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 Twenty Three.
Port Adelaide vs Essendon (AO) 7:50 PM
It’s a battle of two of the more disappointing teams of the season as ninth takes on eleventh.
Port technically could still make the eight. They need to win this; then they need Gold Coast to beat Geelong.
Could Gold Coast beat Geelong in Geelong? There is more of a chance we get a stable government in the next few days.
Relying on the Suns is like relying on Malcolm Turnbull’s political judgement.
Still, unlike politics, you never know your luck when it comes to footy, and the Suns did beat Sydney in recent memory.
Essendon hasn’t had the best year, but they can at least sit back and enjoy Collingwood become embroiled in yet another drug scandal.
Port to win.
Geelong vs Gold Coast (GMHBA) 1:45 PM
The Cats need to win this if Port win the night before.
That’s the simple scenario facing them. I’d be quietly confident if I was them.
There is no scenario where anything good can happen for the Suns.
This game does present a chance for Gary Ablett to get some revenge on the Suns for giving him all those millions of dollars though.
All those dollars and the captaincy and the media reported it like Gary was being held hostage on the Gold Coast all those years.
The Cats can go even higher to seventh on the ladder if Melbourne loses on Sunday and the Cats win by eight goals.
The Cats should win by eight goals even if they were trying not to.
Richmond vs Western Bulldogs (MCG) 1:45 PM
This is a game so important for Richmond that if they lose it, they could spiral down as low as first on the ladder.
We live in a rare world where Richmond are more stable than our democracy.
I remember when being Prime Minister was a stable job and being Richmond coach was a short-term position.
I would prefer the Richmond administration running this country than anyone currently on offer; they have at least achieved something in recent memory.
The Bulldogs will welcome the end of a season where their biggest achievement was stopping Susan Alberti coming through a certain gate for a game where entry was free.
If only their defence were so good at stopping people.
Apart from that, this has been a pointless year for a side that won a premiership just three hundred Prime Ministers ago.
Richmond to win this.
Fremantle vs Collingwood (OS) 4:35 PM
Collingwood are engulfed in another drug scandal, this time involving Sam Murray and allegedly involving cocaine.
Damn those New Zealand cows! They seem to be on every drug imaginable.
Perhaps vegetarianism could save the Magpies?
Worryingly, Collingwood seems only to get stronger no matter the setbacks, so this won’t necessarily have much impact on the field.
They’ll also be significantly helped by the fact they play Fremantle, essentially giving them a two-week break until finals.
Ross Lyon spent the week under a lot of pressure but with results like they’re showing, you can see why the Dockers stuck with him during the sexual harassment scandal last week, not everyone can steer a side to record-setting losses.
Collingwood to win.
Sydney vs Hawthorn (SCG) 7:25 PM
I was as shocked as anyone to see Jeff Kennett make this game about himself. Talk about out-of-character.
He helpfully pointed out Buddy hasn’t played well against the Hawks.
This may be true, but it’s a small sample size and why give him any motivation? It was spoken like someone who never has to play on him.
Jeff always knows best though, like when he wanted to sack Alastair Clarkson or demote him to the VFL. They were good ideas.
The Hawks may not fear Buddy, but they should fear Ben Ronke who booted seven on them last time they met.
Buddy has been named despite injury concerns and has been in good form recently.
Fourth sport and a double chance is on the line here, so this should be a great game. I think the Swans can win it.
Carlton vs Adelaide (ES) 7:25 PM
I see this as less of the final game in the season and more the start of the Crows pre-season, with some light track work.
It does present a wonderful chance for Crows fans to get together and blamestorm who’s responsible for their terrible season.
Considering the preseason torture camp came after making a Grand Final, imagine how terrifying this preseason camp is going to be this offseason when they didn’t even make finals.
It will probably involve putting them all in a bus and driving it off a cliff into the sea.
Carlton secured the wooden spoon last week, so this game has little meaning to them.
The Blues announced this week they will upgrade all members to a higher category next year for free. It’s a wonderful gesture.
I’ve assumed all Carlton members are being paid to attend games, so I guess they will now get paid even more.
I applaud that move, watching the Blues is never something anyone should have to do for free.
Adelaide to win.
Brisbane vs West Coast (G) 1:10 PM
Losing to Melbourne last week now means the Eagles have to win this to make the top two.
Beating Brisbane is still eminently doable, but it’s not as easy as it once was. It’s a headache the Eagles fans don’t really need.
A loss to the Lions wouldn’t be the greatest bit of momentum building for the finals, and the Eagles have enough injuries to make this way trickier than it should be.
The Lions had a lot of fun this week, with Dayne Zorko says he is “embarrassed” for his post siren tantrum against Touk Miller.
It all stemmed from refusing a handshake. Refusing a handshake on a sporting field never goes well, it always makes you look terrible and backfires more often than not.
Eagles to win this.
Melbourne vs Greater Western Sydney (MCG) 3:20 PM
Chris Judd said the Demons celebrated too much last week, but I didn’t think they celebrated any more than Carlton did following their two wins this season.
All those years saving the environment seems to have sucked the joy out of Chris’ life.
Both teams have a chance to get into the top four with a win here, so it’s like the finals have begun early.
For that to happen though, Fremantle would need to beat Collingwood, so this is all academic.
The Giants defeated the Demons pretty easily last time they met, so we’ll have to see if beating the Eagles has made the Demons suddenly a side that can match it with the top eight consistently.
If that happens, I won’t know what to do with myself.
Greater Western Sydney needs to prove they can consistently perform on the MCG where they have struggled in the past. I think they can win here.
St Kilda vs North Melbourne (ES) 4:40 PM
There is a scenario where North can still make finals, but it’s as far-fetched as one in which both Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton have been Prime Ministers of Australia.
This is a matchup of two teams that have both proven the predictions before the season wrong.
For St Kilda, that isn’t a good thing. Tipped to play finals, they have barely been able to play footy.
It’s always concerning when basic football skills elude a group of people whose sole job relies on them and spend most of their waking lives practising them.
The offseason looks like it’s going to be brutal for the Saints, but at least their fans won’t have to watch it.
North, like Captain Ahab, will spend the offseason trying to land their free agent.
I wish them all the best. If they don’t, their war chest may request a trade.
Titus has a new live show ‘Manifestly Inadequate’.
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
5 September- Brisbane
Ticket available here:http://www.frontiercomedy.com/titusoreily
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