Jun 08, 2023
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Thirteen
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 Thirteen.
Sydney vs. St Kilda (SCG) 7:20pm Seven/Fox
Lance Franklin will become the 22nd player to reach 350 games tonight.
It was 2005 when Lance Franklin debuted.
Back then, the Pussycat Dolls asked us if we wished our girlfriend was hot like them, the first ever video was uploaded to YouTube, and the Live 8 concerts were held for Make Poverty History.
Spoiler alert, it did not make poverty history, and the joke was on the Pussycat Dolls, I never had a girlfriend.
Since then, Lance has kicked 1057 goals and won four Coleman medals, with two premierships thrown in for good measure.
That’s more premierships than St Kilda have won in their existence.
Last week, the Saints lost to Hawthorn, which is not in the ‘things are going better this year’s narrative.
It is in the ‘why do these things keep happening to us’ narrative Saints fans know all too well.
I’m tipping the Swans.
Western Bulldogs vs. Port Adelaide (Marvel) 7:50pm Seven/Fox
A win here and the Power will have won ten in a row! Not bad for Ken Hinkley who was scheduled to be on the verge of being fired right about now.
Instead, his team is second on the ladder and playing some of the best football in the league. Not bad for a team that got smashed in Round Two by Collingwood and lost the Showdown in Round Three.
Usually that would be the end of the Power for the year, but no! They start winning all the time, like they’d forgotten it’s possible to lose games.
It’s all very odd.
Now they face the Bulldogs who may not have won ten games in a row but have lost two in a row, which could be the beginning of a streak.
The Bulldogs have been good this season, but you feel they are one Marcus Bontempelli injury away from being in trouble.
They have the depth of my thought process.
I’m tipping Port.
Hawthorn vs. Brisbane (MCG) 1:45pm Fox Footy
There’s been talk this week that the AFL could still punish the Hawks for their handling of their racism investigation.
What the AFL would really be considering is if to punish the Hawks for handing them an enormous problem.
And why would they be annoyed? Because either Hawthorn had a bunch of the most heinous racism going on, or the people accusing them are lying, and it’s some cash grab.
Or it’s even more complicated than that.
The truth is almost all of us don’t know.
Either way, getting to the bottom of that will be a nightmare.
The AFL looked at it for five minutes, realised this and then dodged it faster than Neo dodges bullets and now they are considering punishing Hawthorn for dragging them into it at all.
And that is leadership!
Brisbane to win.
Adelaide vs. West Coast (AO) 4:35pm Fox Footy
West Coast have ruled out Nic Naitanui for the rest of the season in a brutal blow to their finals hopes.
It keeps the dream alive that by the end of the season, every single Eagles player will be injured.
If there’s any good news for Eagles fans, it’s that there’s such a massive volume of bad news for them; this news is barely worth registering.
Like a mechanic looking at your written-off car and telling you the sun visor squeaks when put down.
The Crows need a win here as they keep losing one week, winning the next, resulting in them sitting in ninth.
Worryingly for them, the Eagles showed signs of life last week. Sure, it’s like someone in a coma momentarily groaning, but it’s something.
Taylor Walker reaches 250 games this week and it’s impossible to see him not celebrating with a win here.
Fremantle vs. Richmond (OS) 7:25pm Seven/Fox
Four wins in a row have taken the Dockers from staring down the barrel of a disastrous season to being poised to mark a charge into the eight.
The Dockers are without Sean Darcy due to injury and Jaeger O’Meara is suspended for a dangerous tackle, which looked suspiciously like a tackle.
That’s the AFL tribunal for you though, making it up as they go along, free from oversight.
Richmond pulled off a heroic victory last week against the Giants, but then the Giants aren’t good.
Perhaps the biggest sign the Tigers are in for some tough times is that Damien Hardwick seems incredibly happy not to be coaching Richmond, with plenty of happy snaps appearing of him travelling the globe.
It’s like an ex posting a lot of images after the breakup to show how much happier they are.
I get you’re happy, Sophie; how many times do I have to apologise for the multiple incidents?
I’m tipping the Dockers.
North Melbourne vs. Greater Western Sydney (BA) 3:20pm Fox Footy
Weirdly, Brett Ratten might be in the best coaching position of his career.
To start with it’s not St Kilda, and even better, it’s not Carlton. On top of this, there are almost zero expectations of him.
At 2-10, North Melbourne are expected to basically show some improvement but not enough to risk high draft picks.
He’s already doing that. There’s been significant improvement, while they’ve also avoided winning and ruining their draft position. The substitute ‘blunder’ was pure genius.
Plus, he’s just a caretaker, there until Clarkson returns, which could be years away if at all.
The Giants have this year have formed an informal partnership with the NRL’s Canterbury Bulldogs.
It’s a smart move and should happen more. The NRL have so much they can teach AFL clubs about creative accounting, and the AFL can teach the NRL about how to conduct an investigation that clears everyone.
I’m tipping North.
Carlton vs. Essendon (MCG) 7:15pm Seven/Fox
Like Blur vs Oasis, this rivalry was a big deal back in the nineties.
Both were at the top of their game, and people cared what they were up to.
Since then both teams have lived off that reflected glory, wistfully wishing they were back there, hiring messiahs to make this happen immediately.
Essendon appear to be the one getting their house in order, but at the same time, their last three wins have come against Richmond, West Coast and North Melbourne.
Carlton if anything, appears worse this season, as Michael Voss proves again that as a coach, he was a great player.
This might shock you, but the Blues appear to be being torn apart by factions within the club!
What a new development! You’d think the main purpose of a club would be to win, but at Carlton, it’s to keep your powerbase within the club, even if it’s a mess of club.
Essendon’s factions are calm at the moment, but they are not exactly well known for their patience.
I’m tipping Essendon.
Melbourne vs. Collingwood (MCG) 3:20pm Seven/Fox
It’s the King’s Birthday clash, which still seems weird to say. More realistically, it’s Neale Daniher’s day, which would be a much better future name for this clash.
After all, the Danihers are a much better Royal family.
This was to be a Grand Final preview a few weeks ago, but the Dees have looked a bit off the pace in recent months.
Their performance last week against Carlton took up more of my phycologist’s time than it should have.
The Pies, while in great form, had their own issues last week, with Jordan De Goey pulling a Jordan De Goey.
It’s a loss, but the Pies are a unit and can cover for him. They just run all over you and have the energy of a teenager at their first nightclub.
They’re just a fantastic side and I hate it.
The Dees do get Clayton Oliver back, and if they’re going to show they’re the real deal this year, this is the moment to do it.
I do briefly entertain they idea that it would be fun to watch Brodie Grundy dominate the Pies while they pay for it, but I think the Pies are going to win here.
Bye: Gold Coast, Geelong
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