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 Eighteen.
St Kilda vs Richmond (ES) 7:50 PM
Damien Hardwick joined Nathan Buckley this week in pointing out some of the problems with the new rule changes the AFL is considering.
They were reacting to the AFL’s Football Operations Manager Steve Hocking, a man who had never met a crazy idea he doesn’t like.
Hocking had mentioned that several trials had been held involving starting positions for centre bounces and clearances.
Hardwick pointed out the AFL need to think about the unintended consequences the new rules could have.
I imagine a conversation between Hardwick and Hocking would go like this:
Hardwick: Just consider the unintended consequences of what you’re proposing, OK?
Hocking: What are unintended consequences?
Hardwick: You know those new rules you are always bringing in to fix up the problems the earlier rules you brought in created?
Hocking: Oh. You want us to avoid those?
Hardwick: Well, yeah, I mean why wouldn’t you want to avoid them?
Hocking: What would we do then? We’d have to sack half of headquarters. You call them unintended consequences, we call them ‘job creation programs’.
Buckley said the proposed changes were a blight on the game. Thinking he’d heard his name called, Malcolm Blight awoke from his slumber and commenced yelling at the clouds.
He said Buckley better go along with the proposed changes or join the unemployment queue.
He would never have dared to say that to bearded Buckley. That Buckley was terrifying and could coach.
Plus, Calling for Buckley to be sacked is so 2017.
Anyone, Richmond to win this.
Oh, I forgot to mention St Kilda. Or did I forget?
Collingwood vs North Melbourne (MCG) 1:45 PM
This is one of about four games this week that are annoyingly hard to tip.
The Pies last week certainly missed Mason Cox last week.
Cox visited a sick child in hospital this week after a Twitter exchange, in a move that made me feel nice about Collingwood.
I’ve been showering ever since.
Add Pendlebury and Buckley speaking common sense on proposed new rules and the Pies getting out of pokies and I’m deeply concerned about all these positive thoughts I’m having about Collingwood.
I’ve never been more desperate for Eddie to offend a minority group and get me back to hating them. I worry there are no minority groups left for him to offend.
North played a great game last week but still lost, and they need this one to stay in the hunt for finals.
Malcolm Turnbull spent a lot of time this week speaking of how scared everyone in Melbourne is of African gangs.
Being a resident of Melbourne, I can tell you there are more people scared of Collingwood being third on the ladder.
Having seen Aliir Aliir and Majak Daw play last week, I’m wondering if we have too few Africans in Australia.
Anything that would boost the skill levels across the league would be welcomed.
Forget India and China, let’s get recruiting in Africa.
Collingwood to win.
Sydney vs Gold Coast (SCG) 2:10 PM
The Gold Coast Suns have never beaten the Swans. Not once.
They’ve spent this week deflecting talk that Tom Lynch has gone and rumours that co-captain Steven May could also leave.
May said when asked said, ‘But at this stage, I’m committed to the Suns.’
I like adding ‘at this stage’ to sentences.
Like ‘at this stage I’m in love with you.’
“At this stage, I intend to put in a full day’s work.”
That always fills people with confidence.
It’s no surprise players are keen to get out of the Suns, because the AFL have only managed to recreate the Brisbane Bears, who famously also played out of the Gold Coast, despite their geographically misleading name.
The Bears moniker was also a red herring, as the Koala it was based on was not actually a bear, but what do you expect when Christopher Skase was the owner of the team?
Sydney were great last week and while the SCG hasn’t been particularly good to them this season, this is the Suns.
Plus, the Swans have uncovered a lot of new talent that can impact games, Tom McCartin, Ben Ronke, Will Hayward, Colin O'Riordan and runner Jeremy Laidler.
Swans to win.
Essendon vs Fremantle (ES) 4:35 PM
I’m not sure I’m ready to watch Fremantle play again after last week. The mental scars have not even begun to heal.
This season, despite everyone saying it was terrible early on (and it had its moments), has started to get very interesting.
Even these two teams are still in contention for finals. That just shows you how tight the final push for the eight is.
Both have an ‘on paper’ chance of making the finals. I love when we can start using ‘on paper’ and ‘mathematical chance’. It signals we are slowly getting through the depths of winter.
Both teams must win this to keep any hopes, mathematical or not, alive.
Essendon were only OK against the Suns last week. They took until the second half to really come alive but then cruised home.
I can’t see them losing to the Dockers, but then I couldn’t see the Power losing to them so, as you already know, I have no idea.
Still, I’m tipping the Bombers.
Brisbane vs Adelaide (G) 7:25 PM
This once looked like a terrible game a few weeks ago, then the Lions got a taste for winning.
If the movie The Ghost and the Darknesstaught me anything about lions (it actually taught me everything I know about lions), once they get a taste for something, they won’t stop until Val Kilmer kills them.
I’m not sure how that applies to this situation, but I did enjoy the four hours I just spent going down a The Ghost and the Darkness wormhole on the internet.
Adelaide bounced back to life this week after Rory Sloane announced he would be staying.
I hope he doesn’t come out and clarify he ‘wouldn’t’ be staying. I hear people do that sometimes about important things. It so easy to misspeak like that.
The Crows get back Daniel Talia and Mitch McGovern this week and things might be coming right for them just in time for a final push for the eight.
I think the Crows will win this.
Geelong vs Melbourne (GMHBA) 7:25 PM
Melbourne couldn’t fade out and just miss out on finals for the third year in a row, could they?
What’s that? You think they can? Don’t say that, I’m sleeping badly enough as it stands.
The Demons only just lost to Geelong in round one, a loss they may come to regret, especially if they lose this too.
The Cats are no sure thing though. They are almost singlehandedly destroying people’s tips this season and you can easily believe they could destroy Melbourne here, or lose by a significant margin.
Melbourne can’t escape the fact they have to win a few games like this if they are going to play finals.
The problem isn’t their talent, it’s mental, and this is the one area they’ve yet to prove to anyone has changed.
I don’t think they’ll do that here, but I’d be delighted to be proven wrong.
Cats to win.
Carlton vs Hawthorn (ES) 1:10 PM
Carlton spent the week defending their list management,which was a bit amusing.
The current lot did inherit an absolute basket case if we’re being fair, the Malthouse years probably set the club back at least five years, it’s why we opposition fans enjoyed them so much.
A few years ago, Bolton was given a burnt out 1974 Holden Kingswood HQ sedan to work with, and people are now asking why he hasn’t turned it into a Ferrari yet.
The Blues are recruiting with an eye for the long term and I’m enjoying some elements of the Carlton old guard, like Tom Elliot this week, already getting sick of that approach.
I hope they go back to their normal habit of trying to buy a messiah and then everything blows up.
Hawthorn’s loss to Brisbane have made an easy run home that much harder, but like finding an oasis in the desert, here’s Carlton.
Can the Blues upset Hawthorn here?
West Coast vs Western Bulldogs (PS) 3:20 PM
The Eagles now face life without Nic Naitanui. Again.
The return of Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling makes West Coast look like a new team after that mid-season slump.
The win over Collingwood on the MCG certainly showed this.
The Eagles have a lot to look forward to this week, the main thing being that you only have to play the first half against the Bulldogs.
Time and again the Doggies have forgotten there’s a second half and not come out for it.
Let’s hope both teams go as hard against each other as they have against the media this week.
An Eagles staff member took on a few cameramen trying to film Naitanui, while Beveridge went Damian Barrett again.
Beveridge and Barrett fight so often I barely notice it anymore. I love a good coach-journalist spat, where the journalist has to pretend they’re not enjoying all the attention and the coach gets to say what they really think about the entire media but claim it’s just about one journalist.
Eagles to win this.
Port Adelaide vs Greater Western Sydney (AO) 4:40 PM
Port Adelaide are probably still wondering what happened last week.
Even though I watched every horrible moment unfold before my own eyes, I have no clue how the Power managed to engineer that loss.
They scored fifty points for the entire game. That’s actually very hard to do.
With the memory of last week fresh in my mind, it feels impossible to imagine Port can ever win again. Let’s put it down to just an off week I guess.
They’ll miss Paddy Ryder this week though and the Giants seem to be finding some form at the right time of the season.
Imagine if Jeremy Cameron wasn’t suspended? He’d be handy about now.
Luckily Toby Greene’s return means they’ll have some calm leadership on the field.
I think the Giants can get the job done here.
Titus has a new live show ‘Manifestly Inadequate’ and new dates to announce.
They are his traditional bye round tour wrapping up the 2018 season and previewing the finals.
The dates are:
4 August- Hobart
27 August- Canberra
29 August- Perth
31 August- Sydney
1 September- Melbourne
2 September- Adelaide
Ticket available here:http://www.frontiercomedy.com/titusoreily
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