bye in round 1?! That’s insanity, says Pops. That’s just crazy. Then I started explaining that’s why round 1 was called round 0–the only games played in round 0, which was really round 1, were in NSW and QLD. Games in all states didn’t start until round 2, which is why it was called round 1. And they could still have the traditional blockbuster Carl Vs Rich game in Round 1, even though it was really round 2. Pops thought I was taking the mick, which he thought very disrespectful. To calm things down, I agreed with Pops but also re-assured him it all actually makes sense. And that it makes wonderfully comical reading that Collingwood have lost three games around round 2, even though it’s actually round 3. And it was a bit like when Sydney, for the olympics, called their dedicated Olympic stadium platforms “platform 0” at their train stations. Pops lost it. What’s Harry Potter got to do with it?! screamed Pops. He left in a rage and shouted: your grandmother was right—you’re a disrespectful messed-up idiot.

Thanks a lot, AFL.

saint peter

Mar 25, 2024

Titus, could you please keep Jack Higgins little miscalculation to yourself please. If it gets out that he was out of bounds slightly, by being up in the stands with Wayne Harmes sharing similar stories all whilst kicking a goal, the AFL integrity unit may get someone looking at it.
I am laughing at your comment "Why aren't Syke News yelling about it."


Mar 25, 2024

“ Remember when you were younger than AFL players? Now I feel like they could be my kid.”
I was enjoying the Dogs v Suns game until some smarty pants know-it-all in the commentary box informed me that Sam Darcy is a third generation Dogs player. Oh? I wondered. I knew he was the son of Luke Darcy, because we are told that every time he goes near the ball, but I had no idea there was a footballing grandad in his bloodline. Then the commentator said Luke was the son of David Darcy, and I remembered watching him play against John Greening and Tuddy and Peter McKenna and Terry Waters and Len Thompson, which made me feel a bit old. Then I realised Luke Darcy had played against Scott Pendlebury, and I understood why Collingwood is going to have to relinquish its title of Premiership Cup Holders this September. Getting old is not for sissies.

bloke from the outer

Mar 25, 2024

All Wright has to do is say that he was trying to smother the ball and then he would be allowed to knock Cunningham out cold.


Mar 25, 2024

Travis Cloke should apply for the job of security chief at Adelaide Oval. Nobody would dare run on and risk being tackled by him

bloke from the outer

Mar 25, 2024

CAROLYN MAR 25, 2024
Is the Essendon Edge the footy equivalent of Bazball?

I don't think even Essington is so delusional to claim moral victories.


Mar 25, 2024

Speaking of optional: apparently umpires can also identify as someone who does not penalise anybody, as paying free kicks is now also optional. Sometimes their harder mate 150 metres away has to make the decision for them when they think things are getting out of hand.
I'm also old enough to remember when a push in the back was against the rules, now apparently that is as acceptable as kicking the ball, although it is used more frequently than kicking it as a tactic.

Tarax Club

Mar 25, 2024

Titus, uncommented on so far but isn't it a trifle premature for naming Grand Final participants? There's a lot of water to still flow under the 2024 season bridge. Just to allay anxiety about injuries to key players. Lever & throw the Kitchen at May wish to announce, news of their prolonged time on the injury list is just fugazi and just won't wash.


Mar 25, 2024

If that Essendon player had been any further out on Saturday night he’d have been up at Taronga Park Zoo patting those bloody giraffes.

Mosis Syndes

Mar 25, 2024

Low hanging fruit, O'Reily; that's what the security guards called me. But my name is Fabian, and my Mum and Dad told me I can do what ever I like!

Ian Brotherton

Mar 25, 2024

The comments reserved for Collingwood and Hawthorn could have quite easily been used for West Coast, unfortunately.... "Time and again, senior players would dispose of the ball like a toddler attempting their first-ever kick or handball." & "They dispose of the ball like its pouring with rain even when it’s perfect conditions." - I'm no AFL player, but that feels like it could have wider application, is all I am saying...

Scott Brad Chris Not Sure

Mar 25, 2024

Zach Merrett and Travis Cloke were Essendon's best players on Saturday night. What shame 2MP didn't run though Yappa Papley.

WA Bogan

Mar 25, 2024

I'm old enough to remember when players went in hard to tackle and if the opponent got hurt then that was a bonus. I mean, other than a few Swans' supporters, who wouldn't love to see Wright steamroll Papley, Heeney and the many other glass-jawed Swans? These days many players seem reluctant to go in too hard for fear of hurting someone (and themselves), especially given the inconsistency of the AFL Tribunal.

WA Bogan

Mar 25, 2024

Isn't it ironic that the more umpires there are on the field the poorer the standard of umpiring? And we might as well do away with goal umpires if they're forever questioning their own decisions.


Mar 25, 2024

The commentators used to say that an opponent was "helped under the ball" when a defender would gently nudge an opponent to get them out of the contest. Now they might as well say "helped under the bus" as defenders just use all their might to flatten players from behind with not a whistle to be heard. I blame Abbott.


Mar 25, 2024

Great to have KJR back Titus, but what about the round preview? Would love to see it return as well.

Macca RB

Mar 25, 2024

RE:: Platform Zero @ Lidcombe to Olympic Park.
As a Giants member, what is always fun is when visiting supporters who have either taken an early morning flight or the overnight train to Sydney and who have then spent the intervening time getting loaded in a bar attempt to explain to their more loaded friends that they need to alight at Lidcombe and transfer to Platform Zero, when they leave the bar.
These conversations can keep a carriage full of footy supporters, mostly GWS, entertained for the lengthy journey between Lidcombe Platform Zero and the Olympic Park Station.
The more drunken ones, still at the bar, arguing that they are having the piss taken out of them by their marginally less pissed friends on the train.
Platform Zero does actually exist. It was created at Lidcombe Station to service the shuttle line connecting the new Olympic Park station with the western lines of the Sydney network.


Mar 25, 2024

I'm sure I was not the only one who was glad Dustin Fletchers kids went to the states instead, as I started my football supporting life watching their grandfather play, so them in the AFL would have made my head explode...


Mar 25, 2024

It's been far too long since I've seen the word, Clag. I didn't know I missed it. Thank you, Titus.


Apr 10, 2024

Titus is away. Well, round five, the Crow's had to win at home with no advantage at all. Brisbane only had to turn up for a training run, Port look pretty good at home as well. Sydney seem to win, which we all hate. Carlton are great but only just get over the line as usual. The Cats don't know how to lose. Everyone hates gws but they keep winning especially Greene. Collingwood are so annoying by winning close games but it was great to see Ginnivan tacked around the neck so many times. There you go, if Titus can't do it, someone else will give you a rap.