Jul 15, 2022


A highly unhelpful guide to Round Eighteen


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 Eighteen.


Western Bulldogs vs. St Kilda (Marvel) 7:50pm Fox/Seven

Someone is probably going to win this, although with these two, even that is in doubt.

Bailey Smith is back from both an illicit drug use suspension and a headbutting suspension, which is not as common as you’d think.

Other suspension combos that aren’t as common as you’d think include: 

·      High seas piracy and striking

·      Arson and rough conduct

·      Counterfeiting and kneeing

·      Embezzlement and forceful front-on contact

The Bulldogs can certainly use him given a loss here and it’s probably goodbye to finals.

The good news is that as well as getting Smith back, they get to play St Kilda, which has recently been a fun experience for opponents.

St Kilda have been falling down the ladder faster than a rocket re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. The only difference is a rocket usually has ways of slowing itself down.

I’m tipping the Bulldogs.


Adelaide vs. Collingwood (AO) 1:45pm Fox Footy

Seven straight wins in a row for Collingwood, or as I call it, giving us a taste of hell on Earth.

When will it end? Probably not this week given the Crows have been, to use a technical term ‘hopeless’.

The Pies were challenged by North last week, only for David Noble to be let go anyway, so let that be a warning to Matthew Nicks, almost beat the Pies and you’re out.

Unfortunately for Nicks, no such sweet relief is in store for him, he will have to keep coaching the Crows.

Amazingly, Darcy Moore looks like making a return this week after his knee injury against Gold Coast.

In the tradition of footy pundits diagnosing injuries instantly and from far away, within seconds of him injuring his knee I had declared him dead, so this is a miraculous turnaround for him.

Sure, I could admit I was wrong, but that’s not what anyone covering football has done before, and I don’t intend to be the first.

Pies to win.

Greater Western Sydney vs. Brisbane (Manuka) 1:45pm Fox Footy

The Giants kicked three goals last week, and it would have been easier if they’d just written on their banner ‘Cue in the rack, see you in 2023’.

There’s a lot of talk about Alastair Clarkson going to the Giants and you heard it here first, I have no idea if he is.

I did ask him, but he had already called the police and they were removing me from his house, while I yelled ‘why is 3am a bad time?’ and ‘will you be coaching the Giants next year, I’m a news breaker, I must know!’.

Typical Clarkson, overreacting once again.

Brisbane lost to Essendon last week.

I know, I’m still laughing.

The Lions need to focus on securing a spot high up in the eight, to put all distractions aside, which is why a trip to Canberra is perfect.

They get some key players back and should be fine here.

North Melbourne vs. Richmond (Marvel) 4:35pm Fox Footy

We learnt two things this week, The first was that North Melbourne had a coach, and the second thing was that they sacked him.

Will they get another coach? It’s possible it will be a punishment handed down by a court to a serious offender.

Some people may want to coach North Melbourne, and if a family member expresses such a desire, seek professional help immediately.

David Noble’s problem is not that he yelled at the players, it’s that he yelled at them, and they didn’t win.

You can yell at players all you want if you’re winning.

Many coaches have built storied careers on such an approach but losing and yelling is a bad combination.

Richmond fans may have forgotten, but they lost to the Suns last week in the most excruciatingly painful fashion possible.

It will be interesting to see if the Tigers have learnt not to stop when they’re 40 points up.

I think they can, memories of last week will linger I imagine.

Tigers to win.

Carlton vs. Geelong (MCG) 7:25pm Fox/Seven

Normally at this time of the year, Carlton have migrated well south on the ladder, where they stay until the start of the new footy season.

This year, and I don’t know why, maybe global warming, they’ve stayed up in the Northern parts of the ladder.

If this isn’t reason enough to redouble our efforts to fight global warming, I don’t know what is.

Geelong are used to being in the top eight, it’s their natural habitat.

The Cats had an excellent win last week, and another win here and they could cement themselves in the top two.

Now many will say Geelong are too old, or can’t perform in finals, and you too should say that, whenever you’re around Cats fans. And jokes about them being old are clichéd and the sign of a hack comic.

The problem is, at this point that’s all we can bag them about. Things seem to be going exceptionally well for them.

This is incredibly annoying because the only reason to be friends with a Geelong supporter is to be able to bag them. This is a strategy that’s backfired on me a lot. 

Carlton have come off a big win against the Eagles, but I’m still suspicious about them, decades of habit are hard to overturn.

Cats to win.

Fremantle vs. Sydney (OS) 7:30pm Fox Footy

Thanks to Lance Franklin’s agent, the media are breathlessly reporting he could leave the Swans, because the hundreds of thousands of dollars they’re offering him could not be enough.

Poor Buddy, how will he make ends meet?

Not that Franklin wouldn’t have suitors, why, he is only now coming into the age bracket where Geelong would consider recruiting him.

The Swans would probably prefer not to have the distraction the week they’re heading off to Perth to face the Dockers.

And lo and behold, what’s one team the media have speculated Lance could go to?


It’s almost like this has been planned.

But Fremantle doesn’t really need Buddy. They’ve got a ton of talent. Their job is to improve that and keep it together.

Their immediate focus is trying to lock down a top two spot, something all of us predicted they would do when the season started.

I’m tipping the Dockers.


Hawthorn vs. West Coast (MCG) 1:10pm Fox Footy

West Coast seemed to be on the improve until last week, right until the moment Carlton ran all over them like a garbage truck meeting a polystyrene box.

This week, Adam Simpson said he was committed to the Eagles for the long term, shooting down any talk of North Melbourne approaching him.

He said there’s “no need” for the Kangaroos to inquire.

It’s a bit like me declaring there’s ‘no need’ for Scarlett Johansson to ask me out.

This week, mid-season draftee Jai Culley will debut for the Eagles, completing his switch from working in a chicken shop to full time AFL player.

It’s an amazing story and he’ll be thrilled that you don’t have to work as hard at the Eagles as he did when serving chicken and chips.

Hawthorn finally got a win last week, which only proved what trouble the Crows are in.

This is a match I can barely be bothered tipping let alone watching. I’m going to tip the Eagles but really, whatever.

Melbourne vs. Port Adelaide (TIO) 3:20pm Fox/Seven

The Dees need this one after hitting the skids in recent months and to stay up in the top two.

While Port’s season may be over, I’m not sure they know that; it still being mathematically possible for them to make the eight.

Melbourne have ruled out rushing Clayton Oliver back, which while smart in the long term, is a big blow.

You can’t replace Oliver, even if teams say things like ‘next man up’, because so often the ‘next man up’ is the next man up because they’re not as good as the one they’re replacing. 

Port have a key out too, Ken Hinkley, who has ‘entered Health and Safety protocols’ which sound ominous.

Depending on your view, this could be a blessing more than a curse.

I’m tipping the Dees, but if they lose this, I’m going to need to reconsider opening up the crying cupboard again.

Essendon vs. Gold Coast (MS) 4:40pm Fox Footy

The Gold Coast are still in the hunt for finals, and a huge percentage boosting win over the Bombers would do wonders for them.

The sad thing for them is the Bombers have started winning, which is not on brand for them.

Part of the recent success and one of the few bright spots in Essendon’s season has been former Sun Peter Wright.

Wright is the very definition of a ‘big unit’. He’s always been tall but now he’s also got shoulders that take several hours to get across by car.

Gold Coast can’t also rely on a team getting ahead by 40 points and then blowing it, as fun as that was.

This is Stuart Dew’s 100th game coaching the Suns, and while not many of them have been wins, or even watchable, he’s finally got them heading in the right direction.

I’m tipping Gold Coast.

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus

My new podcast Sports Bizarre is out now: https://sportsbizarre.com/ 



Jul 15, 2022

******I’m tipping the Bulldogs.******

I beg to differ:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
The Bulldogs will blow this.
So what else is new?

:::::::I’m tipping Gold Coast.:::::::


Roses are red,
Palmtrees are brown.
Will bring the Dons down.

Margaret Jones

Jul 15, 2022

You forgot to mention Scott Pendlebury’s 350th game. Do these milestones make a difference? I’m not sure. Sometimes they have a very negative effect!


Jul 15, 2022

"Don’t have faith in yourself; have faith in how bad other people are. "

Had a feeling I'd seen this in another language, then I recalled it.

"Kraft Durch Schadenfreude"

David O'Leary

Jul 15, 2022

Dogs v Sainters - huge game because whoever loses will not play Finals. Whoever wins will not play Finals either. Saints to win the comp in 2023! Carn St Kilda.

Dees Tragic

Jul 15, 2022

"You can’t replace Oliver, even if teams say things like ‘next man up’, because so often the ‘next man up’ is the next man up because they’re not as good as the one they’re replacing. "

Such elegant logic. Totally unexpected from you, Titus! ;)

Running Dog

Jul 15, 2022

You know, helicopters have a device that slows them down when they crash- they're called rotors. When was the last time anyone saw a movie where a helicopter didn't crash? It's the only reason they're in the movie in the first place. A bit like why we have a top 8- so everyone can make fun of whoever finishes 9th.

Not sure that putting your hand up to coach North would require immediate professional help. Might even get you a nomination for the Noble Prize.


Jul 15, 2022

Schadenfreude: the feeling you get whenever the Magpies or Cats lose a close one.

The Other Blues Team Gets into the Biffo

Jul 15, 2022

AFL looks like a tea party compared to the three concussions in three minutes and mega-biffo of last nights State of Origin match between the NSW Blues and Qld Maroons. What shocked me most was the celebratory attitude of the commentators and spectators to the heavy contacts, subsequent injuries and brawling on the field. Seriously? Have they forgotten the people who have ended up as paraplegics or dead after being injured or repeatedly concussed playing rugby? AFL has put a lot of effort into managing the risk of any immediate or long-term harm from the game, how long before rugby is forced down the same path, I say forced as I can't see them going willingly.
And the Carlton Blues will beat the Cats, even if we have to let down the tyres on their wheelchairs and take away their zimmer frames!


Jul 15, 2022


Signing up to coach NM would merit a Nobel (not "Noble") Prize nomination, you reckon? Maybe. But at least a medal for bravery.

Saint Peter

Jul 15, 2022

I can't believe your biased commentary on North. As their President & CEO & former Coach have said all week, everything is great at North. Their Board is great, their Players are great, their Exec staff are great. Clearly there are no issues to be seen at North. Assuming we put aside the external review that is currently underway to find out if everything is not quite so great. I guess the only thing wrong at North is the scoreboard, which as we know is not a true representation of the football club. Maybe the club is going great on everyday of the week bar the 120 minutes when players are allowed out to play.

PS thanks for not tipping the saints.


Jul 15, 2022

You do get the odd Port supporter who thinks it's mathematically possible to still make the finals. Unlike their majority, who think it's their God given right to win the flag every season. They have a lot in common with that other black and white club, in that respect


Jul 15, 2022

I tell you what else upsets Cats supporters, telling them the only reason they usually securer a finals birth is because of their unique shape ground and they have the most significant home ground advantage of anyone, play 8 home games win 6 or 7 of those.. you only need a handfull of away games and bingo, finals.. then they fall over.. Never tell them they have a shit ton of talent and real handy coach.. they go bonkers. #catspremiers2022 🤢

David O'Leary

Jul 15, 2022

Hey 'The Other Blues Team' - you do know that VIC/WA/SA/TAS Aussie Rules fans automatically lose any credibility and are immediately ignored by NSW/QLD folk once they refer to rugby league as 'Rugby' right? I know you guys have only had since 1895 to learn the difference, but trust me, the two games are very different in lots of ways! Having said that, I agree with you to an extent - I could have done without the "celebrations" of Biff, especially when it was completely unnecessary because outside of that Origin 3 was an extraordinary game of Footy. Rugby League at its magnificent, unique, crazy, compelling best. And don't forget - the three players concussed in the opening minutes were all not allowed to return to the field, so NRL player welfare protocols have most definitely improved, as they should. Carn Rabbitohs!!

Tiger by the tail

Jul 15, 2022

The word around town is that when a court sentences a person for a misdemeanor. and the penalty includes a community based order, the felon now has the option to assist with the coaching at Roo Land

Con Cushion

Jul 15, 2022

Turn it up Titus ... there you are, sprouting predictions relating to Global Warming and all the while you continue to parade about sporting a Felt hat. A hat made from the skins of defenseless little FELTS!! Con.


Jul 15, 2022

@SHEMP - I'm pretty sure Running Dog meant what he was saying with "Noble Prize" - it's the one where you end up out on your arse regardless of how the weekend went.

re: Buddy moving - given the way he has tortured Essendon with left foot freak shots from the boundary over the years, I'd be happy to bring him to Bomberland, even if he didn't play, just so he couldn't do it again.

Half glass empty Tigers supporter

Jul 15, 2022

Sad to see NM, founded over 150 years ago, in turmoil and looking a bit Fitzroy-ish (up yours Oakley!) BUT…
As a Tigers man I nearly spit my coffee out when I learnt they sacked their coach and invoked the timeless footy prophecy of “Sack coach Monday, win with new coach Saturday”. A pox on both your houses Sonia Hood and Ben Amarfio, haven’t us Tigers suffered enough in 2022!?

The g train

Jul 15, 2022

“I’m tipping the Dees, but if they lose this, I’m going to need to reconsider opening up the crying cupboard again”. I say this very respectfully Titus: although you’re still really, really satirically funny, you were funniest and scariest when you WERE in the crying cupboard. So here’s hoping Melbourne lose.


Jul 15, 2022


Thanks. I jumped right in and reacted without considering that possibility, since that happens to be a particular bugbear of mine. That, along with "I could care less" (which means the exact opposite of what people who say that think it means) and "irregardless" (the negative of which has to be "disirregardless").


Jul 15, 2022

The Dees have played Port 3 times at TIO for 3 losses off the top of my head. Open the crying cupboard.


Jul 15, 2022

Isn't it great to be able to just throw bullshit around like confetti like we used to do in bars? Now you can sit back with a red...or a beer...or a Bundi...or whatever...and BS the night away. No RBT. No fights. No crap cover bands belting the living shit out of Eye of the Tiger. Bugger. Now I've forgotten what I was going to say about the footy. Bloody profound it was, too.

Son of plugger

Jul 15, 2022

SHEMP: I hear ya. The common use of “I could care less” needs to be looked at. Driven me nuts for decades. Also the confusion between disinterested and uninterested. Said to the Mrs I was disinterested in her conversation topic. She thought I meant “uninterested”. Tried to explain the difference, but it didn’t help. Told her to play footy with disinterest could often be a good thing. Didn’t help.

Myk Aussie

Jul 15, 2022

When watching Bombers from Canada my girl friend laughs lots at Sam Draper's hair and moustache!!!


Jul 15, 2022

Is the I can’t watch the TV hidden in the crying cupboard? Also is there a packet of ciggies and a whisky in there?

Selwood's Other Duck

Jul 16, 2022

The "Unhelpful Guide" has its knockers
'Cause O'Reily's tips can be shockers
And as a Swans fan
I'm hoping he can
Put his usual mock on the Dockers

Merlin’s Mother

Jul 16, 2022

Myk - trade her in - Draper is a legend and so is his mullet!