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 Fourteen.
West Coast vs Essendon(OS) 8:10 PM All times AEST
This is being played at Optus Stadium, so the odds of anyone seeing it are slim at best.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they have just one gate open then say, “We were shocked at the demand for this event.”
I’m no expert but paying $8 million to screen the biggest sporting even in the world and then being surprised people want to actually watch it, is perhaps the most poorly thought out decision since Michael Voss picked up the phone and asked Brendon Fevola if he’d like to move North.
It’s right up there with Ticketek being caught off guard every time tickets go on sale for a popular event.
Optus attempt to extend themselves from being a not very good telco, to also being a not very good sports broadcaster is a reminder to us all that you should never try new things in life.
The Eagles should be fine here, they only lose to Sydney, not a major problem in the regular season but that could be a problem come finals time.
Essendon lose in Perth with a regularity that is comforting. They’ve lost seven on the trot there and usually lose by a lot.
I’m tipping the Eagles.
Port Adelaide vs Melbourne (AO) 7:50 PM
The Jack Watts Trophy is on the line and it’s fittingly being played in the week Ollie Wines has just recommitted to the Power.
After all, it was Melbourne who overlooked Wines for Jimmy Toumpas, a decision I’m going to say was a poor one, I know it’s early days to call that but I’m here to make the big calls.
Who would want a midfield with both Jack Viney and Wines in it? That wouldn’t be terrifying at all.
Melbourne are coming off the bye, which followed them being shown up by Collingwood on the big stage in a very Melbourne performance.
Not since Krispy Kreme showed up in Australia has something promised so much and delivered so little.
That’s right, Krispy Kreme are rubbish donuts. There I said it, the emperor has no clothes. This is the sort of hard edge comedy I’m not afraid to put out there in the world.
Port have been travelling much better than the Dees although it would be fair to say neither side has earnt the full trust of any footy fan, especially when it comes to tipping.
It makes this one pretty much impossible to tip. Both share an uncanny ability to be amazing and disappointing in equal measure.
I’m tipping the Power.
Hawthorn vs Gold Coast (UTS) 1:45 PM
The Suns are off to Tasmania, which is like when you take the family to check out a new area you might be moving into.
It also continues the AFL’s desire to send the Suns to every part of the world in one season and then wonder why they can barely perform.
China, Ballarat, Cairns, Western Australia for an entire fortnight and now Tasmania.
What a nonsense draw that is.
The Suns are right to be going off tap about that.
Yet last week, letting the Saints run over them in the last quarter can’t all be but down to lots of travel. It was St Kilda.
This is a team with less self-belief than the technical team at Optus.
They’ve actually performed well against Hawthorn in the past but that was before this season broke them, leaving them a hollow shell of a club, although a very expensive hollow shell.
Hawthorn have had a mixed season, now sitting in ninth, but a look at their remaining games is terrifying.
They’ve got the Suns, Giants, Bulldogs, Lions, Carlton, Fremantle, Essendon, Geelong, St Kilda, Swans.
You almost couldn’t write a better draw for yourself, which come to think of it, Alastair Clarkson probably did.
Hawks to win.
Brisbane vs Greater Western Sydney (G) 4:35 PM
The Giants had wins against the Crows and the Suns before their bye and now they get Brisbane.
That’s effectively four byes in a row.
A month off is just what the Giants needed given their injury list and the insipid nature of their performances.
They’ve got Hawthorn next week, so it will be back to work but not before they take on the Lions.
The Lions actually smashed Hawthorn, in what must be one of the oddest results of the season.
Brisbane seem to have a supernatural ability to not win. There is talent there but it’s too young and inconsistent.
Add to that the length of Brisbane being terrible and they need a massive cultural turnaround that’s going to take a while.
The Lions haven’t been good for the entire time the Giants have existed.
I can’t see them changing the Giants minds this week.
Western Bulldogs vs North Melbourne (ES) 7:25 PM
The Bulldogs may be taking on the Kangaroos this week but off the field they’re locked in a fierce battle with the Adelaide Crows over who can injure their entire team the fastest.
The Doggies couldn’t win when they had the majority of their team available, so it’s not going to be much better when they’ll have to call for members of the crowd to make up the numbers.
North Melbourne will be looking at this game and thinking “let’s get ahead of ourselves and think about how much we can boost our percentage.”
Well, that’s what I’d be thinking. That’s probably one of the reasons I’ve never achieved much, always counting my chickens before they hatch.
In my mind, think about doing something is as good as doing it, then I’m off to the pub to celebrate the fact I thought about doing something, and I say to myself, ‘I’ll do that later.”
Anyway, that’s probably not terribly informative footy analysis, but it’s no worse than the majority you’d read.
North to win this.
Collingwood vs Carlton (MCG) 3:20 PM
Another week of one game on a Sunday and it’s not on free-to-air.
But remember, the AFL cares about all the fans, they just care a lot more about the ones who have money.
In this case, not seeing Carlton is a blessing for all involved and if anything, Foxtel subscribers should be asking Foxtel for their money back.
Collingwood saw of the Dees with ridiculous ease a fortnight ago, so this should be positively delightful for the Magpies fans to get down to the MCG and watch an open training drill.
Carlton want everyone to know their rebuild is on the right track.
It certainly is.
As a non-Carlton fan, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the direction of the club since John Elliott left them in a financial and footballing mess.
This is the rebuild I would wish upon them.
The club’s ability to make the wrong decision no matter what the situation, is truly something to marvel at.
Surely, it’s time for them to employ the George Constanza strategy and just do the opposite of everything they would normally do.
Pies to win.
Byes – Adelaide, Fremantle, Geelong, Richmond, St Kilda, Sydney
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