So in addition to Bruce McAvaney handing over the hosting duties to Hamish ‘Rompingwins’ McLachlan, the AFL has confirmed the Brownlow Medal count will finish earlier this year.
Even still, Alastair Clarkson will resemble this at 10:30 waiting for a Hawthorn player to receive a vote.
GWS (5th) vs Hawthorn (12th) @ Manuka Oval aka Hoth, 7:50pm AEST
Ahead of Hawthorn’s first-ever visit to Canberra, if the forecast for Canberra and the surrounding areas for Friday night is around the money, we could get scenes resembling that memorable NRL game from 2000.
I wouldn’t be shocked if several AT-ATs were spotted being attacked by Snowspeeders in the centre square.
If Clarko’s hard-on for no sleeves hasn’t changed, then those long-sleeved Giants softcocks are going to start quivering at the sight of 22 Hawks running out in short sleeves, similar to the San Diego Chargers when they saw the Cincinnati Bengals lineman with bare arms in the Freezer Bowl.
The obvious difference is, Friday will be around one degree Celsius… the Freezer Bowl was -22.8… and the wind chill was -38.3.
In preparation for the over 30s all suffering similar hamstring problems in the freeze to Grant Birchall last weekend, the Hawks have pulled another selection shock, as Category B Rookie Changkuoth ‘CJ’ Jiath will be making his debut!
Given that CJ was born in Ethiopia, it does seem ironic that he’s making his debut in a place with the polar opposite climate to Eastern Africa… In every sense of the word.
Anyway, the Giants have never beaten the Hawks away, and more pertinent to this game, the Hawks have never beaten the Giants away.
That’s probably going to continue.
Melbourne (17th) vs Collingwood (6th) @ The MCG, 1:45pm AEST
Just think, 60 years ago, this was the preeminent rivalry in Australian football.
5 Grand Finals in the span of a decade- Melbourne won 4 of them, but of course, the one Grand Final that the Pies won in 1958 denied Melbourne what could’ve been a 6peat, and preserved the 1927-30 Collingwood team as the only Fourpeat in league history.
Fast forward to Saturday, and we’ve got the lemons playing the cripples.
The Dees have restored their rightful place as 2019’s biggest laughingstock, and you could put it down to a number of pathetic factors, especially their conditioning team not realising that games of footy take place over 4 Quarters, instead the 3 they show up for every week.
It’s the classic 6 Ps- Piss Poor Preparation= Piss Poor Performance.
Meanwhile, the Judgement Day scenario that Channel 9’s Fairfax puppets advertised for Collingwood against the Suns didn’t eventuate, as it turned out to be a normal week for the Pies for the first time in a while- An easy win, and more key players (Mason Cox and Dayne Beams, who didn’t even play) gone for the season.
Think about this, Big Cox suffered a torn left retina- Apparently it was Jarrod ‘Eff’ Witts in an accident, otherwise it had to be someone standing on the world’s biggest stepladder.
Will Collingwood be in trouble regardless of this result?
If the furphies are correct, you bet.
Port Adelaide (9th) vs Sydney Swans (15th) @ The Adelaide Oval, 1:40pm ACST
Every time Port Adelaide play a game, the gods toss a coin in the air, and the world holds its breath to see how it lands.
Picking them to beat the Bombers was hard enough, but that result just bordered on psychotic, especially Xavier Duursma firing at Bombers fans with his bow and arrow, while Kenny sat and laughed like a crazed serial killer.
Still, it does go to show that on their day, the Power are absolutely a Top 8 team… it’s just that day comes around once every three weeks.
On the swing, the Swans season is done, so they’re getting in early on tapping up opposition players, by sending Tom Harley for lunch with Joe Daniher, which all parties claim was a catch-up, as Tommy mentored Joe at the AIS.
Of course, if you do cast your minds back, Joe’s father Anthony played for the Swans in the 80s before he joined the rest of his brothers at Essendon- In fact, Terry Daniher also played for the Swans back in the 70s.
It does make sense- Signing Daniher would be in keeping with Sydney’s tradition of stealing key forwards instead of developing them; Simon Minton-Connell, Plugger, Barry Hall, Buddy.
Who the hell was the last decent key forward Swans developed- Warwick Capper?
I would say Port are a good chance of returning to 8th spot, given they’ve had the wood on the Swans and the Crows have to play in Perth.
But of course, this is the Power.
The Pineapple Grapple
Brisbane Lions (2nd) vs Gold Coast (18th) @ Woolloongabba, 4:35pm AEST
Did you know that Disney were inspired to produce the live-action Lion King after they read about Chris Fagan?
Here’s a look at Lions fans, as they prepare to roll through the Suns in the latest edition of the Pineapple Grapple:
The Q-Clash… Who was the dickhead at an AFL focus group way back in 2010 that thought of that boring arse name?
Then again, the Broncos and Cowboys have been playing each other for 25 years, and they don’t even have a fancy name… It’s just the boring old vanilla ice-cream ‘Queensland derby’.
Surely the ‘Banana Bender Bash’ would get the fans flocking through the turnstiles.
Essendon (7th) vs Western Bulldogs (10th) @ Marvel Stadium, 7:25pm AEST
Two thing are in short supply at The Hangar- Key players, and blonde bleach.
With ‘The Guelf’ shelved for the year and Orazio Fantasia being murdered by Robbie Gray last Saturday, the Dons needed to bleach another player’s hair to distract us from the fact they lost by 59 points to the Power, so Conor McKenna was an easy target.
The way these random bleachings are popping up, Tippa’s dreaddies will be blonde before Round 23, and they’ll have to reshoot the NAB Mini Legends ad.
I can’t tell if this craze is meant to be preparation for a trip to Scandinavia, or a tribute to Shane Woewodin.
The man who won a Brownlow, and didn’t even make the All-Australian team.
The other problem for Essendon is that all these injuries mean Ben Simmons is half a chance of getting a game up forward, especially with the way Cale Hooker was kicking last Saturday.
Despite the presence of the God of Thunder and his family, the Dogs were no match against the powers of Faganism, despite having something akin to 74 more disposals and 5 more Inside 50s for the game- It was the efficiency of the Lions that killed them to the point that they were 7 goals down in the 3rd Quarter.
They did have a mini comeback, but 3 goals was as close as they got.
On the basis of the two Doggies games that the Hemsworths have attended this year, we can work out a simple mathematical formula.
Hemsworths + Thor Guernseys = WIN
Hemsworths + Traditional Guernsey = LOSS
Hemsworths or not, I’d say the Dogs can keep their little streak against the Dons alive with all those injuries starting to pile up.
Geelong (1st) vs North Melbourne (13th) @ GMHBA Stadium, 7:25pm AEST
Apparently it’s also Retro Round this Saturday at The Cattery, but then again, every day in Geelong is akin to living in the 1980s.
This matchup was the former Battle For The Top Bunk between the Scott brothers, although it appears that in the time since Round 8, Brad shaved his head, grew a beard, and changed his name to ‘Rhyce’.
I wonder if Geelong tried playing Quokka soccer on their visit to Rottnest, although if the Freo game was any guide, the Quokkas were the ones kicking the crap out of the Cats.
That performance against Freo was shockingly bad, and the only thing saving the Cats from plummeting out of top spot is the percentage they built up prior to The Bye, although Baghdad Bob himself Chris Scott says they’re merely working on a few things ahead of the finals, like crying on their knees in front of Gillon to get another Kardinia Park final in week one.
North’s season is just about done, but they’re going out on a good note, with the 150th Birthday celebrations being capped off by Rhyce Shaw’s permanent appointment, and knocking off their eternal rivals in Hawthorn to finish off their season in the process.
In the 3 games the Cats have played after a loss since the Bye, they’ve won by 27 points.
It is at Kardinia Park, which is basically like penciling in another 27 point win.
St Kilda (14th) vs Fremantle (11th) @ Marvel Stadium, 1:10pm AEST
It’s St Kilda and Freo, so if history is any guide, then hopefully something really weird happens.
I could rattle off just about every crazy event to occur between the teams, but I’ll simply point out that it was recently the 20th anniversary for a momentous moment in the history of umpiring- Peter Carey taking a mark.
The best mark by a Carey in the late-1990s.
That win against Geelong was possibly the most Un-Fremantle performance of all-time, especially after they got put through the ringer for the entire week, before Nat Fyfe, Brad Hill and the assorted debutants came out and pulled the upset of the season.
As early as last year, this Dockers team probably would’ve lost by at least 10 goals, which is a big tick for how they’re coming along under Ross The Boss, and probably does leave you wondering what they could have achieved this year, if their key forwards weren’t all fatally injured.
Meanwhile, the Saints kept the Crows close for pretty much the whole game in Adelaide, but Fogzilla terrified the crap out of the visitors in the last quarter, and the Crows won by 22 points, having led for pretty much all night.
Not much else to say, except Brad Hill will be aiming to impress the team he wants to employ him next year, and Saints fans will probably boo Ross Lyon.
Richmond (4th) vs Carlton (16th) @ The MCG, 3:20pm AEST
From what I can assume, this game will mark 50 years since the Tigers won the ’69 VFL Grand Final against the Blues, coming back from 4 points down at 3/4 time to hold the Blues goalless in the final quarter and win by 25 points.
You just know KB will be there to celebrate.
He’s always there.
Back to the future, and Alex Rance finally realised that ACL injuries typically take 12 months to recover from, and he’s pulled the pin on a 2019 comeback.
Not that Richmond’s backline are crying, since they’ve figured out a way to win without him.. for now.
The good news though, is that the milestones are flying in again for the Tigers- Dion ‘The Human Meatball’ Prestia reaches game 150, and Shane ‘Titch’ Edwards brings up game 250 out of nowhere, and in a freaky coincidence, he’s set to become the 250th player to play 250 games!
If you look at Titch’s body of work, I’d be prepared to join the chorus that say he’s on track to end his career as Richmond’s greatest Indigenous player, surpassing even the late great Maurice Rioli.
The bigwigs at Princes Park are mounting the case to be complete morons for the umpteenth time by not hiring David Teague, and the 4 goal loss to the reigning premiers in which they weren’t completely disgraced is yet another feather in the cap.
The very big positive for the Blues was the performance of ‘Newman’, who was outstanding all afternoon against the Eagles, finishing with 24 disposals and 4 goals.
Of course, he was playing off halfback, which does indicate how much the Blues struggled up forward.
Probably another Sunday stroll coming up for the Tiges.
West Coast Eagles (2nd) vs Adelaide (8th) @ Optus Stadium, 3:20pm AWST
Here we go- West Coast vs Lightweight West Coast.
I imagine there’s going to be a few drunk Kiwis discovered sleeping in some of the sections of Optus on Sunday morning, after the All Blacks blast the Wallabies into outer space.
The Eagles achieved what few teams have been able to achieve this season against the Blues, and that’s not only win from 2nd on the ladder, but hold on to 2nd on the ladder for a week.
Liam Ryan played his best game for the Eagles, kicking 4 goals, and taking a Riewoldt-esque beauty of a mark, his latest Mark of the Year contender.
Although, if Flyin’ Ryan takes a beauty of a mark that doesn’t involve him standing on a man’s back, did it really happen?
Meanwhile, the pizza and beer did the job for the Crowies as they stayed inside the Top 8, although the full story behind Josh Jenkins getting chopped by Don Pyke took several 270.45 degree turns.
Apparently it was getting personal between Jerker and Pykey to the point that they traded fisticuffs (A rumour started from a well-known Adelaide message board that must not be named), and then Caroline Wilson made the claim that the Crows suspect Jerker of leaking stories about the club to the media.
So on that note, if you’re in Adelaide on Sunday, watch out for Josh running out against West Adelaide in a pair of cement shoes.
Fogzilla vs The McGovinator- What an enthralling battle this should be to finish off the weekend!