Jul 13, 2023


A highly unhelpful guide to Round Eighteen


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 Seventeen.


Sydney vs. Western Bulldogs (SCG) 7:20pm Seven/Fox

Bailey Smith is out with illness in this one.

He has been a bit down on form this year. My suggestion, trade him immediately!

Also, trade that Marcus Bontempelli! What’s he done lately?

Is suggesting trading Smith a sensible thing to say? Or do? No! But if you rely on saying sensible things, your football punditry career will last about five minutes.

I’m sure more sober minds at the Bulldogs won’t trade him; the secret to list management is you keep the good players and get rid of the bad players.

Sydney’s season is over, as they sit in 15th spot, which is quite the fall from last season when they kind-of-but-not-really played in the Grand Final.

I’ve done a ‘deep dive’ as annoying people say and discovered the major reason they have fallen so far is they are not playing as well this season.

They played MUCH better in 2022. Don’t believe me?

Oh, you do believe me? Sorry I misheard you.

How well you play has perhaps the biggest impact on ladder position of all the factors that go into footy.

For instance, say one team has a well-recognised ‘brand’, but the other team is better at football; the team better at football will almost always win.

You wouldn’t know that listening to many of the experts, but it’s true!

Saying a footy team has a ‘brand’ is what stupid people say to sound smart.

Bulldogs to win.


Melbourne vs. Brisbane (MCG) 7:50pm Seven/Fox

Are we looking at a preview of a Semi-Final! It’s certainly likely.

Brisbane defeated Melbourne in last year’s semi-final. I was there, and it was horrible. Even the finest selection of Penfold’s wines tasted like ashes in my mouth.

I’ve never been fully convinced about the Lions. They are a very good side, but there’s always been a few question marks over them when they face the very top sides.

Luckily for them, the Dees have been working hard on doing an impression of not being a very good side, even though deep down, I think they are.

If they’d kicked a bit straighter over the last month, they would be spoken about with Port and the Pies, and they even beat the Pies.

Brisbane’s main problem is they have an MCG hoodoo.

You never want a hoodoo. I had a hoodoo once at the local chicken shop. I always embarrassed myself when ordering. I once said ‘Thanks mum’ to the man that served me.

Jonathon Brown said the Lions should acknowledge the hoodoo to deal with it, but that’s not what I would do.

Never acknowledge anything. If you have a feeling, push it deep down inside of you. Suppress it. Never admit weakness. I believe all the experts on mental health agree with me on this.

Something is only a problem if you admit it’s a problem. Denial is not just a river; it’s a safe space.

Brodie Grundy has been dropped by the Dees, so now Collingwood and Melbourne are both paying him not to play for them.

I’m tipping the Dees.


Collingwood vs. Fremantle (MCG) 1:45pm Fox Footy

This reign of terror by the Collingwood Football Club has gone on long enough.

Every time I open a paper, which is never because this isn’t 1995, I read articles about not only how good the Pies are but how nice the Daicos Brothers are.

I mean, they force us to concede that are brilliant at football, but now they want us to all wander around going, ‘what a lovely bunch of guys’.

I’m not even sure Pies fans want this. The whole fun of being a Collingwood supporter is everyone is against you. It means when you’re up, you can lord it over absolutely everyone.

The whole ‘hey, it’s ok to like Collingwood’ vibes that some sections of the media are giving off is treason to the soul of football, and you’re forebearers are rolling in their graves.

Still, I hear the Daicos brothers are really nice guys.

The Pies are getting back Dan McStay, Steele Sidebottom and Brayden Maynard this week, while the Dockers are losing a bunch through injury and miss Caleb Serong through suspension.

A loss here, and we can stick a fork in the Dockers, whose unchecked torture program against their fans continues on while the United Nations does nothing.

Gold Coast vs. St Kilda (HBS) 2:10pm Fox Footy

The curtain finally fell on the Stuart Dew era, despite the Suns telling everyone it was sunny days ahead.

The decision we were told was “unanimous.”

As Inigo Montoya famously said, ‘You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.’

Gold Coast Chairman Bob East said it would have been ‘disingenuous’ to keep Dew on as coach once the board had decided to let him go.

I think it was more disingenuous to tell everyone you were committed to him when you clearly were not.

It seems every time a coach is sacked, the club just tips a bucket of words onto a bit of paper and then gets the Chair and CEO to say those words.

They have no actual connection to reality.

I get it; break ups are hard. Well, I assume they are, you have to go out with someone first to go through one.

Now the Suns just need to land Damien Hardwick, which I have no doubt they’ll do as this is a club that always succeeds.

Saints to win.

Carlton vs. Port Adelaide (Marvel) 4:35pm Fox Footy

There’s nothing like playing some of the bad teams to get the AFL media to start writing ‘how you turned your season around’ stories.

Did you know if you play teams in the bottom six your stats get better? Stunning.

And Carlton should be beating those teams. That’s the point, the Blues have underperformed.

‘Turning their season around’ is really code for ‘we’re surprised you didn’t lose a few of these too.’

Now we get a real sense of where they stand.

If they have really turned their season around, they’ll do well here, at home and against a Port side that must be due for a loss.

That’s if being due a loss is a thing, which I’m not sure it is.

Port have a lot of belief and talent, Carlton seems to be lacking the first and there are questions over the second bit.

A win here would be something, and I’m tempted to tip Carlton as one of those ‘I’ve talked myself into tipping a team by overthinking’. But if there’s one thing, I pride myself on, it’s never overthinking.

Port to win.

Geelong vs. Essendon (GMHBA) 7:25pm Seven/Fox

For the handful of Essendon fans who got tickets to this, it’s in a place called ‘Geelong’, which is like the French Rivera of Victoria.

Essendon have only been down there three times in 30 years, so are probably not familiar with it.

To help, Geelong is only accessible by plane. You will need a visa and they use a strange form of currency which combines shells and old Ford parts.

The only place the Bombers visit less frequently is the top eight, but there they sit, and even for them it would take some effort to miss the finals from here.

I can’t see it happening. They’d have to suffer seven losses, but that will never happen.

Two losses, that's possible. Five losses, there's an outside chance. But seven loses, I'd like to see that.

Geelong’s Gryan Miers, the Messi of Australia Rules football, will play his 100th game this week.

I can’t see the Cats losing this. 

Adelaide vs. Greater Western Sydney (AO) 7:40pm Fox Footy

A lot has been made of the Crows not travelling well this year, which doesn’t apply here because they play at home, so we can forget that.

Instead, it’s ninth taking on tenth, as both these sides battle to make up the numbers come September.

Matthew Nicks said this week that he considers being called “flat track bullies” a compliment.

I get it Matthew, when people call me the biggest idiot they know, I tell them I take that as a compliment, which they then say proves their point.

Really, flat track bullies means you are an average side. You are good enough to beat the bottom sides and not quite good enough to beat the top ones.

It’s not like you’re going to slow down against the bottom sides. “Let’s calm it down, boys, we don’t want to be called flat track bullies. That would be most hurtful.”

Any Crows fan would take where they are now given how bad recent years have been.

And they should win here. The Giants are a very solid side, but they did only beat Hawthorn by 13 points, and the week before, they relied on the Demons shooting themselves in the foot, which took the Dees some time to do accurately.

I’m tipping the Giants.


North Melbourne vs. Hawthorn (Marvel) 1:10pm Fox Footy

It’s the match of the round!

It’s a Kids Go Free game, with most kids saying that’s not enough and calling for some sort of payment to have to go.

Hey, are any of you guys thinking of doing that doubleheader of the Barbie Movie and Oppenheimer? Barbenheimer, I think people are calling it.

Both come out on July 21 and I’m super excited as I had a Robert Oppenheimer figure as a kid.

People say the films are vastly different, but I watched both previews and they seemed pretty similar to me.

Both films tackle the issues of humanity, love and nuclear explosions.

If you are having trouble telling the difference between the two movies, Oppenheimer is a Christopher Nolan film, so if the women are speaking in the movie, it’s Barbie.

Hawthorn to win? Do you care?

West Coast vs. Richmond (OS) 4:40pm Fox Footy

There’s a lot of debate about what order to see Oppenheimer and Barbie.

Online consensus seems to be to watch Oppenheimer first, then Barbie. 

I guess the theory is to use Barbie to pick you up after Oppenheimer has plunged your emotions into the depths of hell. 

No pressure Barbie!

If Oppenheimer leaves you devastated and pondering what is the point of it all, then if you’re an Eagles fan, you don’t need to see it; you know that feeling.

Just see Barbie twice.

Either way, it’s nice to see cinema firing after struggling in recent years.

Richmond to win.

You can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus

This week’s Sports Bizarre episode is Sport’s Biggest Family Feud, available wherever you get your podcasts.


Penfolds Grange

Jul 13, 2023

"I had a hoodoo once at the local chicken shop." Is it like a Chiko Roll, full of something unidentifiable that makes you fart uncontrollably?


Jul 13, 2023

I wouldn't put it past Saints to allow Gold Coast their expected honeymoon period post-Dew.


Jul 13, 2023

Love the tip against the Crows Titus, hoping it helps us in exactge way it should.


Jul 13, 2023

The Princess Bride reference, gold....

Shooting Blanks

Jul 13, 2023

Can you really say that the Demons shot themselves in the foot accurately when there were so many rushed behinds?

"Accuracy" and "themselves" are doing a lot of work here.

I don't think you can really say you're shooting yourself in the foot accurately when the opposition are doing it for you.

Capt Blood

Jul 13, 2023

Best mess of French Riviera since Jack Dyer declared he was going on holidays to the French Riverina

Halftime Spray

Jul 13, 2023

A friend of mine is teaching English at a language school in Thailand. He told his students that Stewie Dew had just suddenly been sacked and asked them to please remain calm. And the Thai students did indeed remain calm.


Jul 13, 2023

Great preview, as always, although its a little unfair on the United Nations. I mean if they are happy to sit by and watch Russia slowly pull the wings off the fly we call Ukraine, why would they even care about the liberty fighters wanting to escape the Dockers? Surely this is a matter for euthanasia ?

Sam Miller

Jul 13, 2023

That bit about "brand" Titus. Agree 100%.


Jul 13, 2023

“Two losses, that's possible. Five losses, there's an outside chance. But seven loses, I'd like to see that.” - is that a reference to Mongtomery Burns in the classic Simpsons softball episode!? “Nine misfortunes, Id like to see that!”


Jul 13, 2023

Finally someone has come out and said it “ There’s nothing like playing some of the bad teams to get the AFL media to start writing ‘how you turned your season around’ stories.”
It always amazes me how this happens some middle ranking team belts the poor sods at the bottom of the ladder and the genius footy commentator is barking on about how they are suddenly brilliant - no there not they are still gunna get thumped next week when they play a top of the ladder team. But they persist in spilling all this deeply thought out drivel… it just makes you want to throw things at the telly… some footy commentators should be seen but not heard…

Across the Face

Jul 13, 2023

"French Rivera"
Titus, there's a lesson to be drawn from this. Steer clear of foreign words if you already have enough trouble with English. 

SNORRI:"… some footy commentators should be seen but not heard…"

Not even seen if the commentator in question is BT. Anyway, I agree. Feed 'em to the crocodiles at the end of every Finals series, I say.

saint peter

Jul 13, 2023

You tipped us against the SUNS. Now we are going to lose. THANKS VERY MUCH.

Julian Noel

Jul 13, 2023

Classic: "A loss here, and we can stick a fork in the Dockers, whose unchecked torture program against their fans continues on while the United Nations does nothing".

What use is the United Nations?


Jul 13, 2023

It’s nice that the Dockers get a cross country trip this weekend. (Haven’t traveled in a plane for several years) It’s just a pity that they have to ruin an otherwise lovely mini break getaway with the lads by coping a flogging at the MCG. Perhaps the Dockers hierarchy could save them the trouble and forfeit the scheduled match and just organise a nice round of golf with the guys down at one of the nice sand belt courses or even down the peninsula?
Hey, they could even splash out and hire carts, that’s always a bit of fun.


Jul 13, 2023

Couldn’t have said it better myself Snorri.


Jul 13, 2023

Currently at a makeshift camp in the Nullarbor with around 500 Dockers fans. Food and water is running low (the Penfolds has gone) and the SA government is refusing to grant us entry on asylum grounds. The Victorians said they'd consider letting us in if we take Lobb back, that's a sticking point. Know anyone at the UN?

Unwashed Masses

Jul 13, 2023

In ignoring the last two games to debate the 'Oppenheimer v. Barbie' movies,, Titus introduces us to a new level of apathy, well worthy of applause and flowery kudos but I just couldn’t be bothered.

Note.. surely the order in which you see the movies will depend solely upon Gold Class schedule… or will you consider sharing a cinema with those ‘unfortunates’ you sometimes swerve to miss?

Fat Side

Jul 13, 2023

Titus, you know a lot about hoodoos, does that make you a hoodoo guru?

Con Cushion

Jul 13, 2023

Turn it up Titus ... annoying people say "to be honest". Mildly annoying people use the term "learnings" and only partially annoying people say "deep dive". Con.


Jul 13, 2023

Penfolds, Titus? How gauche! Times must be truly hard, if you're reduced to drinking domestic wine, you poor boy...

Pupper Mum

Jul 13, 2023

Inconceivable! Thanks for The Princess Bride reference - made my day.

The g train

Jul 13, 2023

“How well you play has perhaps the biggest impact on ladder position of all the factors that go into footy”. Respectfully, Titus—but the biggest impact is via how many games you’ve won. Playing well has less impact than people realise.

Great guide to GC vs StK game. But GC will win it for Stewie.That’s how it normally goes when a coach is sacked for not winning when the now sacked coach was coaching at that time. They couldn’t win for the sacked coach when he was actually the coach; but now that the sacked coach is no longer coaching, they’ll win it for the sacked coach.

Son of plugger

Jul 13, 2023

“If Oppenheimer leaves you devastated and pondering what is the point of it all, then if you’re an Eagles fan, you don’t need to see it; you know that feeling”. StK fans live the feeling. We don’t ponder such things; we know there’s no point to all of this. None.

Where I am, Barbie is sold out for days already. So it’s Oppenheimer first.

Half time spray—my brother is a teacher also and he also endlessly tells me how well behaved the Thai school children are.

Ken Ken

Jul 13, 2023

You need me as your editor Titus

Hola Port Adelaide

Jul 13, 2023

The only reader who is a Port fan ( I think) thank you for stating or asking is “being due for a loss” an actual thing?!
I only asked this after the teams were named a couple of hours ago because maybe the coaches think so.

I suggest we win 2/4 but am hoping we save the losses for more deserving teams than the blues. Happy if we lose the Showdown so the Crows have something to hang on to from this season

Sheldon Wiebe

Jul 13, 2023

Your Unhelpful Guide usually provokes one of two responses from me: 1) "Titus may not know football but he's a fun read", or 2) "Good God! Titus read my mind!"

This week's column is the latter.

I'm not sure if that means w know nothing about football, or if we're both geniuses.


Jul 13, 2023

Oh please readers, leave your pathetic attempts at humour to Titus, he's sooo much better at it than you.

Across the Face

Jul 14, 2023

CRANKY JUL 13, 2023
Oh please readers, leave your pathetic attempts at humour to Titus, he's sooo much better at it than you.

I say, steady on, old chap! Rather missing the point, aren't we?

Black Swamp Barracker

Jul 14, 2023


With you there, ATF. Titus is King, but like all benign and inspiring leaders, he does stimulate a lot of very good and funny responses from his readership. I get a laugh every week when I read 'Turn it up, Titus...Con (Cushion). I like to think it's due to the - on the whole - sophistication and vast experience of the cohort.


Jul 14, 2023

Why are hawthorn and norf not playing in tassie?

Christos Papachristos

Jul 14, 2023

Dear Cranky,
"As you wish".

Stay retired Bruce McAvaney

Jul 15, 2023

I think I've worked out Brodi Grundy's forward problems, after seeing his photo above. "Don't tie laces round finger when lacing up boots"

This is Serious Mum

Jul 16, 2023

Unwashed Masses - this might motivate you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK4-ma12vJ8

Wilbur Wilde

Jul 16, 2023

'French Riverina' - thanks Captain Blood, that's in.