May 14, 2021


A highly unhelpful guide to Round Nine


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 Nine.


St Kilda vs Geelong (Marvel) 7:50pm Seven/Fox

St Kilda’s season hasn’t exactly set the world on fire so far, which makes the injury to Zak Jones less than ideal.

Even worse is they’re playing the Cats, who suddenly look very dangerous, thanks to the addition of Jeremy Cameron.

Cameron has seemingly made all the difference for the Cats who looked faltering at best, but now look scarier than an ATO audit.

The Saints have called up James Frawley as playing on Tom Hawkins or Jeremy Cameron is just what you need to easy yourself back into the maelstrom that is AFL footy.

There were rumours this week that Geelong was one of the clubs who enquired about Aaron Sandilands returning to footy via the midseason draft.

I can see the appeal for Geelong, Sandilands is really old, which is Geelong’s thing.

Other clubs tackle racism and sexism, Geelong have done more to tackle ageism than any other club in the league.

Cats to win.


Sydney vs Collingwood (SCG) 1:45pm Fox

Brody Mihocek’s grab over Ben Cunnington was voted Mark of the Week over Shai Bolton’s grab, in further proof that democracy just doesn’t work.

I’ve long argued Collingwood supporters shouldn’t be allowed to vote in government elections, and they certainly shouldn’t be able to vote in meaningful elections like Mark of the Week.

Pies fans won’t care, they’re desperate for some good news, and the club has approached the AFL with a plan to make the premiership decided by public voting.

The Swans will be keen to heap the pain on the Pies given their rather strained relationship. Sydney will be kicking themselves they never thought of trolling Eddie through fashion.

When the COLA debates were on, that’s what the Swans should have been doing, distracting Eddie with another issue, because we all know he can’t not take the bait.

Personally, I think it would be fun if every club put in a request to wear black and white jumpers.

Swans to win.

Hawthorn vs North Melbourne (UTAS) 2:10pm Fox

Avert your eyes!

No wonder Tasmanians think the AFL hates them when this monstrosity of a game is dropped on them.

This is a game where a love of footy goes to die.

If this game was a movie, it would be The Phantom Menace, if it was a band, it would be Nickelback, if it was a commentator, it would be Brian Taylor.

Perhaps the best way to view this game will be with the commentary off and the Benny Hill music playing on a loop.

Jaidyn Stephenson is now on the sidelines for a long stretch due to injury, and David Noble says his team should request a priority pick.

I can hear the response from the AFL already, “You know, a team that moved to Tasmania would get a priority pick or two. We’re not saying it should be you, just putting it out there.”

Gold Coast vs Brisbane (MS) 4:35pm Fox

You could write a short pamphlet on the history of the Q Clash if you padded it out with a few pictures.

This game isn’t going to add much. The Suns have lost three of their last five, while the Lions are going for five wins in a row after they were shakier than me without a drink for a few minutes.

Lions teammates revealed this week that Hugh McCluggage’s nickname is ‘Rolls Royce’ due to his class.

It reminds me of my footy nickname ‘burnt out Mitsubishi Magna’. 

Apparently, McCluggage hates the nickname, a good sign. The worst people are the ones that give themselves a nickname. Anyone that does that is almost certainly a serial killer or at least has the potential to be one.

I went to school with a guy who kept trying to give himself a nickname, so someone gave him one, ‘Sociopath who keeps trying to give themselves a nickname.’

It goes to show that bullying can be creative and isn’t always a bad thing. If you are giving yourself a nickname, you deserve to be bullied. It’s the only time I’m OK with it.

Brisbane to win.

Richmond vs Greater Western Sydney (Marvel) 7:25pm Seven/Fox

I imagine you, like me, was shocked to learn AFL players were involved in an altercation in a nightclub.

Surely this has never happened before.

Apparently, they were coming to the defence of a girlfriend, which makes it all alright.

Woman of course need to be protected, almost always from men.

To paraphrase The Simpsons “To men! The cause of and solution to all of life's problems.”

I can’t speak with much authority on feeling the need to leap to my partner's defence, given women avoid me with a singlemindedness that on one level I respect.

Plus, I have little experience of nightclubs, the last time I went to one, I was mobbed by a group of women, who said “this poor elderly man has wandered into the club, he must be lost! Do you know where your nursing home is sir? Can we call your carer? Do you have one of those emergency alert buttons?”

I can’t decide what I’m angrier about, that the players didn’t just walk away, or that they all injured themselves in the fight.

Talk about bringing the AFL into disrepute.

It makes no sense. Both men are very fast runners, they could outrun anyone in a fight, which is always my strategy when it comes to fisticuffs.

Richmond have had enough losing this year already, they don’t want to extend that off the field, that’s Collingwood’s brand. Why is everyone copying the Pies?

Tigers to win.

Port Adelaide vs Western Bulldogs (AO) 7:40pm Fox

Second taking on third, in a game that should tell us a bit about how serious these two sides are.

Port last week took on the Crows in a matchup that made the Israel-Palestine conflict seem an even contest.

The downside of that nice rest was that they lost ruckman Scott Lycett for four matches due to suspension.

The AFL did not look kindly on him trying to murder an opponent in front of a bunch of cameras and onlookers.

Port are obviously a good side, but their loss to Brisbane still makes me wonder just how good they actually are, obviously we need to see a bit more of them against the top sides to get an idea.

Sorry, I should have written ‘see more data’ because that would have made me appear smart.

The Bulldogs have a few question marks over them too, after a loss to Richmond and a very shaky performance against Carlton.

But they didn’t lose to Carlton, and that’s what matters, winning. How you win is less important than people make out.

Winning in the AFL is quite hard. I’ve done some research, and did you know that even teams who have won premierships have lost games during the season?

Mind-blowing. Reading the footy media, I thought any loss in the season made you incapable of winning a premiership.

Port to win.


Essendon vs Fremantle (Marvel) 1:10pm Fox

Can Essendon narrowly lose to the Dockers? Their form certainly suggests so.

A Bombers supporting friend of mine says his relationship with Essendon is the worst one of his life. This person has been divorced four times, all ending in rather lengthy court battles.

But they’re right.

The Bombers have gone out of their way to destroy the mental stability of their fans, which was never that good to begin with.

Fremantle fans haven’t had it that easy either, their traditional loss to the Eagles was followed up with a loss to the Lions.

It was an unsurprising loss, given the Dockers put the goal umpire on Joe Daniher.

A loss to Fremantle would have the Bombers fans furious, so no big change there.

I think the Bombers will get it done though.

Melbourne vs Carlton (MCG) 3:20pm Seven/Fox

Patrick Cripps is tough, with news he actually passed away weeks ago but has still been playing.

The real story, I think, is he has a fractured back, although David Teague says it’s just sore.

Someone isn’t telling the truth.

I would have thought a fractured back is something that gets you a few weeks off, but I’m pretty soft. I take time off if I have light hay fever.

Melbourne will be hoping to continue their rather amazing start to the season.

People have spent the week telling me how an 8-0 start to the season is a bad thing and means you can’t win the premiership.

Who cares about the premiership in May? I’m just thrilled to not be constantly losing.

Winning a lot is great, I have some familiarity with the alternative and let me tell you, winning is better, like comparing full-strength beer to that mid-strength stuff they serve at the football that tastes like something died during the making of it.

Melbourne to win.

West Coast vs Adelaide (OS) 4:40pm Fox

The Crows are stringing together a nice run of losses at the moment, and they’ve done it on a platform of avoiding physical contact.

Look, it doesn’t seem like a great strategy, but then I’m no footy expert, and if there’s one thing in life I’m sure of, it’s that the Adelaide Football Club know what they’re doing.

The Eagles had some drama this week with Willie Rioli caught with cannabis at Darwin Airport.

As you all know, marijuana is a dangerous drug, it’s a gateway to snacks and falling asleep.

This is a real problem for AFL players, no other group of twenty-year-olds in society ever takes marijuana.

Personally, I’m against marijuana, why can’t people use legal drugs like alcohol, which has never caused any problems?

I had a mate who was a marijuana addict and let me tell you it was harrowing to see up close. The number of times I came home to find all the cereal had been eaten and him in a high state of relaxation on the couch.

I still have nightmares.

West Coast to win.

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May 14, 2021

Scientists have identified the world’s rarest condition. It’s called James Jordan Syndrome.
It only affects Melbourne players who haven’t experienced a loss.

Neil Ronaldson

May 14, 2021

so who are you tipping between Hawthorn and the Roos - or do you think no-one gives a rats? Me thinks no-one gives a rats anyway


May 14, 2021

Very funny stuff. Good work.

Fashion Doggie

May 14, 2021

'It reminds me of my footy nickname ‘burnt out Mitsubishi Magna’.
Reminded me of my nickname when I played at Seaton Ramblers, BMW. Blue Magna Wagon

Colin of Pascoe Vale

May 14, 2021

Great piece. I laughed a bit too. Have good weegend Titus. Hope your Demons win, and my Tigers.

Keith Martine

May 14, 2021

Very good Titus.
Excellent point about marijuana the gateway drug.


May 14, 2021

Thanks Titus, made my Friday even better. Laughed out loud several times - work colleagues wondered what I'm on. I'm sharing you with them :)


May 14, 2021

Comment of the column: "the Dockers put the goal umpire on Joe Daniher". GOLD!

The Ho Brothers (Brayden, Brody and Brock)

May 14, 2021

‘Sociopath who keeps trying to give themselves a nickname.’

He had multiple personality disorder, too?


May 14, 2021

Can’t wait for the commentators to tell me 63 times what was happening in the world the last time Melbourne were 9 and zip. Makes one think about attending a game live to get away from it all. Go Blues.


May 14, 2021

Just a slight correction Titus, The Mihocek mark was over Josh Walker not Ben Cunnington. I know they somewhat resemble each other but one has been delisted by 2 clubs and is a handy VFL defender the other is an elite clearance champion! you guess which one!!

Running Dog

May 14, 2021

Titus, the marijuana industry has gone up in smoke. Back in the day it was organic and natural. Now the hydro stuff is so full of compounds with chemical names longer than this sentence they can fry your brain and make you bark like a Doggies supporter. Stick with the mid strength. Woof.

Ben Cunnington

May 14, 2021

Fair crack of the old hair plug - I was not Mihocek's step ladder


May 14, 2021

There's nothing wrong with giving yourself a nickname...

Leon Raftopoulos

May 14, 2021

The best line you have ever written Titus! - "I can’t speak with much authority on feeling the need to leap to my partner's defence, given women avoid me with a singlemindedness that on one level I respect."


May 14, 2021

It reminds me of my footy nickname ‘burnt out Mitsubishi Magna’.
now that takes me back.

The g train

May 14, 2021

“Winning in the AFL is quite hard”. Exactly. If it was easy, then you’d have plenty of winners every round.

“Winning a lot is great”. Not convinced, Titus. Winning a lot creates expectations. Which are best avoided. Being “middle of the road” is the way to go. So, personally, I’m pretty relaxed and comfortable with STK’s season thus far. Happy if they win, and accepting if they lose.


May 14, 2021

Titus being a does supporter for many years I also have seen the other side of winning. I can remember when we did a lap of honour when we won the boss at the start of a game..and as far as nth.go I hear they have hit rock bottom AND ARE STARTING TO DIG .keep up the great work GO DEES

Poly mick

May 14, 2021

David Warner doesn’t realise it but he certainly dodged a bullet with his rumoured altercation with Michael Slater. Slats was once known by his former teammates as “ Sybil” after the film about a woman with multiple personalities. He could have been seriously outnumbered also Slats could have been inhabited by Anthony “the man “ Mundine. My hope is that Marcel Marceau is in the mix somewhere.

Bruno Borci

May 14, 2021

'tastes like something died during the making of it' - best description of mid strength beer ever.

Across the Face

May 14, 2021

@ Bruno Borci - I'm reminded of that Monty Python bit where the mother serves her family "rabbit fish" for dinner.

Son: Is it dead?

Mother: Well, it was coughing up blood last night!


May 14, 2021

Thanks again Titus as await with trepidation the game tomorrow at the Marvellous Stadium, not really a happy hunting ground for the Tigers. The Richmond strategy last week of reminding Jeremy Cameron of the 2019 Grand Final didn’t work .Hopefully that nice Toby Greene will remember the laugh he shared with Bacher at that game.
Bacher who should have won the Norm Smith in 2017 to celebrate his 200th for the Tigers.
It is not over yet

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