Aug 23, 2019

AFL

A highly unhelpful guide to Round Twenty Three

28 Comments

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 Twenty Three. 

Friday

Collingwood vs Essendon (MCG) Seven & Fox 7:50pm

The final round of the season is upon us. For some, the excitement of finals is almost here, for others, it’s the relief they won’t have to watch their team anymore.

The Pies are continuing their attempt to have every possible injury in a single year. 

In a sentence I never thought I’d get to write; Steele Sidebottom will miss this game after he had surgery for a ruptured testicle.  

It occurred during practice, proving Collingwood train harder than a lot of AFL sides play.

That’s the second ruptured testicle in the AFL this year. Thankfully they didn’t both occur to the same player.

And what’s the AFL doing about this trend of ruptured testicles? Sitting on their hands.

I’m expecting Steve Hocking to introduce metal codpieces any minute now.

Both these sides will play finals, so this is only important for where they finish in the eight and as a tune up for the finals.

Essendon have in fact decided to rest Dyson Heppell, Jake Stringer and Orazio Fantasia so they’ll be well rested for the Bombers week one finals loss.

Collingwood to win.

Saturday

Sydney vs St Kilda (SCG) Fox 1:45pm

The Swans will say goodbye to Jarrad McVeigh and Kieren Jack after this game and celebrate Lance Franklin's 300th game.

How many more games does Buddy have in him? I’m an optimist here and think it could be as many as six.

It’s regularly debated if Buddy has been a success for the Swans, and I think he has been. The plan was clear, you need two key marking forwards to compete in the AFL, just look at West Coast and Richmond. 

Unfortunately for the Swans, they got Buddy, which was good, and then Kurt Tippett, which wasn’t. 

They got half the job done, something I’m very familiar with.

As for the Saints, the sacking of Ross Lyon has many St Kilda fans terrified. It was bad enough when they knew Brad Scott was floating loose out there, but Ross too?

I’ve long said I wouldn’t wish being a St Kilda fan on my worse enemy and this just proves my point.

As for the game itself it means not a lot. Brett Ratten would love a win to cement his chances of getting the job full time.

I’m tipping the Swans.

North Melbourne vs Melbourne      (BA) Fox 2:10pm

I was surprised Melbourne’s season was still going and judging by the way the players went about it last Friday, they too were not aware the season was still going. 

Now they’re off to play the Roos in Tasmania in a game more pointless than a circle.

It’s a sad insight into how much I’ve got going on in my life that I’ll still watch this. I’m not sure when psychologically torturing myself became a hobby but it’s pretty well entrenched now. 

Thankfully there just one game to go and then I can rest my weary soul. The Dees are apparently going cap in hand to the AFL asking for more help. 

I’m not sure how many times you can go back to the AFL and say ‘sorry, we completely stuffed up again.’ At some point you start to look careless.

Jordan Lewis finishes his playing career this week. Lewis tried to bring a winning culture to Melbourne, but like some kidney transplants, the body rejected it.

As for North, the season was hardly a success with few highlights. In fact, the highlights are easy to list: 

·      Sacked Brad Scott

North to win.

Geelong vs Carlton (GMHBA) Fox 4:35pm

The Cats lost top spot last week and can only regain it if they win here and Richmond beat Brisbane, both possible scenarios.

Winning in Geelong is never easy, but if the Blues do win, the Teague train will look like one of those trains in India. 

The Blues can throw everything at this to, they don’t have to worry about the next week. 

Carlton fans can finally enter a summer looking forward to next season. I had that feeling once. It was nice. 

What will be interesting for the Cats is to see if their coach has gotten over the massive sook he had after losing to the Lions. 

I’ve seen toddlers with more composure. I guess no one has ever accused the Scott brothers of being gracious. 

The Cats’ second half of the year shows why they are so desperate to play their finals in Geelong, they’ll need every advantage they can get.

Cats to win.

Gold Coast vs Greater Western Sydney (MS) Fox 7:25pm

One thing that’s always bothered me, is when people quote the movie Field of Dreams.

I’ve lost count of the amount of times someone has said to me ‘If you build it, they will come.’

People love quoting this, especially management consultants, the professional idiots of the world.

But the movie quote is “If you build it, he will come”

‘He’. Not ‘they’.

If you build it, one person will show up, not a group of people. If people quote it correctly, they would know that creating a new sporting franchise somewhere impractical won’t attract a multitude.

The AFL have learnt this from the crowds there two teams have attracted. As I often tell people, study Field of Dreamsclosely enough and all life’s secrets will be revealed to you.

Giants to win.

West Coast vs Hawthorn (OS) Seven & Fox 8:10pm

Technically Hawthorn can still make the finals. 

It therefore amuses me that Hawks fans carry on like they’ve suffered through some enormous hardship in 2019. 

Clarkson has shown his sentimental side again, dumping Jarryd Roughead now they Hawks have to play an AFL side.

It’s a tough ask for Hawthorn to make finals, not only do they have to win here, they then rely on Adelaide winning. 

Relying on Adelaide to win is like relying on Nick Kyrgios to keep his temper in check.

The Eagle also have a lot to play for, such as a double chance and if other results go their way a top two finish. 

They were so close last week and are just too good to lose this. Adam Simpson seems to want his teams to peak at this time of year. It’s a revolutionary approach.

West Coast to win. 

Sunday

Western Bulldogs vs Adelaide (MS) Fox 1:10pm

Tex Walker said this week, ‘we could beat any team anywhere’. I’m not sure what sport Tex was talking about as the Crows haven’t been able to beat anyone, anywhere in recent times. 

They’ve won two of the past eight games since the bye. 

Now they have to beat an in-form Bulldogs in Ballarat, and by a large amount, to have any chance of making the finals. 

If they don’t make finals, I can’t see Don Pyke keeping his job. Ever since that bizarre pre-season camp, Adelaide have been a shell of their former selves and the Crows faithful aren’t exactly known for being patient. 

The Bulldogs just have to get the job done here and they can finish as high as seventh. 

It’s been an impressive run of form and if they do make finals, they’ll add a fair bit of uncertainty to proceedings. You’d be more worried about them than say the Giants or the Bombers at this stage.

I’m not sure Melbourne’s west is ready for another Bulldogs premiership so soon again; it took them 62 years to recover from the first one. 

Doggies to win.

Richmond vs Brisbane (MCG) Seven & Fox 3:20pm

It’s like Christmas has come early. Last week we got Richmond playing West Coast in a potential Grand Final preview and just a week later we get another one.

If Richmond can defeat Brisbane here, they will go into the finals favourites and the City of Yarra will start disaster-proofing Punt Road.

But beating Brisbane is no sure thing. 

The Lions have passed every test set them in recent times, winning on the road, at the Gabba, against top teams, you name it they’ve not only done it but seemed to enjoy themselves as they do it. 

The Tigers have a lot to play for here, a win and they guarantee themselves a double chance, a loss and they’d need Essendon to beat Collingwood, so basically, they have to win. 

Brisbane have a chance to win the minor premiership, with their worst case scenario being a big loss that could see them slide to fourth.

A Lions win however will see them enter the finals with the confidence of a private boys’ school graduate entering an accountancy traineeship with one of the big four firms.

Richmond to win. 

Port Adelaide vs Fremantle (AO) Fox 4:40pm

Port need a massive win here and a bunch of other results to go their way to have any chance of playing finals, but we all know that’s not going to happen.

You can’t even be that confident that the Power will beat Fremantle at Adelaide Oval. 

Port can’t even sack Ken Hinkley, they can’t afford to. 

Fremantle could apparently afford to sack Ross Lyon. Was it the right decision?

I have a simple way of answering this question. Are Eagles supporters happy or sad Ross Lyon got sacked?

They are sad, which means it was the right decision for the Dockers. 

Fremantle fans can rejoice, there’s now a chance they might see a goal kicked in their lifetime.  

Power to win.

Titus is touring around the country in the upcoming months, visiting Canberra, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Hobart and Brisbane. Tickets available here: http://www.frontiercomedy.com/titusoreily  

Titus’ new bookPlease, Gamble Irresponsibly: The rise, fall and rise of sport gambling in Australia will be out on 5th November 2019. You can pre-order it now.

COMMENTS

BLOKE FROM THE OUTER

Aug 23, 2019

North gave me a big highlight this year - they beat Port last week.

For Granted

Aug 23, 2019

Absolutely devastated to see Lyon leave Freo. And, yes. I'm an Eagles supporter.

I think Ross would be absolutely perfect for a role at AFL HQ where spin & practiced self delusion are seemingly key metrics for a gig.

Chris

Aug 23, 2019

As a lions fan who is an accountant, but never worked at the big 4 cause I am not a poser, you should have tipped Brisbane

DavidG

Aug 23, 2019

Jordan Lewis may have failed to bring a winning culture to Melbourne, but Sam Mitchell brought one to West Coast, and Luke Hodge seems to have done the same for the Lions. Which says a lot about the Dees, none of it repeatable in polite company.

Assuming the 8 remains the same, 5 of the teams in it will be coached by former Clarkson offsiders, including the last 3 premiers. People say Hawthorn try and hog all the flags, when we are clearly the most generous club in the league. We are making the rest of you better, just to keep ourselves interested. Unlike, say, Geelong. How many of Bomber Thompson's assistants have gone on to win a flag?

Mad Dog

Aug 23, 2019

I think, to help Brisbane to win, whomever of their supporters get to the MCG should rib the Tigers's supporters in a good natured way about how helpful the AFL has been in securing Richmond 17 home games including the last 7 on the run home to the finals.

It would go a long way to breaking down barriers between supporter groups.

Think how good this would be for the AFL's policy of inclusiveness!

Mad Dog

Aug 23, 2019

DAVIDG
Just to set the record straight, the Eagles have had a winning culture since prior to 1992 when we won our first GF. If you ask Sam, he will agree.

Today's lessons?

1. Humility

2. Assumptions are shaky territory on which to base assertions.

Andrew Taylor

Aug 23, 2019

Mad Dog, spotted you 5 goals and still won, how does it feel to be the new Collingwood?

Bart

Aug 23, 2019

Sidebottom was obviously told to "bust a nut" at training.

And Sydney just keep Franklin to be fit & ready to go v WCE. Seems to be the only time he is fit these days.

Mad Dog

Aug 23, 2019

ANDREW TAYLOR

What are you talking about? And are you from VicTORia?

Mad Dog

Aug 23, 2019

ANDREW TAYLOR

Forget the questions. I've checked and got you worked out. (Doesn't like Victorian clubs being called out for cheating and the AFL for damaging the integrity of...........the AFL)

kisses

Yeah Yeah

Aug 23, 2019

Titus, I think you’ll find Jordan Lewis had a successful hair transplant.

Joey

Aug 23, 2019

I’m fascinated, but not surprised, at just how wrong the Melbourne scribes and commentators get it when pontificating on footy outside the city boundaries.
Anyone with any insight into WA footy understands the Dockers had to act to stem the arterial spray coating the entire club and supporters.
And the likes of Reiwoldt and Pavlich fellating their former coach just screams Stockholm syndrome.

DavidG

Aug 23, 2019

MADDOG

1. Not bragging. Clarko's proteges have won the last three flags and our last 2 premiership captains have had a big impact at other clubs after they left us. Brisbane were a basket case only 4 years ago.

2. No assumptions. You hadn't won a flag for 10 years. We lent you Sam as an assistant coach for a year, to work with the coach we trained for you, and you won one. We don't expect any thanks, just part of our contribution to the game.

Hui...

Aug 23, 2019

Titus,
Obviously climate change has delayed the snow at Falls Creek else we wouldn’t have had a round 23 review

Joe

Aug 23, 2019

If giving Charlie Cameron 3 coaches votes is a "massive sook" I'd hate to see Titus with a real toddler!

TERENCE DOHERTY

Aug 23, 2019

great umpiring in the Collingwood game

Kane

Aug 23, 2019

MAD DOG you cant count; tiges 13 games at MCG in 2019, just 5 home games in first 16 rds, 8 MCG games neutral, with 5 seeing a home ground advantage. anyhow, lets not have facts get in the way cause that would ruin it.

Evan Fulton

Aug 23, 2019

Love your work Titus but we think you missed an opportunity. “ Carlton now have something to look forward to etc etc . I was going to say last Christmas for Melbourne 2018 but then I realised I couldn’t be bothered finishing the comment and had forgotten what I was saying anyway

Steve

Aug 23, 2019

DAVIDG
The Eagles certainly had a culture prior to 1992. It started in 1990. Just not sure it was winning

Burgers

Aug 24, 2019

Presumably if the ‘metal codpiece’ idea came into being then the AFLW version would be a Steel Frontbottom?

Mad Dog

Aug 24, 2019

KANE

All games at the MCG are home games for Richmond and that figure is 17. End.
7 home games running into the finals is rank corruption of the integrity of the season.

Has Richmond ever been inside an airliner? Airliner. It's a huge metal thing with enormous, noisy 'engines' attached to objects called 'wings'. A team can go to an 'airport' and fly vast distances for many hours, play football then go back again!

Denial is not a river in Egypt. Cheating is not a city in China.

Mad Dog

Aug 24, 2019

STEVE, DAVIDG.

The winning culture at the Eagles was formed in 1987 when it started palying. (WCE entity established in 1986)

Finals in: 1988, 1990, 1991 (GF), 1992 (Premiers), 1993, 1994 (Premiers), 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004,
2005 (GF), 2006 (Premiers), 2007, 2011, 2012, 2015 (GF), 2016, 2017, 2018 (Premiers).

32 years, 23 appearances in finals, 7 GF appearances, 4 premierships.
Never finished last.

WCE has the better win/loss ratio against EVERY AFL team except Sydney (41.18%), Port (44.45%) and Essendon (45.28%).

Must be hard to see the facts from where you live.

Fat Side

Aug 24, 2019

How is it unfair that the Melbourne Cricket Ground just happens to be in Melbourne, and the suburb of Richmond just happens to be right next to the MCG? That's like complaining that it's unfair that your older siblings have had longer to get to know your parents than you have.

Mad Dog

Aug 24, 2019

FAT SIDE

Look, it's verrrry simple. We just want the same number of games (17) in our home city as you at Richmond. Nothing wrong with that, right?
And obviously having 7 games in Perth on the run in to the finals would be fair too wouldn't it?

I fail to see what possible problem you could have with that.

It would be a shame if anyone outside Melbourne thought that there might be some sort of cheating going, wouldn't it?

Steve

Aug 24, 2019

Dear MadDog
Must be sad, knowing all those finals appearances in the 90's for the Eagles were so tainted. Who was the fitness coach at the time??? Not a winning culture, a drug culture.

Rock.

Aug 25, 2019

Maddog, as a western Australian who regularly enjoys Titus, your constant whining is unbearable. In case you hadn't noticed, half of those Richmond games are against other Victorian teams who share the MCG as their home venues. The MCG has nowhere near the home ground effect of many other regional or interstate venues like Optus Stadium, Corio or even Launceston. It must have hurt watching your mighty Eagles lose last night to an interstate team from outside the 8 and give away the double chance to one of those damned MCG teams...

Mad Dog

Aug 26, 2019

STEVE

Wrong as usual. Every team in the AFL has had drug problems at one time or another and often all at the same times.
The VFL, sorry, AFL Melbourne clubs hushed up most of their involvement and the fix was in. There were no drug issues at West Coast during the 90's.

Of course this issue has nothing to do with the jerrymandered season fixtures benefitting the Richmond and other Victorian clubs.

Mad Dog

Aug 26, 2019

ROCK

Being a Dockers supporter, you must find it hard to follow a team with a losers culture.

Facts are facts. I find your deliberate misrepresentation (assuming you don't lie to yourself THAT convincingly) about my so-called whining is instructive.

Losing two days to travel every second week combined with the home ground advantage for Victorian teams delegitimises the entire AFL competition. The effect also applies to the Qld/NSW/SA teams but nowhere near as much as to West Coast and Fremantle. Fact.

And the crap the AFL chunders out concerning $$$ is just that, crap. If they made the Victorian clubs with low home ground attendances fly to Perth more often, there would still be 50,000 at these games instead of 15,000 for example. There are multiple ways to address the money question. It's just the pathetic excuse we get from the AFL in Melbourne.

While this fixtures fix exists, this will remain a live issue.

If you can't handle the truth, if you must live in denial, go right ahead. I do not care. But in the interests of your own personal development you should refrain from being delusional about a jerrymandered season of fixtures.

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