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Mighty Mason's big night

Mason Cox's amazing first half American Mason Cox became the star of the show in the second quarter of Collingwood's Preliminary Final clash with Richmond.

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.

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.

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 that, too. 

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.

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 andbetter." 

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

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.

Cox wasn't done. He threw his arms into the air again and left five-time All Australian defender Alex Rance in his dust.

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."

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.