Jul 07, 2022
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.
Geelong vs. Melbourne (GMHBA) 7:20pm Fox/Seven
It’s the last Thursday night game of the regular season, and we have an actual top-notch game!
The floating fixture works! What’s that? They’ve got rid of it?
You mean to tell me the AFL had something the broadcasters liked, but the fans didn’t, and they listened to the fans?
Are they alright?
What other things can we get them to do?
I’d like it if they got the price of taking a family to the footy below three iceberg lettuces.
Geelong didn’t miss Tom Stewart last week, but then they could have sent out five players and probably got across the line against North.
And Stewart is a big out, given last year, the Cats didn’t fare that well against the Dees without him.
The good news for Geelong is they get Joel Selwood back and they got a light, non-contact training session last week.
Melbourne instead are travelling to Geelong after a five-day break off the back of a trip to Adelaide.
As a Dees supporter, I could read a conspiracy into this, but knowing the AFL schedule department, no one there is competent enough to run a conspiracy.
The good news is Max Gawn and Luke Jackson are both returning for the Demons.
That’s 4.07 meters worth of players returning!
Melbourne has not yet hit the heights of last season yet, and Geelong has improved, making this a tough one to pick.
I’m tipping Melbourne.
Sydney vs. Western Bulldogs (SCG) 7:50pm Fox/Seven
Sydney lost to Essendon. Essendon!
I mean, I still can’t really believe it, even though I saw it with my own eyes. Add to that the fact they lost to Port Adelaide a few weeks ago and these are not the actions of someone about to go deep in September.
And by losing those, they are now in real danger of dropping out of the eight.
Now they face the Bulldogs, who are rueing a bad start to the season, and there’s nothing worse than rueing something.
Why, I rue so many things it consumes about 90 per cent of my thoughts.
If you’re ever wondering (and you never would be), what I’m up to at any point in time, sitting around rueing something would be the correct answer.
These sides are hardly going to give you a sense of confidence if you tip them, they’re like Derek in our office who can’t even use pivot tables in Excel. What a loser!
I’m tipping the Swans.
Collingwood vs. North Melbourne (MCG) 1:45pm Fox
Another win for the Collingwood Football Club, and it’s getting alarming now.
There was further good news for Pies fans this week as Darcy Moore announced there’s no structural damage to his knee.
There are three things in life you don’t want the term ‘structural damage’ used in relation to, your knee, your house, and the economy.
The only thing I want to structurally damage is the patriarchy and institutionalised racism. What a great guy I am! #Ally
North have decided to bring Jason Horne-Francis back through the VFL after his suspension, a move that could see them lose this game!
I’m tipping Collingwood.
Gold Coast vs. Richmond (Metricon) 4:35pm Fox
Dustin Martin ignored reporters as they attempted to doorstop him this week, leading some media commentators to claim it was disrespecting Tigers fans.
I’ve spoken to a lot of Richmond fans, and they agree, saying the incident has ruined the recent premiership era, their love of Dusty Martin, and has them questioning if they will even follow football anymore.
Such is the respect footy fans hold the footy media in. And why wouldn’t they?
Arguing amongst themselves, constantly reporting on pointless things, mistaking themselves for the story; footy fans are well served by the footy media and won’t have players ignoring them.
If it’s a choice between a three-time Norm Smith Medallist and premiership hero, and a journalist they don’t know, Tigers fans will pick the journalist every time.
The Tigers have more outs this week than the Boris Johnson’s cabinet, with Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin, Noah Balta and Nick Vlastuin all outs.
My computer keeps trying to autocorrect Gold Coast Suns to ‘Gold Coast Sins’ which I’ve decided is a better name and the club is welcome to it.
The Sins gave Stuart Dew a two-year contract extension this week for stopping them from being completely awful.
Even better it seems players want to stay there, and players are actually improving, revolutionary things up there.
I’m tipping the Sins.
St Kilda vs. Fremantle (Marvel) 7:25pm Fox/Seven
That win against Carlton has turned things around for the Saints, but you can’t rely on your opponent to kick so inaccurately that even Saints fans were impressed.
Fremantle have had issues with goalkicking in recent years but relying on your opponent to self-sabotage, while working more than you think, is not a long-term strategy. Although I’ve seen a few marriages based on this approach.
But a win against Fremantle would do wonders for the Saints as they hang around outside the eight like a bunch of teenagers asking people to buy them alcohol.
Fremantle however are the REAL DEAL this season, with a great defence and Andrew Brayshaw, who they should already be planning a statue for.
The big question here is around the Saints. Are they the side that won last week, or the one that played some of the worst footy of the season a few weeks ago?
A lifetime of experience teaches me that when it comes to backing the Saints, it’s best not to. I’m tipping the Dockers (which a lifetime of experience has also taught me not to tip.
Port Adelaide vs. Greater Western Sydney (AO) 7:30pm Fox Footy
It’s the battle of the two teams who should have done better this year but didn’t.
The ‘I’m no angry, just disappointed cup’.
You could make an argument the Power can still make finals, but that’s a tough argument. Like arguing North should be allowed to play 11 games in Melbourne and 11 games in Tasmania.
You can make it but no one else is taking it seriously.
The Giants focus seems to be who is going to coach them next year.
Alastair Clarkson keeps being discussed and given the Gold Coast has signed Stuart Dew for two years, his options are narrowing.
To me, Hawthorn are the best fit for Clarkson, but would they consider such an untried coach at such a big club?
I’m tipping the Power.
Brisbane vs. Essendon (G) 1:10pm Fox Footy
The AFL tribunal has said for just $2500 you can push a player into an umpire!
That seems a reasonable price for me, given Eric Hipwood used the move to free himself up for a goal.
My hope is we now see that move used constantly, with the money going to a charity the umpires support, like the Guide Dogs.
Essendon are coming off a victory! This is only the fourth time I’ve been able to write that this season.
There’s even talk of Clarko going there. If I remember correctly, Bombers fans love Clarko.
Personally, I couldn’t support Ben Rutten more and the job he’s doing at Essendon.
I can’t see Brisbane being troubled here. The Lions are a top team as long as they’re not at the MCG.
Hawthorn vs. Adelaide (Marvel) 3:20pm Fox/Seven
I’m not normally one for writing serious things, but I was saddened to hear of the passing of Ray Gunston, father of Jack and long-time AFL administrator this week.
Ray was always good for a chat when I saw him, and he and his wife Mandy were a great laugh at AFL functions.
You wouldn’t always know it from these columns, but there are some really good people in footy and we’ve lost one in Ray, and I hope his family is doing as well as they possibly can at the moment, and I offer my sympathies.
Now it’s hard to go from that to making jokes about this game, but luckily, it’s Hawthorn v Adelaide, so I’ll leave it to them to do the comedy.
West Coast vs. Carlton (OS) 4:40pm Fox Footy
West Coast are no longer the instant four points they once were, and for Carlton that’s super annoying.
What was a floating bye is now an actual match which seems unfair.
The Blues are not exactly in free fall, but things have been a little wobbly in the past month.
Last week their goalkicking had their fans tearing their hair out. Losing here would see them tear if all out.
And it’s possible.
The Eagles have got players back and last week there were moments the Tigers couldn’t get a centre clearance.
A month ago, Carlton would have been sure things, but now, I mean who knows?
I certainly don’t, but then my tipping is neither bad enough to always tip against me, and not good enough to always tip with me.
Like everything I do it’s just average and unhelpful.
I’m tipping the Eagles.
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