Jul 08, 2021


A highly unhelpful guide to Round Seventeen


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 Seventeen. 


Port Adelaide vs Melbourne (AO) 7:40pm Seven/Fox

Melbourne have broken the glass and called Ben Brown up to try to save the mid-season slump that has Demons fans again reaching for what they consider ‘the cheap stuff’, Penfold Grange.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a perfectly good cooking wine, but I wouldn’t serve it to guests.

Brown’s not the perfect fix for Melbourne’s issues; getting smashed in the clearances is not something Brown can help them with.

But the big positive for the Dees is they perform well against the top teams, while Port Adelaide do not.

Yet if ever the Power are going to show they can compete against other finalists, it’s in this game. Melbourne have been more unsteady than a kid learning to ride a bike.

The true test of this Demons side is that when things start to go pear shaped, they don’t collapse in a heap and go into hiding like our Prime Minister.

If they do bounce back, they will do something Demons fans have rarely seen.

I’d love to tip them, but I’ve been at this too long, I’m tipping the Power, but how I wish to be proved wrong. 


Essendon vs Adelaide (MS) 7:50pm Seven/Fox

For a team with a lot of positive vibes around them, the Bombers have still lost three of their last five games, and this week they’ll be without Dyson Heppell, who had surgery on his thumb this week.

Essendon have done a lot to secure their stars of the future off the field, extending the contracts of Zach Merrett and Darcy Parish and now they’re trying to lock in Jake String, on a high incentivised contract.

It makes a lot of sense for the club, they want to buy the good Jake Stringer we see on occasion, not the ineffective one we see more regularly.

For Stringer, it’s a less appealing offer, even though he’s been more consistent this year. 

He’ll probably be hoping another club, desperate for a key forward will come to the table with a less incentivised contract. Someone like Collingwood, but I doubt the Pies would be that silly, their list management being such a strength in recent years.

The Crows are currently searching for a new home base and are expected to bid for the former Brompton gasworks site.

I hope they get it, nothing would please me more than the Crows new headquarters being literally built on top of hot air.

Essendon to win.


Hawthorn vs Fremantle (UTAS) 1:45pm Fox

Oh dear. Things have really escalated at the Hawks, with them firing Alastair Clarkson and replacing him with Sam Mitchell.

Oh yes, I know it’s technically a ‘coaching transition’, but Clarko didn’t want it, and effectively he was told his contract wouldn’t be extended beyond 2022, which to me is being fired.

Jeff Kennett has never been comfortable with Clarkson, a man who never kowtowed to Kennett and that made Jeff feel like he wasn’t the most important person at the club.

You can just hear Jeff in the Hawks board meeting.

Jeff: “What has Alastair Clarkson ever done for us?”

“Rebuilt our team from being a joke in the competition?”

Jeff: “Oh. Yeah, yeah. He did do that. Uh, that’s true. Yeah.”

“And the 2008 premiership.”

Jeff: “Yeah. All right. I’ll grant you rebuilding our club and the 2008 premiership are two things that Alastair Clarkson has done.”

“Then there’s the premiership threepeat.”

“And turning us into a financial powerhouse.”

Jeff: “All right, but apart from rebuilding the club, the 2008 premiership, the threepeat and turning us into a financial powerhouse, what has Alastair Clarkson ever done for us?”

“A lifetime record of 225–156–2.”

Jeff: “Oh. A lifetime record of 225–156–2. Shut up!”

Coaching transitions can work of course, it’s just it seems for them to do so, they need the senior coach to be a key driver, not have them thrust upon them.

All the Hawks have done is sack a proven coach, arguably the greatest of all time, for an unproven coach. Calling it a ‘transition’ is an insult to Hawks fans.

It could work, but it’s riskier than going to the pub and telling your mates you’ll just have one.

Hawks to win, it’s Clarko’s last game after all. 

Carlton vs Geelong (MCG) 4:35pm Fox

Can Carlton win three games in a row? It theoretically possible, it has happened before I think, it was so long ago.

The good news is this is a home game, avoiding Geelong in Geelong is always something to be relieved about.

The Cats though have a few issues, mainly Jeremy Cameron’s hamstring, although I’m hearing Geelong’s medical team have cleared Jeremy Cameron to play.

I’m just glad Geelong’s medical team is not in charge of our Covid response. They’d probably be calling for the end of Sydney’s lockdown. 

I really feel for the people of Sydney, lockdowns are worse than Channel Seven’s commentary team, and for all the interstate bickering, the fighting between governments, it’s the average punter that cops it.

It’s the feeling of complete powerlessness in lockdown that grounds you down, like no matter how much you do the right thing, there’s another group of people not helping. It’s like barracking for a club with an inept board, something Carlton fans can relate to.

I’m tipping Geelong, although just quietly, I wouldn’t clear Cameron to play. 

Brisbane vs St Kilda (MS) 7:25pm Seven/Fox

St Kilda’s season is back on with an impressive ‘barely beating Collingwood’ display. 

You’ll pardon my scepticism, but the Saints have hardly resurrected their season as I’ve seen some people claim.

And playing Brisbane is a fair step up in class from the Pies, like going from flying a kite to a F-18 Hornet.

Technically both go up in the air, but the similarities drop away pretty quickly after that.

The Lions still strike me as the team most likely to win the premiership, their one flaw being the fact their key forwards are about as consistent as the temperature of McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets.

I mean, sometimes they’re so hot and delicious, and other times they’re cold, hard little rocks. 

What gives McDonalds? Get your act together.

Lions to win.


Greater Western Sydney vs Gold Coast (Mars) 12:40pm Fox

The Suns beat the reigning premiers last week, but upon hearing their song, I can see why they avoid winning too often. Calling it a song is a bit like calling Hotdogs a celebrity.

It has the line in it “We play to win the flag for you”, which is patently false.

Perhaps a small tweak if I may, “We play to receive bailout packages from AFL House.”

And in this match they face their fellow expansion team, the one they are always unfavourably compared to, like comparing Coca-Cola to LA Ice Cola. 

The Giants had a huge win over Melbourne last week, the most worrying thing out of that for Melbourne supporters is Simon Goodwin was outcoached by Leon Cameron.

The biggest take out of that game though was the Giants willingness to fight. If they keep that up, they’ll be a real headache in the finals.

Giants to win.

Western Bulldogs vs Sydney (Marvel) 3:20pm Seven/Fox

The Western Bulldogs have locked in Simpsons tattoo canvas Tom Liberatore for two more years.

It’s a key signing. Watching Liberatore’s extract the ball is like watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel, it’s a work of art and he does a lot of it while in the most uncomfortable of positions.

A win here would go a long way to solidifying the Bulldogs hold on the top spot.

Yet Sydney were excellent last week, although it was against an Eagles side that appeared tired from waving the white flag so much recently.

Not since the French army in 1940 has a group offered so little resistance.

The Swans won’t get that here, this will be very close I imagine, I’m tipping the Bulldogs.

Richmond vs Collingwood (MCG) 4:10pm Fox

Losing to the Suns hurts, but for the Richmond faithful, following that up with a loss to Collingwood would hurt more than diving into a pile of salt while covered with a thousand papercuts.

Richmond have now lost three in a row but it’s against which teams they’ve lost three in a row that’s the problem.

West Coast, St Kilda and Gold Coast.

That’s actually difficult to do.

The Pies were terrible last week, the score line flattered them because St Kilda took the last quarter off.

Robert Harvey hasn’t exactly filled the supporters with a lot of confidence, the only positive of the past two weeks a few have told me, is that there’s now no chance Harvey will get the job full time.

Who could the Pies get? Clarko is free, but he’s not exactly friendly with some of the top people over at Piesland. 

I wonder if Nathan Buckley is free? Might be worth asking the question.

As to who wins this, well, it certainly no heavyweight fight. More two drunks going at it in the carpark, something that does happen at Richmond-Collingwood games.

I’m tipping Richmond.


West Coast vs North Melbourne (OS) 7:40pm Fox

Five days of footy, as the league tiptoes through the minefield that is border restrictions in the time of Covid.

West Coast were medevac’d out of Geelong after the absolute mauling they got from the Swans. 

The only positive being that surely, they can’t play that badly again? Right? Right? 

I wouldn’t bet the house on it, or even something of minor value.

To lose to North Melbourne in their home stadium would surely signal the Eagles have fallen to their lowest point since they entered the league.

North have been slowly improving too, but the Eagles at home is still a challenge, at least it should be.

Capacity at the ground has been raised to 100 percent, but after last week, why would you want to watch this team? If they lose here to the Kangaroos, the booing could be so loud it will be heard as far away as Iceland. 

I’m tipping the Eagles.

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus



Jul 08, 2021

...and go into hiding like our Prime Minister.

Do we have one of those? All I ever see is a flim-flam man making announcements, wearing hi viz vests and proroguing parliament.

Norman Saucebottle

Jul 08, 2021

There's been a lot of press about Essendon's impressive turnaround. Fair enough, they're having a fantastic year so it's not surprising to read that they've recruited brilliantly, resolved their coaching issues, re-signed the stars that were about to leave and developed an impressive new game plan. Well done Bombers. There seems to be a typo in the AFL ladder though - it says that Essendon are 12th.

Holden Broke

Jul 08, 2021

Ross Lyon was sacked by Freo 2 season’s ago, Titus, so It’s OK to stop hating the Dockers now.

Sad Sainter

Jul 08, 2021

The certainty is at some point the Saints will stop. But will they stop because they know they are going to lose or because they think they have done enough to win? Against Brisbane, sadly I'm thinking the former.

The g train

Jul 08, 2021

“…like comparing Coca-Cola to LA Ice Cola”. Terrific metaphor. For me, with Coca-Cola—you simply can’t beat the feeling. It’s the real thing and adds life to everyday living. Simply put, Coke is it (coca-cola that is). However, I definitely do not want to buy the world a coke, that would be silly. But I would buy the world an LA ice cola. Out of spite.

Richmond have now lost three in a row…West Coast, St Kilda and Gold Coast. That’s actually difficult to do”. If something difficult is achieved, that should be applauded, rather than ridiculed. If they next lose to Collingwood, that would be beyond difficult. I’ll be the very first to honour and respect their genius if they do lose.

Amino Man

Jul 08, 2021

Love the fact the you continue to see the lighter side of the chaos that is the AFL season.
Great analogy of Lions forwards compared to McNuggets.
Please don't dampen your fans enjoyment by getting political.
It just brings out cynics like "Bloke form the outer".

John Nicholls

Jul 08, 2021

That Sistine Chapel bit one of your best

Mark S.

Jul 08, 2021

"....nothing would please me more than the Crows new headquarters being literally built on top of hot air." -
Me too, Titus. Me too.

Roger and Margy’s neighbour

Jul 08, 2021

Two of the many things we love about Titus is his a) drawing on a wide range of references to colour his writing often with lashings of irony and b) whatever he chooses to use. Herein lies the exquisite joy of irony Amino Man, it is often an observable fact that some choose not to see. Truly ask yourself this…is Titus wrong when offering his opinion of this PM or wrong when observing this PM’s behaviours? I’d argue neither. Titus may be brutal about the mighty Blues but I won’t his argue his right to write his column how he wishes or that he may be mostly correct about their season…up until now.


Jul 08, 2021


Thanks for the compliment.

Darren Elias

Jul 08, 2021

Any chance of a credit to the crew at Monty Python there, Titus? Love your work and the re-boot was very well executed, but at least you could tip your hat at the original, sheesh!


Jul 08, 2021

Titus keep up being political , apolitical , biased ,unbiased and above all ironical cynical and humorous It is better than the lame stream media!!!


Jul 08, 2021

Love the smiles you bring Titus. Thanks :)


Jul 08, 2021

People are too quick to criticise Robert Harvey. Prompted by watching the Tour de France he is delivering the innovation Pies fans seek: the introduction of the sprint finish.

Tip Rat

Jul 08, 2021

Literally not one sane Saints supporter has claimed the season is back on track. Having said that there aren’t that many sane Saints supporters left.


Jul 08, 2021

Don't worry, Buckley won't be available any time soon. He'll be trumpeted as a 7 commentator just in time for the finals. By next May we'll all be wishing he was still coaching


Jul 08, 2021

Tip Rat—“As for St Kilda, it’s hard not to see them go all the way this season.” (Mr T O’Reily 10 days ago). It’s not clear what Mr O’Reily meant by StK going “all the way this season”. And true, he’s not a Saints supporter. But whatever he meant, I reckon he’s on to something. Big.

Strength Through Ignorance

Jul 08, 2021

...and go into hiding like our Triple A Rated Smart Arse from Marketing
I had to ask what assonance was

Jim Tilbrook's cheque

Jul 08, 2021

Titus, I am astonished that your readership has not picked up on your detour into String theory, when analysing the Essendon/Adelaide game: "Jake String, on a high incentivised contract"

String theory provides a unified description of gravity and particle physics and is a candidate for a theory of everything, a self-contained mathematical model that describes all fundamental forces and forms of matter. On that basis, his request for a 4 year contract seems more than reasonable.

Darren J Ray

Jul 08, 2021

Love your work, Titus. The bonus is the comments as well as some of the pseudonyms. Jim Tilbrook's Cheque LOL.

Clarko will be coaching Carlton next year with Ian Aitken as Chairman of Selectors. You heard it here first.

Floreat Pica

Jul 08, 2021

@Darren Elias,
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. . . Big nose :-)

Daniel Flesch

Jul 08, 2021

And here's me thinking Titus is a gentleman of class , taste and discernment then he goes and admits to eating Maccas garbage. Surprised , disillusioned and disappointed.

Colin Willington

Jul 08, 2021

How do I sign up to your emails?

Running Viking Dog

Jul 09, 2021

Bit late to this party, but then again I'm in Iceland. Titus, please don't say or do anything to encourage the West Coast Booers to get any louder. We don't want it to interfere with rehearsals for the spontaneous Viking chant we bring to the Euros and the World Cup. Spooks the cr*p out of the other teams.


Jul 09, 2021

Oh Titus. Ye of little faith. Also on wildly inappropriate lines from club songs. “We’re the team that NEVER lets you down” would have to take the cake!

Jacqui Parry

Jul 09, 2021

Priceless Titus- one of your best posts ever!! So glad the Dees were able to make your dreams come true and win against your tip that Port would take the chocolates 🍫

Just call into Gosch’s paddock and thank “Big Max and the Milestoners” I believe even a bottle of Grange would be OK if you had a spare in the cupboard.

Absolutely loved the win last night at the Thuggery, including the spectacular plays by Alir Alir (you don’t need the lights on when Chanda is on the paddock) he was outstanding as were our whole squad. Port mauled is but we played footy- footy players won 😻🔥😻

Keep up the great work Big T

Vaccinated with nowhere to go

Jul 11, 2021

Thank heavens you’re a Dees supporter, where we love the game not the odds… coz your unhelpful guide took truth in advertising to a level the TGA would be proud of…. No beers were offered for completion of this round.

Dees win. Dogs lost. Atop the ladder again and it’s not coz all the tradies who were essential workers are now asymptomatic with COVID and I’m doing my own painting. Will enjoy a week of looking down still scared of the fall. Lid still firmly on, but stopping for a moment to enjoy the view.

Pope Paul VII

Jul 19, 2021

Are you alrighty? Titey?

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