Jul 02, 2020


A highly unhelpful guide to Round Five


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 Five.


Carlton v St Kilda (MS) 7:40pm Seven

I hope this column is ok, I walked out the wrong door this morning after a big night out and am writing this half naked in a café. We’ve all done that right?

I’ve probably done it four times this week. The café owner says if I do it a fifth time, he’ll ban me.

Wandering out the wrong door, drunk and naked is a legit excuse for anything. It’s the ‘get out of jail free card’ of real life.

If you don’t show up at work one day tell your boss that, and I’m sure they’ll be very understanding.

My previews are never worth much but given there’s no certainty these games will even happen, this one is even worth less.

I don’t know about you, but I wish my own footy team was as resilient as this virus.

Say what you like about Covid but it plays all four quarters and takes what it’s opponent gives it, maintain it’s structure under enormous pressure, and it’s spread is just terrific, what a work rate.

Assuming this game goes ahead, it will be the reinvigorated St Kilda going up against the Rock of Gibraltar, Liam Jones’ head.

It’s been a long time since a Saints-Blues matchup seemed worth watching. It’s a reminder that the world has changed.

Nick Kyrgios is the voice of reason, the Gold Coast are good and I even miss people.

I’m not sure I like this new reality.

St Kilda to win.


Collingwood v Essendon (MCG) 7:50pm Seven

We must know what happened to Jack Steven, but Steele Sidebottom deserves some privacy.

I’ve long stopped trying to find the logic in Eddie McGuire’s attempts to justify a multiplicity of conflicts of interests, but this one is even more ridiculous than normal.

Sure, we’ve all done silly things while drunk.

I remember once purchasing the former NBL team the Launceston Casino City Tigers during a big night out, but most of us don’t have a billion-dollar industry relying on us doing the right thing or not being a bit of a knob when drunk.

That’s part of the problem the AFL faces. If you pitched a business model that relied on 800-odd blokes in their 20s doing the right thing, no one would back you.

That’s not to excuse Sidebottom’s behaviour, it’s just saying it’s depressingly predictable that these things are going to happen.

What is disappointing is that when a lot of us aren’t even able to work, a group of people, who the world is bending over backwards to keep working, are placing it all at risk.

Sidebottom’s four-week punishment is harsher than any other Covid breech penalty, but you always get extra points the more stupid your actions are, and the AFL has never worried about consistency when handing down penalties, their judiciary has a more ‘it’s the vibe’ approach to sentencing.

What is certain, it the more players risk the industry, the more those penalties are going to go up. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next guy is exiled to the hermit suburb of West Brunswick.

Collingwood to win.


West Coast v Sydney (Metricon) 1:45pm Foxtel

I had a friend who once went to the Gold Coast ,got stung by a jelly fish, had his phone stolen and then his girlfriend dumped him after hooking up with a surfer.

His stay on the Gold Coast was still better than West Coast’s has been.

To find a worse time on the Gold Coast you have to talk to either the Crows or the Brisbane Bears.

What I do find interesting is how the Eagles haven’t even really hidden their disdain for being on the Gold Coast. Their lack of discipline on the field, their media statements and the way they’ve played, has been one giant dummy spit.

Compare it to the way Port have approached being in the hub and Eagles fans would be right in wondering if this is really how a professional sporting team is meant to behave.

Sydney are not getting any good luck at the moment. They were meant to play Melbourne at the MCG, four points they desperately needed, and now they’re off to the Gold Coast to face the Eagles.

There’s no real timeline for Buddy Franklin’s return, and if ever you’re not going to rush someone back, this is the season. 

It will be interesting to see if teams throw in the towel a lot earlier this season. If ever you’re going to tank, surely this is the season to do it. I’m expecting more injuries to be announced in later rounds than before an AFLX game.

West Coast to win.

Geelong v Gold Coast (GMHBA) 4:35pm Foxtel

You’d think the Cats would get up for this one when it’s Joel Selwood’s three hundredth game and Gary Ablett’s three hundred and fiftieth.

That’s a lot of experience. Consider that Gary is double Matt Rowell’s age.

I basically mark the passage of time by players’ milestones.

It’s only when I read something like that it’s Ablett’s 350th game that I remember seeing him debut, and I remember going and watching his dad play, and then I realise I’m old and that no one is ever going to love me and I’ll die alone.

The idea that Gold Coast goes into this with a real chance of winning is something I’m still adjusting to.

And a real chance they do have, despite this being in Geelong.

I watched the Cats play last week and like a bad curry, it’s stayed with me all week.

If Geelong play anything like they did against the Demons in this game, they will get torn to shreds, as the Suns have something resembling a forward line.

But if you can’t win this game with two legends of your club hitting these milestones, what game will you get up for? Cats to win.

Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne (MS) 7:40pm Seven

A bunch of North Melbourne players had to flee Melbourne’s hot spot suburbs into temporary accommodation to ensure they could play in this game.

Now the manoeuvring is underway to ensure a host of players in Victoria can be allowed into other states to set up hubs.

Such is the new world we live in, a place we’re people have to flee suburbs and hope they are allowed to settle in hubs across borders. 

As a Victorian, I feel very worried about how other states are treating us, locking down their borders and treating us like second class people.

Why, it’s almost like how Australia has treated refugees for years.

It’s all pretty uncertain for the players, with many of them not even knowing what refugee camp they’ll be playing out of for the next few weeks or months.

I’m not sure where the line is for calling off the season, but I feel we’ve brushed up against it a few times this week.

We really need the scientists to hurry up with that vaccine. If they do, they’ll save the AFL season, and for once I’ll be happy if they receive Australian of the Year, rather than a sportsperson.

North to win.

Brisbane v Port Adelaide (G) 7:40pm Foxtel

If you barrack for either of these teams, you’ll be crossing every part of your body that this season continues on.

Both of them are in good form, and as for Port, they’ve had arguably their best year ever, possibly better than their premiership year.

Think about it, they’re winning, the Crows are a glorious mess and Port has managed to troll Eddie McGuire constantly over the prison bar jumper. It’s all been good clean fun.

Now we get to see which of these will play the Suns in the Grand Final and it’s a difficult one to tip.

One thing both clubs have done well is not constantly whinged in the media about everything that’s going on.

They’ve both decided this season matters and are going to approach it that way.

That’s the secret about footy, it only matters because we all collectively decide it matters. That’s what non-footy fans don’t understand, they say ‘it’s pointless’. But almost everything humans do is pointless until you factor in that it means something because we all collectively give it meaning.

This season, there’s quite a few players and teams who are coming up a little short in that area.

They are playing footy like someone studying for a test they are pretty sure is going to get cancelled.

Not these two teams though, I just can’t wait to watch it, and I think the Lions will win but it will be close.


Adelaide v Fremantle (Metricon) 1:05pm Foxtel

Forget what I said in the previous paragraph, sometimes footy is pointless.

I mean, both these teams had the same number of wins while the season was suspended as they have since it returned.

Fremantle to win.

Melbourne v Richmond (MCG) 3:35pm Seven

Either Richmond are going to begin turning things around here, or they are cooked, because the Demons stunk up the MCG so much last week that if there was a crowd there, they would have left.

Neither of these teams have really looked that interested in scoring since the season came back. The possibility of a nil-all draw can’t be completely dismissed.

You get the sense the Tigers haven’t really bought into this season, with Cotchin and Riewoldt both saying they’d understand if players opted out of hubs.

The Demons opt out of most seasons, so it’s hard to tell if this is to do with the Covid challenges or just business as usual. I mean, Melbourne are the only team in world sport who tanked, and people didn’t even really notice a difference. 

I’m tipping the Tigers.

Greater Western Sydney v Hawthorn (GS) Foxtel

Probably the big danger for Hawthorn in this game, is with their players in NSW, will they request asylum?

Not since the Hungarians defected in huge numbers at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games have I been so sure the majority of a team will never return to their homeland.

For our tipping that leaves the question will the player request asylum before or after the game?

I don’t think it will matter that much, the Giants should win this, unless, they don’t want to tackle the Hawthorn players, given they’ve come from a pestilence ravaged failed state.

Should this happen, the Hawks might do as well as the St Michael’s Leper Colony did against Newport in that famous game back in 1876. The Newport boys didn’t get near them that day.

Anyway, I’m tipping the Giants because really, who cares? We are all just living a collective madness of which there is no escape.

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



Jul 02, 2020

 But almost everything humans do is pointless until you factor in that it means something because we all collectively give it meaning. Every week, there's something genius in here


Jul 02, 2020

I think it’s time we made all Victorians identify themselves by wearing a V on their duffle coats.

Kafka’s Ghost

Jul 02, 2020

Yes, the world has changed. A St Kilda - Carlton game is definitely worth watching, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the Suns again! Adelaide - Fremantle proves some verities are immutable though.


Jul 02, 2020

Love it.. I watched the Cats play last week and like a bad curry, it’s stayed with me all week.


Jul 02, 2020

For my mind, Fri & Mon emails from Titus are the only enjoyable thing about this season. Fast becoming a farce.


Jul 02, 2020

The mere mention of AFLX brings back memories of great times. 110k views can't be wrong.



Jul 02, 2020

was a good article until the refugee quip, pandering to the progressive green left crown again titus? I think the majority if not all genuine refugees who have fled violent homes are pretty happy with how we have treated them.


Jul 02, 2020

‘...and then I realise I’m old and that no one is ever going to love me and I’ll die alone.’
You left out ‘and never see a premiership in my lifetime’. Still we donate.

Fat Side

Jul 02, 2020

In an effort to add a bit more tackling strength to their game this week, the Tiges could replace a few players with some cardboard cut-outs from the stands. If they prove themselves to be no worse than the previous incumbents, they could travel on to the hub with the team as permanent replacements.


Jul 02, 2020

Not sure the refugees on Manus and Nauru would agree with you Mike.

John Nicholls

Jul 02, 2020

It’s simple, run four hubs in NSW, WA, Gold Coast, SA. If those poxy snob Viccos aren’t sorted by the finals, keep the hubs. But play the granny in Darwin. WTF, worth it to see Eddie go mad.


Jul 02, 2020

I figure that we should just stop now....
Give the flag to the team who had the most likely to win/greatest amount of disdain for season expressed as Loss/win ratio therefore I was thinking it would go to either Geelong West Coast or Richmond..... until I saw Geelong “play” last week. They made West Coast look poised, confident and hungry.
They made me look angry at Victoria for saying things like “why do I care if I (that’s the entire collective state not just Ethan of Moonee Ponds wearing his one black skivvy) spread a life-threatening, life-changing disease so long as the soy cows can still be milked for lattes. We WILL keep the GF even if you have to tunnel here.
I think that the rest of the football world has just decided that they’re better off leaning on the shovel rather than using it....
Oh Covid, you swine you......


Jul 02, 2020

"How does a Victorian enter NSW during this pandemic? Dress them up as an ocean liner.", thanks Titus, cracked me up.


Jul 02, 2020

Mike, really don't want to turn a perfectly pleasant Titus O'Reily column into a refugee argument, but given that Border Force find something like 90% of all asylum seekers to be genuine refugees fleeing persecution, your comment is based on rubbish.

Titus, another classic! I agree with the other poster who said your two AFL columns each week are the brightest part of this season for me!

the g train

Jul 02, 2020

Thanks Titus for your ridiculous nonsense. As Einstein wrote: I never came upon any of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.

Gladys Sidebottom

Jul 02, 2020

Titus, you've given some good examples of how weird 2020 is, like Gold Coast being good now, but I think you've missed the most obvious one so I'd like you to see if you can give it a run please. Chris Scott is being reasonable. Pleasant even? Broadminded. When asked what he thought about Geelong having to play some games interstate he said he was ok with it. I can cope with with just about everything else but when Chris Scott looks at the camera and smiles and says something nice then my head starts wobbling and doing the clown with the ping pong balls thing. It's just not right.


Jul 03, 2020

Oh Titus, spot on as usual! Our household has both a Port and Lions supporter so this weekend will be extra tense. Finals here we come!

Doug Warren

Jul 03, 2020

Dear Titus.
We are a bit slow up here in Queensland, although I did get my Economics degree at Monash Uni when I was a communist in the 1970’s. Could Titus please explain how the following works. The twelve executives running the AFL (VFL) earn an average salary of $880,000 per year. This is twice the salary of Scott Morrison..please explain!
At least the AFL’s new mission statement (I know, we all hate the term mission statement), says that the paired Down, leaner 600 of them are now actually going to co-operate with each other and actually get some real and worthwhile work done!
I would love to hear from you so that you can reassure me that I really do not have Alzheimer’s disease and short and long term memory loss that my wife,(I forget her name ) tells me that I have.
Duggy from Brisvegas.


Jul 03, 2020

Mike, please don't bring politics here. A satirical footy site is hardly the place for it.

Speaking of reffos, I'm not sure I want hordes of plague infected Vics in Perth. Once upon a time, a hub in Perth seemed to make obvious sense - at least as much sense as anything else this ridiculous year is throwing up.


Jul 03, 2020

"its The Vibe"
I knew Dennis Denuto was running the AFL Judiciary


Jul 03, 2020

What a fabulous season.
Collingwood & Richmond can't win at their fortress and instead of their customary 15 home games, apiece, at the G, may have to play elsewhere.
Hawthorn bitch about travelling down to Geelong after a 16 year absence. One can only hope that they had updated their GPS so that Alphabet Stadium didn't return with "no such place".
It is time that the VFL clubs experience what the AFL clubs have to contend with,each year. Home & Away games are not a choice between a train to the G or the tram to Docklands.
Enjoy the hub experience.


Jul 03, 2020

I know that this is nothing new but gee it is overdue that someone actually said it and did I laugh out loud.....
We must know what happened to Jack Steven, but Steele Sidebottom deserves some privacy.
I’ve long stopped trying to find the logic in Eddie McGuire’s attempts to justify a multiplicity of conflicts of interests, but this one is even more ridiculous than normal.


Jul 03, 2020

Steele found out his girlfriend was pregnant to Jack Steven from Jeremy Howe.

Lawn Patrol

Jul 04, 2020

Mike. I thought you were on the side of right, until I noticed your use of the prejudicial word 'pandering'. It's obvious that this is a reference to the CCP because of the link to pandas. Beware people. Mike has called the "digital soldiers"* to bear witness upon The Great Truthsayer that be Titus Upon the Mount. We must be prepared to protect our fearless leader.

Anyway, I'm happy. Collingwood lost. St. Kilda won, and they're moving to my neighbourhood. Noosa is Moorabbin North!

*Look them up. It's a real thing.

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