At this time of year there is a big difference. I was born in Queensland as were both my parents and all of my grandparents before me. After three generations I can call myself a Queenslander.
Now that other group are the maroon wearing tribe who believe that somehow our measure of State pride is derived from following the fortunes of a football team and shouting about it from the rooftops. I caught up with this group of Queenslanders at the iconic Breakfast Creek Hotel this afternoon where they were gearing up for the big game. I really admire their passion, I just don't share it.
It is very unpopular to say so in Queensland at this time of year but I have no interest in State of Origin football. Actually it is far worse than that. I have an accute hatred for it I but I will defend to the end of the earth those who actually care. What I can't tolerate is the strange belief that State of Origin fans seem to have is that "everyone" should follow the game. Go ahead, watch the game if you like but don't try to make me feel bad for not joining you and don't presume I'm any less a Queenslander because I don't.
I first went public on this whole State of Origin thing in 2008 and I am still wiping the venom off my body. Don't believe me? Check this out.
Feel free to add your own comments here. Go on. I'm a big girl.
Just to refresh, here's what I said that got the Originers' blood boiling in 2008. All that has changed is the Chick Flick
I don't get it. Why do people, normal people, people with brains enough to know that rugby league is a game played by neanderthals, actually whip themselves into hysteria at this time every year.
Why do people celebrate and mourn as though State of Origin actually matters?
Across two states, people who at other times of the year would neither know nor care about the oval ball game - apart from perhaps an office tipping competition - start quoting statistics about which team has the stronger backline.
Bewildering at best. It's about time that those of us who think State of Origin totally sucks stood up and were counted.
So here are some high balls to kick at those who think this State-against-State rubbish means something and some alternatives to watching the match.
Five reasons why State of Origin is bad
- It's bad for the economy. We are supposed to be belt tightening not splashing out on flags, inflatable hands, T shirts and alcopops
- It's bad for productivity. Think of the cost to the economy of all those tired, hung over people fronting for work (or worse not fronting) on Thursday
- Few people look good wearing maroon
- How can you support a team which has as its mascot one of the greatest environmental pests ever introduced to the State?
- Why would anyone pretend that beating another team of rugby league players actually counts for something?
Five things better to do than watch State of Origin
- Buy yourself a ticket to The Five Year Engagement - a pure chick flick and therefore perfect for the occasion
- Watch anything on the Lifestyle Channel - watching people's home being redecorated is better than watching people's faces being redecorated
- Go to the gym - all those machines generally tied up by testosterone-driven creatures who grunt and smell will be free
- Get an early night smug in the knowledge that you will feel much better tomorrow than those who partied on into the night celebrating the win or drowning their sorrows
- Do the grocery shopping. With so few people venturing away from the TV the aisles will be clear, the checkouts queue free and the mark-down man is bound to have been busy