May 06, 2022
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.
Port Adelaide vs. Western Bulldogs (AO) 7:30pm Seven/Fox
The AFL nail another Friday night, with not one, but two lacklustre games.
How do they do it?
Worryingly for Geelong, they just poached the guy who does the fixture from AFL House.
Can you poach something no one else wants? It’s like saying you ‘poached’ something off a nature strip during hard rubbish collection.
In fairness, which is what I’m known for, this would have seemed a good game just a few weeks ago, but both this season, these teams have, to use a technical term, ‘sucked’.
Port have shown some signs of life the past fortnight, they beat the Eagles (not hard) and they beat St Kilda (quite hard).
Now they get the Bulldogs who are resting Marcus Bontempelli, which is not good.
That’s 90 per cent of your midfield gone right there.
Port fans would not want to be reminded that they lost to the Bulldogs the last time they met by 71-points at home, and in a Preliminary Final, so I will not mention it.
I’m actually tipping the Power here; I think covering Bont is too big an ask.
Fremantle vs. North Melbourne (OS) 8:40pm Fox Footy
So aside from Dockers and some Kangaroos fans, no one is really going to watch this, so let’s use this space for something more useful.
Here are some tips I’ve learnt in my life for improving your mental health:
- Keep active.
- Eat well.
- Treat yourself to a new car every year.
- Drink sensibly.
- Have your staff make your bed every morning.
- Keep in touch.
- Be independently wealthy.
- Ask for help.
- Take a break.
- Spend time at each of your vacation homes.
- Do something you're good at.
- Have the confidence of a rich, middle-age white man.
Fremantle to win.
Richmond vs. Collingwood (MCG) 1:45pm Fox Footy
Richmond travelled to Perth last week and returned with the four points and the Eagles’ soul, which they ripped from their lifeless body.
The news only gets better, as they have a few handy ins this week, in Trent Cotchin and a guy called Dustin Martin, who I vaguely remember being a handy midfielder who can push forward.
On top of that, they face a Collingwood team who Craig McRae described as battling ‘man flu’.
Man flu is no laughing matter. I’ve lost friends to it.
Often women use the term in a derogatory sense, but they can do that, free in the knowledge they can’t get it.
Saying man flu isn’t that bad is like a man saying giving birth isn’t that painful.
Women having an opinion on men’s health is terrible. Imagine men trying to play a role in a woman’s health? Lucky that never happens.
One of the few Pies players not struggling with man flu is Jack Ginnivan and why?
Because he had a few beers at the pub. And he gets punished for looking after his health? What is wrong with this world?
Beer is a restorative and prevents illness by building up your antibodies and your red and white blood cells. I’ve done my own research on this.
Richmond to win.
Sydney vs. Gold Coast (SCG) 1:45pm Fox Footy
The Suns have lost three games in a row and are 2-5, prompting calls again to move them to Tasmania.
But could a professional team ever work in Tasmania?
I mean, could one say enter a league and within their first season beat a powerhouse club from Melbourne to play in the Grand Final?
It seems fanciful.
Anyway, both Gold Coast and the Giants are based on a multi-generation strategy for success.
Currently, they’re just taking it one generation at a time.
Sydney can certainly attest to how long it takes to build a strong fan base, they needed Warwick Capper’s shorts, Tony Lockett and a pig with ‘Plugga’ written on it, and Buddy Franklin booting goals and wiping out cars to capture any interest from the public.
Oh, and making finals almost every single year. Easy!
Swans to win.
Greater Western Sydney vs. Geelong (Manuka) 4:35pm Fox Footy
The AFL travels to Canberra and during an election campaign, there’s great significance, as Australia’s political parties exist to make our major sporting codes seem well run.
The average politician makes an AFL official look like a member of Mensa and the AFL has fewer sex scandals than Parliament, which is astounding.
The Giants are coming off their best game of the season, belting the suitcases out of the Crows.
Now it was the Crows, who aren’t exactly what you’d call reliable, but they have been better this year.
And it was nice to see the Giants have a go in a game. They should do that more often; it could really work for them.
Geelong are coming off a loss to Fremantle at home, but they get Patrick Dangerfield back this week, although Joel Selwood ducks out.
Chris Scott this week came out and said the club supports Tasmania having an AFL team.
It’s a huge boost for the Apple Isle. Outside of September, Geelong are one of the most respected clubs in the land.
Cats to win.
Essendon vs. Hawthorn (Marvel) 7:25pm Seven/Fox
Bombers supporters are watching what’s unfolding down at ‘The Hanger’ with horror, as rumours emerge of players not knowing their role, feel like they’re walking on eggshells and a general sense that everything is going badly.
Surely the major problem is the Bombers just didn’t seem prepared for the season.
Skill-wise, fitness-wise, strategy-wise. Any word with ‘wise’ after it really.
A lot of these things seem to be the responsibility of the coach, and who would have thought that Essendon fans would look back at John Worsfold’s stint as a happier time?
Rutten did clarify this week that the players were not confused with the gameplan, they just couldn’t execute it, so that’s good. I think.
Hawthorn meanwhile took the Dees very deep into the game and looked very much on the up, which would be welcome news to Hawks fans suffering through the seventh year of their premiership drought.
Usually, this is a big rivalry, but Essendon seems more intent on hurting themselves this year.
I’m tipping the Hawks.
Brisbane Lions vs. West Coast (Gabba) 7:25pm Fox Footy
Can the Eagles season get any worse? The answer is yes!
Sorry West Coast fans, that exclamation point is probably excessive.
If it’s any consolation, my beloved Demons have been hit by Covid too, so I know what you’re going through.
If Richmond can beat you up like Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard beat up that other bodyguard in the kitchen, I hate to think what Brisbane will do to them in Brisbane.
Surely the AFL could consider simulating this, like you can do in NBA2K. I mean, no one actually wants to watch this.
Even Lions fans would like to get their Saturday night back.
In fact, playing the rest of the Eagles' season is beginning to seem a cruel and unusual punishment, and if the world wasn’t distracted by what’s happening in Ukraine, I bet they’d be more diplomatic pressure to call it off.
And this week, the Eagles will be without Adam Simpson, meaning the unbeaten record of fill-in coaches will end here.
Plus, the Eagles have just 20 fit AFL-listed players, although I’m not sure if this is going backwards or forwards for them.
Lions to win.
Melbourne vs. St Kilda (MCG) 1:10pm Fox Footy
It’s Mother’s Day, so a big thank you to the mothers who provided Melbourne’s 2021 premiership side.
Mothers of AFL premiership players are just better mothers.
I was speaking to a mother of an AFL premiership player a few weeks ago, she told me she is so proud of her son for winning an AFL premiership.
Unfortunately, her other son gave up footy despite also being very good, and instead wasted his talent, going completely off the rails. “He even gave drugs to kids,’ she told me with tears in her eyes.
It baffles me to this day why you would give up a promising footy career to be a paediatric surgeon.
Melbourne faces their first big test of the year against a St Kilda team who have delighted and surprised their fans.
The Saints have exceeded expectations this year, by living up to expectations people had of them last year (which they didn’t live up to).
Last week, the Saints had to play in Cairns, in conditions that didn’t really suit them or the sport of football, so you can’t read too much into that loss.
I’m going to tip Melbourne but really, I’m hoping football is the winner. This is clearly a lie.
Carlton vs. Adelaide (Marvel) 4:40pm Fox Footy
Adelaide Crows coach Matthew Nicks is another coach to miss a game this week due to those pesky protocols which don’t let you spread the virus too enthusiastically.
The Crows are coming off an awful performance against the Giants and now come up against the not-as bad-as usual Carlton.
Ben Keays will captain the Crows this week which is impressive given he was delisted by Brisbane at the end of the 2019 season.
Keays rise is a testament to hard work. I’ve always known the secret to life is hard work, it’s just hard work is by its very nature ‘hard’. Give me easy work every time, and I’ll take the slightly lower rewards.
Carlton are like the dodgy friend who is now telling you they’ve changed. You would like to trust them, but it’s hard, a lot has happened.
Plus, they’ve given up some big leads this year and lost to the Suns, so it’s hard to truly believe that this time is going to be any different.
While a Crows' victory would be funny, I’m tipping Carlton.
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