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 Twelve.
Port Adelaide vs Richmond (AO) 7:50 PM
As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in Adelaide Airport watching the Tiger army stream into town.
This must have been what it was like when the barbarians sacked Rome.
The Richmond fans I talked to are still pinching themselves over how well everything is going for them.
One Richmond fan said to me, “Do you remember when everything bad that could happen, did happen to us?”
I sure did I assured her, “I also remember all the material I lost when you guys decided to become a proper football club.”
Port fans will have happy memories of the first elimination final in 2014 when Cotchin famously kicked into the wind but times have changed.
Cotchin comes back a premiership captain and a Brownlow medalist, while the Power have to console themselves with being the biggest AFL side in China.
Not to belittle that achievement, even if it is like being the best interpretive dance performer at your high school.
Port have to win this, and they have the best chance they ’re going to get, given Dustin Martin is not playing and this is not at the MCG.
Still, I think Richmond will win here.
Geelong vs North Melbourne (GMHBA) 1:45 PM
Each year, Geelong appear to be not that good, then you look at the ladder, and they’re fifth.
The Cats had something even more relaxing than a bye last week, a trip to the Gold Coast to play the Suns.
Regarding effort, you couldn’t have a bigger contrast in their opponents this week, the ‘let’s prove everyone wrong by being insanely competitive all the time’ Kangaroos.
We get it North, we all talked you down, and you’re very good. Chill out a bit you’re coming off a bit intense.
The Cats could do with a bit of their intensity. You can’t read a lot into their performance last week; the Suns did everything but kick their goals for them.
I’m tipping the Kangaroos here; I think they can trouble the Cats.
Greater Western Sydney vs Gold Coast (SS) 4:35 PM
When Mike Fitzpatrick and Andrew Demetriou conceived of these expansion teams, could they in their wildest dreams imagined they’d be this successful?
The Suns have been like getting hundreds of millions of dollars in a massive pile and setting it on fire as The Joker did in The Dark Knight.
In fact, do that, and you might have more to show for it than what the Suns have achieved with that money.
How there isn’t a bigger outcry on how a single club has squandered so much cash and talent is beyond me.
It’s lucky Demetriou and Fitzpatrick governed the game at a time global TV rights for sports were skyrocketing because between this and the Essendon saga they mismanaged a lot of things. Rivers of cash hides a multitude of sins.
The Giants at least have managed their list well, and despite their injuries and problems this year, last week’s victory against the Crows showed some heart.
I can’t see the Giants losing this because I watched the Suns ‘play’ last week.
St Kilda vs Sydney (ES) 7:25 PM
A lot was made this week that Alan Richardson has the third worst 100-game record in the 121-year history of VFL/AFL footy.
Who’d have thought Scott Watters would be a tough act to follow?
To be fair though, it’s been a team effort, and he couldn’t have achieved it without the support of his players.
Now sitting 16ththe ladder and with just one win, the Saints have finally dropped Jack Billings.
It’s a bold move and could jeopardise… well, nothing really. What does it matter?
What it does do, is send a strong message that if you play eleven terrible games at the Saints, you will eventually get dropped.
The Swans aren’t exactly dominating at the moment, their first half against Carlton last week was one of the worst efforts I’ve seen from them in years.
A big problem is Ben Ronke, who I consider a disappointment if he doesn’t kick seven goals every game. What a disappointment.
Sydney have dominated the Saints in recent times, and I think they’ll win here.
Brisbane vs Essendon (G) 1:10 PM
The Crows commitment to injuring players has been so all-encompassing that they’ve even gone after ex-players, with Charlie Cameron out for the year here and Jake Lever out for Melbourne.
Patrick Dangerfield must be having trouble sleeping.
It’s hard to get excited about this one. The Lions, despite teasing us with flashes of competency this season, have still only chalked up one solitary victory.
Essendon, on the other hand, came crashing back down to Earth last week against Richmond.
Now, as one of the nation’s premier football analysts, I can tell you that Richmond are a better side than Brisbane.
I base this stunning insight on studying hundreds of hours of footage and using a complex mathematical model.
Also, I glanced briefly at the ladder.
Essendon despite their post-Neeld bump, don’t exactly fill me with confidence and it’s tempting to imagine the reaction of Bombers fans if they lost here. Dare to dream.
Brisbane though have shown an inability to win, so I’m going with the Bombers.
Fremantle vs Adelaide (OS) 4:40 PM
Taylor Walker is back! At least that’s what the Crows want us to believe.
There’s been a lot of talk about clubs being honest about injuries. Why?
Personally, if my team can keep the other team guessing and having to do more planning, then that’s fine by me.
Sure, the media get upset, but the media are always upset about something, this at least gives them something to write about.
Others say it affects people’s decisions when it comes to betting. Who cares? Talk about the tail wagging the dog.
There’s one aim in AFL footy, win the premiership. As long as you’re obeying the rules, who cares about whether you let the whole world know about a player’s potential recovery?
In life, it’s far more pleasurable to be lied to on more occasions than we like to admit.
The Crows would be hopeful Walker is back, as you only need to get above 60 points to defeat the Dockers.
The Dockers will be without Nat Fyfe too, whose appearance at the tribunal may not have got him off but certainly got a lot of women off, it my Twitter timeline was a fair representation.
Without Fyfe, I think the Crows can get the job done here. Really, they have to.
Melbourne vs Collingwood (MCG) 3:20 PM
Easily the biggest game of the season, and I’m including the Grand Final.
Remember the days when these two were big traditional rivals? You do?
Then you’d also remember when Joseph Lyons was Prime Minister and dying of consumption was your biggest fear.
Finally, we have a Queens Birthday blockbuster that’s worth watching not just for the Big Freeze but the actual game itself.
Last year, Collingwood famously ended Melbourne’s finals chances in the most embarrassing fashion.
They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but that’s nonsense.
Give me instant, hot revenge anytime. I don’t want to wait decades to finally get back at someone who’s done me wrong. I want vengeance almost instantaneously.
It’s just one of those nonsense sayings like ‘Don’t mix spirits, wine and beer’, ‘political correctness is ruining comedy’, ‘Carlton are rebuilding’.
Both these teams have improved since that last meeting, and this is a real chance for Melbourne to prove they can get the job done when the pressure is on, and they’re on the MCG.
I’m still calibrating the fact the Pies aren’t an amusing inept outfit and actually a decent side.
This will be a good chance for us all to get a measure of just how improved both these sides are.
I’m tipping Melbourne here, but it could be very close.
Byes – Carlton, Hawthorn, West Coast Eagles, Western Bulldogs
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