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 One.
Richmond v Hawthorn (MCG) 7.20PM All Times AEST
There was a lot of complaints in Melbourne about this game being on a Thursday night.
I’m not sure why. Non-Victorian clubs have had Thursday night finals before, and in Perth to fit into the Eastern States prime time the games have to start at about ten in the morning.
I have no problem with Thursday night finals. Why? Because finals take precedence over everything else.
School, work, all these things can take a back seat.
If you’ve got kids, just get the au pair to mind them and say merci beaucoup.
Isn’t it great to see the Hawks back in the finals? Like seeing an incredibly painful rash flare up again.
The Hawks worry me. That Alastair Clarkson knows what he’s doing and it’s terrifying.
People that know what they’re doing are a rare commodity in the AFL. There’s about six of them.
Clarkson is so good he even offsets having Jeff Kennett at the club.
Richmond fans have had a year of bliss. You see them walking around everywhere with a look of post-coital bliss on their face.
There’s apparently 100,000 Tigers members walking around like this, but club membership numbers have become incredibly rubbery in recent years.
Like employment figures, people keep changing definitions to make the figures seem better.
Once a club member meant someone that had a membership for either every game or every home game. Then it started to shift to people who bought a membership that covered three or four games. Then pets started to be counted in the figures.
Now if you drive past Punt Road Oval, you get counted as a member.
I think Richmond can get the job done here.
Melbourne v Geelong (MCG) 7.50PM
The bewildered people wandering around Melbourne this week are Demons supporters who didn’t even know footy could go this late in the season.
“But it’s almost Spring; we would usually go down to Portsea this time of year to air the house out.”
The Dees face a tough game, with Razor Ray selected to resume his partnership with Joel Selwood.
The combination of Joel’s love of staging and Razor’s love of the big stage is hard to resist.
These two clubs have already had two classics this year, and you can build a convincing case for either to win.
The media have been very bullish about Melbourne this week which is enough to terrify any Demons supporter.
Geelong isn’t exactly inexperienced when it comes to finals, having played in the occasional one in recent times.
I’ve always resented Geelong. They used to be terrible like Melbourne but then sorted themselves out off and on the field.
It was like when a friend starts going to the gym, gets in shape, lands a great new job and settles down with someone wonderful.
Sure, I pretended I was happy for Cats fans, but deep down I was angry. Geelong’s relentless professionalism just makes the rest of the league look bad.
I’m too nervous to be able to give any actual insight into this game. When I think about it, all the blood rushes to my head, and I have to lie down, and my staff fan me with palm leaves until I recover.
I’m going to tip the Dees, but I’m tipping with my heart, something I didn’t know I had until recently.
Sydney v Greater Western Sydney (SCG) 4.20PM
The Swans and the Giants are like a family, living under one roof.
The younger sibling just wants to prove they can beat the older sibling, while the older sibling just wishes the younger one didn’t exist.
Having someone around who wishes you had never been created is an intense experience, it’s what I feel when I attend social events, and the Giants, therefore, are no fans of the Swans.
It must be hard growing up in the shadows of a successful older sibling, but the Swans certainly had their awkward teenage stage.
They even hung around with Geoffrey Edelsten for a while, making them the Gabi Grecko of the AFL.
Luckily it was just a phase.
There’s a great sense of excitement building in Western Sydney, and while that’s for the NRL finals, relatives of the Giants players are getting excited about this game.
These teams do not like each other. The only thing they agree on is they think the Kardashians would look at the Victorian footy media and say, ‘these people are incredibly self-involved.’
Both these clubs have had up and down season, but there’s no doubt they can perform on the day.
I’m tipping the Swans.
West Coast v Collingwood (OS) 6.10PM
As I predicted at the start of the season, West Coast and Collingwood finished top four.
I even have proof, as I wrote it down on a bit of paper which I will show you as soon as the ink has dried.
Perth is a beautiful city, let down by the fact that it is riddled with Eagles fans. This weekend it will be even worse, with the joint teeming with Pies fans too.
My thoughts are with the hospitality staff in that city.
Like a professional Argentinian polo player trying to clear immigration, the Pies have had all sorts of obstacles thrown in their way this season.
Injuries, more injuries and then some more injuries have made things difficult, but they’ve persevered.
It’s a lesson for all of us when life continues to throw challenges your way, give up immediately, or all you’ll get in the end is a trip to Perth.
Facing the Eagles at home is not exactly fun, but the Pies have shown an ability to overcome great odds, so write them off at your peril.
The Eagles clinched second spot and if anything, are underrated. Of all the teams, I probably fancy their chances of losing to Richmond in the Grand Final the most.
They’ve even won away from home this year making them a legitimate threat for the Premiership.
Don’t let Eagles fans know I said anything nice about their team, however, I’ll never hear the end of it.
I’m tipping the Eagles.
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