May 10, 2019
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Eight
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 Round Eight.
Sydney vs Essendon (SCG) Seven & Fox 7:50pm
Sad news for the Swans this week with Kurt Tippett retiring.
It has been 620 days since he last played but the Swans had to keep part of Tippett’s payout against their salary cap, hence him only officially retiring now.
Unfortunately for Sydney, quite a few of their players have delivered about as much on the field as Tippett has this season.
Adding to the Swans woes, Buddy is still unavailable. Between him and Tippett there’s been a lot of salary cap space off the field.
That said, I’m prepared to go out on a limb and state that Buddy has been a better signing than Tippett. Yep, I’m not afraid to make the big calls in this column.
Wait until you hear my strong views on who has done better since the potential Hawks-Demons merger.
Essendon got a wonderful sense of where they fit in the footballing world last week, they fit in the middle, the wonderfully average middle.
Only when dealing with medical professionals do you want to be described as ‘average’.
The Bombers struggled mightily against a Geelong who were without Joel Selwood and had an injured Dangerfield.
That’s like losing a car race against a car that’s missing its engine and its steering wheel is a bit dodgy.
I think the Swans can get a rare win here.
Western Bulldogs vs Brisbane (Mars Stadium) Fox 1:45pm
The Bulldogs are coming off a spectacular win against Richmond and will be hoping their young players repeat the performance of last week.
Anything less than five goals will now be a massive failure for Aaron Naughton. The entire hopes and dreams of the Doggies faithful now rest on his young shoulders, so, no pressure.
I’m not sure one impressive showing is enough to get me on board the Bulldogs though, because I’ve unfortunately watched their other games.
Probably the biggest challenge for Brisbane is travelling to Ballarat, which weather-wise is about as far removed from Queensland weather as you can find.
I once stood still momentarily in Ballarat in winter and froze to death.
Luckily, the gale force wind blew my frozen corpse into a nearby hospital where they managed to bring me back to life.
This is not an uncommon event in Ballarat.
I’m tipping the Lions.
Carlton vs Collingwood (MCG) Fox 1:45pm
Things that were big in the 90s; Britney Spears, Sex and the City, Princess Diana and the Carlton and Collingwood rivalry.
None of these things have aged well.
Collingwood gets a free training session on the MCG but with less intensity than their normal sessions.
This week Eddie McGuire got in trouble for hypothetically suggesting Carlton approach Alastair Clarkson.
I did not find this a particularly egregious thing to say, putting aside McGuire’s spider web of conflicts of interest.
Almost every club in the comp would be negligent if they didn’t at least think about how to get Clarkson.
Saying a club should go out and get the best coach potentially of all time, should really be criticised for just being inane.
It’s like telling someone they should go out and ‘get a job that pays well and fulfills them emotionally.’
It’s the execution that’s the difficult part.
Could Clarko even save the Blues anyway?
Casting an eye over them, he would notice the shipwrecks of the premiership winning HMAS Pagan and HMAS Malthouse, ripped to shreds on those rocky shores.
Destroy one Premiership coach, shame on them, destroy two, shame on Carlton.
Collingwood to win this.
Gold Coast vs Melbourne (Metricon) Fox 4:35pm
Melbourne are obviously a bit worried about this game because they’ve rushed back Jack Viney from injury.
Rushing him back from injury has never backfired before.
They should be worried, because against Hawthorn they were only slightly less horrendous than their opponents.
The Suns are not the extra bye round we all expected them to be this year and while a competent team should be able to handle them, you can understand why the Dees will be nervous.
Gold Coast biggest problem is they can’t score. They are last on the ladder when it comes to total points.
Luckily for them Melbourne are second last in the league in scoring.
Watching two groups of people not being able to score on a Saturday evening takes me back to that terrible youth group my parents sent me to when they wanted to drink without me interrupting them.
I’m tipping the Suns in a shameless attempt to jinx the Gold Coast.
St Kilda vs West Coast (MS) Seven & Fox 7:25pm
The Saints season has been a lot like The OC, it started amazingly well before wobbling a bit and now threatens to go completely off the rails.
St Kilda faces the reigning premiers with an alarming absence of key players.
And yes, the Saints do have key players. To prove it to you, one day I’m even going to google their names so I can tell you who they are.
I’m not doing it this week because I can’t be bothered.
The Eagles title defence is not exactly flying but it’s not the disaster some people are making out, such as West Coast fans.
If you can get to 4-3 while playing way below your best, it could be seen as a glass half full situation, but Eagles fans don’t do glass half full scenarios.
Eagles fans are more ‘boo the glass, regardless of your interpretation of the liquid contained within’ type.
Letting the Suns rally late in last week’s game certainly proved there’s a lot of work to do. A win here though makes them appear back on track.
Eagles to win.
Port Adelaide vs Adelaide (AO) Fox 7:40pm
It’s Showdown time and while it would be great to have this on free-to air nationally, as it deserves to be, it doesn’t feature a Victorian side which at AFL House is seen as the key criteria.
And of course, St Kilda v Eagles is a much greater rivalry than these two, so it makes sense that that gets the Channel Seven slot nationally.
Tipping this is a massive headache. I mean, it’s like racing two Italian cars, reliability is not a key feature.
The Power have Ollie Wines and Brad Ebert out while the Crows won’t have Bryce Gibbs.
Port’s performance against the Pies certainly doesn’t fill me with confidence, but they will hopefully remember that you have to start playing the moment the first siren goes and not wait for the second quarter.
No shame there, they are hardly the only club that has done that.
As for the Crows, who knows? They are equally as inconsistent as the Power.
Football in Adelaide is like the current Federal election, a lot of promises but not a lot of faith that either side can deliver on them.
I’m tipping the Crows.
North Melbourne vs Geelong (MS) Fox 1:10pm
Last week was a bit of fun for the Roos. Playing Carlton when they are playing well is fun but when they are turning in a ‘this is spectacularly bad even for them’ performance it’s a joy.
North even looked like a competent footy side. It’s like when your neurotic friend meets your even more neurotic friend and suddenly, they seem less nuts.
Let’s not forget though that in normal situations, North are the neurotic one.
It goes without saying that the Cats are a lot better than the Blues, but I needed to fill some space in this preview of a game I don’t really care about that much.
Geelong gets Joel Selwood back but Dangerfield is in doubt. That shouldn’t really matter. The Cats shrugged off the Bombers with alarming ease, so the Kangaroos should be no problem.
Geelong to win.
Hawthorn vs Greater Western Sydney (MCG) Seven & Fox 3:20pm
Carlton players should pray the Blues don’t follow Eddie’s suggestion and recruit Clarko. He would delist the lot of them bar about five before heading off to breakfast with Gil to tell him what rules to change.
After all, Clarkson just dropped Jarryd Roughead, one of the most beloved Hawks in recent memory.
There’s no waiting to see if you’ll improve with Clarkson. Once he thinks you’re done, you are done. You wouldn’t want to be in a coma with Clako having the medical power of attorney over you.
“Shut off the machines.”
“But Mr Clarkson, this is a medically induced coma, we expect them to make a full recovery.”
“I said shut it off.”
The Hawks certainly need to make changes, they were all over the shop last week and sentiment has no place at a club that expects to win premierships more often than leap years come around.
In the Giants, they are also facing one of the top teams, and a team that can score at will.
That’s great news for James Frawley who gets to return this week only to have to curb the Giants forward line.
I would have tried to delay my return one more week, but that’s why I’m not an AFL player.
Well that and my complete lack of self-discipline, coordination, ability to deal with pain, fear of human contact, loud noises and allergies to grass, leather, synthetic fibers and deep heat.
Giants to win this.
Fremantle vs Richmond (OS) Fox 5:20pm
What fresh hell will Ross Lyon serve us up this week?
Against the weakened Tigers I can barely think about this game. If both teams hit double figures, we should count ourselves lucky.
Lyon’s approach seems to be that if he thinks his team isn’t going to win, he’s going to ruin the entire game for everyone involved.
He’s like your mate who gets kicked out of the nightclub so tells the bouncers he’s with you, so you all get kicked out too.
Richmond’s season is looking in trouble, Clarkson would probably have put a bullet in it, but I still think they can make something of it.
Last week was a bit of an anomaly in terms of effort, but it’s hard to stay at the level of intensity they’ve been required to stay at to cover their significant injuries.
I’m actually tipping the Tigers here because I’m so behind in my tipping it’s worth doing some panic tipping, my favourite type of tipping.
You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. I aim to keep as much of my stuff on this site and available to everyone and not behind paywalls.
Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus