A mate once told me, “People in NSW aren’t as passionate about the State of Origin as you Queenslanders.” Wrong!
Two weeks later I was part of a small, and very worried, herd of Queenslanders in a Newcastle hotel, surrounded by screaming Blue’s fans. In hindsight, the decision to wear our maroon jerseys into a NSW pub was a tad stupid. Honestly, the only reason we survived that night was because QLD lost.
There was plenty of passion, plus quite a lot of abuse, and when I angrily mentioned this to my mate he shrugged and said, “I didn’t say they weren’t passionate, they’re just not as fanatical as you one-eyed, Origin obsessed, Queenslanders.” He had a point; so I let go of his shirt and helped him find his buttons.
Things haven’t changed much. Currently hanging in our kitchen is a Queensland calendar which clearly shows the dates of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and State of Origin Game 1, but Mother’s Day doesn’t rate a mention. Still, they’ve covered the important stuff.
Which makes what I’m about to admit so shocking; I’ve sort of gone off Origin, and football in general. And, yes, I am seeking professional help.
You see, at some point during last year’s series, it dawned on me that I was merely going through the motions of supporting ‘Our Legendary Lads’. It was like waking from hypnosis.
On tele, two groups of strangers continued colliding with each other while I blinked, gazed about the room, then checked my beer hadn’t been tampered with.
The magic had gone!
I’ve tried hard to re-ignite my Origin passion, but last Tuesday I didn’t even feel the slightest urge to drive onto the footpath to mow down a bloke wearing a Blues t-shirt.
Clearly, I’m in a very sorry state.