Sep 10, 2021


A highly unhelpful guide to the Preliminary Finals


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 the Preliminary Finals.


First preliminary final

Melbourne vs Geelong Cats (OS) 7:50pm      Seven/Fox

Am I writing this more freaked out than an ‘influencer’ just filmed snorting white powder (it was definitely not cocaine though), off a Kmart plate? Yes, I am.

Last week, I made a cup of tea during the game and the Dees kicked a goal while I was doing it, so I made about twelve more cups of tea before the game finished.

Such is the weirdness of being a supporter with a team in the Finals.

I may die of tea poisioning tonight.

It’s not like I have good memories of the last time Melbourne played a Prelim in Perth.

I went to that game and it’s fair to say it was more painful than major surgery.

After the game, I was in the pub next to the stadium afterwards, and the worst thing was Eagles supporters kept approaching me, and they were being nice.

The pity made me feel like I was on a date.

They kept asking for selfies with me, so there are about 100 Eagles supporters out there with selfies of me at the most miserable moment of my life.

As a fan, all you can think of ahead of a Preliminary Final are the ways your team can lose. The minute you start thinking about how you can win your brain shuts it down, screaming ‘are you trying to jink us?’

The reality is, Preliminary Finals are a test of a team’s mental strength as much as anything else.

If I can’t sleep, and can’t feel one side of my face, how must the players be feeling?

Melbourne does have the benefit of the week off, which means more with no pre-finals bye, but Geelong still has enough key players to beat any side.

Sure the win a few weeks ago was great, but all Melbourne supporters are thinking about are those nine consecutive Geelong goals.

Speaking to Geelong supporters this week, they’re just as nervous. The Cats may have lots of finals experience but a lot of that hasn’t been good.

Every conversation went like this:

Me: I’m very worried, I think you guys will win this.

Cats fan: Are you serious? Are you not familiar with the work of Chris Scott?

And on it went, both arguing the other team would win.

The reality is, we’re all going to be nervous wrecks until this thing is over, and while I’m glad to be part of it, it still beats being more concerned about the draft class at this time of year.

My head is tipping the Demons, by my heart say, well nothing, it’s just beating fast, irregularly and has an intense sharp stabbing pain.


Second preliminary final

Port Adelaide vs Western Bulldogs (AO) 7:40pm Seven/Fox

Being from Victoria, I’d forgotten Port Adelaide are in the finals, so rare has any mention of them been.

Which is weird given they’re the favourites in this, getting an actual home final, which must be nice.

The Dogs, however, do have a lot of fans in South Australia, they’re called Crows fans.

Bulldogs fans have seen their team pull off an impossible finals series before, and they’ve been looking for signs of a similar campaign.

The worrisome thing is Marcus Bontempelli’s knee, the last player you want carrying an injury if you’re a Bulldogs fan.

While Power fans will not be unhappy about the development, Bontempelli at 60 per cent is still 90 per cent better than most players. I think I’ve got those figures right.

Port spent a lot of the year seen as unable to beat the top four sides, but in the last month, they’ve gone up a level and took care of the Cats in their first final with a casual ease that has erased a lot of those thoughts.

One way to think about this game is to consider the celebrity fans. It’s essentially David Koch v Chris Hemsworth.

It seems an unbalanced match up. Chris is better looking, fitter and richer. He’s also more well known in China, which is Port Adelaide heartland.

But Kochie is a survivor and underestimate him at your peril, just ask Samantha Armytage and Melissa Doyle.

I’m tipping Port but it’s going to be intense.

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. Find out more here:



Greg von Einem

Sep 10, 2021

Clearly still under the influence of said white powder "I may die of tea poising tonight."

Sally Bennett

Sep 10, 2021

Going to the toilet and the Dees kick a goal may mean many trips to the bathroom tonight too

Dave O'Leary

Sep 10, 2021

Terrific writing about the crazed lunacy of being a passionate fan of a Footy club Titus, thank you! Really hope the Dees get up for you mate - good luck!! I feel exactly the same as you about the South Sydney Rabbitohs playing for a spot in NRL Prelim tomorrow night. No sleep for me tonight and no doubt no feeling in one side of my face on the soon as well. And what the hell's that intense sharp stabbing pain just near my (red and green) heart that's just started?? ...

Chris Scott

Sep 10, 2021

Don't worry Titus, your boys have got this.

Rodney Grinters lovechild

Sep 10, 2021

Top notch Titus,

More quality lines than a Nadia lockdown party


Sep 10, 2021

Hello Titus! My heart is thumping and my stomach has taken up residence in my throat. All this is making me feel quite sick. A friend suggested rescue remedy so I am hitailing to the nearest chemist to stock up


Sep 10, 2021

My son's girlfriend is a mad demon.
During the 1st final i kept texting her Go Dees after each goal.
I was very drunk
Do i have to do that again tonight


Sep 10, 2021

Thanks Comrade Titus

I feel more nervous than before each of my weddings - at least I had some idea of the outcome of the ceremony on those occasions.

Huzzah for the Dees - hoping the players are in a better state than us Dees fans. If we don't salute then WA can dis - federate and leave the Commonwealth by Sunday

Should become a chef

Sep 10, 2021

For years now the most reliable indicator of Melbourne's performance in a game is my partner's hungriness and specifically change in hunger. Korean chicken arriving at 3/4 time of the rnd 23 Geelong game was clearly the decisive moment.
I know people who bring 'celebration snacks' to eat after a goal, but she is the only person who can have a snack to cause a goal.

Captain Braveheart

Sep 10, 2021

Take it from a Tigers' supporter, the Dees have this in the bag! In 2017, we hadn't been Geelong since the 18th century. After seeing them off in the QF that year, we enjoyed it so much that we've made a point of tipping them out of the finals ever since (apart from 2018 when of course the Dees got to them first)! I can't wait for the pattern to resume in 2022...

Comments on Comments

Sep 10, 2021

Great contributions from Chris Scott an Rodney Grinters Lovechild. Inspired by your text, Grandpa Titus


Sep 10, 2021

However important maintaining poise is to your tea drinking routine don't over do it, old chap.


Sep 10, 2021

@LES I'd probably advise against drunkenly messaging your son's girlfriend in general. No good can come of that.


Sep 10, 2021

Time for Norm Smith to smile again? All forgiven.

Wharfie's daughter

Sep 10, 2021

Go Port! Full of nervous anticipation and excitement in equal measure while never ever under-estimating the Dogs or Bevo's magnet twirling creativity.


Sep 10, 2021

Big fella this is certainly rarefied air sitting around saying next please to see who we play.i noticed with a degree of mirth about you being nervous. I am about as nervous as a one legged bloke in an arse kicking competition but as the start gets closer I may become a little bit crazy. But that is the ride we are on so get on board and ENJOY it while we can for a couple more weeks.GO DEES.


Sep 10, 2021

"The pity made me feel like I was on a date."


Sep 10, 2021

If jake lever wasn't playing for the dees I would barrack for a dees win,and if Dangerfield wasn't playing for the cats I'd barrack for them,but as a Crows fan I think I'll just watch the rugby.


Sep 10, 2021

One of the benefits of living in Victoria is you don't have port dribble in your face at all times, like we have in SA. Every "news " program, every daily paper, every radio station is all port, port and more bloody port. Hoping somebody beats them and I don't care who. Would love to see the Dee's get the chockies


Sep 10, 2021

Me as an swans supporter
If we could break it so can Melbourne!!!

Fruit diet Dusty

Sep 10, 2021

LES SEP 10, 2021
My son's girlfriend is a mad demon.
During the 1st final i kept texting her Go Dees after each goal.
I was very drunk
Do i have to do that again tonight

There would be other reasons not to text your son's girlfriend while intoxicated.

Jim Tilbrook’s Cheque

Sep 10, 2021

Sitting in another Covid planning meeting re rising case numbers, pressure on ICU, risk of contact tracing being overwhelmed etc. etc.

‘So, how worried are you right now’, I was asked. Having not been paying full attention I said ‘VERY: Zac Touhey wasn’t playing for the Cats in round 23’

We may have a pandemic, but that’s a second order problem right now.


The Flea

Sep 10, 2021

As a rabid Hawks fan, you've got this Titus, cups of tea and all notwithstanding. Chris Scott and his brood have turned losing finals in to an art form. Kennets curse was real, except for Septembers.

Julie Stoddart

Sep 10, 2021

Brilliant work. Because my Swannies are out, my heart says Western Bulldogs, but I feel a Melbourne v Port GF coming on.

Running Dog

Sep 10, 2021

Titus, I agree with Rhombus- go easy on the tea. Big Chief Running Bear once drank about 80 cups of the stuff. He died in his teepee.

And Woody, I know the feeling, except in Perth it's the Eagles. I read Running Bear's tea leaves, and they said the Dogs fleet of destroyers will blockade the port, although I can't imagine what a Lakota chief would have known about naval strategy.

The g train

Sep 10, 2021

Titus—these extreme feelings of stress and anxiety, sleepless nights and heart palpitations, are completely forgotten and overcome when your team wins the Premiership. Or so I’ve been told. I’m a longtime StK supporter and as a longtime demon (supporter), feel sure you have been told the same many a time.

Les—sorry your son’s girlfriend is a mad demon. Hopefully the next one will be a wise saint.

Stranded in WA

Sep 10, 2021

The only blessing about being in WA this year is that the Dockers and Eagles didn't get anywhere near the finals and therefore we are saved from the parochial dribble erupting from every media orifice in the west. They still manage to shoehorn in a referential interview with some long lost WA son who is now playing for the Cats/Bulldogs/Demons and whom I have never heard of . . .

Tom Louws

Sep 10, 2021

I’ve been waiting for 57 years for this to happen again, was there in 87 at Waverley so Sad I’m still bitter, 88 when we went one step further only to wish we had never been born, and the the bombers, we’ll say no more, but this Drought will break, Covid will end, My Shares will double, and the Snow season will last until December.
But all that aside, my nerves are shot my stomach has more than butterflies
But I actually think that we will WIN
Go Dees, you are Glorious! 😄😁😄


Sep 10, 2021

After 14 years as an MFC member I didn’t renew after 2009, telling the club I’d renew my membership, and back-pay it to 2009, when they won a flag. I figured my money was as safe as a cow in India. Should I be worried?


Sep 10, 2021

Best 4 teams made it through. Should be 2 good games. Hope your blokes get through Titus.

Dave O'Leary

Sep 10, 2021

Leon - good to see you're not rabidly glued on to AFL no matter what and no matter who, but there's no 'rugby' on tonight fella, just an NRL/rugby league Finals game (i.e. "Melbourne" v Manly-Warringah). 'Rugby' and rugby league are very different games, in every sense, especially socially/culturally/politically. But that's ok, I realise that folk from WA/SA/VIC/TAS have only had since 1895 to become aware of this. And rugby league IS only the favoured Footy of 51% of the national population (NSW & QLD combined) after all ...


Sep 10, 2021

“ The Dogs, however, do have a lot of fans in South Australia, they’re called Crows fans”
Many more are Norwood fans, THATS hate!

Blues tragic

Sep 10, 2021

Tea poising. Verb: The art of looking sophisticated while drinking tea and watching the demons win a preliminary final.


Sep 10, 2021

'are you trying to jink us?'

You channelling your inner Velma Dinkley, Titus? Personally, I hope to jinx Geelong and Port.

The Third term

Sep 10, 2021

DAVE O'LEARY: You're referring to
are you?

The Third term

Sep 10, 2021

PUPPETHEAD: One jink, two jinks. One Japanee, two Japanees. And so on.

Dave O'Leary

Sep 10, 2021

THE THIRD TERM: In some ways, I guess. But I was primarily lamenting that AFL fans from WA/SA/VIC/TAS still refer to rugby league as 'Rugby' when they mean, er, rugby league. They've been different games, played and supported by different sections of society, since 1895 in England and 1908 in Australia. 'Rugby' (or Rugby Yawnion as we call it) is generally played by the posh private schools and supported by the most affluent minority parts of Sydney and Brisbane. A bit like AFL in Sydney & Brisbane, haha! Whereas rugby league is the only pro-sport on the planet founded by the trade union/labour movement. Also now the first majority non-white sport in the history of Australia, and the first sport (by a long way) to select an Indigenous player as captain of a national team (Arthur Beetson in the 1970s). You can see why it's known as 'the greatest game of all' right?! So yeah, WA/SA/VIC/TAS folk, please don't call rugby league, 'Rugby', as it's actually both insulting and, y'know, kinda insular/ignorant. Don't get me wrong - I love Aussie Rules though! Awesome game (which is why I'm here). CARN ST KILDA!!
p.s. VERY happy for Titus and other such mad keen Dees! Congrats to all! :)


Sep 11, 2021

Mick - I hope you are as good as your word. I trust you'll be paying it back with interest as well.


Sep 11, 2021

Titus. I have just had major surgery on Wednesday, but the spectacle of your Dees running amok ( and the Cats getting thrashed) was the perfect painkiller.

Ben Priestley

Sep 11, 2021

Chris H wins. Easily.
Can’t wait for next next weeks Dee Brief.
And I support the Tiges 🐯 x