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.
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