No one told Mason Cox it was the Queen’s birthday, but he partied nonetheless and played an instrumental role in the Round 12 dismantling of the Melbourne Demons by the Collingwood Magpies.
The Pies have moved up to sixth on the Toyota 2018 AFL Premiership competition with their fourth consecutive win. The point margin of those four wins equates to 166.
Collingwood has its bye week just ahead and returns in Round 14 to ace the Carlton Blues, which they defeated by 24 points in Round 3.
The Magpies have a couple of impressive scalps this season, the one formerly belong to the Adelaide Crows and that which used to top the head of the Dees.
Barring disaster, Collingwood should be a lock to play finals, but they do have a couple of stern tests on their remaining fixture. The key games coming down the run home will be a Round 17 matchup with the West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium, a Round 19 test with the defending premier Richmond Tigers and a trip to Adelaide in Round 22 with Port Adelaide Power that might play a key role in determining final ladder position.
Cox came into the league in 2016 and has found a code where his athletic skill and height offer him some advantages. As a basketballer from a small college, his hopes of a job in the NBA seemed dim, but when the AFL sent scouts seeking converts, they found Cox waiting and ready.
Cos kicked five goals against the Dees, so not being aware of the Queen’s birthday can be overlooked, so long as he does not forget to show the proper degree of solemnity next Anzac Day.
Will Cox’s success lure other Americans to Australian Rules?
LeBron is not out of contract, but has the option of escaping the Cleveland Cavaliers, so maybe we will see him and his trademark scowl on the posters outside MCG, although it is likely that he would demand a statue.