Why I hate State of Origin
Why the passionate footy fans hate State of Origin (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
As a sports fan I have a confession to make. Like the squeaky clean muesli bar spruiking Olympian gobbling down steroids and bedding a string of wanton women out of public view, I have been keeping a dirty secret for many years.
I’m living a lie. For you see despite what I may have preached in the past, I hate State of Origin.
Now hate is a strong word, and I apologise for its usage. But in this context, I believe it is entirely justifiable. Because let’s face it, despite its perceived awesomeness, there are plenty of other reasons to hate Origin besides Greg Bird and Spidercam.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those weirdos you see walking their dog, going to the gym, spending time with loved ones or sitting in restaurants on frigid Wednesday nights in May/June/July.
Nor am I some ironic glasses and cardigan wearing, organic yoghurt munching hipster who pokes his head into your heated pre-match discussion to ask the most rage inducing Origin question imaginable; “So, who’s playing?”
Nope. I have zero desire to end up in some kind of un-Australian re-education camp being forced to watch endless episodes of Home and Away and listening to Peter Fitzsimons’ stand-up comedy CDs.
I’m a bit like Billy Idol y’know, I love my footy. And I can quite happily put up with some of the general annoyances that spring up like Thurston grubber kicks in the Origin period.
Like the inevitable articles from Aussie Rules, rugby union, football, badminton, beersbee and well, every single other sport’s commentators musing loudly “You know, maybe WE should have a State of Origin.”
You know what? YOU SHOULD! But if, like the guys making the third ‘Ghostbusters’ movie, you have no plans of ever doing it, please stop talking about it.
Yeah I realise that’s slightly hypocritical because rugby league did rip the idea off but c’mon, Aussie Rules boasting that they have the original State of Origin is a bit like France bragging about having the original Statue of Liberty.
I’m also at ease ranting along with overnight experts who’ll proclaim loudly to anyone within earshot in the boardroom/taxi/men’s room about how Queensland are certs because that “Dale Shearer bloke always pulls out a big one on Origin night”. And hey, if Ivan from accounts only wants to wear his state’s jerseys the day after the match when they win to give me a hard time, c’est la vie.
The minor game night annoyances I’ve actually come to accept, like that douchebag in the lowered, hotted up ute who does a burnout on the corner outside my house at 6:17am every morning. I realise I won’t be able to order a pizza any less than three days in advance of the match, won’t make it through the hairy moshpit to the bar for my free beer before one of the teams gets awarded a lame ruck penalty in front of the sticks, and I know I’ll get Ben Hannant and Trent Merrin in the first try-scorer sweep.
No, all of these are trivial quibbles compared to what I hate about Origin.
I hate the fact that for only three nights a year we get a game of rugby league where everyone from the referees, to the players, to the TV execs counting their squillions in their ivory hot tubs, pull out all stops to ensure us bozos in the cheap seats see a cracking game of rugby league.
No fancy ego-induced rule interpretations, no milking penalties and half-arsed hit-ups, no standard definition and lack of lead in.
The reason I hate Origin is that for just three nights a year we get to see how great the game can be when it’s approached with respect, common sense and passion before paydays.
And that, in my opinion, is more exasperating than all the Greg Birds and Spidercams in the Southern hemisphere put together.
Blues by two.
Follow Chris on Twitter: @Vic_Arious
Chris Chard is a sports humour writer commenting on the often absurd nature of professional sport. A rugby league fan boy with a good blend of youth and experience taking things one week at a time, Chris has written for The Roar, Rugby League Player Magazine, US Sports Downunder, the QRL and People. Tweet him @Vic_Arious