Oct 08, 2020


A Highly Unhelpful Guide to AFL Finals Week Two


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 Two.


Richmond v St Kilda (Metricon) 7:50 pm Seven

It’s time for Battle to resume.

Get it? It works on two levels, Josh Battle is back for the Saints, and the battle for the Premiership starts again.

Oh man, that’s not as clever as I thought it was.

Yet deep in my heart I know it’s the smartest thing I’ll ever come up with. It sad when you realise you’ve hit your peak and your peak wasn’t that high. In fact, it was so low it was less peak and more small, unnoticeable bump.

Well now I’m dealing with that rather sad realisation, let’s move on to the game at hand, the reigning premiers taking on a team who won their first final in ten years last week.

Richmond looked poor against the Lions, and depending on your mindset, it was either the wakeup call the Tigers needed or a reflection that this season, Richmond has lost a step.

Whatever it was, the return of Tom Lynch couldn’t have come soon enough for Richmond, they looked like me after a big night out last week. They lacked structure, made a lot of bad choices and had trouble scoring.  

Having him back should make an enormous difference, as will not playing Brisbane.

In fact, Brisbane not being involved in this game might be the Tigers greatest positive in this clash.

St Kilda go into this with some key outs, most of all Paddy Ryder, in one of the cruellest injury blows in recent memory. Ryder is a pioneer; he was leaving Essendon before it was cool.

Whoever thought that when the Bombers announced Kevin Sheedy was returning, it was to play?

The Saints also lose Ben Long due to suspension and Jake Carlisle has chosen not to play, instead deciding the trivial event of the birth of his child is more important.

What has the world come to when footy is no longer prioritised above all other things? You can have more kids, but St Kilda playing in finals doesn’t happen that often.

With all these outs and the return of Lynch, I’m tipping the Tigers in this one.


Geelong v Collingwood (G) 7:40 pm

Great news for all of us, Ray Chamberlain has been appointed to this game.

If there’s one thing all us footy fans love, it’s having a game overtaken by an umpire who thinks he’s the main reason we watch footy.

Chamberlain needs to understand we view him like a facemask, we get it’s necessary but it’s really annoying and we all think life would be a lot better without it.

Another Collingwood game and another jumper clash debate. If only away teams wore different jumpers. Perhaps if Collingwood added teal to their colours it would solve these jumper clashes.

The Pies surprised everyone last week, they were tough and disciplined when it mattered. They aren’t a team you’d really want to meet in the finals.

Which is a problem for Geelong, who handle their recent finals record as politicians deal with uncomfortable facts, they prefer to ignore them and would like the rest of us to at least pretend we didn’t notice.

Last week, the Power shut down the Cats, making their much-vaunted forward line look like Victoria’s contact tracing team, much talked about but ineffective.

While Tom Hawkins didn’t play last week, he still managed to get a fine for striking Tom Rockliff.

He escaped with a fine and I can only assume this was due to his clean record when it comes to these matters. Lucky, he doesn’t have a long history of belting people.

It’s always good to see the AFL’s strong commitment to getting rid of hits to the head in operation.

I’m still not sure about Collingwood’s forward line. Can you always rely on Mason Cox to bob up and kick three goals in five minutes? But then I didn’t expect that to happen last week so what do I know?

Predicting footy is hard at the best of times, it’s what makes it so fun, the constant reminder that we are all idiots.

Like all areas of life, anyone certain of something is just counting down the days until they are made a fool, and with footy, you only have to wait a week.

This is why I’m always comfortable with my tipping, I know I’m an idiot, and my tips, therefore, fit comfortably in my world view.

I worry more when I get them right. That really throws me.

I only mention all this to underscore the fact I have no idea who is going to win this, but given sitting on the fence is uncomfortable, I’m tipping the Pies.

I just think the Cats finals record is not to be ignored. Sorry, Chris.

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


Fashion Doggie

Oct 08, 2020

Ray Chamberlain #CFU

Countess Olivia

Oct 08, 2020

There's Ray, and then there's Eleni, but can anyone name any other umpire?

Dennis the Goat

Oct 08, 2020

Incorrect. Your peak funny is positively Himalayan.


Oct 08, 2020

Just signed up to your support plan Titus. I’m assuming this like the sportswriters version of Fans Only and I’ll get a regular stream of pics of scantily clad Titus in sexy poses with his typewriter. On second thoughts just keep churning out your columns...


Oct 08, 2020

Great finals series thus far. Saints will fold with so many outs.... 'Paddy Ryder a pioneer'... a classic line. thanks for another great season of frivolity and razor sharp wit.


Oct 08, 2020

You had a big night out last week? What, in your backyard?

The Dude Abides

Oct 08, 2020

I can't wait for the Cats to take to the field tonight. They will be accessorising the latest Fendi and Hermes handbags brought across the border by those recent Covid breaker young Instagram lasses at the clubs request.

I'm undecided who take as the most over the top/ insincere facial expressions for the week, Chris Scott at $1.95 or Kamala Harris $1.75.


Oct 08, 2020

Titus, as a wordsmith extraordiinaire (it was originally a mistake, but it might catch on like Siimon Reynolds and Danni Miinogue), we should start a push to have this week of the finals called sesqui-finals (or if there's a word for 2 1/2 rather than 1 1/2, use that).

First, it would be more technically correct (how can you have 4 semi-finals?) and second, it could really irritate the AFL, that bastion of virtue and culture that seems to delight in mangling the language + then taking the aloof Alice in Wonderland position that "any word will mean (im)precisely what I/we choose it to mean", sort of like they do with the rules each week.

The Whole Nine

Oct 09, 2020

THE BLOKE FROM THE OUTER, called it before the game with Hawkins being reported. Amazingly though, he didn't get rubbed out. Still a genius call.


Oct 09, 2020

Very disappointed at your apology to Chris Scott, Titus. You are the only commentator I know that actually criticises coaches. Usually the players get bashed on a weekly basis but the old boys club protects the coaches, despite some of them I would think struggling to coach a choko vine over a country dunny.

Fat Side

Oct 09, 2020

During the Tigers/Saints game tonight, I'd love to see some vision of Ivan Soldo and and Paddy Rider sitting in the stand, having a beer together and enjoying the contest.


Oct 09, 2020

What a great idea, Titus, to add teal to Collingwood's jumper. That would solve the Prison Bars problem & make Kochie happy!

F. Carlton Collingwood IV

Oct 09, 2020

"he was leaving Essendon before it was cool."

I think I'll have that embroidered on the back of my leather jacket.


Oct 09, 2020

BT and Razor. What a perfect combo to activate mute and throw on some background tunes. #unmictheumpsffs

Geoff Buzaglo

Oct 09, 2020

I love the way Ray umpires and communicates with players. If we mute the umpires, we'll have no idea as to why decisions are made. Ray is one of the few with a genuine feel for the game.

Peter Lawrence

Oct 09, 2020

It would have been better if you had managed to get the other inclusions into your opening line on the Saints. Savage and Marsh. World war I again, Savage Battle in the Marsh?


Oct 09, 2020


I'd like to say it was genius but it was too obvious. The big question is 'Will he go the whole Alastair Lynch?' if the cats are getting belted.

The g train

Oct 09, 2020

Heartily agree with Titus regarding Carlisle, footy and priorities. And if I’m reading between his lines correctly, he’s screaming: No Jake Carlisle, No St Kilda. An Absolute Truth here, that not even The Titus effect can negate. Unfortunately.

I wonder if Jake Carlisle, the biggest folk hero at StK since Fraser Gehrig, has played his last game for The Saints?


Oct 09, 2020

We need to hunt down Bruce mac and stop the dribble.
He must retire.
Every time he speaks I need to vom.

Black Spot on Window by Hoo Flung Dung.

Oct 09, 2020

Razor he be very good, he komunikate players like master kung foo eggspurt. He komment only wurd fram AFL we nough not hurseshat. Essingdun no kool day more fooked dan kool neva tought see da dae ven Karltun be klub of choice. Saad dae for fotty dat playa vont go karltun no forced to, and no chanes on legs.
Gud to see Collyvubbles no longa plicabble now hanbag pusy take ova and so lazy. Me tink timed brutha Scottz be reunitad in retire time vun mure beat in finel he bee gone as geelung koach.

The Barman

Oct 10, 2020

I am so sick of the jumper clash conversations, involving Collingwood.

It is very simple, people:
When playing Home games, Collingwood wears a Black Jumper with White Stripe's.
When Playing Away games, Collingwood wears a White jumper with Black stripes.

Sheez. It's as clear as Jika Jika.

Saint Peter

Oct 10, 2020

Carlton being the club of choice. Does that remind you of something like Don Trump saying he will make America great again.

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