Aug 16, 2019


A highly unhelpful guide to Round Twenty Two


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 Two. 


Melbourne vs Sydney (MCG) Seven & Fox 7:50pm

First up, I must apologise for not producing an Unhelpful Guide over the past fortnight. 

My Amstrad CPC464 has been a bit on the blink which has caused me all sorts of problems.

The feedback I’ve received is that without my tips to follow, everyone has been doing a lot better, so that’s nice to hear.

It’s great to have such an exciting round of footy for the penultimate round of the season, and what better way to start it on a Friday night with 17thtaking on 15th

I bet Channel Seven were thrilled to see this one coming up on the schedule.

Literally nothing is up for grabs. Not even pride as both sides gave that up weeks ago.

Looking for meaning in this is like looking for meaning in an Adam Sandler movie.

At least Adam Sandler movies attract an audience.

I will be spending the game drinking heavily. This will be in celebration, knowing this is the last time I’ll have to watch this Melbourne team in person this year. 

I’ve had diseases I’ve been sadder to see go.


Carlton vs St Kilda (MCG) Fox 1:45pm

Well Carlton fans did it, they forced their board to appoint David Teague, and as I’ve said, Teague’s greatest asset is the board didn’t really want him.

The Carlton Board is like your friend that always chooses a terrible person to go out with. It always ends in acrimony, and this time, Carlton’s friends have stepped in. 

Teague also forced them to appoint him, all that winning tends to stand at out Carlton, like a well-dressed person in a TAB.

Will Teague work out? Or will Carlton defeat another coach? Time will tell. Carlton at least now have a coach the players like. It’s been some years since that’s been the case. You have to go back to Brett Ratten for that.

Speaking of Ratten, he’s certainly improved St Kilda in the short term he’s had the reigns and is a good chance to complete the hat trick of caretakers being appointed.

I keep hearing rumours of Brad Scott being appointed, but I can’t tell if that’s because it’s true, or people just like trolling Saints fans.

I think Carlton will win this.

Brisbane vs Geelong (G) Fox 2:10pm

Finally, a big game. First versus second in a preview of the finals.

Geelong started well this season, then hit a rocky part of the season, which I think of like puberty. 

Everything goes off the rails, your body doesn’t behave like it used to, and Susan teases you about your braces and says she’ll never go out with you.

The question now is has going through that awkward phase scarred them for the rest of the season, or will they bloom again like a beautiful flower?

This will be the true test of the Cats, have the last few weeks been a return to form? Or just papering over the cracks?

The Lions’ new ‘brand of football’ as terrible people like to say, is ‘winning’. Just lots of winning.

But they want to ensure their ‘brand’ will ‘stand up’ during finals.

Who started this ‘brand’ thing? It’s awful. Commentators, like ‘mindfulness experts’ should talk a lot less.

Lions to win.

Adelaide vs Collingwood (AO) Fox 4:35pm

Collingwood can barely field an AFL side but do seem to be able to pull together a suburban division three basketball side. This was unsurprising to me because I’d heard a rumour that Scott Pendlebury has a basketball background.

The Pies certainly have a history of players lying when getting caught. De Goey did it and no one really believe Jeremy Howe injured his hand playing frisbee with his dog. 

Jeremy Howe’s dog certainly doesn’t believe it.

Adelaide’s entire season is on the line. To use a technical term, they’ve been abysmal in recent months. 

There was talk this week of the Crows sending Eddie Betts off to the Gold Coast. 

This seems pretty cruel. Sending a club champion to the Suns is like sending them to football’s version of Siberia.

Plus, Crows players don’t exactly have fond memories of their time on the Gold Coast.

Really, who knows who will win this one? The Crows have the ability to lose any game, while the Pies have more injuries than a good Saturday night out.

I’m tipping the Crows but not with any confidence. 

North Melbourne vs Port Adelaide (MS) Seven & Fox 7:25pm

North Melbourne set the bar so low last week you have to think they’ll be better this round.

That solitary goal was an indictment on the whole team, and now that Rhyce Shaw has the job in a full-time capacity, he can stop being nice to the players.

North will probably won’t to consider kicking at least twice as many goals as they did last week. They can’t rely on Essendon to save them every week.

Playing Port is tricky though. You never know which Power side will show up. 

Sometimes they are a fully-fledged AFL side, and other times it feels a bit like a bunch of corporate types won the chance to play on an AFL ground.

Port have to win to stay in the eight. They’ve got Fremantle next week in Adelaide too, so this and that game are both winnable. Or very losable. 

They’ve got their destiny in the own hands which must be terrifying the Power supporters. Relying on your own team is the worst.

Port to win. 

Fremantle vs Essendon (OS) Fox 8:10pm

Essendon were roundly criticised for taking an unscheduled week off last round, but who hasn’t phoned in a day at work before?

It’s doing it regularly that gets you in trouble. 

I can’t see Essendon being worse this week, theoretically, it’s impossible to play a game as bad as that.

Plus, the Dockers rarely kick 21 goals, let alone 21 in a row. 

That’s the thing about life, it’s not that you get knocked down, it’s how you handle it.

Did you just lie there? Or like me, did you get up, dust yourself off, go to the pub and just complain about it to anyone who would listen for the next few decades?

Bombers fans have seemed angrier about last week than they were about the entire Essendon saga.

Fremantle are still a chance to make finals, which is kind of amazing. That’s reason enough to say no to a wildcard round.

Losing to St Kilda was a huge body blow but playing Essendon now seems like a real percentage booster.

After all, Essendon have been shedding percentage in recent weeks like I shed friends. 

Fremantle to win.


Richmond vs West Coast (MCG) Fox 1:10pm

This is a possible Grand Final preview. Both sides are in good form, both have won premierships recently and both have passionate fans who terrify everyone else.

The AFL broadcast department always do a terrific job. Free-to-air got Melbourne Sydney on Friday night, Saturday night got North Melbourne vs Port Adelaide and on Sunday it gets the Giants playing the Bulldogs, 

This game is naturally buried away on Fox.

It means 1v 2 or 3 v 4 are happening this week and neither are on free-to-air. 

I swear the game’s strength its ability to thrive despite the AFL running it.

My aim is to watch this, study the game carefully and then massively overreact to the result.

This will be a great opportunity for the Eagles to play on the MCG, only their third chance this year. That’s important as every now and then, the Grand Final is played on the MCG.

Richmond get to occasionally play there too, but it’s the non-Victorian clubs that get all the advantages remember.

Eagles to win.

Greater Western Sydney vs Western Bulldogs (GS) Seven & Fox 3:20pm

The only thing the Giants outscored last week was the temperature, and they were lucky they were in Canberra.

The Bulldogs did they opposite, they had no trouble scoring, their biggest challenge against the Bombers was not laughing.

You’d once think the Giants would be a dead cert here but since half their team got injured, they’ve been terrible. 

While the injuries count for something, last week was a lot worse than just the injuries, they seemed like they didn’t really want to be there.

After last week, Bulldogs fans would be forgiven for thinking they are the greatest team ever, but the Giants should put up more resistance. Glad Wrap would put up more resistance.

The Giants need to win this if they want a home final and the Doggies need to win if they want to keep their finals chances alive.

I think the Giants will win.

Hawthorn vs Gold Coast (MS) Fox 4:40pm

Alastair Clarkson has managed to find a way to get Jarryd Roughead and not gift an AFL game.

Playing the Suns will be a step down from the VFL for Roughead, but it will be nice to see him get a farewell game.

Part of me is thrilled to see Roughead go, because of him, I occasionally felt positive things about Hawthorn, so him leaving really simplifies my relationship with that club. 

As for this game itself, the only interesting bit is to see Hawthorn try to run up a big enough percentage boost to keep their complex mathematical chance of playing finals alive.

I don’t know any Suns fans, but I imagine the end of the season will be a lot like the end of a hostage situation.

They’ll just want to hug their families and begin intensive therapy. 

Titus is touring around the country in the upcoming months, visiting Canberra, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Hobart and Brisbane. Tickets available here:  

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.



Aug 16, 2019

Thank you for writing the guide this week Titus.
We've all been missing it.


Aug 16, 2019

Eagles to win?
Good to see your haven't lost your sense of humour Titus my love.


Aug 16, 2019

My first computer was the Amstrad CPC464, you don’t see many keyboards now with a tape deck and red and green keys. Good times.

Mad Dog

Aug 16, 2019

Richmond to lose?
Good to see you can be serious and objective when necessary Tite.


Aug 16, 2019

I know what you mean Titus. As a Geelong Fan I genuinely hate Hawthorn but can feel nothing but respect, admiration and warmth toward Roughy. Well played fella.

Billy Mumphrey

Aug 16, 2019

Commentators, like ‘mindfulness experts’ should talk a lot less.

Fremantle are still a chance to make finals, which is kind of amazing. That’s reason enough to say no to a wildcard round.

Yep, still got it


Aug 16, 2019

Titus - for once you are wrong. Port Adelaide could never look like a bunch of corporate types. You are getting them mixed up with the team that stole their black & white jumper, Collingwood!


Aug 16, 2019

Back in April, after Round 3, Titus was like a prophet when he foretold, “we may not know Geelong’s potential until they play Brisbane in round 22”. That was a joke back then... and now they’re genuinely playing off for top spot. Who da thunk it?


Aug 16, 2019

Eagles to win 👍💙💛💙💛


Aug 16, 2019

You're so right Titus. The game is going quite nicely despite the AFL trying to run it. Eddie Betts would be better off retiring than going to the Suns.


Aug 16, 2019

I think Essendon might deliberately lose this game. Think about how hard that might be. Just to show everyone an absolute disaster can happen twice in a row. Next week they might even go for the hat trick. They've almost run out of VFL prospects, I'm wondering if the AFL will allow them to have further top ups. Desperately seeking players. Who knows they may even drag Freo down to their level just to make the game exciting.

A Port Fan

Aug 16, 2019

Titus, we can only hope that your prediction for the Port game is as accurate as everything else you wrote about them.

Mad Dog

Aug 16, 2019

The only way the Dockers have any real chance this season is if the brilliant Polly Farmer were to come back from the footy ground in the sky, take pity on them and play in the ruck.

But would they don't deserve the great man anyway?

Vale Graham 'Polly' Farmer.


Aug 16, 2019

MDSO, dragging down Freo? Just how low do you think they can go?

If the Bombers fall out of the eight, Worsfold is cooked.

In fact, he's probably gone anyway.

Tail Gunna

Aug 16, 2019

As a Bombers fan, I sincerely hope we lose to Freo this week - I'm tired of us losing finals, and this year the best we'd be doing is making up the numbers yet again. It must be against Freo - after all, there's no way I want us losing next week to the Pies! And besides, we might get another contract extension for Ross Lyon out of it, just for the comedic value...

Daniel B

Aug 16, 2019

"Richmond get to occasionally play there too, but it’s the non-Victorian clubs that get all the advantages remember."

Geez Titus. Talk about betraying the VFL. For shame.


Aug 16, 2019

'The only thing the Giants outscored last week was the temperature..'

Not in farenheit.


Aug 16, 2019

Your last two paras of the Hawks v Suns nearly best work of the year.

I wish I was Zac Dawson

Aug 16, 2019

I swear the game's strength is its ability to survive despite the AFL running it. Profound comment of the 21st century, Titus.


Aug 16, 2019

I feel your pain
I followed Swan Districts for over 15 years until they were relevant.
Hang in there.
Life can get better.

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