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.

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. Find out more here:


Vic Parkes

Mar 22, 2023

The bump might be dead, amidst much concern by all. Except the people who designed Fox Footy’s promo for this week which features all three bumps that resulted in suspensions, lauding them as we all admire and appreciate about the game. Missed the point, Fox. Much.

Fancy pants

Mar 22, 2023

Titus, suggest that teenager swaps the cheezels for fantales. All that chocolate and caramel ....

So nice of the AFL to allow the local Perth wafl side to continue in the comp. Good luck to them against the Giants on Sunday !


Mar 22, 2023

"What I didn’t understand is the idea that a child’s happiness is important when it comes to their AFL team." Shit, it took me until I was in my 40s to get this through my thick skull. Thanks for the reminder.


Mar 22, 2023

Nat Fyfe is 32 - this is "old"? He has had a rough time with the recent injuries/surgeries.
Looked up the predicted temperature for Perth on Sunday - 26 deg. with a breeze - so should not be too taxing for GWS.

Con Cushion

Mar 22, 2023

Turn it up Titus ... imagine anything with regard to lawyers and you'll be slapped with a writ so confusing you'll know what it's like for us reading this quaint but puzzling guide! Con.

Andrew Deakin

Mar 22, 2023

‘ … out of the blocks like a drunk leaving a pub.’
Five stars.

The g train

Mar 23, 2023

“The AFL Tribunal is humanity’s greatest attempt at building a system that is truly random”. Spot on. It’s mind boggling difficult to generate a truly random system. Mathematicians around the world think they may have found one: the number of weeks an AFL player gets for inflicting a dead bump.

Titus—you’ve absolutely nailed the difference between randomness and uncertainty. Good stuff. Terrific detours this week. That are kinda helpful.

Garry Irwin

Mar 23, 2023

Good to have you back Titus; missed my weekly laugh and your insightful comments about all that is AFL.


Mar 23, 2023

GWS did not play in Adelaide last week although travelling to Homebush makes it feel that far!!

Mike Stacey

Mar 23, 2023

I laughed out loud at "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." and then followed it up with "WTF" at the next paragraph which contained "prefect" and made no sense, perhaps "perfect".

Norm The Dog

Mar 23, 2023

Please explain ! - How do you put the TV onto AV2.

Steve France

Mar 23, 2023

I know it was a who cares game Titus, but GWS played at Giants Stadium NSW last week. We had a balmy 28 here in Adelaide. Koch and Browne to share the Nobel peace prize ... gold.


Mar 23, 2023

Look, Hawthorn are going to lose a lot and play some terrible football.

Losing to Essendon was a cunning plan to wreck Essendon though.

Essendon supporters, especially if they win this week are going to be screaming out the word “Finals”

Only for it all to go horribly wrong when they have to play teams that have experienced midfields and forward lines.

Great idea by Hawthorn, although I’d prefer being less crap when we play whilst achieving this goal of ruining Essendon

Ken Ken

Mar 23, 2023

I nearly got reported for having my daughter in a demons jumper 8 years ago, so the pain of growing up supporting a poor club is all too real, thanks for reminding me lol


Mar 23, 2023

"...[B]oth Scott brothers are contractually obligated to come up with an excuse for a loss..."

It'll be great to listen to the post-match when their teams play each other.


Mar 23, 2023

Nodnerb Notlob is definitely hoping to reverse Carlton's fortune's this year.

And speaking of being asked on a first date your name and what do you do and answering both questions incorrectly, I knew a guy once who did something like that. But he had an excuse: he was out of practice after years of semi-seclusion studying the Klingon language. Like every other guy who's ever studied the Klingon language, he'll definitely go to his grave with his virginity intact.


Mar 23, 2023

I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but Collingwood look certain to go for 4 in a row. If history is any judge, we love the ‘20’s.

alan stone

Mar 23, 2023

BIG FELLA Great to have you back as it helps no end with my footy tipping.In most cases i just tip opposite you but then again i may follow you.Not getting ahead of myself i am tipping the mighty DEES to win at the gabba.I thought with the talent they picked up during the draft they might be a very much improved version of themselves BUT i then looked at some of the spuds still there i am pretty confidant of the dees slapping them as we have done most games over the last few years. GO DEES.


Mar 23, 2023

“At times the Eagles looked more confused than your grandparents trying to work out how to put the TV onto AV2.”
Pure Gold considering I’m a grandmother and can relate to this dilemma very easily. Don’t even get me started on my phone.


Mar 23, 2023

The Earth is slow but the ox is patient. And the sun will shine on the shepherds who shepherd, and scorn ye who bump.

He who handballs, waits.

Kick it up the guts.

Go Doggies

Mar 23, 2023

Absolutely spot on about not having to see your team win growing up. I barrack for the Western Bulldogs, but when I was younger I barracked for Footscray. I grew up in the eastern subrbs but luckily being such a powerhouse club we had supporters everywhere. At my school I think there was a total of one, me. But that was OK, becuase in the late 70's bullying was encouraged and Footscray were rubbish. One year in particular it seemed every week as I approached the classrooms the whole year level would chant "what happened to Fooscray? ....... I exagerate it wassn't the whole year level just every single boy. But even that was OK because we won a game that year so the suffering wasn't consistent.
Anyway, all of that made me the person I am today. A very very bitter and twisted old man, who hates with a passion every other club in the AFL, but mostly those that were in the VFL back then.


Mar 23, 2023

GWS played at Homebush, not Adelaide, but there are times it would be faster getting to Adelaide from the centre of Sydney 😃

Running Dog

Mar 23, 2023

The worst thing about becoming old is that women no longer find you attractive.

That might be true, Titus, but don't forget, every silver lining has a cloud. The flip side of that proposition is that the older I get the number of women who look good increases exponentially. Why, just the other day, I was chatting to one of our secretaries, who deliberately dresses like a frump because she knows she is exactly the opposite. Anyway, I said, "If you weren't wearing glasses I would look quite good." Haven't been cancelled... yet.

Son of plugger

Mar 23, 2023

The bump is dead. No question. It’s also alive as proved by Round 1 and the tribunal. It’s died many times, only each time to come back to life. The bump is a lot like Schrödinger’s cat.

The g train

Mar 23, 2023

Norm the dog: been musing your question for many hours now. Have no idea. One of life’s mysteries, perhaps?


Mar 23, 2023

Pickett should have got 4 weeks and Simon Goodwin is a complete sooking d**khead.

DP Machine

Mar 23, 2023

Last week you had GWS playing Adelaide on the Gold Coast, now in Adelaide… your geography skills leave something to be desired…


Mar 23, 2023

Relax Steve….You’re not a Bulldogs fan by any chance?

bloke from the outer

Mar 24, 2023

WWF like assaults on players kicking the ball was called a shirtfront once. Anybody who condones Pickett's agricultural, so called bump, hasn't been paying attention. When rugby league has a more balanced interpretation, you know your administrators are missing the point. Good luck AFL dealing with the lawsuits.

bloke from the outer

Mar 24, 2023

+1 Steve.


Apr 05, 2023

You actually revealed that effectively!
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Apr 11, 2023

You made your point.
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