We're getting into that part of the season where the contenders start to separate from the pretenders - although I'm obviously struggling to pick which ones are just pretending to contend, or contending the pretenders championship. It's a tough life.
Broncos vs Eels
There's a massive eel at the Star City Casino; it's in one of those giant round tanks between the slots and the tables. It's pretty awesome - you can see its body winding through the rocks and caves for pretty much the length and height of the tank. It has grown to such a size that it really can't move too much anymore, and you can tell it really wants to hit the blackjack tables. This kind of sums up the Parramatta side this year - big, fat, stuck and desperate to escape. Broncos by a squillion.
Let me see... form guide... form guide. Ah here we go. Let's see... "Sharks suck, don't pick them, ever." Sold. Bunnies by a dozen.
Roosters vs Dragons
Here is a poem entitled "Two Clubs That I Hate"
I hate the Roosters
and I hate St George
and those spiders are sucked into a vacuum cleaner
which is then crushed by a meteorite
that is made up of dinosaurs who eat smashed pieces
of Hoovers for breakfast.
I hate St George
and I hate the Roosters.
Saints by 10.
Storm vs Warriors
Well... aren't you just a bunch of underachievers down in Melbourneland? If I were to take this tipping thing seriously, I'd have to say that the addition of Brett Finch could actually boost the Storm (I know, how weird is it to say that?) but the Warriors are fighting hard and showing a bit of pride. And to me, pride goes a long way. Finchy doesn't. Storm to be up at the half, and down at the siren. Warriors by 8.
Cowboys vs Manly
Manly can't win without Brett Stewart, who is out with a "knee injury" for the next 3 months or something. Dark times ahead for the Eagles de la Mer. The Cowboys are starting to show faint signs of life, but you can't really gauge how well anyone is going just because they beat the Sharks last week. Still... Cowboys to lift this week and Manly will resume their struggles.
The Raiders are my boys. Everyone knows that. They're like a spazzy little 10-year old playing his first game of soccer; not entirely co-ordinated or pretty to watch, but you admire him for "giving it a go." And while your dreams of your kid being an international sports star are dashed, you can't help but encourage him and love him all the same. The Bulldogs are like crack-addicted howler monkeys with several assault charges hanging over their heads. You hate them, but also feel sorry for them; maybe if they were brought up better, things would be different. Raiders by 4.
Tigers vs Knights
Well well well well well, said the narcissistic stuttering well. The surprise packages of the NRL square off in what I reckon will be the game of the round. You heard it here first. To be honest, I can't decide. Flip a coin for this puppy. My coin says heads.
It's the CLASH OF THE TITANS... and the Panthers. The Panthers got done by the Broncs last week, and the Tits just snuck home against the under 10 spazzies, so this game will probably be fairly dreadful. I'll tip the Titans without any confidence and with a very dismissive shrug of the shoulders.
Power vs Saints
I learnt that the Power's mascot is a lightning bolt, to symbolise electricity and, well, power. That's a bit shit. Why that and not the Port Sewerage or Port Natural Gas? I reckon they should start over and be called the Port Angry Skulls of Pestilence and Fire. At least we know what they look like. St Kilda to get up again this week.
Bombers vs Pies
I also learnt last week (it was an educational weekend of AFL for me, actually) that the Bombers suck. And even though everyone hates Collingwood, they're apparently quite good. So tip them; good will always beat sucky, regardless of popularity.
Hawks vs Eagles
Oooh a tough bird fight. Let's be honest, if the Swans were involved here, it wouldn't even raise an eyebrow, except for RSPCA people who don't want a swan to be absolutely torn apart by two birds of prey. I got the Weagles right last week, so I'm gonna let that bet ride.
Kangaroos vs Tigers
For some reason, all the recent news stories mention something about how bad the Tigers are going. In between photo shoots with his fucking dog, Barack Obama held a press conference to air his grievances about the shittiness of the black-and-golds. He didn't mention anything about the Roos though, so with the blessing of Mr President and his dog, I say the Kangas will get up. I don't even know (or particularly care) where the Kangaroos' team is from. Melbourne, probably.
Dockers vs Swans
According to news.com.au, the Dockers players are all in trouble for sneaking around in KKK outfits. This does not bode well for them. They should have been dressed as pirates or something more nautical. And because my mate goes for the Swans, I'm going to paint a red V on a white t-shirt and support them until something better comes on TV. Shouldn't take long.
Cats vs Lions
Last week, the Cats won and the Lions lost. You can't argue with statistics. Cats by a goal and a behind and possibly some more.
Bulldogs vs Blues
I got the Blues. I got the Blues. I got those "i-forgot-to-take-the-mince-out-of-the-freezer-this-morning-so-i'll-have-to-cook-up-something-else-for-dinner-but-i-really-kind-of-felt-like-having-some-spaghetti-bolognaise but-now-i'll-have-to-reheat-some-other-shit-that's-in-my-fridge-even-though-it's-probably-past-its-use-by-date" kind of blues.
I don't have a bulldog. I got the Blues.
Demons vs Crows
There really are a lot of birds flapping around in the AFL comp, aren't there? It seems that the most successful teams are either a bird, a cat or an enigma. I have no idea how the Demons have lasted so long - they have a cool mascot that doesn't fit in anywhere. I'm surprised they're not picked on more. $5 on the Crows.
Tip tip tip, sip sip sip. Let's kick off and get that ball bouncing in the centre square and run into the wind from the Paddington end.