Jun 29, 2023
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Sixteen
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 Sixteen.
Brisbane v Richmond (G) 7:20PM Seven/Foxtel
The bye rounds are over, which means the season is about to get serious, or drag on for what seems like eternity, depending on where your team sits on the ladder.
The Lions season is going exactly how we all expected. They’re good, not quite great, and play the MCG like Ticketek handles selling tickets.
It’s the last bit that is the most worrying. The AFL is a sort-of-national competition, which means you have to win in Melbourne to win it all.
And the Victorian media will also spend time telling you that non-Victorian teams have all these advantages.
It’s the oldest trick in the book, attack an opponent by accusing them of what you do.
Richmond’s season has certainly been eventful. Damien Hardwick leaves, Marlion Pickett got charged and returns in this game, and the new coach squeezes some life out of his older players.
What that all adds up to now is anyone’s guess.
A win here, and I will have to start factoring in Richmond to the complex algorithm I use to predict who will win the premiership.
My algorithm is: several drinks + whatever I happen to be thinking at a particular moment, based on very shoddy research and a rudimentary understanding of football = predicted premier.
I’m tipping the Lions.
Sydney v Geelong (SCG) 7:50PM Seven/Foxtel
The Sydney Swans are lucky they are not up on murder charges after last week. To think that children saw that!
This is a fair step up in class. Trying to beat Geelong is a lot harder than the Eagles.
It’s like going from trying to get Shannon Noll tickets to trying to get Taylor Swift tickets.
The difference is you’ve got a chance of beating Geelong.
Well, Sydney don’t.
They play Geelong like I play any golf course. People start off laughing, but then they get embarrassed and then they beg me to stop.
The Cats are likely getting Patrick Dangerfield and Esava Ratugolea back.
I’m not sure how Dangerfield is back. If I had collapsed lung and cracked lung, I would have just laid down on the floor and never got up again.
Adelaide v North Melbourne (AO) 1:45PM Foxtel/Kayo
Crows fans would be relieved that the AFL has admitted the umpires got it wrong in not awarding Jordan Dawson a free kick in the dying moments of last week’s game.
After all, the AFL admitting it’s wrong is much rarer than winning a game, even if the game was at the MCG and against Collingwood.
You will see Halley’s comet more than you’ll see the AFL admit it’s wrong. They’re the Eddie McGuire of sporting codes.
You’d think the Crows won’t have to worry about the umpires too much this week.
North Melbourne hasn’t had an easy start to the season, but I think this has been one of their best seasons yet.
Is it their competitive performances? The development of their youth?
No, it’s the decision to put a team in Tasmania. No team should welcome that more.
It ends all those calls to move them there.
I guess people could still say move them to Tasmania, but it seems excessive for Tasmania to have two teams. It’s been excessive in NSW and Queensland.
If I were North Melbourne, I’d move to Saudi Arabia. Those guys have heaps of money and Greg Norman says their human rights record is fine.
I’m tipping the Crows.
Western Bulldogs v Fremantle (Marvel) 1:45PM Foxtel/Kayo
Last time these two played, Rory Lobb was targeted by the Dockers, and with the way he’s dominated the competition this season, you can see why they were so angry he left.
But even Rory Lobb couldn’t have saved the Dockers at times this year, who have produced mixed results at best.
They have shown flashes of brilliance, mixed with some quite lethargic showings.
The Dockers say this time they won’t spend time trying to intimidate Lobb and will instead focus on trying to win a game of football.
It seems sensible they won’t do it again. If I tried to intimidate somebody and they then belted me, I would probably not try again.
To be honest, I’m not really the type to attempt to intimidate someone, mainly because even a man with as limited self-perception as me can still tell I’m about as intimidating as fairy floss.
Like the Dockers, I’ve realised it’s better not to act tough but to focus on what you’re good at. For Fremantle that’s footy, for me, well I’m not sure yet but my Mum says it’s lots of things.
She is vague however when I press her for specifics.
Bulldogs to win.
Gold Coast v Collingwood (HBS) 4:35PM Foxtel/ Kayo
Gold Coast are predicting one of their biggest crowds ever this weekend.
With the Suns sitting in the dizzying heights of tenth spot, playing Collingwood, and with half of Melbourne on school holidays up there, that makes sense.
Unfortunately, tenth spot is probably as high as the Suns are going to get, as their run home is insanely tough, especially for a side that has never even played finals.
It’s starting to look like the Tasmanian team will make finals before them. Hell, even Essendon may win a final before them.
The Pies have no such problems. They have 100 per cent of the Daicoses in the league, they’re first on the ladder and they give their fans free heart stress tests regularly.
We also now know that Craig McRae watches winning replays with a few red wines.
Perhaps that’s why the Pies win so much. The players know Coach McRae gets angry if he doesn’t get his red wine.
As I’ve said all along, the Pies will win the premiership this year, there’s no way the can stuff it up from here. I guarantee it.
Pies to win.
Essendon v Port Adelaide (MCG) 7:25PM Seven/Foxtel
Things are looking good for Essendon. So good in fact that no one is calling for the coach to be sacked and Bombers supporters need to keep September open.
The only crazy thing they’ve done this season is sort-of-but-not-really consider getting rid of the Bomber logo, but even that story wasn’t really accurate.
The idea that the Essendon Football Club could be a competent football club is an idea that fills me with dread.
For so long they’ve been their own worst enemy that other clubs didn’t have to worry too much about them. Do we really want them to be able to do the basics well?
Trust me, it would be impossible for the Bombers not to make finals from here!
Port Adelaide faked everyone out early in the season, looking like turning in a season like all their recent seasons, only to then go on an insane winning streak.
Now they are arguably the hottest team in football. They are exciting to watch, their young talent has gone up several notches and no one has made a joke about tarps in months.
Will the Power ever lose a game again? No. Never.
I’m tipping Essendon.
Hawthorn v Carlton (MCG) 1:10PM Foxtel/ Kayo
Not sure why, but lots of Hawthorn supporters were celebrating the West Coast Eagles superstar Sam Mitchell’s ascension to the Australian Rules Hall of Fame this week.
Hawthorn hasn’t had a lot to celebrate lately.
They are better than North Melbourne and West Coast, but that’s cold comfort.
Off the field, things have been messy. No matter where you line up on the racism investigation, perhaps the only thing everyone can agree on if it’s been handled incredibly badly.
Hawthorn, bring people together through negligence.
Carlton has coped much more interest this year than Hawthorn, because people believed they would be good this year.
The question isn’t why haven’t they been good, it’s why did anyone think they would be?
For decades now, the Blues have constantly made anyone who predicted they would be better look a fool.
This season though has been something special.
Fights in change rooms between the CEO and a board member, kicking for goal like it’s a new skill only just introduced to the game, Michael Voss working out as their coach about as well as everyone thought Michael Voss would work out as their coach.
Blues fans have been right to boo their team, this has been a horrible effort so far.
I’m tipping the Blues, but the fact this is no sure thing tells you everything.
Melbourne v Greater Western Sydney (TIO) 3:20PM Seven/Foxtel
Clayton Oliver remains out and I’m hearing that it’s because Oliver is really a lizard person, and the human form he has taken had started to malfunction.
This has meant a new human body has had to be sent from off world. If you line up all the statements of the Melbourne Football club about the injury, and jumble up the letters, you can spell out ‘Clayton Oliver Lizard Man.’
When you think about it, the idea that his hamstring has just taken longer to heal than initially thought is just two far-fetched. This is the biggest conspiracy since they taught us humans built the pyramids and the Earth is round.
The Dees will want to win this one to stay in touch of the top four, and the Giants are not easy, after all they destroyed the Dockers a few weeks ago.
Plus, they have Toby Greene and those other guys.
This match almost didn’t go ahead, due to an argument between the AFLNT and Alice Springs Town Council.
The Council said the AFLNT’s community competition led to an uptick in crime and social issues.
There is some truth in this. All these Melbourne fans in Alice Springs could see the biggest uptick in insider trading and securities fraud the territory has seen in years.
Dees to win.
West Coast Eagles v St Kilda (OS) 4:40PM Foxtel/Kayo
It seems unfair that St Kilda have to fly all the way to Perth for this. Feels like it could just be a Zoom meeting.
Although if the Eagles had to call into a Zoom meeting, they would be the ones forgetting to unmute themselves when talking, and when they did talk, they would just be repeating something someone else said early but with more jargon.
Plus, you wouldn’t put it past half the Eagles to get injured, even on a Zoom call.
The West Coast board have sent a strong message this week; they’ve gotten rid of Warren Kofoed, their strength and conditioning manager for the past 15 years.
That’s whose head the fans have been calling for.
I think we can all agree this has all been his fault, and getting rid of him should fix everything.
No need for anyone on the Board or senior management to be held accountable for turning one of the most powerful AFL Clubs into not an AFL club.
To think they ask fans to pay their memberships fee for this.
Saints to win.
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