Mar 22, 2023
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Two
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 Two.
Carlton vs. Geelong (MCG) 7:20pm Seven/Fox
Great to see Carlton get a shot at a prime-time TV slot, they’ve certainly earned it and it’s so rare for them to get one.
People often tell me I’m too hard on Carlton, but I’m nowhere near as hard on them as they are on their fans.
The good news is that draw means they can’t start the season 0-2, so positive signs or ‘green shoots’ as Brendon Bolton once promised us.
Speaking of green shoots, it’s hard to know if the MCG’s surface was as bad as Chris Scott intimated last week, given every other team seemed to get through unscathed.
In fairness, both Scott brothers are contractually obligated to come up with an excuse for a loss, and sometimes they have to be a bit creative to do that.
Blaming Ed Sheeran for everything is a fairly safe bet, as like Coldplay, he’s an easy target, despite being wildly popular. That’s because if something is wildly popular, it can’t be cool.
By that logic, I may be the coolest man on the planet. Is cool still even a word these days?
I guess you could blame the surface for Jeremy Howe’s injury, but only in a sense that it's hard.
Perhaps the game could be played on a giant trampoline. Double-bouncing an opponent would make things fun, and no one has ever broken a bone on a trampoline.
I’m tipping the Cats.
Brisbane vs. Melbourne (G) 7:50pm Seven/Fox
The Dees will be without Kysaiah Pickett, who got two weeks for a bump, not one week like Buddy and not three like Shane McAdam.
The chose-your-own-adventure nature of the tribunal system remains. No two outcomes are ever the same.
The AFL Tribunal is humanity’s greatest attempt at building a system that is truly random.
Spotify and Apple Music should talk to the AFL about how to make a truly random playlist that doesn’t just give you Miley Cyrus’ Flowers every few songs, even though it is, as the kids say, ‘a banger’.
While the Dees lose Pickett, they are likely to get back Steven May, Jack Viney, Bayley Fritsch and Christian Salem, which are some OK ins.
Simon Goodwin said the ‘bump is dead’ this week, and that may be true, although the bump has been reported as dead so many times, I can barely keep count.
It just keeps coming back anyway because the AFL hasn’t ever been really that serious about ruling it out. It’s about incentives.
If the punishment is severe enough, people will stop doing just about anything. Just ask any parent who has threatened to take away the iPad.
Brisbane’s loss to Port was not exactly the ideal start for the season, but don’t be fooled.
Every year we get a bunch of results in Round One that cause us to massively overcorrect in our tips for Round Two, which then sends us spinning off into a world of uncertainty for the rest of the year.
It’s easy to overreact and say Brisbane got ahead of themselves but have you ever considered that Port Adelaide might actually be good?
Well, of course, you haven’t, fair point.
I’m tipping the Dees.
Collingwood vs. Port Adelaide (MCG) 1:45pm Fox Footy
The jumper wars are now over, or at least in a truce, giving me hope for peace in the Middle East, the reunification of North and South Korea and even a possible end of the war in Ukraine.
If these two can agree on such a contentious issue, then no problem seems insurmountable.
Why, I have it on good authority that David Koch and Jeff Browne will share the Nobel Peace Prize this year.
Round One reminded us all that Collingwood are a clear and present danger to win a premiership this year.
It’s important we start talking about them being the favourite. Heap that pressure on them as much as possible.
One rule change I’d like to see is that no one team can have multiple Daicoses. It just makes things unfair.
Of course, we all know the Power are the real premiership favourites; they just need to manage their players now until finals. Start resting them.
While I’m not one to overreact after beating the Lions, I can’t believe they haven’t offered Ken Hinkley a ten-year contract extension.
I’m tipping the Pies.
Adelaide vs. Richmond (AO) 4:35pm Fox Footy
At the time of writing this, the Crows are appealing Shane McAdam’s three-match ban.
I’m not really sure why. The only argument I can see is that Buddy and Pickett should have got more weeks, not that McAdam should have less.
I don’t think you can appeal to have other teams’ players get higher suspensions, but it would be fun if you could.
Imagine the work it would create for lawyers, and if there’s one thing everyone wants, it lawyers getting more work.
Last week, the Crows were, I was going to say, disappointing, but when your expectations are this low, can you be disappointed?
Richmond wasn’t that great either, and if it wasn’t for Carlton defenders being allergic to Tom Lynch, they would have lost.
Luckily, they get the Crows, and if you can’t start the season with at least one win from playing Carlton and Adelaide, that’s a bad sign.
Really, it should be the prefect start that you can’t get wrong. Like being asked your name and what do you do on a first date and answering both questions incorrectly.
I’m tipping the Tigers.
Western Bulldogs vs. St Kilda (Marvel) 7:25pm Seven/Fox
The Bulldogs ‘Land of the Giants’ forward line will be a little bit shorter this week, with Rory Lobb off to have minor surgery in a less-than-ideal start to his Bulldogs career.
And quieten down Freo fans with your laughing back there.
It’s a shame they must give up on that experiment so quickly when it had been working so badly.
St Kilda will be especially annoyed as the four talls were like having extra defenders out there. You could just stroll out of your backline with four giraffes ambling behind you.
The good news for the Saints is they won last week; the bad news is all their players are still injured.
The Saints will be hoping to give away fewer 50m penalties this week for umpire dissent.
The umpire pointed out, “You can’t look at the screen then have a go at me, OK? That’s considered umpire dissent.”
That seems unfair. I’d love to be able to point at a huge screen at work to point out someone else doing a poor job.
Would be great for morale.
I’m tipping the Bulldogs.
Fremantle vs. North Melbourne (OS) 7:30pm Fox Footy
Following a Round One win, finals are a dead-set certainty for the Kangaroos, and on top of that, Harry Sheezel signed a contract extension, making him the anti-Jason Horne-Francis.
Sadly, we got the news that Ron Joseph passed away, a giant of the game and a man who was a major reason North Melbourne are still located in North Melbourne.
Perhaps the best testimony about the character of the man was he once joined Collingwood, had a look inside the club and resigned less than 10 hours later.
While North has started the season off well, Fremantle lost to St Kilda, who had so many injuries they qualify for funding as a hospital.
Perhaps most surprising was Nat Fyfe starting the season with nine possessions.
Fyfe is suffering from becoming old, something I’m all too familiar with. When I stand up, my knees make a sound like a car backfiring, and my back starts to hurt from doing intense things like lying on the couch.
The worst thing about becoming old is that women no longer find you attractive. Luckily for me, I was prepared for this with women not finding me attractive when I was young, so that’s a win for me.
Luckily for athletes, when their time is up in sport, they still have the majority of their life ahead of them. It’s the less fun bit of their life but it’s there.
I’m tipping Fremantle.
Sydney vs. Hawthorn (SCG) 1:10pm Fox Footy
Not much to get excited about in this game, except, of course Buddy facing off against his own team.
Wait, what’s that? He’s suspended? Oh.
Well, the Swans should be fine without him, given they are playing Hawthorn who are so bad they made Essendon look good last week.
Sam Mitchell said, “That was not a performance that's going to be indicative of how we are as a team.”
Except it is. That’s what happens when you get rid of all the players who are at AFL level.
This week there was a column in The Age about a parent worrying their son had not seen a Hawthorn win, and they were worried they may not barrack for the Hawks.
What I didn’t understand is the idea that a child’s happiness is important when it comes to their AFL team.
What sort of luxury is liking your AFL team? Most of us hate our team for most of our lives.
It’s what builds character.
Supporting an AFL team is like life, a long, hard slog punctuated briefly by moments of happiness.
Swans to win.
Essendon vs. Gold Coast (Marvel) 3:20pm Seven/Fox
Jake Stringer is available for Essendon, and nothing improves a situation like more Jake Stringer.
The Bombers would be thrilled to get Hawthorn followed by the Suns, the perfect draw to start the year.
The question is, can they perform against the top teams? For the last twenty years the answer has been no.
The media focus has been off the field, about the power struggle between Josh Mahoney and list manager Adrian Dodoro.
One of them is probably going to go. Why would it be Adrian Dodoro, who has been responsible for so much success during his time there?
Gold Coast came out of the blocks like a drunk leaving a pub last week, losing to the Swans.
They looked, to use a technical term, ‘rubbish’.
So bad in fact, that Essendon will start favourites in this game.
And in recent years, the Suns have struggled against the Bombers, which is hard to do.
I’m tipping the Bombers.
West Coast vs. Greater Western Sydney (OS) 6:20pm Fox Footy
West Coast managed to limbo under the bar that is North Melbourne last week, in a result that screamed, ‘it’s going to be a long year’.
At times the Eagles looked more confused than your grandparents trying to work out how to put the TV onto AV2.
There was once a time when travelling to Perth to face the Eagles was a daunting task. Now it’s about as daunting as a trip to the shops.
The Eagles are just lucky Hawthorn exists or a wooden spoon would be on the cards.
The Giants have a few issues going into this, with Harry Perryman doing his hamstring last week and Lachie Whitfield and Josh Kelly both got concussed.
On top of that, they had to play in Adelaide in 36-degree heat last week and now go to Perth.
That should mean the Eagles have a real chance here, but it’s the Eagles, so nothing is certain.
I’m tipping West Coast but with the confidence of a teenager with braces who just ate a bag of Cheezels asking someone out.
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