Sep 16, 2022


A highly unhelpful guide to AFL Finals Week Three


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 Three.


Geelong vs. Brisbane (MCG) 7:50pm Seven/Fox

The second holiest weekend on our calendar, the Preliminary Finals are here, a time to celebrate and actively barrack against who you don’t want to win the Premiership.

Brisbane last week defeated the reigning premiers while also recording their first win at the MCG since 2014.

It proves nothing is certain in football; why it wasn’t long ago people were speculating Melbourne could go the season undefeated.

One guy even tipped Essendon to win the Premiership! Madness.

The Lions even managed to get Joe Daniher back in time to be there for the birth of his first child, not a bad week for the club.

A lot of people also thought Brisbane couldn’t win last week, myself included, but here they are, one step away.

But while the Dees looked as wobbly as an early Mike Tyson opponent, the Cats look solid.

They have won 14 games straight, which, if you’re new to football, is not easy to do.

It’s just so much winning. If anything, it’s excessive.

And they have a lot of finals experience; while Joe Daniher is having his first child, a lot of Cats are becoming great-grandfathers.

Joel Selwood will equal Michael Tuck’s record for the number of finals played, 39. While equal with Tuck, for high frees, Selwood has 45,423 in those 39 games. That’s a record that probably won’t be broken.

Where Geelong have been astounding this season is being good both defensively and offensively.

It’s almost like excelling at the various aspects of football makes you hard to beat.

Personally, the comedic potential of Geelong failing again in finals has me positively giddy with anticipation, but I can’t see it happen; they are just too good.

But then football predictions are as reliable as horoscopes and economic forecasts; it’s why we watch.


Sydney vs. Collingwood (SCG) 4:45pm Seven/Fox

After Victorians being locked out of New South Wales for some time, we are now sending them a large amount of Collingwood supporters, a fair gear change.

Getting to this game has been expensive; you wouldn’t believe it, but the airlines are gouging on the fares! I know, I was shocked, even though it happens every year.

Then you add scalped tickets going for around $499, and a trip up to this game is in the thousands of dollars.

That’s a lot of drop-offs at Cash Converters.

But this is too good a chance to miss. The Pies are arguably the most exciting side in football at the moment.

Their pressure across the ground is something to behold live. The way they run around like a bunch of kids on red cordial is impressive, and they do it the entire game.

That fanatical pressure has seen the Pies win 13 of its last 15 games, but one of those losses was against the Swans, which is not ideal.

In that game, back in Round 22, the Swans tackled like their lives depended on it.

Not since Entrecote have so many people been thrown to the ground.

A big difference for the Pies in that game was Jordan De Goey didn’t play, and without his calm, measured leadership, they struggled.

He plays in this one, though, but they still face a Swans side that is the very definition of stable.

This is the fourth match in a row where Sydney will play the same 22 players. They have been pretty much injury free for months, and they have only played one game in three weeks due to the pre-finals bye and winning a week off.

That’s never ideal, but they're too intense a team for that to be a concern.

In fact, these may be the two most intense teams in the AFL, and this game will be like watching those two people at a house party high on something arguing over capitalism.

I’m tipping the Swans, but this one is going to be close.

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Sep 16, 2022

"That’s a lot of drop-offs at Cash Converters." It's a lot of missed dental work too.


Sep 16, 2022

Like the reference to Entrecote. I had almost forgotten the exact moment in time when the wheels came off the Melbourne bandwagon!


Sep 16, 2022

Are you ok Titus? Much of that Sydney v Collingwood preview was sensible and solid analysis.

The g train

Sep 16, 2022

Just brilliant, Titus. Perhaps your finest work. Had everything. Even a reference to an early Mike Tyson making opponents very wobbly (very quickly). Only a true boxing fan would know that Tyson later in his career couldn’t make a tomato can wobbly. And you’re also a big fan of Albert Griffiths! Good stuff.

“It proves nothing is certain in football…”. And yet we make predictions with a bold certainty all the time. A bit like The RBA and it’s interest rate predictions. But don’t get me started.

Sydney vs Collingwood just might be not only the most intense high pressured footy game of all time—but of any sporting contest ever. Even more so than Rocky Marciano vs Joe Walcott.


Sep 16, 2022


Napoleon met his Waterloo
In the 19th century.
Collingwood will meet theirs too
When they hit the SCG.


I checked my intuition and
I checked the horoscope:
Geelong's chances of winning this
Are like mine of becoming the pope.

Derek Fletcher

Sep 16, 2022

The jokes about Pies supporters doing drop offs at Cash Converters and missed dental appointments reminds me of the time a few years ago a Sydney - C'wood game was re-schedualed to a day earlier than originally planned or moved from Melbourne to Sydney for some reason. I forget exactly what happened . An Age reporter wrote this caused a lot of calls from Pies supporters to their parole officers, lol. All the jibes amusing but a bit unfair . When the Pies play at the G the Members' stand is full of their supporters... And this clip is ten years old but a classic , If you haven't seen it worth a look.


Sep 16, 2022


More tattoos than teeth, in other words.

Saint Peter

Sep 16, 2022

I am tipping a Sydney by forfeit from C'wood. Apparently Sydney have organized the bus from the motel to the ground for the C'wood team. However they have convinced the driver the game is at Olympic Stadium in the West. Funny how these things happen only to the away teams.

Con Cushion

Sep 16, 2022

Turn it up Titus ... kids running around, high on red cordial, is never impressive. Jordy D, freshly stamped with his bubblegum stickers even less so. Even so, I doubt Buddy's ever been keen on an earthenware mug of chamomile tea!! Con.


Sep 16, 2022

Making fun of disadvantaged people is so brave and also hilarious

Running Dog

Sep 16, 2022

It would have been difficult for Michael Tuck to receive a similar number of high frees to Selwood. Tuck was a freakin' giraffe.

And G Train, not sure if you're being tongue in cheek about Collingwood v Sydney, because Rocky Marciano vs Jersey Joe Walcott was not exactly a tiddlywinks competition. For truly insipid sporting rivalries you have to consider Senna vs Prost, or Jake La Motta vs Sugar Ray Robinson.

The g train

Sep 16, 2022

Running Dog—in my useless biased opinion, after having competed in ridiculously low levels and standards of footy and boxing, I felt far safer in the ring than on the field. All modern AFL footballers are mighty crazy warriors, except for one StK player (Saint Peter knows who I’m referring to). And Sydney and Collingwood are full of players who “tackle like their lives depend on it”.

But certainly agree that the whole Jake La Motta vs Sugar Ray Robinson rivalry was insipid and ridiculously overrated.


Sep 16, 2022

"we are now sending them a large amount of Collingwood supporters" - the problem isn't getting the Pies and their supporters to Sydney, it's stopping them from getting back into Victoria...


Sep 17, 2022

Is that white smoke I see rising over Nunawading?


Sep 18, 2022

Casey Demons win the VFL Grand Final : Jake Melksham tells Steven May that if he’d qualified to play for Casey, they wouldn’t have won the premiership.