May 20, 2022
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Ten
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 Ten.
Carlton vs. Sydney (Marvel) 7:50pm Fox Footy
It’s the Sir Doug Nicholls Round, which goes over two rounds, so don’t get confused when it keeps going next week.
The AFL could have called it the ‘Sir Doug Nicholls Rounds’, but it’s the AFL and making things easy is not really their thing, as anyone who has been on their website knows.
This year’s round (which goes for two weeks remember), coincides with the 30th anniversary of the 1992 Mabo decision.
Not only did that recognise that ‘terra nullius’ should not have been applied to Australia, but it also gave us this immortal line:
“In summing up, it’s the constitution, it’s Mabo, it’s justice, it’s law, it’s the vibe and aah no that’s it, it’s the vibe. I rest my case.”
Currently Carlton’s ‘vibe’ is a little more positive than any non-Blues fan would like.
It’s round ten, and instead of falling down the ladder in a series of comedic incidents that surprise and delight the rest of the AFL, they are in the top four.
Sydney sits just one rung on the ladder below them, so this is a top eight clash that might be good to watch. It must have been accidentally scheduled on a Friday night.
Imagine if Friday night games were regularly good and didn’t start at 7:50pm?
I know I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
I’m tipping Carlton, that way if they win, I’m happy I got my tip right, and if they lose, I’ll be happy anyway.
Geelong vs. Port Adelaide (GMHBA) 1:45pm Fox Footy
Huge news for Geelong with Gary Rohan returning from injury.
Well, not huge. Just news really. But you can’t just say ‘news’. It’s not exciting enough.
Perhaps if I wrote ‘EXCLUSIVE: Rohan returns’.
That’s better. I know it’s not an exclusive, but it sort of is, in that now ‘exclusive’ has lost all meaning.
The only people who care if an AFL story is an exclusive are AFL journos, and not even all of them care.
Geelong’s problem is they’ve rushed Gary Rohan back. If you are in desperate need of Gary Rohan, you’re in trouble.
Port have picked themselves up off the canvas, winning four in a row.
Two of those wins were against West Coast and North Melbourne so really, they’ve only won two games in the last month.
This will be a true test for the Power, who after their rather poor start can’t afford to lose games and travelling to Geelong is not ideal.
They’re like the student that has left their essay to the last minute they better hope the power doesn’t go out.
Cats to win.
Western Bulldogs vs. Gold Coast (Mars) 1:45pm Fox Footy
You did read that right, but this isn’t being held on Mars, but somewhere less hospitable to humans, Mars Stadium in Ballarat.
It’s easy to get confused.
For years, I wondered why Elon Musk kept banging on about colonising Mars. I mean, I know people that live right near it.
It didn’t seem that big a challenge.
It turns out the richest man in the world isn’t interested in colonising a regional footy oval in Victoria but the fourth planet from the Sun.
And look, that makes more sense.
It’s on me that I got that wrong.
With that issue sorted out, the next question is ‘are Gold Coast good?’
There is some evidence for it.
In the last fortnight, they’ve defeated the Swans in Sydney and Fremantle. That’s very impressive.
And now they face the Bulldogs, who haven’t been impressive.
They lost to Port Adelaide a fortnight ago, which is not something good teams do.
Even bad teams beat Port Adelaide.
And the last time they played on Mars, they lost to the Crows. The Crows!
All this adds up to me tipping the Bulldogs, because I like my tips to be free of two things, thought and accuracy.
North Melbourne vs. Narrm (Marvel) 4:35pm Fox Footy
I can’t believe the Melbourne Football Club have rebranded for the next two weeks to the Indigenous name for Melbourne, ‘Narrm’, as part of Sir Doug Nicholls Round.
How can you even temporarily get rid of a name as sacred as Melbourne?
I’m outraged. It’s lefty virtue-signalling gone mad.
The name Melbourne is sacrosanct. It honours William Lamb, the 2nd Viscount Melbourne.
He was Prime Minister of England twice and brings a lot of gravitas to our city name.
For instance, he was a strong supporter of slavery and saw it being banned as a "great folly".
Wait. That’s not good.
Ok, stay with me, his wife has a very public love affair with Lord Byron. It was his wife who coined the phrase "mad, bad and dangerous to know" about the poet.
This embarrassed Lamb as he knew about the affair and didn’t leave her and the press labelled him a cuckold, which is a word I wouldn’t recommend googling at work.
She then published a best-selling novel about her affair with Byron, which went through everything in forensic detail.
But that’s not his fault. It’s still important we honour him.
Oh, here’s a positive, in 1834, King William IV appointed Lord Melbourne as the Prime Minister due to the fact he was the “least bad choice.” So that’s good…
And before we feel too bad about the city and the football club being named after a man whose wife had an affair and didn’t care if everyone knew, was against banning slavery and became Prime Minister because he wasn’t as bad as the other options, William had his own things going on.
Historian Boyd Hilton wrote of William, "it is irrefutable that Melbourne's personal life was problematic. Spanking sessions with aristocratic ladies were harmless, not so the whippings administered to orphan girls taken into his household as objects of charity."
Oh. That’s not good.
Perhaps the footy club could extend the use of Narrm beyond two weeks and the Kangaroos could become North Narrm?
How is your work going? If it’s a bit tough and you feel like you’re struggling, just remember Jaidyn Stephenson just got dropped from this North team, and that’s for the second time this year.
If you’re on North’s list, I would think it would be harder to get dropped than selected.
Having watched North play, I’d assumed the only selection criteria was you had watched a game of Australian Rules football on the TV at least once in your life.
Narrm to win.
Adelaide vs. St Kilda (AO) 7:30pm Fox Footy
The Adelaide Crows have fallen off a cliff in recent weeks, losing three in a row, all by big margins, with their arguably best player being a 32-year-old who has only recently returned from being suspended for racial abuse.
That all said, this is not the worst position the Crows have been in recent years.
It’s not an ideal position to be in though as they face St Kilda, who steadied the ship last week with a win over Geelong.
The win came with a cost, however, with Jack Steele having surgery this week and Jack Higgins going through covid protocols again.
Dan Hannebery has flown back from Munich this week where he saw Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt, who is a renowned soft-tissue doctor.
It’s hoped throwing more money at the problem will fix things and it’s important because at 31-years-old, Hannebery has an incredibly short career ahead of him.
I’m tipping the Saints.
Richmond vs. Essendon (MCG) 7:30pm Fox Footy
Dreamtime at the G is always a great event, except for this year because Essendon are a basket case, even by their own lofty standards.
They’re a club that has never really come to terms with the whole drug scandal, with some thinking it was a shameful moment for the club, while others still argue nothing happened.
Such diametrically opposed views don’t make a strong foundation to build on.
It was much easier when they could just focus on hating Hawthorn.
A lot of Bombers supporters have said to me this year ‘we really need Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti back’, so naturally, he retired.
While all of us enjoy watching Essendon fall apart, losing McDonald-Tipungwuti is a sad moment.
He was a truly fantastic player.
Richmond have improved significantly in recent weeks, and Dustin Martin's return has meant speculation has switched from him retiring, to him moving to Sydney.
The Tigers have been sanguine about the rumours. You can be sanguine when you’ve had enormous premiership success.
You can also be sanguine when you know Dusty’s salary is so high no Sydney club can fit him under their salary cap.
Note to self, google ‘sanguine’ to find out what it means.
Tigers to win.
Fremantle vs. Collingwood (OS) 5:20pm Fox Footy
Losing to the Gold Coast last week was a rare misstep in what’s been an impressive season for Fremantle.
The good news from their strong start is the Dockers will get some prime-time games in the upcoming rounds, meaning many AFL fans will learn there is a second team in Western Australia.
Add to this the fact Nat Fyfe is back training and Dockers fans are experiencing something bordering on happiness.
And the good news continues for Fremantle, with Mason Cox named to play this weekend.
Jamie Elliott also returns which is good news and it will be good to see him run around for the next few weeks before the next injury.
Dockers to win.
Greater Western Sydney vs. West Coast (GS) 2:10pm Fox Footy
The Giants have appointed James Hird to their coaching staff, as the AFL community continues to pretend the Essendon drugs scandal was just all a big misunderstanding.
With numerous questions still unanswered and Hird’s at best mediocre coaching record, I can see why the Giants are so keen to rehabilitate him.
The good news for Mark McVeigh in his first game as caretaker coach is he gets to face West Coast.
The Eagles have confirmed they will be fielding a team of footballers of varying levels of competency and have guaranteed they will be there on time.
Giants to win.
Hawthorn vs. Brisbane (UTS) 3:20pm Fox Footy
Hawthorn have lost four in a row and are about to make it five, but the good news doesn’t end there.
They also announced they’d sold one of their two pokie venues this week in a step towards getting out of them.
The AFL and its clubs are doing well getting out of pokies, and they need to make bigger steps to cut their dependence on gambling in all its forms.
Luckily, there are other non-gambling sources of advertising income emerging, like crypto and NFTs.
Brisbane are cruising at the moment and shouldn’t be troubled here.
Their only loss has been to Geelong in Geelong, and that was by just 10 points.
The Lions did lose to Hawthorn in Tasmania last year but they’re better than last year.
In fact, they haven’t had this good a start to a season since 1948, as Fitzroy.
Only two things can stop Brisbane this year, Melbourne and Monkeypox.
I’m tipping the Lions.
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