Aussie NFL hulk Jordan Mailata has won over the US all over again with a sweet moment as his Philadelphia Eagles remained unbeaten in 2023.
The 26-year-old from Bankstown in Sydney who had never played a snap of football before he was drafted in 2018 has become a pivotal member of the Eagles’ offensive line.
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Mailata, who is 203cm tall and 165kg, has won over NFL fans, particularly in Philadelphia, although he did stun when he was revealed as the Thingamabob on the US Masked Singer last year.
So when the Eagles maintained their unbeaten record — one of only two teams in the NFL alongside the San Francisco 49ers — in a 34-31 overtime win over the Washington Commanders, you could forgive Mailata to be excited.
Mailata blocked three players himself as kicker Jake Elliott kicked the 54-yard matchwinning field goal, his fourth of the match.
To celebrate, the Aussie was the first to the kicker, lifting him like a baby in his arms.
Post-match, Mailata was asked how many Jake Elliott overhead presses did he think he could do?
And for the record, Elliott is listed as 76kg, and we’ll add in another 5kg for the pads.
“Honestly, I have no idea,” Mailata laughed.
“That guy was a little bit heavier than I thought he was. Initially I got stalled here and I was like ‘hang on, something’s not right’.
“Just had to push through and made it to the end. It’s like a Simba moment, a little Lion King press.
“So I don’t know, maybe five times? I was tired at the end of the game.”
It was also compared to a Patrick Swayze moment from Dirty Dancing.
Elliott was also questioned about what it was like to be picked up by Mailata.
“Scary, scary — you ever seen The Longest Yard scene where he picks him up?” Elliott said.
Fans also liked the moment.
A post on Reddit said it was “one of the most adorable things I’ve seen”.
But it wasn’t a perfect game by any stretch from the Aussie, who gave away a penalty and struggled against Washington defensive end Chase Young.
Mailata became the third Aussie to play in a Super Bowl when he lined up in the Eagles’ 38-35 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in February.
In the lead up to the game, he revealed he would watch the Super Bowl from Sydney “mainly for the halftime show”.
The Eagles had to work overtime to remain unbeaten atop the NFC East.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 319 yards and two touchdowns.
His 28-yard scoring pass to A.J. Brown with just under 90 seconds left in regulation gave Philadelphia a 31-24 lead, but the Commanders responded with a drive capped by Sam Howell’s scoring pass to Jahan Dotson to force overtime before Elliott snatched the victory.