Truth behind AFL rookie’s viral death stare
Tanner Bruhn looked like he'd just been told the drinking age had been lifted to 21.
When the teenager's name was read out at the AFL Draft on Wednesday night, confirming he'd be moving to the GSW Giants next year, his face told a very strange story.
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Sombre and expressionless, Bruhn looked miserable as he hugged family members who congratulated him on being selected as the 12th overall pick.
The muted reaction went viral on social media and sparked speculation the gun midfielder from Geelong wasn't interested in packing his bags and moving to the Harbour City.
Broadcaster Jack Heverin said on SEN radio Bruhn may have been "overcome with emotion" but added he looked "flat" and wondered whether "the fact that he'd been drafted by an interstate club or something like that, whether it resonated with him".
"He did seem as though he was a bit taken aback that he was called out by the Giants at 12," Heverin said.
Former AFL star Adam Cooney also suggested Bruhn's flood of emotion was behind the stony-faced reaction but added: "The majority of players, you couldn't wipe the smile off their face and I just thought he may have been a touch flat."
But fear not, Giants fans, Bruhn has confirmed he has no reservations about playing for the Sydney side, confirming his classic response was purely out of shock.
"A few people said that today that there was not much emotion last night from me," Bruhn told the Giants media team.
"But that was just me in shock, pure shock. I'm so excited to be heading to the Giants. Couldn't have picked a better club.
"Just can't wait to get up there, I'm so happy."
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The realisation he was going to achieve his dream of playing in the AFL started to sink in when Bruhn received video calls from new coach Leon Cameron and teammates Stephen Coniglio, Lachie Whitfield and Phil Davis.
"Seeing Leon and Stephen's face when they popped up on the video screen - it was pretty surreal," Bruhn said, per AAP.
"I had no idea who was behind the camera but when they were there, I was like, 'Wow'.
"That's when it became a bit more real for me that it was happening - so I was over the moon."
Bruhn will travel to Sydney on the weekend and the Geelong Falcons player - who was hampered by a knee injury in 2019 and had limited opportunities in 2020 because of COVID-19 - can't wait to get stuck in.
"I am really excited it has ended like this and I can't wait to get to Sydney," he told the Geelong Advertiser.
"I am all in for it. My dream has been to play AFL for a long time ever since I was a young kid and where that ended up I am super happy.
"I couldn't have picked a better club than the Giants."
Originally published as Truth behind AFL rookie's viral death stare