Darcy Cameron or Jack Riewoldt?
There were shades of the latter in the celebrations of Collingwood’s epic AFL triumph over Brisbane on Saturday, as the Collingwood premiership squad performed an impromptu rendition of ‘Horses’ alongside legendary Australian singer Daryl Braithwaite on stage.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Darcy Cameron joins Daryl Braithwaite on stage for Horses
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Riewoldt famously joined the Killers on stage at 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 appears Cameron got an idea or two from the former Richmond champion on Saturday night as he accompanied Braithwaite on stage during a Collingwood event in the hours after the 2023 decider.
The 28-year-old big man was filmed during Braithwaite’s concert sitting on someone’s shoulders in what appeared to be a large mosh pit before taking to the 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 tall AFL player belting out the famous lyrics in sunglasses was still entertaining.
And he has every reason to celebrate after teaming up with Mason Cox to nullify the impact of Brisbane ruck Oscar McInerney.
Cameron had 12 disposals and 19 hitouts as well as six tackles, which were key to the win.
As is Cox, whose seven departures may seem modest but don’t tell the full story of his impact.
The big American had some crucial moments, including three big goals, and he could have finished with two goals if he hadn’t had a few erratic kicks.
Cox spent the first 23 years of his life blissfully ignorant of Australian rules football, and now he has reached the pinnacle of the sport.
Cox grew up in Texas, almost 15,000 km from Melbourne. His athletic career began in college basketball before being invited to the 2014 US International Combine for potential AFL players.
Standing at 211cm tall, Cox impressed with his skills and was selected 60th by the Magpies in the 2015 rookie draft.
Late Saturday afternoon, nine years after he was discovered, Cox wore a premiership medal and an American flag around his neck – and an Australian twang in his accent.
“We’ve come full circle,” he said after the game.
“The fact that I’ve never heard of this sport and now I’m a Premier player is pretty crazy.
“It’s pretty incredible to look back on the whole thing and how much I’ve learned and grown as a person.”
Cox is the AFL’s second American-born premiership player, joining West Coast’s Don Pyke in 1992 and 1994.
Canadian Mike Pyke also played in the Sydney premiership team in 2012.
Cox admits the road to fame was long and sometimes unbearable.
Cox, who is known for his safety glasses, suffered injuries to both eyes.
Less than a year after an altercation in the 2018 grand final loss led to a detached retina in one eye, Cox suffered a torn retina in the other following an accidental bump against Gold Coast.
The 32-year-old has since had six surgeries – three on his left eye, two on his right eye and also a cataract operation.
In what he called “the darkest moment of my life” at the time, he was forced to spend 45 minutes in bed in a darkened room every hour for two weeks.
Cox cites the support of Collingwood coach Craig McRae as the main reason for his persistence.
“It’s been a nine-year journey, with ups and downs and everything, with vision loss, injuries and everything else,” Cox said.
“’He (McRae) is without a doubt the reason I’m here. He is a father figure to all of us and in a way to me too. He was there from start to finish.
“There was no one I would rather play for, so it’s great to be able to repay him for what he was able to give me in my life and experiences as a player.”
– With AAP