Jun 24, 2021
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Fifteen
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 Fifteen.
Brisbane vs Geelong (G) 7:30pm Seven/Fox
Finally, the bye rounds are over, and we can get on with the serious business of working out who is going to win this thing.
There’s even some good news on crowds in Victoria, with new crowd limits set by the scientific method of picking a crowd number not too low to cause rioting in the streets, but not high enough to appear reckless.
Geelong is in fine form at the moment, but this week Chris Scott told everyone off for having the temerity to critique Joel Selwood’s rather dirty tactics in last week’s game.
Scott claims criticism of Selwood reflects more on those doing the critiquing than on Selwood, which is weird because those pointing out the incidents weren’t the ones punching someone’s face while they lay on the ground.
According to Scott, Selwood is an icon of the game and that apparently gives him the right to duck the normal level of scrutiny other players receive. The Lions get Dayne Zorko back for this one who was suspended for striking, and Zorko has shown quite the remorse saying he still wants to ‘play on the edge.’
I don’t get it. When the rest of us ‘play on the edge’ at work, we get a written warning from someone with ‘People and Culture’ in their title, but in the AFL, it’s seen as a good thing.
I’m tipping Geelong.
Richmond vs St Kilda (MCG) 7:50pm Seven/Fox
I worry that Richmond are only getting stronger, and after a bye last week, they now get another bye.
A fortnight off to rest and get players back from injury is just what every team wants at this stage of the season.
St Kilda are in the ‘what the hell happened?’ stage of the season.
In a season that has gone so far under expectations, it’s dug a tunnel faster and deeper than the Metro Tunnel project, a lot of focus has been on them letting players have time off for family commitments.
I couldn’t agree more, footballers should not be allowed lives outside of football. In fact, why are they having children?
I’ve long said footballers should be kept in stables, but I would now add that they should not be allowed to breed until after their career, like racehorses.
That way they’d never miss a game for something as trivial as ‘having a baby’ or ‘supporting your partner who has just given birth and needs some help because having a newborn is massively hard’.
Instead, put them out to stud after their careers. With the rise of AFLW, there’s a real chance to breed the best footballers ever. Imagine the fun of discussing bloodlines.
It’s a simple solution and I’m surprised it hasn’t already been implemented.
Richmond to win.
Collingwood vs Fremantle (Marvel) 1:45pm Fox
The Pies begin a new, although short, era under Robert Harvey, who must keep the ship afloat while the board issues are worked out and a new coach is selected.
Jeff Browne wrote a letter recently outlining his criticism of the current Collingwood board, which he managed to somehow keep to just seven things.
Amazingly, none of these was to do with his close friend and previous President Eddie McGuire, which is like pointing out what went wrong with the Titanic but not mentioning the iceberg.
Fremantle will be hoping Nat Fyfe will be fit after suffering a dislocated shoulder. He wore an orange cap to training to remind his teammates not to re-injure him during drills.
I know how he feels, my court-ordered ankle bracelet always reminded my co-workers to not get too close to me.
I’m tipping Collingwood.
North Melbourne vs Gold Coast (BA) 1:45pm Fox
This is one of those games that only goes ahead because the AFL is contractually obligated to provide their broadcasters with nine games a round.
The Suns had a big booze up after their last game, a belting at the hands of the Power.
Given they didn’t show up for that game, it’s nice to see they can show up for free drinks.
Really, the club should be shouting their members' free drinks, not the players.
The only thing that shocked me about reports the players all got drunk after the game, is that they weren’t drunk during the game, that would have explained things.
North at least don’t seem to be getting wasted after losses, and that’s good news as no one can drink that much.
That being said, if you are going to watch this, and you shouldn’t, make sure you are drunk because this is going to suck harder than a jet engine.
I’m tipping North.
Port Adelaide vs Sydney (AO) 4:35pm Fox
Port are a very good side against teams not in premiership contention and they’ll be hoping they get the Swans that lost to Hawthorn, and not the one that started the season in red hot form.
Sydney started the season very well; they were winning, and they were exciting, but in recent weeks they’ve managed to lose to Fremantle and Hawthorn, which is hard to do.
Now they flee a Sydney suffering from a Covid outbreak. I’m hopeful that gets sorted out quickly. I don’t know about you, but I’m anti-Covid and frankly sick of the whole thing.
I liked it when we didn’t have to be constantly dealing with a global pandemic and none of us even knew our states had a Chief Health Officer, except when one of them occasionally shut a restaurant we all knew was a bit dodgy.
The only thing Covid has taught me is that governments of all persuasions make sporting administrations appear competent.
Port to win.
Essendon vs Melbourne (MCG) 7:25pm Seven/Fox
Melbourne hit the bye week happy with their first half of the season, except that performance against Collingwood left supporters feeling a little nervous.
Gone was the team first, defensive mentality.
That loss is not the end of the world if they bounce back after the bye with a return to the style of footy that got them to the top of the ladder.
But if they lose, Melbourne supporters will revert to type faster than Kysaiah Pickett can split apart a defence.
Essendon are coming off a famous victory against, checks notes, 17th placed Hawthorn.
There are definite positives at Essendon at the moment, but that was hardly a victory that screams ‘we’re back’.
The Bombers are a chance though if Jake Stringer can play like he did last week more than once a season.
It’s theoretically possible but so is time travel apparently, but we don’t see people from the future popping up every day.
I’m tipping the Demons, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not nervous about the second half of the season. That’s because to get through life I’ve trained myself to think I don’t deserve nice things.
Greater Western Sydney vs Hawthorn (MCG) 1:10pm Fox
This game was meant to be in Sydney but has been moved to the MCG due to the covid outbreak.
The Hawks have looked a lot better the last two weeks, no longer looking like a bunch of English backpackers had accidentally wondered onto the field during an AFL game.
They’ve even got interested in tackling and making an effort which must be heart-warming for the long-suffering Hawks fans to see.
I know Hawthorn fans have been doing it tough but I’m here to tell them to keep their chins up. I’m old enough to remember when their team regularly won premierships. Anything can happen in footy.
The Giants are fresh off ending David Teague’s coaching career and should be able to handle Hawthorn here, the MCG always being a happy hunting ground for them.
Toby Greene will play after only being fined for striking last week. Greene has certainly racked up the fines in his career, he’s just under $30,000 worth.
That’s an entire round of drinks at the AFL’s Christmas party.
Giants to win.
West Coast vs Western Bulldogs (OS) 3:20pm Seven/Fox
These sides experienced the very narrow margin between joy and despair in footy in their last games.
While the Eagles just got over the line against Richmond, in a result that surprised everyone, especially Eagles supporters, the Doggies lost to an after the siren goal to Geelong.
Outside of Macca’s Monopoly, I can think of another field of human endeavour that has such highs and such lows.
West Coast enters the run home to the finals with a reputation for reliability up there with an Italian car.
The win against Richmond served to do one thing, make tipping Eagles games almost impossible.
The Bulldogs look like they’ll get Aaron Naughton back despite injuring his ribs last week.
It’s good news for the Doggies and I feel for him. I injured my ribs a few weeks ago reaching falling off the couch. It was an innocent enough looking incident, I was trying to balance a margarita while reaching for the remote and just landed awkwardly on the floor.
The paramedics said it was the worst margarita related injury they’ve seen outside of summer.
I’m tipping the Eagles.
Carlton vs Adelaide (Marvel) 4:10pm Fox
Robert Walls said this week that Patrick Cripps would be ‘better off at the West Coast Eagles’, which is true only in the sense that he’d be better off ‘anywhere but Carlton.’
As the Blues fans count down the days until Ross Lyon is appointed head coach, they’d be hoping the team could at least do a vague impression of a functioning AFL side from the remaining rounds.
Perhaps the most damning thing about Carlton I’ve heard is a Blues fan who told me they don’t even have the energy to get angry anymore.
Adelaide are coming off a win at the ‘Trial of the Century’ with David Mackay cleared to play. It was like the OJ trail except the right decision was reached at the end.
Either of these sides could lose this, but I’m tipping the Crows because I think that’s the most amusing outcome.
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