An Australian sporting tradition, the first game in a best of three Rugby League battle between New South Wales (blues/cockroaches) and Queensland (maroons/canetoads) kicked off last Wednesday night. State against State. Mate against Mate. It is my favourite sporting event of the year and one I have looked forward to for as far back as I can remember.
Having moved to Brisbane from the Central Coast in New South Wales, I am blue through and through and feel pretty confident about our chances in 2012. Even if they have diminished slightly following the other night’s heartbreaking loss to the maroons, the final score being 18 – 10.
Experiencing another loss on top of a six year winners drought, I have definitely had people, read Queenslanders, ask me why I still bother watching? The answer is quite simply because I’m proud of where I come from, I love Rugby League and this is the match-up of the year. The best of the best. Due to the fact that my broken blue heart couldn’t really handle re-living the recent loss, instead of giving you a clever little play-by-play, I have instead decided to quickly share one of the ways being a sports nut has enhanced my life.
Although the consummate girly girl, my father raised me a die-hard fan of this game, the Manly Sea Eagles and the New South Wales Blues. I’ve suffered losses, some years ending with me holding a wooden spoon and also experienced the elation that comes with being crowned Premiers (last year actually – go Manly!). State of Origin in particular is a time when all come together in State based pride to cheer their team on, hopefully to victory. Moving to enemy territory at the age of 11, I learned how to be a gracious loser and even more importantly a gracious winner.
Sure, when I’m in the comfort of my own home, my mood is in direct accordance with the result, smug if winning, downtrodden if behind and at time voices do get raised. However, as hard as it is, I congratulate the opposition team on their win and optimistically look forward to our chance to turn the tables – if you would like to watch NSW win Game 2, tune in to Channel 9 on Wednesday the 13th of June.
Learning to do unto others as you would have done to you by being a good sport is most certainly something my deep love of League has taught me. Among other things. Friendships of mine have survived the rift full of trash talk that occurs 3 days of the year because at the end of those days we know it’s all in good fun.
State of Origin, in all of its competitive, muddy, testosterone charged glory has actually helped me to become a better, nicer person. Just don’t ask me my thoughts on the matter during the heat of the moment of the game… You’ll probably get a very different response.