May 27, 2022
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Eleven
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 Eleven.
Sydney vs. Richmond (SCG) 7:50pm Fox Footy
A month ago, Richmond lost to Melbourne and following that game, Damien Hardwick addressed the key part of the game the Tigers need to improve on.
He said, “What we’ve got to get better at is attracting free kicks.”
How many games have Richmond lost since he said that? None.
That’s a good thing, umpiring should be the number one focus of football.
Some people think it’s kicking, running, marking or tackling, but it’s attracting free kicks.
Then we have then new dissent rules which are odd.
It means you can get in trouble for something you didn’t even do and if you protest your innocence, you get in more trouble.
I was thinking about how you’d come up with such a system, and I realised, ahh! the head of umpiring at the AFL is in a long-term relationship.
Sydney have been struggling recently, they even lost to the Suns at the SCG, which is not what I’d have done.
If I was coaching Sydney, I would have said, ‘Don’t lose to the Suns’ and it’s odd that John Longmire didn’t do just that.
He should definitely tell them not to lose here, and this time I think they’ll listen to him.
Brisbane vs. Greater Western Sydney (G) 1:45pm Fox Footy
Brisbane had their second loss of the season last week, plunging them all the way down to second on the ladder.
It’s obviously crisis time in Brisbane and now they face a team who impressed everyone last week by not losing to the Eagles.
Going from playing the Eagles to facing the Lions shouldn’t be allowed. You should get eased in to such a gear shift.
Maybe play someone like Adelaide in the middle to adjust back to AFL level.
Going this fast is like someone turning on the lights when a nightclub shuts, it’s not pretty.
Luckily the Giants have the Essendon brains trust in place because if there’s one club of the last twenty years you’d want to emulate, it’s Essendon.
I can’t see Brisbane losing here, their calamity of a season needs desperately to be put back on track.
Geelong vs. Adelaide (GMHBA)1:45pm Fox Footy
The Crows haven’t won in Geelong since 1998; that’s last century!
Matthew Nicks isn’t letting that worry him. He said some interesting things this week, like:
"I know people will look at it and say 'hang on, you're coming off four losses."
He’s right, that is exactly what people are saying.
"Our momentum, we believe, is heading in the right direction.”
Ummmm…. Four losses in a row would only be in the right direction if you’re tanking.
"I guess they're due (Adelaide) if they have done that many (losses) in a row. You have got to look at it that way, right?"
I guess? I’m not sure that’s how footy works though.
Patrick Dangerfield is an out for the Cats, who are meant to lose this game based on their win one week, and lose the next schedule.
But trends are meant to be broken, except in Adelaide’s case.
Narrm vs. Fremantle (MCG) 4:35pm Fox Footy
Some good news for Fremantle, it won’t be raining at the MCG on Saturday, the bad news is they’re coming off two losses against competition powerhouses Gold Coast, Collingwood and rain.
For a team that started so well, these sorts of losses aren’t ideal, although not surprising this being Fremantle.
Now we find out how far behind the Dockers have fallen, with the 10-0 Demons providing a nice little benchmark for them.
Narrm are coming off games against West Coast and North, and it’s rare you get two weeks off in the middle of the season.
Now they need to get back to work and while the current consensus is that Narrm are so far ahead of the pack they can’t lose, that’s the sort of thinking that gets you in trouble.
Why just last week I lost a game of FIFA on the PS5 due to that sort of hubris. And let me tell you, losing to some nine-year-old from the Philippines is a real wake up call.
I’m tipping Narrm.
West Coast vs. Western Bulldogs (OS) 7:25pm Fox Footy
Bailey Smith is an out so I’m not sure there’s any reason to tune into this.
Not that seeing his blonde, glorious mullet flowing in the wind, sunlight catching it at so many angles that your eyes drink in the glory is the only reason to watch the Bulldogs season.
But it is about 90 per cent.
The West Coast will be participating in this match in a ceremonial role.
Dogs to win.
Gold Coast vs. Hawthorn (TIO) 7:40pm Fox Footy
Jaeger O’Meara will miss this match due to ‘hamstring awareness’.
It’s a worrying thing hamstring awareness, but perhaps even worse is hamstring ignorance.
Not knowing you have hamstrings must be a terrible thing.
Not O’Meara though, he is too aware of his hamstrings. I’m not sure what that’s like.
Can he only think about his hamstrings?
It’s an odd phrase, but if there’s one thing the AFL media are good at, it’s making phrases that are both unhelpful and stupid.
Hawthorn ended their losing streak last week in Tasmania and are now off to Darwin, because where else would you play the Suns?
Hawthorn have been very competitive recently, even in their recent losses. This physically hurt me to write.
I’m thinking this will be a bit tougher however and I’m tipping the Suns.
St Kilda vs. North Melbourne (Marvel) 1:10pm Fox Footy
North Melbourne are not having a great time.
They had their recruiting manager and list boss both resign this week, which was the moment I learnt North Melbourne had a recruiting manager and a list manager.
Previously I thought they just went onto footy forums and took the prevailing consensus.
So now they have a coach who can only talk like he’s in a library, no recruiting staff and a number one draft pick who seems to be less than happy.
Aside from that, things are going great.
Saints fans certainly know what North are going through, but for once they are having a good season.
They’re winning, playing exciting football and have young talent. It’s the strongest sign yet there is a multiverse, and somehow a competent St Kilda team has somehow found their way into ours.
It’s the only logical reason.
Saints to win.
Collingwood vs. Carlton (MCG) 3:20pm Fox Footy
An interesting article this week in the Herald Sun, which claimed Carlton are becoming everyone’s second team.
I’m not sure that’s true.
When I talk to people, Carlton are not even in their top 50 AFL teams.
A recent poll asked people their biggest fears, the top three were:
1. Nuclear war
2. Carlton wins the premiership
3. Someone thinks my second team is Carlton
You shouldn’t have a second team anyway unless you are under the age of six, and even then, I would discourage it.
No one has ever claimed Collingwood is their second team, and no Collingwood supporter would accept it anyway. The Pies are an all or nothing proposition.
I’m tipping Carlton.
Port Adelaide vs. Essendon (AO) 4:40pm Fox Footy
Less a game and more a celebration of underachieving.
Both these teams aimed high before the season and have missed by a lot, which is not that surprising if you’ve seen their skills.
I can only guess what disappointments await us in this game, but the fact it’s buried in the Sunday twilight timeslot is a small mercy.
I’ll watch it, but only because it will be funny to see what happens.
Enjoying other teams performing poorly is one of the great joys of life.
As the saying goes ‘It is not sufficient that I succeed. Everyone else must fail.’
So really, Essendon and Port should be thanked for cheering us all up after the last few years.
Port to win.
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