Darcy Cameron or Jack Riewoldt?
There were shades of the latter during the celebrations for Collingwood’s epic AFL triumph over Brisbane on Saturday as the Collingwood premiership ruck joined legendary Australian singer Daryl Braithwaite on stage for an impromptu rendition of Horses.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Darcy Cameron Joins Daryl Braithwaite on stage for Horses
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Riewoldt famously joined The Killers on stage during their post-match concert at the MCG following Richmond’s drought-breaking 2017 premiership.
Riewoldt belted out Mr. Brightside with the American rockers in an iconic moment that has become synonymous with both Riewoldt and the Tigers’ 2017 flag.
It seems Cameron got an idea or two from the former Richmond champion on Saturday night, joining Braithwaite on stage during a Collingwood function in the hours after the 2023 decider.
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The 28-year-old big man was filmed sitting on top of someone’s shoulders in what appeared to be one big mosh pit during Braithwaite’s concert, before heading up on stage himself.
Cameron’s dulcet tones may not have been quite in the same key as Braithwaite’s iconic voice, but the sight of a 204cm AFL player belting out the famous lyrics with sunglasses on was entertaining nonetheless.
And he has every reason to celebrate after partnering with Mason Cox to nullify the impact of Brisbane ruck, Oscar McInerney.
Darcy Cameron joined Daryl Braithwaite on stage for Horses. Credit: Tom Mitchell/InstagramDarcy Cameron is a big man to hold up on your shoulders. Credit: Tom Mitchell/Instagram
Cameron had 12 disposals and 19 hitouts, plus six tackles, to play a crucial role in the win.
As did Cox, whose seven disposals may look modest, but don’t tell the full story of his impact.
The big American had some vital moments, including three big contested marks, and could have finished with two goals if not for some wayward kicking.
Cox lived the first 23 years of his life blissfully unaware of Australian rules football, and now he’s reached the sport’s pinnacle.
Growing up in Texas almost 15,000km from Melbourne, Cox’s sporting career started in college basketball before he was invited to attend the 2014 US International Combine for potential AFL players.
Standing at 211cm, Cox impressed with his skills and was selected by the Magpies at pick 60 in the 2015 rookie draft.
Nine years after he was scouted, Cox late on Saturday afternoon had a premiership medal and American flag around his neck — and an Australian twang in his accent.
Mason Cox was the last player to leave the field. Credit: Channel 7
“It’s a full circle moment,” he said after the game.
“From never hearing of the sport to being a premiership player now, it’s pretty crazy to think.
“It’s pretty incredible to look back on the whole thing and how much I’ve learned and grown as a person.”
Cox has become the second American-born AFL premiership player, after West Coast’s Don Pyke triumphed in 1992 and 1994.
Canadian Mike Pyke also played in Sydney’s 2012 premiership team.
Cox admits the road to glory has been long and, at times, unbearable.
Known for his protective goggles, Cox has suffered injuries in both eyes.
Less than a year after an altercation in the 2018 grand final loss resulted in a detached retina in one eye, Cox suffered a torn retina in the other after an accidental poke against Gold Coast.
Mason Cox speaks to Seven commentator Abbey Holmes after Collingwood won the grand final. Credit: Seven
The 32-year-old has undergone six bouts of surgery since — three on his left eye, two on his right and also cataract surgery.
In what he called the “darkest moment of my life” at the time, he was required to spend two weeks in bed in a darkened room for 45 minutes of each hour.
Cox credits Collingwood coach Craig McRae’s support as the main reason he persisted.
“It’s been a journey over nine years, ups and downs and all around, losing eyesight and injuries and everything else,” Cox said.
“’He (McRae) is the reason I’m here, no doubt. He’s a father figure for us all and quite a bit for myself. He’s been there from the beginning to the end.
“There was no one else I’d rather play for so it’s amazing to be able to repay him for what he’s been able to give me in my life and my experiences as a player.”
– With AAP
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