Main content

The moment: American Pie's MCG hat-trick

Colossal Cox stuns us all Mason Cox played the game of his life, marking just about everything in sight

MASON Cox played a grand total of 13 minutes across his first two seasons of college basketball for Oklahoma State University.

That was all the time he needed on Friday night to leave an indelible mark in his adopted ball game, on the opposite side of the world, in front of a frenzied black and white army. 

Collingwood will try to win its first AFL premiership in eight years in Saturday week's Grand Final, and any success on that afternoon will forever be attached to Cox's extraordinary preliminary final.

PIES INTO THE GF Premiers stunned, Magpie Army in raptures

In particular, a second-quarter performance that inspired Magpie diehards to break from haunting 'Colllllllllllingwood' chants to instead launch into their best U-S-A, U-S-A renditions.

"Every time I hear it, I kind of laugh. I enjoy it, but it's quite funny at the same time," Cox told reporters afterwards. 

"Like, c'mon, four years ago, would you ever have pictured someone chanting U-S-A and holding flags up like that?"

It all started when Cox's outstretched Inspector Gadget arms dragged down the Sherrin from the sky in front of Richmond's relative midget Bachar Houli.

There was the slightest hint of a strut. We loved it. 

The typical marvelling at him holding a mark followed. We still find it incredible that an American – the American Pie – can do what he does.

The Big Texan's still a sideshow in so many ways. But he might have finally graduated from that status.

SIX DAY BREAKS DON'T MATTER Things we learned from Rich v Coll 

Cox's first goal followed that mark, and within three minutes there was a sense of something special when he rode Tiger captain Trent Cotchin before clutching another grab.

This time there was a stare. It was unclear exactly who he was staring down. But we loved that, too. 

 

Either side of Cox's second goal were more U-S-A, U-S-A chants.

Legendary Channel Seven commentator Bruce McAvaney was in his element: "He's getting better. He's getting bigger and better." 

"What has Collingwood unleashed here? We're seeing the future of the game, perhaps. It looks different, doesn't it?"

WHO WAS BEST? Every Magpie rated from the first preliminary final

The cameras caught Cox's parents, Phil and Jay, who were on their feet and using their mobile phones to capture their own treasured moment.

Phil then appeared to invert the camera onto himself for a cheeky grin. He loved it, too.

"Oh, God, no. As if there's not enough cameras there; my dad's taking shots off his little iPhone that barely works," Cox said.

"It's quite awesome to have my family experience it with me. Obviously, this whole thing is a bit crazy for the whole five of us. 

"It's something we never pictured in my life and never knew existed. But we're just enjoying it and taking in every single aspect of it. My family's been so supportive … whether it be basketball, soccer or now football. 

"They stay up at 4am for games every single time we play and they throw parties with all their friends … so it's awesome to see them enjoy it so much and be a part of it."

Cox wasn't done. He threw his arms into the air again and left five-time All Australian defender Alex Rance in his dust before slotting another goal, complete with a finger wag towards Cotchin.

"Yeah, well, I'm going to let him know if I'm kicking three goals on him," Cox said with a wide grin.

"He's a Brownlow medallist and he's got a better career than I'll ever have, but if I get a chance to put him in his place, then I will. 

"But he's a great person … and it's a bit of fun. That's what AFL is all about; having a bit of fun and talking a bit of trash here and there. 

"I think the person I jumped on was Trent at the same time, so I just wanted to make sure he knew that I made a statement on him."

Mason Cox soars for a big mark over Trent Cotchin. Picture: Michael Dodge, AFL Photos

The Magpie crowd was delirious by this point.

Bruce was as well: "I cannot believe it. You've got to go back to (evangelical preacher) Billy Graham at the MCG for an American to dominate like this."

Triple M's Mark Howard was equally impressed: "Mason Cox is writing his name into Collingwood history at the moment. He's kicked three goals this term; extraordinary scenes at the MCG." 

Cox didn't kick another goal, but finished the night with 11 marks – EIGHT contested, the most by any player in 2018 – and 15 disposals to entrench his place in footy folklore.  

And we loved it, even if the 211cm friendly giant doesn't get our fascination with him. 

"I don't really understand it, to be honest. I'm just an average dude. I'm an ordinary person in extraordinary circumstances."

What did his parents think?

Phil: "(Collingwood) just looked like they were out there to destroy the world. It was fun to watch – just unbelievable. We're just so happy to be here and enjoy the moment and his two brothers (Austin and Nolan) are coming during the week for the Grand Final. I'll have some of that good Melbourne coffee, probably a little brekky, a little bit of rest, just enjoy the moment and catch up on Twitter."

 

Jeanette (known as Jay): "Just going to the Anzac Day game (in 2016), when he debuted, was surreal and the fact this is so much bigger of a stage and he's still playing (is incredible). He's in the seniors and he's been playing every week and it's just phenomenal – I just can't believe it. It's a testament to the coaches and his friends and his hard work, but the fact he can do it is just amazing. It's just crazy."