Oct 01, 2020


A Highly Unhelpful Guide to AFL Finals Week One


The only guide to the round that admits it’s completely unhelpful. What it lacks in insight, it makes up for with wild theories and detours onto unrelated topics.

It’s your unhelpful guide to AFL Finals Week One. 


Port Adelaide v Geelong (AO) 7:40pm Seven

Against all odds, we’ve finally made it to finals. It’s testimony to what a country can do which puts sport above all other things.

Credit also goes to the clubs, the league and the players for disrupting their lives. I can’t imagine what it’s been like. The rest of us been having a great time.

Extra credit goes to the players as a group, who have only broken quarantine rules on about a weekly basis, throwing the entire industry and season in danger. That’s a much lower average than we thought they’d do it when this all started.  

As for Port, finally, after a year more consistent than bad news has been in 2020, they get to prove they can mix it in the finals.

There’s a lot to say they can. They have a great structure, and they’ll get to play finals at home in front of fans.

Playing the Cats is never easy though, although, in recent years, Geelong have treated finals as a warmup for their wacky Mad Monday costume party, an event they’ve sometimes put more effort into than winning finals.

Port come into this with some scars however from their Round 12 belting at the hands of the Cats, when Tom Hawkins made their defence look like a group of seven-year-olds playing keepings off with an adult.

On the back of that, I’m tipping Geelong, but this year makes no sense so at all, anything could happen.


Brisbane v Richmond (G) 7:50pm Seven

I like to say this is Richmond’s premiership to lose, as it annoys Tigers fans immensely, which is always fun, but it also probably true.

I’ve rung a few Richmond friends to tell them this week, and they’ve responded angrily. You have to create your own fun in lockdown.

Richmond has come good later in the season and thrashed Brisbane earlier in the season, but they will be going into this without Tom Lynch.

Lynch is out with a hamstring injury, reinforcing my view that AFL players should just not have hamstrings, they get injured too much.

Now, I’m no doctor, but I can’t see having no hamstrings affecting how you play football.

Lynch being out certainly helps the Lions, whose own forward line is as intermittent as the NBN.

One thing the Lions could do to improve their chances is kick straight. In their previous encounter with Richmond, they managed to boot 4.17 in the biggest act of self-destruction I’ve seen outside of my love life.

If I was Chris Fagan, I would tell them not to do that again. It astounds me I don’t get asked to coach.

I’m tipping the Tigers, but if the Lions get their forward line working, there’s no reason they can’t pinch this.


St Kilda v Western Bulldogs (G) 4:40 pm Seven

Previewing a final with St Kilda in it. What an astounding year.

Both these teams will have the ‘Cinderella’ tag applied to them by the Melbourne media if they win this due to them being Victorian and low in the eight.

Collingwood is the only other club to meet that criteria, but being Collingwood, no one ever attaches hopeful, positive terms to them.

St Kilda has made such strides this season that any Saints fan would leave this season happy, but you get the sense Brett Ratten isn’t the type to go home happy with a finals’ loss.

The Saints have been good at times this year, but during their run home, they’ve been patchy. In their last five games, they’re 2-3 but during that time they lost to Melbourne, which counts as two losses in my book, so they’re really 2-6.

The Bulldogs have had a better run into the finals, but they’ve got some injury concerns. They’re rushing back Aaron Naughton from a fractured cheekbone.

That seems intense. If I fractured my cheekbone, which could only really happen to me in some snack related incident, I wouldn’t do anything for a year at least.

Partly that would be physical, but also mental. The idea my modelling career could be over would devastate me.

I’m tipping the Bulldogs.

West Coast v Collingwood (OS) 8:10 pm Seven

The Perth media have been getting stuck into the Pies already, with The West Australian calling them ‘the dirty Pies’.

That sort of thing would never happen in Melbourne’s media towards the Eagles.

I mean, unless you count all the times they’ve bought up the 2006 West Coast Eagles being on drugs, but in fairness, they only do that every single year West Coast are threatening to win the Premiership.

I can’t see Collingwood winning this, the only thing they have on their side is 2020’s love of hurting us.

The Pies style of footy is questionable. I can only assume the players are getting paid per handball, they seem to love overusing it and that would be the most logical explanation I’ve heard of why they do so.

West Coast is certainly good enough to win this before losing next week, that’s how highly I rate them.

Their injuries are not only a concern, but at times this year they’ve been, what’s the word? Awful.

Yet against the Pies, who have for some reason decided having a forward line isn’t necessary, the Eagles should be fine.

My new book Cheat: The Not-so-subtle Art of Conning Your Way to Sporting Glory is now available for pre-order.  

At the moment I’m barely able to work, so you can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. It’s greatly appreciated. Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus



Oct 01, 2020

I pray Pies disappoint you with a win this weekend.


Oct 01, 2020

Another great write up
Saints in finals what an astounding year hahaha


Port 1
Tigers 14
Saints 6
Eagles by plenty - will be nice - 23


Oct 01, 2020

Morsey, What's your odds for Hawkins belting someone and being rubbed out of a critical final?


Oct 01, 2020

I'm with you, Morsey


Oct 01, 2020

Sydney media are reporting that Titus is up for a prestigious award this evening. Good luck.

The whole nine

Oct 01, 2020

@ Bloke from the Outer. I reckon by Monday, you're going to be proved to be a genius. Great call.


Oct 01, 2020

Port by 15
Tigers by 10
Dogs by 35
Eagles by anything as long as they beat the Pies.

Rod Watson

Oct 01, 2020

Sorry to be an annoying pedant Titus but “criteria” is plural as are data, bacteria, agenda and media. Singulars are criterion, datum (rarely used), bacterium, agendum (See Yes Minister) and medium.

Darren J Ray

Oct 01, 2020

"Snack related incident" :))


Oct 01, 2020

Ive got the Lions by 40+ @ $21. Might have gone a bit early there I reckon.


Oct 01, 2020

Love the St. Kilda '2-6' math Titus - your book...

The g train

Oct 01, 2020

I had what I thought to be a realistic hope that St Kilda may actually win their final against The Dogs. Then Titus reminded us that Melbourne defeated St Kilda recently, which plummeted me instantly into a dismal no hope. But at least knowing you have no hope is many, many times preferable to having false hope masquerading as realistic hope. As Northern Adams wrote: “A harsh truth is painful to accept, but there's healing at the end. False hope, on the other hand, is a very dangerous thing that offers no reward. It never pays off.”

Mac Hawk

Oct 01, 2020

@Rod Watson
When the fuck would you use the singular, 'bacterium'?
And how come you didn't pull him up on his (I counted three) proof reading failures?
Port should play Jonas on Hawkins this time.

Rafe's Mum

Oct 01, 2020

Darren J Ray - I'm with you - "snack related incident". The phrase of the year!

Fat Side

Oct 01, 2020

Titus, you very funny! When I read your work, I laugh so much, I cri terias.


Oct 01, 2020

Fantastic read yet again Titus. My tips Cats by 13, Tigers by 18, Eagles by 30, Doggies by 11.

F. Carlton Collingwood IV

Oct 01, 2020

ONe criteriON
mAny criteriA.

ONe phenomenON
mAny phenomenA.

This isn't exactly rocket surgery, Titus.


Oct 01, 2020

I've concluded that Titus drops in the random grammatical errors just to piss the pedants off.
Good work.
Go Eagles.

DP Machine

Oct 02, 2020

would the efforts of Coleman-Jones and Stack not also qualify as 'snack related incidents'...?

Oscar L

Oct 02, 2020

Ah so if Titus says he's tipping the bulldogs then we should all believe the saints will win RIGHT?!


Oct 03, 2020

To all Richmond supporters
I'd like to apologize for my performance last night and confess my sins to gain finals redemption.
As usual, I followed the ritual of shaving before the game and dressing in tiger socks (lucky winning socks), tiger boxers, and tigers t-shirt but I hurried it.
I also boasted to work friends that Richmond would go through undefeated and totally let the lid off.
Further to assuming Richmond would win, I placed bets assuming that we would win, I know, a mortal sin in itself.
I also regret various undisciplined acts in the second quarter, I got a beer after a Brisbane goal when everyone knows it is only appropriate to get another beer to celebrate a Richmond goal.
The fact that I was thirsty for a while is no excuse and demonstrates my mind wasn't 100% on the team and the game.
I expect to hear from the leadership group, I take full responsibility for my actions and accept any punishment they deem appropriate.
For an experienced, veteran supporter such as myself to get overconfident and haphazard, reckless even, with my approach to the game is unforgivable.
I apologize wholeheartedly to the Team, coaches (Leppa forgive me and stay!), board, and the rest of the supporter base for my lapse in judgment.
I can only say that I will prepare properly for the next game, keep the lid on, and observe all supporter rituals as expected.
Go tigers

Saint Peter

Oct 04, 2020

A HUGE thank you to Titus for NOT tipping the Saints. I think it was the difference in the end. Now lets not get carried away with the Saints performance & tip them this week either.

John Meckiff

Oct 05, 2020

This didn’t age well

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