Mar 19, 2020


A highly unhelpful guide to Round One


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 One.


Richmond vs Carlton (MCG) 7:25pm Seven

Of course, I waited until the last minute to write this. If the AFL can wait until the last minute to announce whether the round is going ahead, I can wait too, after all, being lazy, I’m not doing anything more than I actually have to.

Plus, my motivation at the moment is low. Having all my paid work for the year pretty much wiped out, I’m handling it through excessive napping.

If napping was an Olympic sport, I would win a gold medal and the good news is, the Olympics are apparently still going ahead, as is the AFL.

Personally, I’m pretty thrilled the footy is still on, we need some normalcy at the moment, and I’ve spent the last few days talking to people who either have lost their jobs or are about to.

Imagine if the politicians who have slashed funding to science in the past few years and have been slow to react to this thing, were also in danger of losing their jobs? I bet we’d see a lot more direct financial assistance flowing far quicker.

It seems the best approach if you’ve lost your job is to quickly start an airline and then watch the government support role in.

So, in this time of great uncertainty, we at least get one thing we can count on, Carlton losing to Richmond in the opening game of the season.


Western Bulldogs vs Collingwood (MS) 7:50pm Seven

Should the footy be going ahead? Well the AFL can only rely on the advice of the health experts and the government and trying to keep people in jobs should be a priority along with health, you’ve got to balance both as much as you can.

Cutting the quarters to 16 minutes plus time on is fine I guess; I just hope it doesn’t become permanent.

I’m not sure the chances of this season going the distance are good, however. Every time I open Twitter something else is being cancelled, I tried not opening Twitter but that didn’t seem to work either.

If we have no sport and am stuck at home, what are we meant to do? Ready books? Better ourselves? No thank you.

If we can keep the footy going, we at least have a chance of Collingwood having a bad season, which is the morale booster we truly need at the moment.

I’m tipping the Pies to win this one, however.


Essendon vs Fremantle (MS) 1:45pm Foxtel

Given we are talking about Fremantle, a reminder to stop panic buying toilet paper.

The only thing I got at the supermarket on my last trip was some practice in hand to hand combat.

Remember that innocent time when the only thing we talked about at this time of year was how early they’d brought back Easter eggs and hot cross buns?

Those were the days.

There were lots of things I liked about the days before Coronavirus. Like being able to go to the shops and there were things in the meat section and the toilet paper aisle. 

I also like that there wasn’t an air of panic when someone tried to talk to you. Actually, I always felt a sense of panic then.

Essendon fans will probably be hoping the season is cancelled because then they would have an excuse for not winning a final.

Fremantle fans are always happy not to have a season.

Essendon to win.

Adelaide vs Sydney (AO) 4:35pm Foxtel

Probably the most surreal thing about this round will be watching the footy being played in front of empty stands.

I’d suggest playing crowd noises, but I worry the person playing them would accidentally play the Richmond theme song during this, triggering the Crows players.

Not going to the football sucks, it was the only time I enjoyed leaving the house. I know staying at home is safer, but it’s not without its own risks.

Across the country, stuck at home, people are in real danger of having to engage with their families. Harrowing conversations with children about what they care about are ahead.

People are in real danger of learning about their spouse and children’s’ hopes and dreams.  

Divorces will skyrocket.

And where is the government on this? Non-sport related conversations should be banned.

Crows to win.

Greater Western Sydney vs Geelong (GS) 7:25pm Seven

It’s fun to make jokes about the Giants having no fans, mainly because it upsets GWS fans, but even they have more people than are legally allowed to gather.

Perhaps the scariest thing is that even a Greater Western Sydney crowd is considered too big.

Mocking the size of a Giant’s crowd is now a relic of a simpler time.

Perhaps even worse is the impact the financial collapse will have on the Geelong Football Club. It may be a decade until they will be showered again with government grants for being surrounded by various marginal seats. Gold plating Kardinia Park may now be decades away.

I imagine the Giants players will be thrilled to get back to playing, they haven’t played a proper game since the Preliminary Final.

Giants to win.

Gold Coast vs Port Adelaide (MS) 7:25pm Foxtel

My interest in previewing these games gets less as I go along, as the odds of these things going ahead gets less and less.

Plus, this one involves Gold Coast and Port, a match up that couldn’t even win over the Chinese, notorious AFL fanatics.

Port Adelaide’s whole sponsorship strategy is in trouble with China’s problems, and I can’t help but wonder if the virus is punishment for sending them Port Adelaide.

Gold Coast would have been right a few weeks ago believing this season couldn’t possibly be as bad as last year, but that’s how life works, the basement is always deeper than the ceiling is high.

A year of not watching the Suns would have been a blessed relief, now we don’t even get that.

Power to win.


North Melbourne vs St Kilda (MS) 1:10pm Foxtel

With all the uncertainty going on, it’s important to only get information from credible sources.

Currently, the best sources about the science of the virus and how to handle it, are: 

·      Bec Judd

·      That guy you know who just re-watched Contagion

·      Whatever your aunty is posting on Facebook

Stick to these and you should get through.

Obviously, the real tragedy is that Juddchella may not go ahead this year, denying us all the chance to mock something together. Sad.

I’d come up with some jokes about North and the Saints but I’m trying to figure out how to pay my bills, so I’m a bit distracted.

North to win.

Hawthorn vs Brisbane (MCG) 3:20pm Seven

Somehow this is all Hawthorn’s fault. I’m not sure how but I’ll figure it out.

I used to think the Hawk’s threepeat was the worst thing I’d ever live through. It still is. 

Brisbane would have been looking forward to this season, after their rather stunning rise.

That’s the problem with this situation, we don’t know how long it will go for, and we can’t plan much.

Humans don’t do well when we don’t have something to look forward to. It makes us lack a sense of purpose. It’s why BT being unable to call the footy is not even cheering us up.

Let’s all agree, when this is over, we’re going to have the biggest party this world has ever seen. It’s going to last months.

Lions to win.

West Coast vs Melbourne (OS) 6:20pm Foxtel

Perhaps the only real winners in all this are Melbourne, who don’t have to face their nemesis, Eagles supporters.

An empty Perth Stadium should see the free kick count approach something close to fair.

As a Melbourne supporter, I can’t believe it’s this season and not all the others this virus has impacted.

Many a year I’ve prayed for the season to end early.

This year the Dees actually worked hard in preseason, a new approach and one that may now go unrewarded.

I’m tipping the Eagles.

Stay safe everyone. We’re in this together, although separately at the same time.

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

It would be really helpful at the moment given I have no income and I’m keen to do things like eat. Find out more here:


Phil Cook

Mar 19, 2020

“The basement is always deeper than the ceiling is high”. Plato would’ve been proud of that one


Mar 19, 2020

You stay safe too Titus. This was one of your best. People get sacked everywhere, but the most devastated industries by far are service & entertainment ones. Hope you get some gigs mate. Qantas just announced 2/3 staff laid off, I wonder what the percentage of highly paid executives against flight crew & admin staff is?
Anyway looking forward to the footy, though I have a feeling this will be the last week.


Mar 19, 2020

”Actually, I always felt a sense of panic then“
Good to have you back Titus. I’m going to buy your book.

Tricky Cat

Mar 19, 2020

I thought it was Plato with a hat


Mar 19, 2020

Love it mate!

To help you in this hard time I encourage you to add ads to your posts.

While it may not cover the mortgage it may help with a few bills, stay safe!

Michael John Duggan

Mar 19, 2020

Good to see you back again

Justin Karcher

Mar 19, 2020

Its always reassuring to see the AFL has the fan top of mind. Stadiums closed but no mention of possibly airing another match or 2 on free to air to give us a chance to watch our boys go round and also support their sponsors with more commercial air-time.


Mar 19, 2020

Unlike certain football teams Titus, you are getting better with each season. Thanks


Mar 19, 2020

Coronavirus is the least of our worries. It’s the Moronavirus that’s Australia’s greatest threat! Next people will want refunds on their memberships to fund extra toilet roll hoarding...


Mar 19, 2020

I’ve finally consolidated my sale of Quilton 4 ply Gold on eBay and thus have triggered the Bronze level subscription.
And with public health funding being so rosy at the moment I’m sure there will be no problem in providing some emergency non-Covid 19 health care to the two pensioners I had to elbow aside. Luckily I only had to elbow one elderly couple aside in the Limited Paper Products aisle as this was the last stock in the postcode of Eaton. The old bloke in the wheelchair and oxygen bottle was dead-easy but the old lady took a fairly good hip and shoulder. She followed up with a very slow roundhouse to my noggin but I did tread on her bunions and that took all the fight out of her....imagine being a pensioner AND wanting to shop later than 8am in the morning? What’s the country coming to?
Anyway I’m sure my chaps at Apple Pay will notify you with the good news. Now, if we could get 1000-10,000 people to tip in then our comedy quotient for this “year of all years to not be a ‘real’ year” would be fully funded. And on that note why oh why have you not submitted some applications to Bridget who used to over at Department of Pork Barrels & Other Agricultural Nomenclature? Could have saved us all some money there if you got funding for some sort of Sports Program or perhaps a new Women’s Changing Arena onto your lovely pied t’erre at your Toorak address. Or installed some pokies (no sexist pun intended).
What if you were to start an airline specialising in “Air Parties For Asymptomatic Sufferers” (whereby they received federal funding for supporting the tourism industry as would your new airline) using some of the laid off Qantas staff, some of the soon to be subsidized zfund management company that owns Australia’s airports (thanks Mr M. Turnbull for putting through this transition years ago when he was owner/operator at Macquarie Bank)where these unsanitized jets would fly from unsanitized airports carrying asymptomatic Covid 19’s on never ending flights for 14 days?
You need a business model where everything gets federal funding.....staff, customers, phones and internet, buildings, sanitizers and federal ministers.
Anyhow just some unsanitary thoughts just hours out from the bounce.
Hope that financially you can find your way through this morass.
Living down here it always feels like being in quarantine so nothing to fear except oldies carking it too soon, the world’s economy tanking and the fire season never ending.
Ps. Sorry about the length of comment but “voice to text” has just fallen in love with me and won’t stop rubbing my leg.

Mad Dog

Mar 19, 2020

Titus. Your assertion that the government has slashed science funding is wrong. Some of it gets shifted from one area of research to another. It's just a left wing media trope of no value. It is worth saying that the Australian governments spend on science is $10 billion...per year.

Also your assertion that politicians "have been slow to react to this thing" is incorrect. Your second favourite Prime Minister, Scott Morrison was labelled a racist for reopening Christmas Island detention centre so as to quarantine Australians returning from Wuhan, and criticised also for overreacting. He reopened the place in late January. Remember that?

It is not a fluke that Australia has been more successful than other countries at limiting infection rates and deaths.
There have been hundreds of effective decisions made by government which has taken a granular and decisive approach based on expert advice.
Go harder earlier? Risk even more life threatening panic? There are no perfect decisions even with the benefit of hindsight.

But I guess everyone is now expert in the obscure science of pandemic management. It's like Monday every day of the week currently, which is fun when it comes to sport but....

I'm not convinced you are actually in this together with everyone. Empty criticisms of the government acting on the best advice doesn't help in any way.

It would be great to find a website that is not preoccupied with COVID-19.

Your value to us all is your humour and your personal take on the AFL.
Especially now when the media is full of catastrophe and doom, it is good to have a clean escape for a brief time.

Mad Dog

Mar 19, 2020

....having said all that, the humour around dealing with the pant-wetters at supermarkets etc. is great fun.

Chris H

Mar 19, 2020

Welcome back cause I’ve missed you, nope it’s your comments that I’ve missed. I have missed you really I have. To be honest I don’t know how it will be watching any game with no supporters. It’s the game that is important but the supporters, the getups & the way they carry on are hilarious. But the season is here finally so let the best team , go Pies

Whiskey Bravo

Mar 19, 2020

Hey Titus - normally love your work but I didn't see a single player's name mentioned (unless Bec Judd is now on the half forward flank for the Blues). Any chance we might get an actual preview?


Mar 19, 2020

SO happy to have the guide back, I look forward to seeing them every week, happy to have them back!


Mar 19, 2020

It will be interesting to see if the lack of crowds impact home-town umpiring.


Mar 19, 2020

Something else to ponder.
1. Why do airlines suggest that fans can rebook tickets to away games before anyone has a clue when this might be? I don't travel across the country to visit relatives if football is not involved.
2. If the MCG has to move to cricket in mid October, and the second largest stadium in the country is due to commence redecorating after SOO in June, what does this mean for Optus Stadium?

David George

Mar 19, 2020

This season as it stands plays right into the hands of Gold Coast, GWS, North Melbourne & St Kilda. Teams that are used to not playing in front of fans.


Mar 19, 2020

Titus. Is it normal to say normalcy. Isnt it normality. BTW i reckon Margetts Dalgleish and Rosebury will umpire at Optus. That should keep the local affirmation firmly in place


Mar 19, 2020

Hey Titus, with your advocacy of gambling irresponsibly, will the points bets on games be adjusted to allow for 20% shorter game time? A 40 points plus bet, ought be brought back to 30 points shouldn't it???

Paul Buchanan

Mar 19, 2020

I reckon I'm a lock for the Guess the Crowd comp tonight!


Mar 19, 2020

Hawthorn’s fault?? Ever since Hawthorn stopped winning premierships Trump has been in office, we’ve had devastating bushfires and now this! We need hawks to win this season!


Mar 19, 2020

Get your hand off it, Mad Dog.


Mar 19, 2020

Just when I thought everything would be o.k. because the footy has started becvause that would give me something else to focus on, other than empty shelves at the supermarket.

Listened to ScoMo's speech, whst a wonder he is but someone ought to have the heart to tell him, we are already in a recession as Qantas puts lays 30,000 employees. Uh Oh here we go, thank god for footy if King Gilly can keep it happening.

Tiger Nap Time

Mar 19, 2020

Well I heard this whole silly virus thing is only deadly to those with compromised wealth...


Mar 19, 2020

Good to see your unhelpful guide is back! Bringing a small sense of normality back into the picture, although I have to disagree - not having BT calling games has brought a measure of cheer and I’m hopeful this virus is the death toll for the roaming Brian segment

Garry M Schut

Mar 20, 2020

With the real and dire threat of no footy at all this year I decided to strike up a conversation with the missus. Seems like a good bloke.

Rhys Mc

Mar 20, 2020

Hey Mad Dog - leave the satire to Titus!

If Scotty@marketing had any economic sense he wouldn't have handed Virgin & Qantas, $750 million. They both played him for a sucker when they took the money and then terminated the majority of their staff.

Rhys Mc

Mar 20, 2020

Hey Mick - "What's home town umpiring?"
Is this something my team is missing?
The Giants get screwed where ever they play - and more so at Giants Stadium.


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