Apr 08, 2021
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Four
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 Four.
Sydney vs Essendon (SCG) 7:20pm Seven, Fox
There may be few other fans on as big an emotional rollercoaster this season than Bombers fans.
A one-point loss to Hawthorn, followed by a drubbing at the hands of Port Adelaide, only to then smash St Kilda last week.
Now they face a red-hot Sydney, who bring back Buddy Franklin, who has tortured Essendon supporters over the years with a brutality that makes the torture scenes in Zero Dark Thirty seem like an episode of Bluey.
The Bombers do get back Dyson Heppell but Sydney’s brutal demolition of Richmond on the MCG was a bit like a new prisoner walking up to the toughest guy in goal and belting the living suitcases out of him. It really sent a message.
Of course, this early in the season, it’s hard to tell what is real and what’s a mirage, but at the moment the Swans look like an actual oasis.
I think the Swans will win this, and the rollercoaster of emotions that is being a Bombers supporter will continue.
Port Adelaide vs Richmond (AO) 7:50pm Seven, Fox
My tipping this year has been about as accurate as a horoscope, and this game isn’t helping with both these sides performing so below their ability last week it was like watching a limbo competition.
Now both of them have to prove that that was just a misstep, and not them falling off a cliff.
Richmond’s problem seemed to be a complete lack of pressure, coupled with the fact that against the Swans, they appeared to have all 18 players standing still on the mark for much of the game.
So bad was the performance that Damien Hardwick even had a go at the umpires, claiming the Swans had a lot of short kicks that didn’t go the distance but were paid marks.
This was a bit like blaming a recipe because you set the kitchen on fire, something I once did cooking two-minute noodles. The amazing thing about that event was that I was cooking them in the microwave.
Hardwick said that they weren’t panicking though because their system had stood them in good stead for many years.
I just wrote that sentence because I wanted to put ‘system’ in a column, so I sounded like a real AFL journalist.
That’s all you need to do apparently. I’ll also add the word ‘brand,’ so I get a gig on Fox Footy.
Port made the logistical mistake last week of booking a flight that didn’t get them to Optus Stadium until halftime.
At least this game is at home, so Port should be there from the start. I’m tipping them but I’ve no rationale for it, it’s just something I feel in my waters.
Western Bulldogs vs Brisbane (Mars) 1:35pm Fox
When I first looked at the fixture, I thought this was being played on Mars, not Mars Stadium in Ballarat.
It was a silly mistake, despite the fact Mars is often more habitable than Ballarat, especially in winter.
I would like to see a game on Mars though. The low gravity would be amazing for marking, and the surface, while mainly rock with a covering of finely grained iron oxide dust, is still better than Marvel Stadium’s.
I don’t know how to stop the solar radiation from killing the players, but I’m an ideas man, I’ll leave the small details to others.
Brisbane’s exile from Queensland continues, and while last week’s after the siren win revitalised their season, you can’t always rely on Collingwood to get you out of jail.
As for the Bulldogs, they’re top of the ladder, but they didn’t play last week so could be a bit rusty.
This is the challenge that should show us how long their early season form will hold.
I think the Bulldogs will win this, I really like their brand and their structure.
St Kilda vs West Coast (Marvel) 4:35pm Fox
St Kilda’s season has fallen apart faster than our nation’s vaccine rollout. Much like the vaccine rollout, I blame Europe for the Saints problems and 5G.
Things are looking so bad for the Saints, that Eagles coach Adam Simpson warned his side can’t be complacent. Ouch. Just pour some salt into the wound why don’t you.
St Kilda has many injuries but that doesn’t explain the loss to Essendon. The Saints players spent a lot of the game looking like me on the dancefloor.
Feet rooted to the spot like I’ve got a sprawling root network beneath me, swaying in a manner so uncoordinated that people interrupt me to check I’m not having a stroke.
This presents a great chance for the Eagles to win a game on the road, an event rarer than a minister being fired these days.
They should be able to get it done here, they were great against Port last week and the Saints confidence is lower than an Instagram Influencer whose latest post got three likes.
Collingwood vs Greater Western Sydney (MCG) 7:25pm Fox
The carnage from the Giants’ game against Melbourne is still being counted, and it’s a long count.
Their bench looked like an episode of ER last week and the news hasn’t got any better this week.
Stephen Coniglio, Phil Davis and Matt de Boer have now all been ruled out for significant periods of time.
They are currently more rehab centre than footy team.
Collingwood fans will still be wondering how they managed to lose last week’s game, and it certainly took some effort to do so.
While it was amusing for most of us, Pies fans would see it as just another episode of their club shooting themselves in the foot.
They’ve done this so often recently, it’s possible they don’t have any feet left.
You’d think they’d get this done; the Giants were not exactly setting the world on fire before they became the not walking wounded.
Gold Coast vs Carlton (MS) 7:25pm Seven, Fox
Losing Jarrod Witts for the season was probably not in the plans of the Suns this year.
It’s such a blow that Damien Hardwick said the AFL should introduce a soccer-style loan system, so injury-hit clubs could find replacements.
I think this is a great idea. We don’t get enough of fans floating bizarre trade suggestions. Adding loans will be a whole new fertile ground of ridiculous conjecture.
I can already see the AFL considering how to get a bank to sponsor the new loans system.
That said, anyone knows that if you loan something, not own it yourself, you don’t look after it as much. You could see players being returned after being treated like a hire car.
Carlton last week won a game of footy, and the media this week has been writing them up like a Premiership is a mere formality.
That might be a bit of overselling. Looking competent against Fremantle isn’t that hard. It’s like someone lifting you up so you can dunk.
It would be just like Carlton to lose this game then; Blues fans know this to be true, but I think they’ll get the job done.
North Melbourne vs Adelaide (Marvel) 1:10pm Fox
Did anyone see that dog in Russia that jumped up and stole the microphone from the weather reporter and ran off with it in its mouth?
Hilarious. Special mention to the cameraman trying to chase it down while still filming.
Anyway, Adelaide to win.
Melbourne vs Geelong (MCG) 3:20pm Seven, Fox
Melbourne’s undefeated start to the season has been tempting me to have hope, but that’s a trick I’ve fallen for far too many times to do again.
So far, the Dees have defeated three teams that will play no role in the finals. The best you can say is they haven’t lost a game they should win, which, granted, is a new thing for them.
But this is a real test.
Geelong should play finals, and despite Patrick Dangerfield being out, and the Cats not yet setting the world on fire, this should really show us if the Dees have actually taken a step forward.
The Cats almost losing to the Hawks shows they’re not exactly in top gear, which is weird, peaking in round three is a strategy that’s never failed before.
Chris Scott said this week that coaching is "not a very good job". I’m not sure what he’s on about. You get to wear a tracksuit to work, you get free Powerade and you can yell at a group of twenty-year-olds every week. That’s my dream job.
He also got in a media spat with Eddie McGuire. I see what he’s doing here, trying to make me like him by going up against Eddie. Damn you Chris Scott you silver fox.
Geelong to win.
Fremantle vs Hawthorn (OS) 5:40pm Fox
The Dockers start to the season was like me at a networking event.
There have been embarrassing moments, some falling over and a surprising number of injuries.
The good news is the Dockers could get as many as six players back for this game.
I’ve noticed that if you have a lot of your best players out injured, it directly correlates with you losing more.
Isn’t that amazing? It’s counterintuitive I know, but I checked it on a supercomputer.
An Amstrad CPC 464 no less, one of the most powerful computers known to man.
Hawthorn almost beat Geelong last week and watching them look like a team on the improve really triggered me.
The Hawks are like herpes, even when they're dormant, you know an outbreak is possible at any moment.
Hawks to win.
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