Nathan Buckley was in the U.S. recently to take in an NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles. He had Mason Cox along with him and both men had the opportunity to visit with Philadelphia punter Cameron Johnston before the game.
Johnston gave up Aussie footy for American footy, earning a spot as what has to be the best job in sports in the world. He had to punt only three times in the game with Dallas, surprising, considering how anemic was the Eagles’ offense. He averaged 50.67 yards over those three punts, which is highly respectable. It would seem doubtful that Buckley, Cox, the AFL or anyone could persuade him to go back to playing Australian Rules, where not only would he have to kick, but also run.
Dallas and Philadelphia entered the game with identical 3 – 3 records, so it should have been a tight game, but on Dallas’ home ground of AT & T Stadium, the Cowboys did to the Eagles what Richmond did to GWS in the 2019 AFL Grand Final.
The final score was 37 – 10, and while that does not sound like 114 – 25, it is roughly equivalent.
Buckley was at his diplomatic best, as when one of the American journos asked him what steps the Magpies intended to take to avoid the same fate as they experienced in the finals of the Toyota 2019 AFL Premiership competition, Buckley replied, “That’s a very incisive AFL question.”
The journalist who posed the question, ESPN’s Phillip Murphy, was at MCG for the Grand Final, could not resist tossing Buckley a barb, telling Buckley and Cox, “Guys I’ll spare you the Richmond Tigers fight song. I heard it a lot at the AFL Grand Final a few weeks ago.”
Cox, the Yank basketball player turned AFL ruckman, grew up in Texas.
Up and up and up, from looking at him.