May 13, 2022


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.


Collingwood vs. Western Bulldogs (Marvel) 7:50pm Seven/Fox

Let’s start with the big footy news straight away, Bailey Smith is no longer single.

It’s a blow to anyone with a heart, and I must admit, while the crying has stopped, the ache in my soul has not.

I know it’s silly. It was never going to work out between us, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.

Now I must write to this column even though my heart is lying broken in a billion tiny pieces on the floor.

The Pies are in the news again as Héritier Lumumba and Nathan Buckley traded blows on social media, and Lumumba released partial audio recordings of discussions between the two.

I live in constant fear of audio recordings of myself being leaked.

To give you a sense of why, here’s a short example of a discussion I had yesterday:

Me: I just felt you listened, but never actually heard me, and I know I get worked up at times, but I just thought you could have at least tried to understand where I was coming from.

Manager: Sir, this is the McDonald’s drive-through, I need you to either order or move your car out of the way.

Pies to win.


Hawthorn vs. Richmond MCG 1:45pm Fox Footy

My concerns that Hawthorn were improving were put to rest last week when they lost to Essendon.

This was an Essendon side that had previously looked like they were being made to play football at gunpoint.

But then Hawthorn played the Bombers back into form, giving us another reason to not like the Hawks.

Tom Mitchell is going to be rested this week, and at 28, you have to assume he is carrying an injury.

Perhaps he could follow Damien Hardwick who has revealed he uses medical marijuana for chronic back pain.

I assume the ‘chronic’ part of the back pain is a nod to Dr Dre.

I think every AFL coach should be on marijuana, given how stressful the game is.

I’d like to look up at the coaches box during the game and not be able to see anyone due to the compression session going on in there.

Richmond to win.

North Melbourne vs. Port Adelaide (Blundstone) 2:10pm Fox Footy

David Noble understands how stressful footy is, after being forced to apologise for yelling at his players.

This is a bit like a ship apologising for floating.

Apparently, he yelled at his players after they lost by 108 points to Brisbane.

I saw that game and you’d have to be on something a lot stronger than marijuana to have not yelled.

I was yelled at a lot growing up. By the day nanny, the night nanny, the wet nurse, the butler, all of the maids and my boarding school headmaster.

The only people who didn’t yell at me were my parents, but that was because I so rarely saw them.

And all that yelling made me the man I am today.

Sure, I have a twitch in one eye, experience regular spontaneous crying, self-medicate with alcohol way too much, have trouble forming connections with people, can’t sleep with the light off and find it hard to be alone and with people,

But you know what? It made me resilient.

Port Adelaide are back on track, at least they’re on some sort of track after wandering lost for the first few rounds.

Drawing North right now is just what they need, after this they’ll be 4-5 and their season won’t be a complete disaster, just a mild one.

St Kilda vs. Geelong (Marvel) 4:35pm Fox Footy

Two losses in a row has Saints supporters sandbagging their hearts against the rising flood of disappointment.

I spoke to a Saints supporter this week and it went like this:

Me: I don’t think you should panic just yet.

Saints supporter, chain-smoking: Titus. History tells me I was right to panic weeks ago. Screw you now that you’re happy.

Me: You make some strong points.

Being a Saints supporter should instantly qualify you for medical marijuana.

After ending Leon Cameron’s coaching career, Geelong get Joel Selwood and Rhys Stanley back for this one.

At the moment the Cats are winning a game, then losing a game, in what I believe is a deliberate attempt to ruin everyone’s tips.

It’s a week-on-week off type situation.

Not that I need any help getting my tips wrong, to do that, I just draw on the fact I am a massive idiot.

Cats to win.

Sydney vs. Essendon (SCG) 7:25pm Seven/Fox

The Sydney Swans lost to the Suns.

I’m not sure what further analysis we need to do. It’s basically season over.

They should play the kids, trade Buddy, and tank for draft picks.

Now they run up against the Bombers who surprised everyone, but mainly themselves, by not losing a game of footy.

Now at an imposing 2-6, the Bombers have sent a clear message to the competition, ‘if you don’t play the fourth quarter at all, we may beat you.’

With their new game style of not actively beating themselves, can the Bombers win here?


Adelaide vs. Brisbane (AO) 7:40 PM Fox Footy

A Saturday night game, the timeslot the AFL would love to have the Grand Final in.

Not because the fans want it, but because their ‘commercial partners’ want it.

I seem to remember all the fans paying memberships for two years despite barely being able to go, and the AFL can’t even wait one year before moving the Grand Final.

The AFL and its fans relationship makes Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s look loving and stable.

Adelaide are positioning themselves perfectly for a big collapse.

It’s not so much the losing, but the absolute beltings they’ve copped over the past fortnight.

One of those was against the Giants who just sacked their coach, not a great sign.

With the ship taking on water, Matthew Nicks threw five players over the side for this game.

He needed to as many players looked less like passengers and more like people who had got on the completely wrong train.

Brisbane fans will be thrilled to see Eric Hipwood return from injury, which is handy given both Joe Daniher and Dan McStay are both out injured.

I’m tipping Brisbane.


Gold Coast vs. Fremantle (Metricon) 1:10pm Fox Footy

The Suns ruined everyone’s tips last week by beating Sydney, and now I don’t know what to think about them.

They’re meant to start well, then plummet off a cliff.

A win here would certainly make things interesting for them.

Up against them is a player they got rid of, Will Brodie, who has reacted to being traded like a dog being rescued from the pound. He couldn’t be happier.

The Suns traded him to make salary cap space, but watching him go from strength to strength elsewhere can’t be fun.

The main aim of managing a list is to get rid of bad players and keep good players.

It’s amazing how many list managers struggle with this.

Fremantle have about six players coming back from covid protocols this week, and that’s after everyone getting a rest against North.

The Dockers are now past the point of surprising people. They’re 7-1 and have a higher percentage than Melbourne.

No wonder Dockers fans are losing their minds. Two of them got ‘Flagmantle’ tattoos this week.

I wouldn’t have thought a lifetime of supporting Freo would lead to you having that much confidence.

Dockers to win.

Greater Western Sydney vs. Carlton (GS) 3:20pm Seven/Fox

Leon Cameron has stood down as coach of the Giants in an ‘amicable parting’, two words that rarely go together.

Long-time assistant coach Mark McVeigh will coach the side and apparently, James Hird has offered to step up, which must be of great comfort to all involved.

The big talk was that Alastair Clarkson is interested in returning to coaching but says he will only do it if he feels he can guide a club to a premiership.

That’s a good reason. So many other AFL coaches are just in it for the free tracksuits and the ability to yell at young people, and that’s now under threat.

Carlton’s season has been going so much better than anyone expected or wanted, but this week, Harry McKay went down with a knee injury.

He will be out for at least six weeks and it’s hardly the news any Blues fans wanted.

Even me, who is old enough to be scarred by Carlton once being a good team, doesn’t like seeing their top players going down with injuries.

When Carlton fail, I want it to be on merit.

I’m tipping the Blues.

West Coast vs. Melbourne (OS) 5:20pm Fox Footy

Max Gawn has been named to play in Sunday's game against West Coast.

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. Find out more here:


Fancy Pants

May 13, 2022

Have West Coast enquired about the margin against them if they just forfeit? Or are they confident they can beat Max on his own? I think they should take the forfeit.....


May 13, 2022

"No wonder Dockers fans are losing their minds. Two of them got ‘Flagmantle’ tattoos this week." Shouldn't that read"Both of them..."?

Bundy Jack

May 13, 2022

I never know what would be better, use Titus’ tips and come middle of the pack in tipping comps, or, not use his tips and come half way. Like supporting St Kilda, dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t!


May 13, 2022

I think the Dees would still win if they acted like the Dees supporter stereotype and had brie and shiraz at half time, hell, even during match play. I'd love to see Max Gawn in a ruck contest with one hand trying not to spill his glass of Penfolds 389.

The g train

May 13, 2022

Titus is as funny as ever. BUT feel he has lost his depressing acerbity because of
Melbourne’s recent great success. Smug contentment has set in. Although not quite happiness. The past therapeutic benefits of reading Titus’s column are now missing—when you were cheered realising that there are others even more miserable than yourself. Titus—please become a StK supporter. And once again walk the path of endless misery, doubt and despair.

Yes, those awkward conversations at the McDonalds drive-throughs are always….awkward.

Stick with The Suns. Last week was no fluke. They’re a different team this season.


May 13, 2022

“Manager: Sir, this is the McDonald’s drive-through, I need you to either order or move your car out of the way.”
Did you move your car or order someone else to?🤷‍♂️

Saint Peter

May 13, 2022

Quick get on the Saints against the Cats. Put your house on it, borrow against the equity, go visit your loan shark, sell your mum & dads house. This one cannot lose. Titus has picked the Cats. Thank you.

Running Dog

May 13, 2022

"With the ship taking on water, Matthew Nicks threw five players over the side for this game. He needed to, as many players looked less like passengers and more like people who had got on the completely wrong train."

It is highly likely indeed that the ship was taking on water if it was actually a train- those things don't float too well.


May 13, 2022

Just when things look like roses for the Blues we cop 6-8 without McKay and the dreaded ‘dead cat bounce’ of GWS inevitably playing their hearts out for deceased coach Cameron Ouch 🤕

Bobby Simpson

May 13, 2022

As a Dees fan in WA, who happens to have COVID the 1 week they are in Perth this year, and has not actually witnessed a victory over the big birds is that the only consellation is that it will be an absolute trouncing. Walked out of The Passion of The Christ because it was so over-the-top brutal, was worried i would have to do the same had i gone to the game.
Love your work Titus.

Con Cushion

May 13, 2022

Turn it up Titus .... repeating the two words Onion Rings over and over could easily be code for Nathan's got a closet!! Con.


May 13, 2022

As a Freo fan with no tattoos I might get one. Something like “cautiously optimistic for a change, for the time being at least but not confident that it will last” would sum up where I’m at perfectly.

Blown Magnet

May 13, 2022

"I seem to remember all the fans paying memberships for two years despite barely being able to go, and the AFL can’t even wait one year before moving the Grand Final."

So true Titus, so true.

All the fun of the fair

May 13, 2022

Petedocker: had a very similar tattoo when engaged to a lovely young lady. And no, it didn’t last. She dumped me when when a great future beckoned and the promise of a magnificent marriage was never fulfilled. Have been miserably single since, but always hopeful that I might get engaged once again—and even married one day. But at 76 you start to lose heart.


May 13, 2022

Well Matt, You've got that Melbourne stereotype all wrong. Brie never goes with shiraz. A softer red, like pinot noir or champagne or aromatic white. And really Max Gawn with a Penfolds 389 in hand (generally known as poor man's Grange). Nothing less than Grange or Hill of Grace for Max in a ruck contest. Leave the 389 for the Carlton wannabees.

Stuey Maxfields guernsey

May 13, 2022

So much gold here I can’t pick which bit to plagiarise


May 13, 2022

BIG FELLA. I know someone had to play the dogs back into form so it may as well been the filth (at half time so far ) so i just hope the dogs can continue the form they have now found. Okay so the dees have the bye this week so maybe we do rest a couple but nah flog them and build the %. Poor norf have the dees next and if noble cant yell at them again i fear the players are going to run the club like the aussie cricketers got rid of justin langer.. GO DEES


May 14, 2022

Agreed Titus. The lure of the opportunity of yelling at young people in large groups several times a week drew me back into coaching also. You should see the looks on the faces of the Hervey Bay Bombers mixed under 12’’s. Apparently the junior committee are keen for a catch up during the week.

Poly mick

May 14, 2022

Speaking of audio Titus we haven’t seen you up here in the Emerald City for a while surely you aren’t still scared of offending those two drive by shooters fans?

Merlin’s Mother

May 14, 2022

Max is playing the house down this year but I am pretty sure he would be shouting his other little mates a trip to Perf for a Surf’n’Turf and besides this year’s selection strategy is:

1. Select Bowsa in every game
2. Select TMac in every milestone game .
3. Give everyone else on the squad a fair crack at the sauce bottle.

Chocco tucks them all in the night before every match and the “system” takes of itself.

People out East think the Eagles are cooked but they clearly haven’t seen the WAFL - chocka block full of talent you just never know who or what will turn up when you have to call for volunteers. Eagles are doing it tough (who hasn’t) but in a year or so all of the youngsters that pulled on an Eagles guernsey will show the benefits of a crack at the big time.

Then there’s always the weather- anything could happen and probably will - so we won’t be giving Max a red before the game - not a good look for the kiddies who get to the game.

Go The Mighty Dees!!


May 14, 2022

Thank you for picking Geelong Titus.
I enjoyed the win.