It’s the only guide to the round that admits it’s completely unhelpful. What it lacks in insight, it makes up for with poor grammar and spellings.
It’s your unhelpful guide to round eight.
West Coast v Western Bulldogs (DS) 8.10pm
Being a recluse with little to occupy my time, means I get plenty of time to think about the big issues. Like, should I be more worried about my stress or my shame eating?
The other thing I was thinking about this week was the oversupply of ‘western teams’ in the AFL.
West Coast, Western Bulldogs and Greater Western Sydney. The AFL has a problematic lack of diversity when it comes to directions.
There’s a startling lack of Easts, the only South team was purposely moved North to Sydney, and the AFL is trying to move North Melbourne south, to Tasmania.
Perhaps the pro-west position of the AFL is reflective of an imperialistic view of history and simply reflective of the East–West dichotomy that still dominates much of the World’s thinking, no matter how out of date it is. And did it ever really exist? I know, I hear you.
It could also all be coincidence, and I need to turn my mind to more important things, like how did Obi-Wan Kenobi not recognise R2-D2 in A New Hope when he’d spent a lot of those awful prequels with him?
I should add this will be a great game.
After last week’s nightmare round of tipping, I’m hesitant to go again, but I’m tipping the Bulldogs.
When it comes to tipping, may the Footy Gods have mercy on us all.
Hawthorn v Brisbane (UTS) 1.45pm
If you’d have told Chris Fagan when he moved to Brisbane that in round eight he’d have the Lions just two spots below the Hawks, he’d have been thrilled.
It seems that Hawthorn misses Fagan so much that they’ve decided to join him on the bottom of the ladder.
Sadly, the Hawks have won a few games recently, and I worry they will pick up another here.
Not that it’s all rosy for Hawthorn, Jaeger O'Meara has ‘indefinite’ next to him on the injury list. ‘Indefinite’ in footy speak means ‘we have no idea, but it could be ages.’
Luckily for the Hawks, Brisbane seem to have significantly dropped off in recent weeks, after a not terrible start to the year.
I think Hawthorn should win, but it shows you how far they’ve fallen when a game against the bottom side is no longer seen as a sure thing for them.
St Kilda v Carlton (ES) 2.10pm
A lot of positivity around Carlton currently, meaning they’re not quite good enough yet for us to all hate them.
There’s nothing worse than opposition fans saying nice things about your team; it means they don’t fear you at all. We’re only nice to the hopeless clubs.
I couldn’t begin to count the number of times I’ve had someone tell me they think the Dees are going to come good. It’s just the polite thing to say, like telling Shannon Noll that his career is certainly going to rebound.
The Blues might find this week a bit tougher after Collingwood. St Kilda have a few things Collingwood doesn’t, namely a forward line.
A lot of people have said the Giants were a scalp St Kilda needed, but if this year has taught us anything, beating a top side means not a lot, teams are just as likely to drop a game to a bottom side.
Never has consistency been so elusive. I’m tipping the Saints here, but like you, I’ve got no idea what’s going on.
GWS v Collingwood (SS) 4.35pm
Whenever it seems like it’s all over for Nathan Buckley, he pulls out a big win. This would have all the signs, except the Giants were embarrassed last week.
With the game on the line against the Saints, GWS revealed a soft underbelly. That means they’ll be all keyed up for a big game.
They’ll be a lot of heat in this match because as we all know, all of Collingwood’s problems are GWS’ fault.
Interestingly, Scott Pendlebury said this week that he would leave at half time if his partner goes into labour.
Now, I never like it when players put their families first. The only time someone in football should say they want to spend more time with their family is when they’ve been sacked.
No one ever asks the family if they want to spend more time with that person. I can imagine a spokesperson for the family saying, ‘We are disappointed that Darren will no longer be working 100 hour weeks and will be hanging around the house getting in the way and making a nuisance of himself.”
In Pendlebury’s case, I guess it’s an easy decision. The birth of a child is a milestone event in a person’s life while playing in a Collingwood loss is an opportunity he gets every week.
My only concern is the whole team might decide to leave with him at half time.
Giants to win.
Essendon v Geelong (MCG) 7.25pm
This is the ‘Country Game’, a themed game that I wholeheartedly support.
After all, the country is better than the city. People in the city are godless criminals, while country folk are the salt of the earth, with a homespun wisdom that is both comforting and insightful.
Whatever way you look at it, the country is just better than the city; it’s why most Australians choose to live in country towns.
Like me after a couple of minutes of brisk walking, the Bombers are out on their feet and just want to go home to bed.
Essendon have been fading faster the Clive Palmers’ ‘alternate A-League’ project did.
Geelong hasn't been setting the world on fire either. Any side that loses to Collingwood and the Gold Coast in consecutive weeks has a few structural flaws.
This will be the 300th game for a favourite son of Geelong, James Kelly. Unfortunately, he will be playing for Essendon. If the Cats were so desperate to build a side that could lose to Collingwood, it makes you wonder why they ever let him go.
I'm tipping Geelong.
Adelaide v Melbourne (AO) 7.40pm
Last week, the Crows turned in one of the all-time awful quarters. It was a work of art. Not only did they let their opponents score freely, but they also managed not to score at all. Not scoring at all in a game of footy is very hard to do.
What was very worrying for Crows fans was watching Brad Scott outcoach them. That sort of wipes away all the goodwill Don Pyke had built up.
The prevailing logic is the Crows got a wake-up call they needed and will bounce back this week.
Demons fans look at this and think ‘we’ll that’s just great. Of course, we’d get them after that.”
While the Crows had the worst quarter of the season, Melbourne might be having one of the most frustrating seasons ever.
It’s not that hard to argue they could have won all their games this year. Which is kind of surprising considering they have lost all their ruckmen.
Weirdly, I don’t feel negative at all about Melbourne. The opposite in fact.
In the past, I’ve been incredibly negative about the Dees and for a good reason. They have been an awful team with no upside for a long time. There have been single cell amoeba who have had more clue of what they are doing than the Dees had in the past.
This season, as frustrating as it has been, has shown this very young side are so close to clicking. They have genuine talent in the side and are doing things I haven’t seen a Melbourne side do in ten years, like chase and pick up a ball cleanly.
Figuring out how to stop quarter long fades outs is a much smaller problem to solve than the previous problem of working out how to win games with a VAFA standard side.
Now that I’ve said that of course, they’ll probably rattle off ten losses in a row.
This could be the first of those ten, but Adelaide were so terrible last week, so who knows?
I think the Crows will win here, but it could be closer than many think.
Richmond v Fremantle (MCG) 1.10pm
Richmond players were barred from a primary school this week due to not having the proper working with children checks.
They were due to run a footy clinic and not to attend classes, as I had originally assumed.
It is a shame they couldn’t attend the clinic. Those kids were looking forward to teaching the players how to correct basic skill errors and deal with pressure.
The Tigers would like to get their season back on track this week after finding playing hard teams, hard.
Fremantle may or may not be a good team. They seem, to sum up the weird nature of this season. Written off early on and with good reason, they now sit in ninth.
They also like the MCG, having won four of their past five games there, proving it’s just the Eagles that have a problem, not Western Australian sides.
I’m going to tip the Dockers here.
Gold Coast v Port Adelaide (It’s weirdly in China) 3.20pm
Currently, my favourite sport is watching the AFL pretend going to China is a good idea and not a nightmare.
I’m sure this won’t be the disaster some predict, with sandstorms and food poisoning, I just don’t think it will have any impact on the Chinese market, the point of the whole exercise.
It raises the question, if a game of footy is played at the Jiangwan Sports Centre and no Chinese people are there, did it really get played?
The worry for both coaches is that neither side has ever won a game in China. The other concern is when you strip away the China element, this is still just the Power playing the Suns.
The only reason most people would watch this is to see if a dust storm wipes everyone out, something I’m told won’t happen.
People are going to be disappointed when they tune in expecting a scene from Mad Max: Fury Road, and instead, they just get the Power and the Suns playing at a ground that looks like it should be in the JLT Series.
I’m tipping a Suns victory, but only because I’m partial to a red and yellow jumper.
North Melbourne v Sydney (ES) 4.40pm
Logic would suggest that if the Kangaroos can do what they did to the Crows last week, they should easily account for the Swans, but logic has no place in season 2017.
North’s blitzkrieg against the Crows was so good it almost certainly can’t be replicated, but it must have shown the players what they can do.
Maybe North have decided to front-load their losses this year, a sort of reverse 2016?
They could be looking at another win here, as Sydney have turned in some performances so awful, they’ve become the Adam Sandler of the competition.
The Swans would at least be glad they got one win under the belt, even if it was against Brisbane.
Despite the win, the jury’s still out on the Swans. That’s right, the jury because the way they’ve played this year is criminal.
Strangely, I still can’t write them completely off. I keep thinking they are good.
The mind takes a while to adjust to new realities, like how I still think Vanessa loves me, despite the fact her lawyer says she never did and that her name is not Vanessa.
All I’m saying is change is hard.
Which is why tipping North here is hard, but that’s the weird reality we now live in.
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