Aug 13, 2021
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.
Greater Western Sydney vs Richmond (Marvel) 7:50pm Seven/Fox*
No Toby Greene in this one, after his marathon second appeal failed to overturn his one-week suspension.
The hearing went for three hours and saw case law arguments relating to a former immigration minister and Chinese refugees from 1996, and a NSW Children’s Court matter from 2008.
What a load of nonsense. Like the AFL tribunal is a real court of law and not just a dartboard in a backroom. A dartboard with Toby Green’s face on it.
This is effectively a final, with both teams desperate to stay in the race for eighth spot.
Richmond played a good half of footy last week and will be keen to extend that to possible three good quarters.
The Tigers have had a great preparation with Damien Hardwick focused on attacking commentators for pointing out facts. That’s the best way to handle pesky facts, attack them and the person delivering them.
Why, attacking facts about the global pandemic has helped us get into this strong position we now find ourselves.
Really, the thing Hardwick should be more worried about is the exhausting away trip to Marvel his team has to tackle this week.
I’m tipping the Tigers.
Hawthorn vs Western Bulldogs (UTAS) 1:45pm Fox
The Hawks take on the Bulldogs in Tasmania, the week the AFL’s report into a Tasmanian team came out.
What does the report say? Well, basically it reiterates the AFL’s long-held position, ‘let’s hope North Melbourne go broke and we can move them there’.
It’s strange the focus on North, as the only team I’m aware of stating a willingness to move to Tasmania is Hawthorn.
Back in February Jeff Kennett said Hawthorn could move there. To Hawks fans, this is only the second stupidest thing he’s done this year.
The Hawks are on a winning streak, getting the bounce you get when you sack your coach.
Hawthorn’s narrative around Clarkson is he’d become bigger than the club and therefore needed to go.
I remember people at Melbourne saying that about Norm Smith and Essendon’s hierarchy saying that about Kevin Sheedy and fixing that problem has certainly worked wonders for those two teams.
The Bulldogs now face life without Josh Bruce, something they probably can cover, but not easily.
The next few weeks are about the top teams securing the top spots and not getting injuries.
The problem for the top four teams is it’s all too tight in the top four to rest players.
I’m tipping the Dogs.
Geelong vs St Kilda (GMHBA) 4:35pm Fox
Jeremy Cameron comes back for the Cats and he’s a great example of the need to avoid injuries ahead of the finals.
Luckily, the Cat’s medical staff have always shown immense caution in this regard.
Speaking of injury-plagued players, Dan Hannebery is named for this one. He’s played just 13 out of a possible 61 matches since coming from the Swans.
If only St Kilda had known his body wasn’t up to AFL standard anymore when they got him, like every single other person who watches football did.
The Saints can still theoretically make the finals, but they have to win here, and their percentage is so low that a three-hundred-point win here would really help.
In good news for the Cats, Patrick Dangerfield is likely to return from his bruised larynx. Dangerfield has shown what a warrior he is in the last few weeks, not letting his throat injury stop him from making media appearances.
That’s almost as courageous as Joel Selwood clocking someone high.
Cats to win.
Port Adelaide vs Carlton (AO) 4:35pm Fox
Port have won four in a row, leading to some in the media asking if the Power are timing their run perfectly for the finals.
I can see how that massive win last week against Adelaide would have you thinking that.
In their four-game winning streak, they’ve only beaten one team in the top eight, and that’s the eighth-placed Giants.
This sounds like I’m sceptical about Port Adelaide, and that’s because I am.
But finals are still a few weeks away if they happen, and this week Port get Carlton.
The end of this season can’t come soon enough for Carlton fans, as once again their team has wage war on their mental health.
One Carlton fan told me this week that due to following the Blues, he feels a lot of empathy with Britney Spears’ conservatorship situation.
I tried to cheer them up by telling them I have complete faith in the Carlton board making an excellent decision with their next coach, which seemed to make them cry more.
Port will win this, but they have the Bulldogs next week so it’s probably their last win of the season.
Brisbane vs Collingwood (G) 7:25pm Seven/Fox
Brisbane have had an up and down year, and I could go through the reasons why, but I’m more interested in the fact that former Lion Jason Akermanis has launched a cryptocurrency.
If you’re wondering where the seeds for our next global financial crisis are, wonder no more.
Akermanis says he’s spent $23 million of his own money on it, which raises the question, how does Jason Akermanis have $23 million?
Anyway, the Lions got a much-needed win last week, and get Lachie Neale back for this, and they take on the 16th place Collingwood.
The Pies are all over the shop at the moment, they can’t even organise a board challenge.
It’s going to the Supreme Court later this month, a perfect use of the courts time.
While other teams play finals, the Pies will be fighting amongst themselves.
This brings happiness to most of us, but Pies fans will be tearing their hair out.
Eddie McGuire has been despairing at the infighting. If only he’d had more than 22 years to put in place a succession plan.
Lions to win.
North Melbourne vs Sydney (Marvel) 7:40pm Fox
Buddy Franklin will sit out this one as the Swans rest him ahead of finals. It was revealed this week that Buddy has been giving his opponents tips while playing them this season.
Imagine being that good at something that you feel the need to lift the standard of those playing on you to make things interesting?
The Swans got some good news this week, that along with Essendon, Hawthorn and Port Adelaide, they will be getting an AFLW side.
I’m glad these teams are finally getting on board, obviously, they don’t like women as much as the original AFLW teams, but I’m glad they’ve finally come around.
I’ve always loved the AFLW. For two major reasons.
The first is I just love football. I couldn’t care who is playing it, it’s a great sport.
“But Titus, the skill level isn’t up there with AFL.”
Well of course not, but it’s improved every year, and I’ve barracked for the Demons all my life. If I refused to watch footy that wasn’t yet up to AFL standard, entire decades would have passed with me not watching them.
The second reason I love AFLW and its success is it annoys exactly the people I like to see annoyed.
Those that seem to take any focus or investment in women’s football as a personal insult.
As Principal Skinner said to Mrs. Krabappel “I've always admired your ability to be personally offended by broad social trends.”
No quote sums up the world we live in better than that.
Sydney to win.
Melbourne vs Adelaide (MCG) 2:10pm Fox
I remember the last time these two met, partly because Melbourne lost by a point, but mainly because I was in Adelaide to watch it, the only time in two years I’ve left Victoria.
How my dreams have been curtailed in recent years. I used to dream of international travel, then interstate travel, then to leave the house and see other people.
Now it’s having the motivation to get out of bed.
The Dees need this one to stay on top of the ladder, they get Geelong the week after. Win both of those games and a second chance in finals will be theirs.
The Crows have been distracted lately off the field, and their season has gone off the rails on the field as well, with them now sitting in 17th position.
Tex Walker’s racist comment has seen a lot of hot takes and bought up the 2018 preseason camp again.
Surely that preseason camp is the longest-running story in footy now? I used to think the Essendon drug scandal went on forever.
The Crows need to flatten the curve of preseason camp mentions.
Melbourne to win.
Gold Coast vs Essendon (GMHBA) 3:20pm Seven/Fox
Gillon McLachlan has ruled out moving the Suns to Tasmania, as the report into a Tasmanian team produced a result as clear as a politician’s press conference.
If I’d poured hundreds of millions of dollars into something, I’d probably be a little reluctant to give up on it.
I’m not sure the Tasmanians would want the Suns anyway, although I do love the idea of a Tasmanian team being called the Suns.
Given the Hobart Hurricanes exist, in that notable hotspot for hurricanes, Tasmania, Suns fits just as well.
Essendon have to win this to stay in the finals hunt and coming off the win against the Bulldogs, they’d have to be confident, which is why Bombers’ supporters are terrified.
There’s no reason the Bombers should be a good chance for making the eight.
They’ve got the Suns here and Collingwood next week. They just need the Giants to trip up.
But Essendon have for so long have proven themselves masters at coming up short.
The next two weeks will tell us a lot about the Bombers, and if they really are a team that’s coming good, or if this is just another long and convoluted way to dash their fans hopes.
I’m tipping Essendon.
Fremantle vs West Coast (OS) 5:10pm Fox
Even engineering a fake lightning strike didn’t save West Coast from a loss last week, and there’s a strong argument they will go into the finals as the weakest team in the eight.
And just to assure you I’m not being unnecessarily cruel; an Eagles supporter made that argument to me this week.
Even though I agreed with them, they insisted on presenting a two-hour lecture on why (complete with slides) and given how desperate I am for human contact at the moment, I listened to all of it.
While Fremantle’s season is effectively over, beating West Coast would at least give them a nice memory to get through the summer.
I have no idea who is going to win though.
The Eagles make no sense to me. They should be better than they are. At least, on paper, it seems that way, but they seem intent on proving that they aren’t.
If they played like they did in the fourth quarter last week, they could go far, but getting a half-hour break when you’re out on your feet doesn’t happen that often.
I’m tipping the Eagles but I do so with little confidence.
*All times and venues are wild guesses
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