May 26, 2023
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. Carlton (SCG) 7:50pm Seven/Fox
It’s early in the season, but the Carlton President has already come out and given his full support to Michael Voss.
You know Voss is in trouble then, and with Damien Hardwick out there, you just know the Blues will not be able to help themselves.
I’m not saying Hardwick is going to the Blues; I’m saying people involved with the Blues won’t be able to resist sounding him out and, in the process, destabilising the club.
Carlton can’t resist a saviour; fixing all their problem in one fell swoop is just too tempting for them.
This is the problem when you just think you should be on top rather than working for it. They are the trust fund baby of the league.
And to lose this would be a disaster. Sydney hasn’t exactly shot the lights out this season.
Last week, they only won because North Melbourne are numerically challenged.
While I wouldn’t put it past Carlton to stuff up basic maths, they used to do it all the time with the salary cap, the Swans can’t rely on that again.
To borrow from Kerry Packer speaking about Alan Bond ‘you only get one North Melbourne interchange debacle in your life.’
I’m tipping Carlton but hoping the Swans get it done as next week’s column will write itself.
St Kilda vs. Hawthorn (Marvel) 1:45pm Fox Footy
The Hawks are having a nightmare off the field this season, but on the field, they are slightly less of a nightmare.
Last week, was a bit of a false positive. Beating the Eagles is like stealing candy from a baby, an inept and uncoordinated baby.
Still the Hawks have some good young players coming through, so there’s hope there.
When the Saints lost to Adelaide a fortnight ago, I imagine I wasn’t on my lonesome when I thought, ‘here we go again’.
But the Saints got things back on track against the Giants and now they get a week off to firm up those defensive drills.
The Saints other main priority is to make sure Max King doesn’t get injured again. I would be putting him in one of those Zorbs whenever he isn’t playing.
Sure, that will make it hard for him to have a life, but players shouldn’t have lives, they exist to perform for us.
Saints to win.
Melbourne vs. Fremantle (MCG) 2:10pm Fox Footy
Melbourne have a big reason to win this. Thanks to the Luke Jackson trade and the resulting movement of draft picks, a Fremantle loss is a win for Melbourne.
In recent weeks, what was looking like the deal of the century for the Dees has been coming back to a more even keel.
Jackson, and Fremantle have been improving significantly in recent weeks, they’ve won three in a row.
And now they get a Melbourne side without Clayton Oliver.
That’s a big out. Oliver is the guy in the group assignment volunteering to do all the work. He’s the best player I’ve ever seen in a Melbourne jumper.
After losing to the Power last week, the Demons can’t afford to drop this game, especially as Collingwood, Brisbane and Port seem to have forgotten how to lose.
A loss here and the Dees start looking like the Crows, or worse, Carlton.
The good news for the Dees, is this is at home, so it’s unlikely Brodie Grundy will shush the crowd.
We also get to see Max Gawn and Luke Jackson go against each other in this one.
Not since Darth Vader took on Obi-Wan Kenobi have I been so excited for a match-up.
I’m tipping Fremantle.
Geelong vs. Greater Western Sydney (GMHBA) 4:35pm Fox Footy
Geelong’s injury list is painful to read.
Cam Guthrie (toe), Max Holmes (knee), Sam De Koning (face), Gary Rohan (hamstring), Cameron Mooney (KO’d), Rhys Stanley (eye), Ollie Henry (testicle), Mitch Duncan (hamstring), Jack Bowes (calf) and Jhye Clark (foot).
Ollie Henry’s injury is particularly eye-watering. I can’t think of many circumstances were having your name and ‘testicle’ in the media is a good thing.
It’s either a painful incident or you’ve done something you shouldn’t have in the workplace.
The injury woes have led to the Cats dropping their last two games, but losing down in Geelong is not something they often do.
The Giants have been competitive this season, while managing to dodge victory, like a matador avoiding a bull.
The result is their better than the bottom three teams but that’s about it.
I’m tipping Geelong.
Gold Coast vs. Western Bulldogs (TIO) 7:25pm Seven/Fox
The Bulldogs travel into the heart of Suns territory, Darwin.
Considering they played in Ballarat last week, that’s quite the gear shift.
It does show you that playing AFL takes you to all the great cities of the world.
In recent weeks, the Doggies have been on fire, smashing the Crows last week and now they get the Gold Coast.
I relate to the Suns. They remind me of what every teacher wrote on my report card, ‘has not lived up to his potential.’
Well, the joke now is on those teachers, I’ve proved I just didn’t have any potential.
The Suns have been in the news with Hardwick retiring, with the media asking Stuart Dew if he felt this put pressure on him.
I don’t think he should worry; I can’t think of any occasions where a club have ruthlessly sacked someone just to get a premiership coach.
I’m tipping the Suns.
West Coast vs. Essendon (Optus) 7:30pm Fox Footy
There are no words to describe how bad I am at golf.
Driving the ball, chipping, putting, any who have witnessed me doing these have said later it was the worst thing they’ve ever seen, bordering on the traumatic.
Once at the driving range, I teed off and somehow hit it behind me and broke a window, narrowly missing several people.
The staff came and physically removed the club from my hand and banned me from the premises.
They said I was a danger to myself and everyone else.
This is all to say, I am still better at golf than the Eagles are at Australian Rules Football.
The news broke this week that Essendon has brought in a medical specialist to help with their injury problems.
Now while more jokes than I could fit on the internet come to mind, I would have thought the club would already have this.
Isn’t preventing injuries part of the medical and fitness departments job?
To my knowledge, only the Eagles actively try to injure their players.
I’m tipping the Bombers.
Richmond vs. Port Adelaide (MCG) 1:10pm Fox Footy
A bit on at Tigerland this week, with Damien Hardwick announcing he’s leaving.
Not since Zayn left One Direction has such a move shaken a group of men to its core.
Hardwick led Richmond to three premierships and was a big part of rebuilding the club into a powerhouse, but apart from that he didn’t do much.
Andrew McQualter now steps in as the interim coach, and Dimma has given him some advice ‘be yourself.’
This is terrible advice. I spent a lot of time being myself and it led me to being friendless, loveless and with several injunctions.
My advice? Be Paul Rudd. The guy is charming, and he just doesn’t age. Men and women like him, and he was in Clueless which is a classic and still stands up.
Port will be disappointed to be facing the Tigers after their coach has left, although usually, a team lifts because a coach has been sacked.
In this case, the coach sacked the team, but that’s not as motivating.
David King has predicted this week that Damien Hardwick will be the coach of Port Adelaide in 2024.
So, you can be assured he won’t be coach of Port Adelaide next year.
I’m tipping the Power.
Collingwood vs. North Melbourne (Marvel) 3:20pm Seven/Fox
Is this even legal? It feels like it shouldn’t be.
Are we going to have adults fighting children next? Lions vs Christians?
The only way I could see the Pies losing this one, is if North Melbourne managed to change the sport to netball.
Personally, I enjoyed watching the Pies lose across various codes. The question now is, will Collingwood drop their badminton team?
One bit of good news is Tarryn Thomas has been cleared to make his AFL return and Brett Ratten says he’s “pretty close” to be picked.
It’s just great to see an AFL player get a
second third fourth fifth sixth seventh eighth chance.
And it’s not like the AFL hasn’t been banging on about respecting women, and how they take all this stuff seriously, so there’s no hypocrisy in letting him back into the game.
If he was a rubbish player, they would have dumped him months ago. North can play him all they want; they just can’t swing around and grab the high moral ground in the future. Oh, and it’s a disgrace.
I’m tipping the Pies.
Adelaide vs. Brisbane (AO) 4:40pm Fox Footy
Adelaide were awful last week, and now they face the Lions, who are building nicely.
Joe Daniher is playing well, and he is like the canary in the coal mine. If Joe is up and about, so are the Lions.
If he’s asleep at the bottom of his cage, get out of the mine because dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide are building up.
Wait, I don’t think the analogy stretches that far.
The Lions have now won seven in a row, the Crows have not.
They do get Taylor Walker and possibly Riley Thilthorpe, which they need, given they kicked just five goals last week.
Brodie Smith is in doubt, as he is suffering from the most relatable injury ever ‘general soreness’.
I always suffer from general soreness. It happens as you get older. I can injure myself while lying in bed, not moving.
Next time someone asks, ‘how are you going?’ just say ‘general soreness.’
I’m tipping the Lions.
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