Sport in Australia: It’s a Serious Business

I have mentioned the State of Origin before on a couple of occasions and I did talk a little bit about its background in my post from last year when I watched my first ever game between the Cane Toads and the Cockroaches.

Well, that’s the derogatory nicknames for the teams; let me remind you that the Cane Toads are Queenslanders and the Cockroaches are from New South Wales and it is an intense game of rugby league football between the two states. Many say it is the highest level of rugby league played anywhere in the world.

The more usual nicknames for the teams are the Maroons (Queensland, strangely pronounced Marones here) and the Blues (New South Wales), obviously from the colour of their shirts.

The event didn’t start until 1982 and before that a “state” rugby league team comprised of players who played for clubs within that state. Because of this, New South Wales held the upper hand in these interstate matches because clubs there paid the highest wages and had therefore attracted the best Queensland players across the broader.

Then a former Queensland captain suggested that if the Maroons could have all their best players back, the ones that originated in Queensland, then they would kick the sorry butts of the Blues for sure. Or something like that. And “State of Origin” was born.

He was right and Queensland have had the upper hand ever since.

Anyway, my duty as a red-blooded male living in Queensland is to go somewhere to watch it with other red-blooded males from either state. I then have to shout enthusiastically (at the right moments of course) at the screen whilst these giants of men do battle.

And my chosen location is the local Sport and Rec……

Bellbowrie Sports Centre

Because I live in Queensland and have only ever lived in Queensland since arriving in Australia, I am obviously supporting the Maroons. My Aussie pal Peter is a Blues supporter because his State of origin is New South Wales. Unlucky for Pete! New South Wales are already two nil down in this best out of three series.

That means New South Wales have already lost this latest series and it also means that Queensland have now won a historic five in a row.

So, what is the point of playing this third game? It’s all over, what is the point? (I made the same mistake in thinking this once, but now that I’m in my third year of origin, believe me, I understand.)

What’s the point! WHAT’S THE POINT!

WHAT’S THE POINT!

The point is three nil is better than two one! Three nil is a whitewash! Three nil is a thrashing! Three nil is a drubbing! That’s why it’s important! That’s why they play the third game! That’s why we still have to go and to shout at the TV!

There hasn’t been a three nil for 10 years (New South Wales won that time) and we want one tonight! There are several million noses in New South Wales and we want to rub them in it.

So I’m about to grab my maroon top and make off to the Sports and Rec. I’m not going because I “want to”, I’m going because “I have to”!

I’m going because I am a man! Sport is serious business out here.

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