Aug 13, 2021

AFL

A highly unhelpful guide to Round Twenty Two

20 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 Two.

Friday

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.

Saturday

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.

Sunday

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

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus

COMMENTS

Puppethead

Aug 13, 2021

Let's face it, Titus: getting out of bed is totally overrated.

The g train

Aug 13, 2021

Titus—great to see your completely unhelpful guide back. Of late, I’ve had no idea who was playing and where and when, or even if anyone was playing.

Interesting that Titus has effectively declared that StK will defeat Geelong by 300+ points. Definitely a game to watch.

“The Eagles make no sense to me” You must love the Eagles then.

Stoney

Aug 13, 2021

Big fella the quip about non pie supporters being happy is an understatement mate. I am as happy as one could be about the plight of their clubs current position both on and off the field. I would love to see both positions to continue well into the future. Now9 back to the most important post apart from the mention of the bodgie lightning strike scam what about the free kick count 28,16 against the DEES.? I know you don't like looking at these stats but Jesus I am getting sick of the imbalance . Anyway get on the Dee train and ENJOY the ride GO DEES

Stoney

Aug 13, 2021

While I am on about the umpires I think the supposed lightning strike may have been caused by umpire margetts trying to go out with an eagles win under his belt. Also did you notice Elliot yep with his forearm across the throat of (I think it was sparrow ) very similar to Jack viney last week and not one media pundit has even raised it or the MRO officer mention any thing about it.seems like they have the TOBY rule as well as the DEMONS rule

BLOKE FROM THE OUTER

Aug 13, 2021

'Eddie McGuire has been despairing at the infighting.' Still had time to make Tex Walker the 'victim' though. He really is an A grade clown.

And the best quote ever from the Simpsons is 'Life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead' (insert your own Flanders)

Mr B

Aug 13, 2021

I think I agree that, if we get that far, we'll be the weakest team in the finals. But still not to be written off. Last week we played the top team and each team dominated two quarters. Nobody seems to have noticed that of the nineteen goals, fifteen were scored at the same end. It's a shame the game didn't run a few minutes longer. Damn those short 59 minute quarters.

Mike Yanagita

Aug 13, 2021

Your one trip out of Victoria for the past two years (to adelaide of all places...) to watch a loss for your unbeaten dees to the bottom 4 crows, by a point, largely due to an umpire howler, may be 'peak' Titus.

Not sure how you're going to top that...

Adam Duncan

Aug 13, 2021

Akermonies

Marty

Aug 13, 2021

Bombers drug saga still ongoing Titus. Will be until Andy McGrath retires or leaves the club.

AFL stripped them of a low pick or 2 in punishments, but made sure those draft punishments ended before the suspension's wooden spoon year - gift them Pick 1 despite having a finals-quality list. Most bizarre way I've seen the AFL tinker with the rules to suit their personal preferences since the Swans were punished for getting in the way of the AFL's Buddy to GWS plan.

Brad

Aug 13, 2021

Surely, Richmond have to be the ones moved to Tassie, for the Tassie Tigers.

And don't call me Shirley!

Jim Tilbrook's Cheque

Aug 13, 2021

Eddie has again demonstrated his incomparable leadership qualities. As Winston Churchill never said, "Leadership is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm."

The Ho Brothers (Brayden, Brody and Brock)

Aug 13, 2021

@ JIME TILBROOK'S CHEQUE: Yep, and we think maybe a glorious career in federal politics awaits him.

Iron Mike

Aug 13, 2021

Mike. re: Titus’s epic trip to Adelaide (was it a trip?)

“Not sure how you're going to top that...”. Titus will find a way.

Snag

Aug 13, 2021

If Dan Hannebery didn't have his leg all but broken in the 2016 GF for no free he'd still be a gun midfielder.
How do those umpires sleep at night?

Anderson

Aug 13, 2021

Don’t lump all of Tasmania into “Tasmania”. Launceston has beautiful weather. Hobart is the Antarctic ice breaker.

Daniel B

Aug 13, 2021

Snag, actually it was worse than that: the Dogs were awarded a free for head-high contact.

Vtrain

Aug 13, 2021

I'm looking forward to the end of season but very concerned about COVID as it impacts on one of my favourite pastimes...watching Geelong Officials fly around the country offering massive bucks to the best talent in the game with seemingly no regard for things like current contracts, salary caps or the quaint concept of developing players internally.

Jacqui Parry

Aug 14, 2021

Stoney I am pretty sure at least some of free kick count against the Dees is due those very kind umpires trying to improve Clayton Oliver’s handball technique. He’s so lightning fast that the umpires can’t see that fist behind the ball 😻🔥😻they just want him to slow the action down a bit so they can see it 😶. Last season those very kind umpires convinced Clayton that he would never cut it in Hollywood so he has handed in his Actors Equity Card. With that level of responsiveness to umpire kindness Clayton now is a chance to receive a very tiny medal. Can’t wait to see what Clarry wears to the presentation night 🤵

And speaking of kindness- Buddy is a wonderful mentor to all opposition players and long May he reign at Bondi Beach!

I love the concept of two stand alone Tassie Teams - given their famous weather patterns - they could be named the Tassie Icebreakers and the Hobart Firestorms respectively or maybe there is still room in the competition for three Tassie Teams. Central Tassie is a very different place so not sure what you might call them?? Call ColGarland and Rusty Robertson for suggestions there and tell him they won’t let him name the squad The Penguins 🐧

Speaking of who really deserves a new team surely the Tiwi Islands would be way on top of the list there In fact they are all so talented they could secede from the AFL and start their own competition. Maybe the next rebuild of the G should be on the Tiwis!

Titus this week really is your week as you do not have to get out of bed or travel to Adelaide to watch your beloved Dees exact revenge on the Crows. Unlikely to be interrupted by lightning or lightening you could stay in your PJs all day for this one. We’d love pics of that!!

Go The Mighty Dees!!!

Daniel B

Aug 14, 2021

Titus, the lowest Melbourne can finish is 4th, so even if they lose both games the double chance is still theirs.

Mac Hawk

Aug 16, 2021

Like you, I fully support women's footy but can we at least have some politically incorrect blokey commentators to spice it up, scandalise it somewhat so as to compensate for the skill level? Brian Taylor and Billy Brownless immediately come to mind and if we could get Brendon Fevola back on the drink to do boundary rider and post match interviews that would be perfect.

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