The Almanac Oracle Challenge, 2019

As always at this time of year, journalists and other experts across the land are bombarding footy fans with predictions regarding the upcoming AFL season. Very few of them, however, are being asked the kinds of questions that separate the wheat from the chaff. The true footy prognosticators from the pretenders. The Hall of Famers of footy knowledge from the Hall of Famers in their own lunchboxes.


So, on the eve of the 2019 AFL Season, it is time to inaugurate a new Footy Almanac tradition…


The Almanac Oracle Challenge


15 this-or-that questions that will test the most critical, engaged, and astute footy minds.


Entries for the AOC must be received within the next week, either in the comments below or (for those who would prefer to keep their insight secret from their competitors) via email to [email protected]. Results will be tallied and the winner announced the day after the 2019 Grand Final.


The winner, of course, will be bestowed with the title of Footy Oracle. This title will then be used in all future references to the winner, in the same way that Brownlow Medallists are referred to as such for the remainder of their days.


Best of luck, all – may the best footy mind win.


1) After finishing 2018 with a percentage of 59.9, will the Gold Coast have a percentage over 53.0 in 2019?


2) Who finishes higher on the ladder: Melbourne or Adelaide?


3) Will the highest home-and-away crowd be at a game involving Richmond?


4) In 2018, there were 37,288 marks taken. Considering the new rules that are coming into play in 2019, will the number of marks be higher or lower this season?


5) 11 of the team captains picked Sam Walsh to win this year’s Rising Star award. Will he win it?


6) Collingwood’s Dick Lee kicked 420 goals for Collingwood while wearing the #13 jumper from 1914-1922. Taylor Walker has kicked 383 goals during his career, all while wearing #13. At the end of 2019, will Lee still hold the record for most goals in a career by a player wearing #13?


7) Jake Kolodjashnij, Joel Hamling and Oscar McDonald have played a combined 195 games without having scored a goal. Will any of them score a goal in 2019?


8) Will the Roos or Hawks have the better record in Tasmania this season?


9) Who kicks more goals per game played in 2019 – Ben Brown or Tom Hawkins?


10) Which will be higher: the combined win totals of the Saints and Blues, or the number of games that Jack Watts will play?


11) With Tom Mitchell injured for the season, will Jaeger O’Meara lead the Hawks in disposals in 2019?


12) Max Gawn has polled 43 Brownlow Votes over 99 games, at a rate of 0.4343 per game. Zach Merrett has polled 45 votes over 103 games, at a rate of 0.4369 per game. At year’s end, which player will be higher on the Brownlow Votes Per Games Played list?


13) Jeremy Cameron has played at least 20 games in 3 of his 7 seasons in the AFL. Will he play at least 20 games this year?


14) The Power have announced that 4 AFL debutants will play for them in Round One of the season. Will any club have more AFL debutants throughout the season than Port Adelaide?


15) Will Essendon play in a final in 2019?


Tiebreaker: How many goals and behinds will be kicked by this season’s leading goalkicker during the home-and-away season?


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About Edward P. Olsen

EPO is equally passionate about sport and sports writing. While others toil away at the local indoor sports centre re-living their futile childhood dreams of being one of the best of all time, he types away at home re-living his futile childhood dream of being one of the world’s great columnists.


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    1: Yes
    2: Melbourne
    3: No, Essendon v Collingwood
    4: Higher
    5: No
    6: No
    7: Yes
    8: Roos
    9: Ben Brown
    10: Jack Watts,
    11: Yes
    12: Zach Merrett,
    14: No
    15: Yes, definitely!
    Tiebreaker: 94 goals 56 behinds

  2. Mark Giuliano says

    1: Yes
    2: Adelaide
    3: Yes
    4: Lower
    5: No
    6: Yes
    7: No
    8: Hawks
    9: Ben Brown
    10: Jack Watts,
    11: No
    12: Zach Merrett,
    13: No
    14: Yes
    15: Yes

    Tiebreaker: 72-27

  3. Mick Jeffrey says

    (1) Certainly Yes
    (2) Demons (assuming this is a question regarding the Men’s competition)
    (3) No (they’ll be second and third behind ANZAC day)
    (4) slightly LOWER
    (5) Yes
    (6) Yes (by a single digit figure)
    (7) Yes (O.McDonald will break the drought)
    (8) Hawks by percentage
    (9) Brown
    (10) Blues/Saints wins
    (11) No (he’ll battle to play 12 games)
    (12) Merrett
    (13) No
    (14) Yes (Suns, Dockers)
    (15) NO

    TB: 61.35 (key forwards will probably rotate more than ever with the resting mid being deepest)

  4. 1) yes

    2) Melbourne

    3) no

    4) higher

    5) yes

    6) no

    7) no

    8) Hawks

    9) Ben Brown

    10) Jack Watts

    11) yes

    12) Max Gawn

    13) yes

    14) yes

    15) no


  5. Dave Brown says

    Love the concept:
    1) Yes
    2) Adelaide
    3) No (tipping 0.5% of Shanghai locals to turn up to the Port game ensuring a crowd of around 150k)
    4) Lower
    5) No
    6) No
    7) Yes
    8) Roos
    9) Brown
    10) Combined wins (unless we are counting SANFL games)
    11) No
    12) Gawn
    13) Yes
    14) No
    15) Yes
    TB 77.41

  6. Nice one EPO

    1) No – they are shit
    2) I like the Crows this year, noting that Brad Crouch will almost certainly snap in half ;-)
    3) No
    4) Higher. Suspect marks in forward 50 may be up. Suspect that teams will work out after a few weeks that in fact it may be of more benefit to maintain possession after a behind rather than gain an extra 10 yards to a contest, less repeat ball-ups should result in more open play and thus more marking opportunities
    5) By a country mile. Good Carlton lad
    6) No – Walker will pass him by 1 solitary goal in the final minute of the final H&A round
    7) Given that two out of the three will spend a large share of the year in the Ressies, I reckon one of them will score a goal. However for the sake of THIS exercise, I reckon none of them will score a goal in the AFL in 2019
    8) North Melbourne
    9) Divided on this one. I hope it is Hawkins but I believe it will be Brown. Brown it is.
    10) Saddens me to say it but # of games that Watts plays (which will be <10)
    11) No – c'mon Liam Shiels!
    12) Gawn – I reckon he is a decent shot at winning the Brownlow this season and Merrett is likely to be off to a slow start
    13) No chance
    14) Yes
    15) No – as a Blues supporter I am compelled to state this
    TB: 82 goals, 27 behinds

  7. Joe De Petro says

    1. Yes
    2. Melbourne
    3. No Ess/coll Anzac DAy
    4. Higher
    5. Yes
    6. No. Walker will kick 40 this year.
    7. No
    8. Hawks
    9. Hawkins
    10. The combined wins of StK and Carlton
    11.No. He will miss too many games with injury
    12 Max Gawn
    13. No. He will get suspended during the year
    14. Yes
    15. Yes. A better question would be “Will Essendon win a final this year?” The last time an Essendon coach not named Kevin Sheedy won a Final was in the 1968 Preliminary Final. Long time ago. For the record, I think they will break this duck this year.
    TB. the Coleman Medallist will kick 73 goals.

  8. Great fun EPO
    1. Yes (not sure that even Gold Coast can be that incompetent)
    2. Adelaide finishes 11th to Melbourne 12th
    3. Yes – the ANZAC Day thing is a marketing event, not a game
    4. Lower (hopefully a lot less marks from chipping around the backline)
    5. No (his season will end tonight in a crunching Toby Nankervis tackle at the 12 minute mark of the first quarter)
    6. Yes (“No” would require Tex to be consistent and injury-free. Ha!)
    7. Yes (Who?)
    8. Norf (the wind blows stronger and more flukey at Blundstone)
    9. Brown (2019 will be the beginning of the end for Hawkins)
    10. Really testing my sense of schadenfreude here – a tie at 9 games each.
    11. No (What Joe said)
    12. Gawn by a street if there is any justice in the footy world. This is another stat that proves what a silly award the Brownlow is
    13. Yes (if he doesn’t GWS are cactus so hope to be wrong on this one)
    14. Yes (but the prospect of a desperate Power flinging debut games to all and sundry as another season goes down the gurgler would be funny)
    15. Not a chance
    TB – Jack Riewoldt and Tom Lynch will tie for the Coleman with 65 goals each. Jack will edge Tom with 35 behinds to 34

  9. Making predictions before a game has been played is absurd. Who really knows just what will eventuate with injuries, infighting etc. it’s all really what we hope will happen. After the season is at least half over it may then be possible to have a realistic prediction of premiership chances, Brownlow chances etc.

  10. If ignorance is bliss, then I’m well qualified.
    1. Yes
    2. Adelaide
    3. No
    4. Lower
    5. No
    6. Yes
    7. Yes
    8. Roos
    9. Ben Brown
    10. Saints and Blues
    11. No
    12. Merrett
    13. No
    14. Yes
    15. No

  11. Love it

    1. Yes
    2. Adelaide
    3. Yes
    4. higher
    5. No
    6. No
    7. Yes
    8. Hawks
    9. Tom Hawkins
    10. Watts
    11. No
    12. Merrett
    13 No – suspensions
    14. Yes
    15. No

    Tie breaker: 72.39

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