Jul 26, 2019
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Nineteen
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 Nineteen.
Collingwood vs Richmond (MCG) Seven & Fox 7:50pm (All times AEST)
In what I can only assume was a scheduling blunder by the AFL, we have a good game on a Friday night.
Collingwood has been up and down in recent weeks; Nathan Buckley explained their form as being like a patchwork quilt.
Typical Nathan, always bringing everything back to his love of quilting. His Etsy shop is really something to behold; his stitch work is as disciplined as he once trained. His style reminds me very much of the Broderie Perse style of quilting that became popular in the 18th century.
I’m not sure many footy columns mention the Broderie Perse style, and they are the worse off for it.
What the Pies patchy form does do is make this difficult to tip, and the Tigers form has been being particularly un-quilt like in recent weeks.
Richmond are heading into the finals with a potent forward line, an experienced squad and a Tiger bandwagon that has remained full since 2017.
Their bandwagon hasn’t had full occupancy for this long in decades, if ever. It’s normally been like a seasonal town, either completely empty or booked to overflowing.
Consistency, something never previously associated club, has become the norm. It gives you faith that any of us can turn our lives around. At least that’s what I tell myself when I’m wide awake at three in the morning and wondering why no one likes me.
Tigers to win.
Hawthorn vs Brisbane (UTS) Fox 1:45pm
Another good game with the red hot Lions taking on the in form Hawthorn.
The Hawks are walking a tightrope to make finals, but if anyone can do it, it’s them. I know every footy fan is keen to see them do it. Watching the pain and suffering the Hawks fans have been going through is tough.
They’re just not conditioned to failure. Unlike myself. I can handle failure in dosages that would kill a normal person, but that’s because I’ve been conditioned since birth.
Watching a Hawks fan experience a bad year is like going out with a friend for a drink, the night after they’ve finished dry July. They’re just not conditioned for it.
Brisbane fans are a bit more used to failure, after all, their glory years were back in the early 2000s.
You feel old when 2003 is considered a long time ago. The other day I met someone who didn’t know who Kurt Cobain was. When pushed, they said, “Was he one of the astronauts that landed on the moon fifty years ago?”
I might as well be in a nursing home.
Brisbane to win.
Carlton vs Adelaide (MCG) Fox 2:10pm
Speaking of landing a man on the moon, Carlton achieved no less a difficult feat last week, two wins in a row.
If they win three in a row, David Teague will have done something as difficult as putting people on Mars.
His chances have been helped massively by the fact they face the Crows.
Adelaide are terrible. At least they have been over the past months. I spoke to a couple of Crows fans this week and the way they spoke, I came away surprised Don Pyke hasn’t been indicted for war crimes.
Last week against Essendon, they were embarrassing. In response they’ve dropped Eddie Betts, hoping that will fix things. I think things might run a bit deeper than that.
These two teams have been linked all year through the preseason trade that saw Carlton giving the Crows a first round pick that was the number one pick for a long part of the year.
Teague has ruined that, and he can disappoint Crows supporters some more this week, and I think he will.
West Coast Eagles vs North Melbourne (OS) Fox 4:35pm
North’s loss last week sees them unlikely to play finals. They’ll certainly need to win here and the rest of their games to have any chance.
It’s unlikely. Playing the Eagles at home is never fun, but strange things happen in footy.
West Coast was a bit shambolic against the Dees in Alice Springs last week, and if Melbourne had kicked straight, the result could have been very different.
That certainly means North could beat them. If the Dees get, that close anyone can.
The Kangaroos are a tough team too. Last week Scott Thompson played through the pain of a ruptured testicle.
How do you come back on after that? I’d never play footy again if that happened to me.
A ruptured testicle should be no laughing matter, but somehow it is inherently funny as long as it doesn’t happen to you.
As Mel Brooks once said, “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”
Eagles to win.
St Kilda vs Melbourne (MS) Seven & Fox 7:25pm
I’m going to this game, and I really don’t know why.
Both teams are rubbish, and it’s at Marvel Stadium. Truth is I’m going because I don’t want to be alone again on a Saturday night and by going to this I’ll at least be surrounded by people as miserable as me.
Shane Warne this week said he’s keen to get more involved with the Saints, which makes sense given his success running his own charity. Shane’s brother will make a great CEO of St Kilda.
Melbourne, my favourite charity, announced they’d secured Darren Burgess as their new strength and conditioning manager this week.
This is a bold step for the Dees, who have forgone strength and conditioning this year. Now they just need to hire someone to teach kicking, handballing, defending, marking, effort, football nous… there’s quite a list.
Saints to win.
Port Adelaide vs Greater Western Sydney (AO) Fox 7:40pm
Both these teams have been off the boil in recent weeks. Well, I’m not sure Port has ever been on the boil, but as anyone who reads this column regularly knows, I’m nice to a fault.
The way the Power, who were once a real finals chance, have just dropped off late in the season would be driving the Port fans bonkers.
The Hinkley era was meant to be the renaissance for the club, but instead, it’s been, well, just nothing. They’re the Seinfeld of the AFL, a footy team about nothing.
Greater Western Sydney certainly made a statement last week when the belted the living suitcases out of Collingwood, and they’ll be hoping that’s a return to form, not just the fact that the Pies’ form in recent weeks has been, well, like a patchwork quilt now I think of it.
The Giants though have all the tools to win here. They’ve still got a strong midfield despite some serious injuries and a potent forward line, plus they’re playing Port.
Giants to win.
Western Bulldogs vs Fremantle (MS) Fox 1:10pm
The Bulldogs did themselves no favours last week against St Kilda, and finals now look difficult.
A win here will help, as the Dockers are technically in the hunt for finals too.
Not that you’d know it by their recent form. They’ve turned in some of the most embarrassing performances of the year in the past few weeks.
The rumours Ross could be headed back to St Kilda are cruel. Why give Dockers fans false hope like that? I mean, sure we all mock other teams’ fans, but it’s meant to be good natured.
What will be worth watching is the return of Dale Morris who is back just 19 weeks after partially tearing his ACL.
The man is 36 years old if you count age for robots.
His toughness threatens my manhood on a very personal level. I stubbed my toe last week and have been on crutches ever since, despite my doctor telling me there is nothing wrong with my toe and I’m ‘just a sad man who is not as funny or clever as he thinks he is and needs to toughen up.’
Bulldogs to win.
Sydney vs Geelong (SCG) Seven & Fox 3:20pm
Sydney’s season has gone about as well as the Masterchef judges’ pay negotiations.
The irony of George Calombaris complaining about pay is so delicious I can barely handle it. Like Wayne Carey this week telling Jaidyn Stephenson what is and isn’t a good look.
The lack of self-awareness is breathtaking.
Having insight into your own flaws is probably overrated. So often those that seem oblivious to how they are perceived end up leading their countries.
The problem of being self-aware of your flaws is it cripples you. It makes you fail before you begin.
I’ve always been too aware of my faults. A tendency to make people uneasy, looks that are non-threatening but not bad enough to make me interesting, a laziness that permeates everything I do, a tendency to self-sabotage, fits of jealous rage, a fondness for non-craft beer.
On the plus side, I’ve learnt to manage all this by rarely leaving the house.
Anyway, what we talking about?
Oh, Geelong to win.
Gold Coast vs Essendon(MS) Fox 4:40pm
We have to face reality people; Essendon are highly likely to play finals this year.
It has crept up on us, but now it’s almost here and barring some miracle, like the Suns actually winning this, we have to be ready.
Essendon, like Carlton, reminds me of long-dormant volcanoes. The longer they don’t erupt, people become complacent, forgetting just how arrogant their fans were when they actually won things.
As the years pass, people get complacent. But some of us who were around when these teams won premierships regularly, remember the pain of fronting their fans every Monday morning.
I would prefer a full body wax than go back to those times.
It may seem like these teams will never threaten us again but that’s humanity’s short-sightedness.
On a geological timeframe, these teams will erupt again, they’re probably overdue, and when they do, the lava will slowly engulf us all leaving behind nothing but a hellish landscape.
Essendon to win.
Titus is touring around the country in the upcoming months, visiting Canberra, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Hobart and Brisbane. Tickets available here: http://www.frontiercomedy.com/titusoreily
Titus’ new bookPlease, Gamble Irresponsibly: The rise, fall and rise of sport gambling in Australia will be out on 5th November 2019. You can pre-order it now.