Sep 16, 2022
A highly unhelpful guide to AFL Finals Week Three
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 AFL Finals Week Three.
Geelong vs. Brisbane (MCG) 7:50pm Seven/Fox
The second holiest weekend on our calendar, the Preliminary Finals are here, a time to celebrate and actively barrack against who you don’t want to win the Premiership.
Brisbane last week defeated the reigning premiers while also recording their first win at the MCG since 2014.
It proves nothing is certain in football; why it wasn’t long ago people were speculating Melbourne could go the season undefeated.
One guy even tipped Essendon to win the Premiership! Madness.
The Lions even managed to get Joe Daniher back in time to be there for the birth of his first child, not a bad week for the club.
A lot of people also thought Brisbane couldn’t win last week, myself included, but here they are, one step away.
But while the Dees looked as wobbly as an early Mike Tyson opponent, the Cats look solid.
They have won 14 games straight, which, if you’re new to football, is not easy to do.
It’s just so much winning. If anything, it’s excessive.
And they have a lot of finals experience; while Joe Daniher is having his first child, a lot of Cats are becoming great-grandfathers.
Joel Selwood will equal Michael Tuck’s record for the number of finals played, 39. While equal with Tuck, for high frees, Selwood has 45,423 in those 39 games. That’s a record that probably won’t be broken.
Where Geelong have been astounding this season is being good both defensively and offensively.
It’s almost like excelling at the various aspects of football makes you hard to beat.
Personally, the comedic potential of Geelong failing again in finals has me positively giddy with anticipation, but I can’t see it happen; they are just too good.
But then football predictions are as reliable as horoscopes and economic forecasts; it’s why we watch.
Sydney vs. Collingwood (SCG) 4:45pm Seven/Fox
After Victorians being locked out of New South Wales for some time, we are now sending them a large amount of Collingwood supporters, a fair gear change.
Getting to this game has been expensive; you wouldn’t believe it, but the airlines are gouging on the fares! I know, I was shocked, even though it happens every year.
Then you add scalped tickets going for around $499, and a trip up to this game is in the thousands of dollars.
That’s a lot of drop-offs at Cash Converters.
But this is too good a chance to miss. The Pies are arguably the most exciting side in football at the moment.
Their pressure across the ground is something to behold live. The way they run around like a bunch of kids on red cordial is impressive, and they do it the entire game.
That fanatical pressure has seen the Pies win 13 of its last 15 games, but one of those losses was against the Swans, which is not ideal.
In that game, back in Round 22, the Swans tackled like their lives depended on it.
Not since Entrecote have so many people been thrown to the ground.
A big difference for the Pies in that game was Jordan De Goey didn’t play, and without his calm, measured leadership, they struggled.
He plays in this one, though, but they still face a Swans side that is the very definition of stable.
This is the fourth match in a row where Sydney will play the same 22 players. They have been pretty much injury free for months, and they have only played one game in three weeks due to the pre-finals bye and winning a week off.
That’s never ideal, but they're too intense a team for that to be a concern.
In fact, these may be the two most intense teams in the AFL, and this game will be like watching those two people at a house party high on something arguing over capitalism.
I’m tipping the Swans, but this one is going to be close.
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