Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 23. Day 144. QUEENSLANDER!

I am a Queenslander. I am not a QUEENSLANDER!
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

Origin Sucks
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

  1. It's bad for the economy. We are supposed to be belt tightening not splashing out on flags, inflatable hands, T shirts and alcopops
  2. 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
  3. Few people look good wearing maroon
  4. How can you support a team which has as its mascot one of the greatest environmental pests ever introduced to the State?
  5. 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
  1. Buy yourself a ticket to The Five Year Engagement - a pure chick flick and therefore perfect for the occasion
  2. Watch anything on the Lifestyle Channel - watching people's home being redecorated is better than watching people's faces being redecorated
  3. Go to the gym - all those machines generally tied up by testosterone-driven creatures who grunt and smell will be free
  4. 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
  5. 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


  1. I have to confess that I don't mind the odd game of league, but to let your Queensland friends in on a secret, we don't actually care that much about the result in NSW. If we lose Origin (which is often!) we go 'Oh well' and simply forget about it, so all Queensland's exultation about winning is really a bit wasted. It's a game, after all. One of the things I love about NSW is the laid-back attitude to sport here. We are not at all like Queenslanders (present company excluded of course) or even worse those southern states with their stupid obsession with AFL.

  2. Brilliant. Your post nails exactly how I feel. Benison's comment is also on the money: NSW just don't care that much.

  3. you're almost trolling for hate mail. I don't understand why. I'm indifferent to state of origin and football in general. Hate is a strong feeling to have about something so trivial?

  4. Ive always said if you give them a ball each it saves the fight in the first place....

  5. hi Susan,

    I'm reminded of a psychology lecture I attended at uni in the early 90s. It was memorable not just because the lecturer was a very attractive Canadian academic with a beautiful accent, but because he said some really interesting things about the psychology of spectator sports. I remember him talking about the America's Cup and how it stopped the nation. The Prime Minister said "Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum." All this about yachting, an elitist sport only engaged in by the wealthy. Suddenly every man and his dog were rooting for these privileged unknown yachtsmen, just because they are Australian. The same goes for a lot of Olympic sports.

    The gist of what he was saying, if memory serves, was that getting excited about sport is good for people. It unites them, makes them feel good, connects them with people who would otherwise be strangers, and it's a great leveller.

    Personally I love the passion that State of Origin brings out in people. The world needs passionate people! Have you ever become passionate about something and tried to get them involved? I've been trying to get the parents in Matthew's class to help out at our school carnival stall or even just donate a packet of Tiny Teddies. If they can't help out on the day, that's fine, but they should show some interest and express some regret about not being available. I don't expect them to be as excited about the carnival as I am, but they should at least come along, not just to show their kids a good time, but to support the school's fundraising efforts. If anyone says they're not coming because they don't like school carnivals, I will be disappointed, but I won't try to make them feel bad. But if they do feel bad, they shouldn't blame me for making them feel that way.

    I used to follow the State of Origin when I was younger - Peter and I used to watch it together. I used to know all the players and all their Roy and HG nicknames. I don't follow it anymore, but it is a frequent topic of conversation during our team's hospital ward rounds with our young patients. I don't pretend I have watched the game, but I don't tell anyone I'm not interested in it anymore either.

    I wonder where that dreamy Canadian academic is now. I think his name was Dale...

    bye for now,

    1. I don't know why that's posted under my work Blogger account name and not my personal Google account.