Jul 29, 2022


A highly unhelpful guide to Round Twenty


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.


Fremantle vs. Melbourne (OS) 8:10pm Fox/Seven

It’s the battle of the Luke Jackson Cup, and I’ve heard from my cousin’s girlfriend’s mechanic that he’s definitely going to Fremantle.

But the guy at the bar said a waitress told him that a real estate agent she once dated said Jackson was staying.

Two impeccable sources with contrary opinions.

My only other option is to listen to the opinions of footy journalists, but they are even less reliable.

Whether the Dees keep Jackson or not, they need to get their season going, considering it’s a disaster at the moment with them languishing in second position.

Like the Dees, Fremantle have been wobbly lately, too. For a season that started off a bit boring, it’s become very exciting, with a lot of teams now in the mix.

Fremantle will be without Nat Fyfe, which used to be a disaster for the Dockers, but they’ve now got more than one good player, which was a clever move.

Melbourne are used to winning in Perth, they won a fairly important game there late last year, but they seem off at the moment so I’m tipping the Dockers in a naked attempt to jinx them.


Collingwood vs. Port Adelaide (MCG) 1:45pm Fox Footy

I mean Collingwood are just relentless. They have ‘zero chill’ as a young person said to me the other day, and by ‘young person’ I mean someone in their late 30s.

It’s getting to the point where I’d even momentarily like Port Adelaide if they win here.

Well, ‘like’ is a strong word, but you get the point.

Port’s problem is they’ve improved but they are still off the pace from the top teams.

Losses to Melbourne and Geelong have made it almost impossible for them to now play finals.

That means they are playing for pride in the jumper, which is a touchy subject when these two play.

All the best footy feuds revolve around fashion. Who can forget the Geelong-Hawthorn feud, which revolved around Jeff Kennett wearing a beret unironically. 

I’m tipping the Pies.

Sydney vs. Greater Western Sydney (SCG) 2:10pm Fox Footy

The Swans were quick to highlight their willingness to wear a pride jumper this week, which was some high-level trolling of the Manly players who refused to wear one.

I have some sympathy for players being forced to wear the symbols of something they can’t possibly support.

Back in the 90s, my Demons had to wear the Toohey’s logo and promote Tooheys New and Tooheys Blue.

But being asked to promote awful beer is a fair bit different to being asked to be a nice person.

In the battle for fans and talent, sporting codes must cast the net as wide as possible, especially in a small market like Australia.

Being perceived as unwelcoming to a section of the community has negative commercial outcomes. Oh, and kids are killing themselves too, so there’s that.

I’m tipping the Swans.

St Kilda vs. Hawthorn (Marvel) 4:35pm Fox Footy

Despite doing their very best to avoid playing finals, the Saints are still in with a legitimate chance.

I mean, they would be if they weren’t St Kilda.

Being St Kilda, they’ve rushed back Dan Hannebery, which should solve all their problems.

Hawthorn are on a three-game winning streak, having defeated heavyweights such as Adelaide, West Coast and North.

No wonder the confidence is growing at Hawthorn.

Sam Mitchell has said he’s hopeful his team can spoil the finals aspirations of a few teams and ‘shape the eight’.

That’s what Hawthorn fans want, not to play finals but to stop other teams from playing them.

I’m tipping the Saints.

Geelong vs. Western Bulldogs (GMHBA) 7:25pm Fox/Seven

If there’s a team likely to grab eighth spot, it’s probably Bulldogs. Or the Saints. Or even Richmond.

Oh who knows. It seems no one wants it.

But, if the Doggies can win here after knocking off Melbourne, we’d have to take them more seriously than a Bevo media conference.

You could take the view that Geelong are due a loss, but we’re not in finals yet.

Plus, this is down at Kardinia, which makes the chances of the Doggies winning about as narrow as the ground is.

Joel Selwood will play his 350th game this week, a career known for courage, skill and a whole lot of free kicks.

Geelong fans hate if you bring up the staging for frees as it takes away from his genuine courage, so bring it up all the time when you’re talking to them.

I’m tipping Geelong.

Adelaide vs. Carlton (AO) Adelaide Oval 7:30pm Fox Footy

This is a nice chance for Carlton to lock in their spot in the eight and the Blues are taking it seriously, dropping Jack Silvagni for the game.

Blues fans won’t mind some ruthlessness at the selection table, it’s a new and exciting thing for them.

Focusing on what someone is doing and not their name is something I’ve never seen Carlton do before. Short-term pain for long-term gain is not usually in their DNA.

It may have taken over twenty years, but have the Blues learnt a lesson?

Matt Crouch has apparently been ‘blacklisted’ by the Crows due to the Crows not offering him a new contract.

Imagine not having to play for the Crows anymore this season. That sounds like discovering you’ve won the lottery.

The other benefit for Crouch is that he will get the exciting opportunity to play for an AFL side next year.

I’m tipping the Blues.


Gold Coast vs. West Coast (Metricon) 1:10pm Fox Footy

Last week I was accused of only tipping the favourites, which I was insulted by. How dare anyone think I put thought into my tipping.

My tipping method is to think for up to two seconds about the game and then just write down whoever I’ve thought of last.

Weirdly, while this approach isn’t a world beater, it also works just as well or even better than people who crunch all the stats.

Why? Because the more you think about your tips and the more you know about football, the worse your tips will be.

At a bar I used to frequent, a Peruvian guy who worked there, and had landed in the country in February, won the pub tipping competition by a margin so high it was embarrassing. He’d never even seen a game until about round twenty. 

He then became a big footy fan, and the next season came somewhere around the middle.

Meanwhile, a new guy from Italy destroyed everyone that year.

That Italian guy never got into AFL, but even he knew this game wasn’t worth watching.

I’m tipping the Suns.

Richmond vs. Brisbane (MCG) 3:20pm Fox/Seven

This should be great. The Tigers have become much-watch TV in the last few weeks, producing some of the most entertaining games and while also becoming the best comedy show on TV.

To be honest, I’m not sure they can do it again; I mean, a lot of people have had to do a lot wrong to pull off the last three games.

The good news is Damien Hardwick blew off some steam by blowing off some steams by yelling at a VFL player last Saturday.

Nothing cheers you up more than that. Whenever I’m feeling down, I just wander down to a VFL game and yell at a few of them.

The good news for Richmond fans is that the Lions haven’t won at the MCG since 2014.

The Lions would want to change that. They may not be able to win at the G, but they’re playing a team who can’t win.

I’m tipping Brisbane, but I’m more interested to see what Richmond does.

Essendon vs. North Melbourne (Marvel) 4:40pm Fox Footy

It’s 14th playing 18th and it’s possible some people will watch it.

Bombers fans are still recovering from last week, which would have hurt more than that time Daryl Somers sang Waltzing Matilda at the 1987 Grand Final.

What will cheer them up is a meaningless win here.

The good news for North fans is that the season is almost over.

It’s been a horrible year and apart from a few games and discovering Alastair Clarkson has chosen Greater Western Sydney, there’s not too many negatives left for this year.

I mean, they’ll probably stuff up the coaching selection process and the AFL will take them over, but not much more than that.

I’m tipping the Bombers.

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

My new podcast Sports Bizarre is out now: https://sportsbizarre.com/ 



Jul 29, 2022

Is Selwood calling out;”Stella! Stella”?


Jul 29, 2022

"That’s what Hawthorn fans want, not to play finals but to stop other teams from playing them."

Ken Oath, especially Geelong.......

Fancy Pants

Jul 29, 2022

Gold. Coast must be pleased to have the bye round this Sunday. The weathers looking just right for a training run.

I see WCE have rested one of their dads army brigade for the match. That brings down the teams averaging age to around 34 doesn’t it ?


Jul 29, 2022

Surely Selwood would only drink Little Creatures?


Jul 29, 2022

I have the dubious honour of accusing Tits of picking favourites and getting my comment answered in the very next week’s tips. At least I’ve achieved something this year


Jul 29, 2022

\\\\\\\ Geelong fans hate if you bring up the staging for frees as it takes away from Selwood's genuine courage, so bring it up all the time when you’re talking to them. ///////

Then there's the issue of TEFLON TOM HAWKINS:

He's been known to leave his handprints
On opposing players' backs
When they fly for marks against him
One-on-one or in the packs.

The umps don't seem to mind this,
They think it's quite okay.
So the odds stay in Tom's favour
On any given day.

Total Flanker

Jul 29, 2022

I've discovered it's also excellent trolling of Carringbush fans to wear prison bar kit and yell come on Pies when they play Port

The g train

Jul 29, 2022

Thank you, Titus. So much utterly profound wisdom and worldly insights *and* utterly unhelpful footy commentary. As good as it gets!

Yes, Titus—we do know what you mean. Which is to say we don’t know what you mean. Which is to say it’s just beautiful. A perfect release from the restraints of reason.

Titus’s columns are the only footy columns I read. So it’s not clear to me if The Suns can make the finals or not.

Kafka’s Ghost

Jul 29, 2022

My niece once won the work footy tipping contest by tipping whichever team’s colours she liked best out of the two clubs involved. The next year she tried science and came nowhere.

Tarax Club

Jul 29, 2022

Fire 🔥 up Demons!


Jul 29, 2022

Just imagine Hawkins playing on Ginnivan. He could push the little bloke’s neck so far forward that he’d look like a swan, and the umpires would pay the mark.

Con Cushion

Jul 29, 2022

Turn it up Titus .... That wasn't a beret, that was Jeff's halo after it suddenly deflated one cold, wet Saturday afternoon !! Con.


Jul 29, 2022

As a saints supporter your entertaining unhelpful look at each round is the only thing I can rely on each week. Hannebery back and the saints playing non prime time footy, all points to a win. Probably not. But maybe.


Jul 29, 2022

You have to wonder whether astrologers could predict winners as accurately as people who predict winners based on the colours the teams wear.

Saint Peter

Jul 29, 2022

I don't get why DH (Richmond) would get upset when an opposition player does to a Richmond player exactly what a Richmond player is taught to do to an opposition player. Maybe he was upset because he thought the guy must have been spying on a Richmond training session prior to the game. This is not allowed unless you go incognito & wear a hat and dark glasses with a mullet hair piece on. Like Dennis Pagan used to do. Sorry forgot the bino's as well. These are considered the essentials for spying.

Tom Mannion

Jul 29, 2022

Hawthorn & Geelong weren't they the handbag clash?


Jul 29, 2022

Wish you had a setup that allowed us to give upticks other comments. Lots here I liked today, but a special uptick to Persia.

les rigbye

Jul 29, 2022

Ah Toohey's blue.
They also sponsored the Saints.
I remember after Saints lost in 97 going back to the club and having to drown my sorrows drinking that crap.


Jul 29, 2022

Thanks Titus: "
Being perceived as unwelcoming to a section of the community has negative commercial outcomes. Oh, and kids are killing themselves too, so there’s that." An actual beacon of decency, don't be embarrassed!

Running Dog

Jul 29, 2022

Shemp, I reckon anyone, not just an astrologer, would make more accurate predictions if they focussed on the past. As for myself, if only I could have seen the future I never would have become a clairvoyant.

I predict that Full Moon Over Nunawading will compose more poetry, and maybe even a heroic ode to Bont The Catkiller, this Monday.


Jul 29, 2022

What has happened to Razor Ray? Has he retired, injured, dropped? He is/was my favourite (seriously).


Jul 29, 2022

Razor Ray is injured. I think it's a hamstring??


Jul 29, 2022

Yeah I’m sure kids are killing themselves because some players refuse to wear that jumper. Turn it up Titus, sounds like you’ve spent too long in the inner city


Jul 29, 2022

Adelaide can trade M Crouch to North for a late draft pick and small change.


Jul 29, 2022

Fair call Phil. Imagine for a moment an alternate universe in which Manly had never got it into their heads to fire shots in the culture war. Does anyone seriously think lives would have been lost then? There is a world of difference between being perfectly happy to get along with everybody and not give a fig what they do behind closed doors, and being asked to actively promote something antithetical to your culture and religion. Stick to the gags, Titus, and stick your social commentary.


Jul 29, 2022

On the internet last New Year I saw a psychic's predictions for 2022. He predicted Biden will be removed form power, there'll be flooding in Paris and London, Queen Elizabeth II will die, the British monarchy as an institution will soon come to an end and so on. No mention of RUS vs UKR (that must have slipped under his radar) and no mention of Richmond losing a bunch of games by less than a goal.


Jul 29, 2022

Having just watched how far off the pace the Dockers were against the Dee’s at Optus tonight, I was initially totally convinced that awful jumper with the diagonal anchor was to blame: it literally and figuratively dragged them down them to vintage dockers level, I thought. Then I realised I should directly blame Lobb for being lazy and not wanting to actually play for Freo, plus a few other co-conspirator passengers in the terrible jumper. But nkw, having red this nonsense, I finally realise the real reason - Titus tipped em. Thanks for nothing Titus. I’ll be mercilessly heckling you at your next Perth show.

Blackswamp Barracker

Jul 29, 2022

Years ago, before I started following AFL closely, I signed up for the staff footy tipping competition out of solidarity rather than confidence in my football knowledge. Knowing I'd never remember to fill the blessed form in before I left of a Friday arvo, I recorded my predictions for the entire season before it kicked off. I led by a mile for the first six weeks.

Oh and, in contrast to a couple of fellow commenters this week, I reckon your remarks on matters more life-threatening than football add depth and intelligence to your Highly Helpful Guides.

Damo from Up North

Jul 30, 2022

I'm looking forward to seeing what Richmond do this week, too. Certainly the most entertaining and curious team in the AFL at present.
Oh, and you must be doing something right when one of your responders effectively tells you to "keep in your lane." I would suggest that person is unfamiliar with your larger body of work. Keep going, Titus!


Jul 30, 2022

To the people who are SLOW to understand what INCLUSIVITY means and why it's important to represent it, goodbye dinosaurs, the world is moving on without you!


Jul 31, 2022

"But being asked to promote awful beer is a fair bit different to being asked to be a nice person."

Perfectly said Titus.