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The Random Thoughts of Julian Russo

Do you ever have those moments where you have a hundred things going through your head, and no matter how much you try, when you get them on paper, they come out like a jumble of words and punctuation that vaguely resembles a serious of coherent sentences?

Yes, I hear you think.

Well then, this is the column for you. I make no apologies, nor excuses for what is about to happen. My mind runs a mile a minute, and as I try to reconcile one thought, another seems to displace it.

Is it self-sabotage? Is it some sort of thought crime? Should I slow down a minute and catch my breath? I can answer all those questions at once – maybe.

But for now, sit back and relax as I take you on a journey into my mind. It’ll be strange, compelling, confusing, and, if you play your cards right, strangely erotic.

Buckle up.

Here’s my random thoughts as we head into Round Eight.


  • Growing up in a family of Carlton supporters I was raised to hate the Black and White and after seeing how well they handled the situation with young Kyron, I’ve grown a strong, begrudging respect for the club. That was so well done.

  • I thought Shane Mumford’s career was over after all of the preseason drama, but he has come back in great form and is, in my opinion, the Giants’ biggest X factor this season. He could almost be making a push to be named in the AA extended squad at years end. I rate him that highly.

  • Love what I’m seeing from Brisbane this season. They play like a team - they have no one in the top 15 in either score involvements or goals, have Neale leading the midfield with 17 contested possessions a game and 30 year old Zorko is leading the league in tackles.

  • This year’s Lions team have brought in an emerging superstar for one on the way down (and off to Collingwood), and have the swagger that the Giants had a few years ago when they were making their first finals push.

  • The new blood at Geelong have brought a new attitude to the club and a hunger that has been missing since ol’ Maxy Rooke left. The acceptance of the new roles of Dangerfield, Ablett and Selwood is allowing a resurgence in the midfield. It’s a good time to be a Geelong supporter.

  • I still don't know where I stand with the Crows - they look like crap one minute and the next like contenders. Bryce Gibbs seems to have fallen right off the pace, but I'm seeing a lot of last year’s Cats in them, inasmuch as they possess so much talent in the midfield but are not getting the desired result. The Crouch Brothers are still dominating, however, racking up 63 disposals a game between the two of them. That’s 2017 stuff, and if they can figure out their system going forward, they could be anything.

  • It finally looked like this would be the year that Jack Billings loosened his shackles and joined the AFL’s best, before having a couple of down weeks. He is currently averaging 28 touches a game but believe it or not, needs a big game to restore the faith. In a way, he’s been the St Kilda barometer this season. Sorry Saints fans, I don’t like where you’re heading if Billings doesn’t lift.

  • Kamdyn may be the weirdest name in the AFL, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it. Do I love it enough to name one of my kids Kamdyn? I’m not sure. What if he pulled me from a burning vehicle? Look, I’d be thankful and all, but I’m not sure I’d want to subject my kid to that sort of name her whole life. If it was a boy… maybe.

  • PS – ladies, I don’t have any kids.

  • So imagine you traded away next year’s first round pick to get your hands on a kid that you didn’t play til round seven? And then after round seven you sat on the bottom of the ladder, even though you were hoping the team you dealt it to would fall over… yet they sit in the top eight. You’d be feeling pretty Carltony, wouldn’t you? Remember when doing dumb things was called “Richmondy”? Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new champion!

  • Seeing Hawthorn in the bottom six makes me smile. Just as I start loving it, I think about what Clarko will do next year with a high draft pick and an easy draw and I find myself in a situation where I almost want them to win games now.

  • Without Rance, we knew the Tigers would struggle, but what we didn’t predict was that every big forward capable of kicking a few against them would indeed kick a few against them. DeGoey had 5.1, Cox had 2.3, Cameron had 7, Buddy 4 and Naughton 5. The aura has vanished.

  • At the time of writing I think we’re at 5360 days since Essendon won a finals game. The webpage celebrating their mediocrity will be old enough to drive before the Bombers reset that counter.

  • Apologies to all the North fans that expected more from your team this season. Sorry to all the hopefuls that bought memberships, and sorry to Jack Ziebel and Ben Cunnington, the club has failed to surround you with talent good enough to contend for a flag. Money has been wasted on role players like Hall, Pittard and Polec, and who actually thought Pittard would be the most consistently good of your recruits?

  • Caleb Daniel is finding a ton of it, the little guy is proving many wrong, he’s on his way to becoming an elite ball magnet and as a fellow short-arse, I’m rooting for him.

  • Is “disinterested” the best word to describe the West Coast Eagles? Have these Eagles lost the hunger that won them a flag? I honestly think so, after watching them show no fight against the Cats and then nearly choke after holding a 41 -point lead over the Suns at home, I don’t like what I’ve seen from them lately. But I guess premierships aren’t won in May, are they?

  • They can be lost, however.

  • To all of you that were interested, in my last column for The Mongrel, I relayed a plan to smuggle bricks into the Adelaide Oval and launch them at the Crows players. Alas, this fiendish development was rudely interrupted by airport security. I didn’t have the foresight to buy the bricks once I got to Adelaide, you see? However with the showdown looming this weekend, it’ll be hard to not give it another shot and jump on the Jetstar website to find some cheap last minute deals. Anyone know of some building developments around the Adelaide Oval with some bricks laying around? Port supporters… message me.

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