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2020 State of Origin: Why we ALL want Queensland to win

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 19/11/2020 Mike Colman For Daily Mail Australia
a group of people looking at the camera: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Wayne Bennett once said that Queenslanders all walk a little taller the morning after a State of Origin win. 

NSW supporters say that’s to stop their knuckles dragging along the ground.

Boom boom.

But seriously folks, Bennett – the veteran coach who came out of the old folks’ home to orchestrate a remarkable 2-1 series win in Brisbane on Wednesday night – was right on the money.

Queenslanders do care about Origin more than their NSW counterparts. To them the annual festival of rugby league is about a lot more than drinking XXXX, donning silly headwear and making guttural noises.

It is a reaffirmation of who they are, what they believe in… and of course, drinking XXXX, donning silly headwear and making guttural noises.

a group of people posing for the camera: For Queenslanders, there's more to the State of Origin than wearing silly headgear. Pictured are rugby league fans showing their true colours during Wednesday night's game © Provided by Daily Mail For Queenslanders, there's more to the State of Origin than wearing silly headgear. Pictured are rugby league fans showing their true colours during Wednesday night's game

It’s an age-old battle of good versus evil, right versus wrong, Maroon versus Blue.

To Queenslanders there are only two types of people: those born north of the Tweed River and those who wish they were.

And you know what? I reckon they’re right.

Ask a lot of New South Welshmen how they feel the morning after a Queensland Origin win and many will tell you, ‘I couldn’t care less’.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Origin man of the series Cameron Munster celebrates with Maroons trainer Allan 'Alfie' Langer in the Queensland dressing room after their 20-14 win in the decider © Provided by Daily Mail Origin man of the series Cameron Munster celebrates with Maroons trainer Allan 'Alfie' Langer in the Queensland dressing room after their 20-14 win in the decider

They’ll say something like ‘I don’t even watch it’ or utter the words guaranteed to send a Queenslander even crazier than usual, ‘it’s only a game’.

But the real truth of the matter is that the only reason they’re not walking around looking like they’ve just lost their last friend, or banging their head against a wall, is because deep down they want the Maroons to win.

They might not admit it to anyone else – might not even admit it to themselves in fact – but in the inner-most reaches of their subconscious, they are secretly Queensland supporters.

a group of people posing for a photo in front of a crowd: These NSW Blues fans are quietly pleased deep down inside that Queensland has won this year's series, writes Mike Colman © Provided by Daily Mail These NSW Blues fans are quietly pleased deep down inside that Queensland has won this year's series, writes Mike Colman a group of people standing in front of a crowd: NSW Blues fans ere out in force in Sydney in game two where their side forced the series into a decider © Provided by Daily Mail NSW Blues fans ere out in force in Sydney in game two where their side forced the series into a decider

Seriously, how could they not be?


Video: Debutant’s nightmare drop (Wide World of Sports)

From the day Australians are old enough to use a remote control or computer keyboard, they are indoctrinated with ‘the story’. The movie, TV show or exclusive streaming service presentation which features a group of loveable, off-beat characters from the wrong side of the tracks banding together to beat the stuck-up, arrogant, preppies from Snob Hill.

And that, in a nutshell, is Origin.

Think of the annual three-game series as a sort of Animal House in footy boots. NSW is the upper-crust toffee-nosed Omega fraternity, used to having things handed to them on a silver platter and heading towards a gilt-edged future bank-rolled by their social-climbing parents. Queensland is Delta House next door, ramshackle, falling apart and inhabited by a collection of reprobates, drunks and miscreants led by John Belushi in a maroon number six jersey.

Come on, admit it, which side would you root for?

a person standing in front of a crowd: The State of the Origin decider at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium (pictured) was the world's biggest sporting event attendance-wise since the coronavirus pandemic began © Provided by Daily Mail The State of the Origin decider at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium (pictured) was the world's biggest sporting event attendance-wise since the coronavirus pandemic began a group of people in front of a crowd posing for the camera: There's nothing wrong with Blues fans quietly cheering on the Maroons in the State of Origin © Provided by Daily Mail There's nothing wrong with Blues fans quietly cheering on the Maroons in the State of Origin

A Sydney associate rang me at my Queensland home the morning after I’d screamed myself hoarse at the deciding match at Suncorp Stadium and, before I’d had the chance to gloat about the outcome, gave me some news.

‘I just took a straw poll of the league types in the office,’ he said. ‘They all admitted that secretly they don’t mind the Maroons winning. They were even cheering for them.’

I know exactly how they feel. I was raised in NSW and lived there for the first 10 years of Origin before moving north.

Even back then I barracked for Queensland during Origin – not that I told anyone. Year after year I would put on my blue t-shirt and Tooheys cap and pretend to cheer for the likes of Sterlo and Junior and Benny Elias while secretly hoping they’d step in a pothole and twist their ankle.

a crowd of people watching a football game: The Queenslands Maroons celebrate moments after clinching the 2020  State of Origin series © Provided by Daily Mail The Queenslands Maroons celebrate moments after clinching the 2020  State of Origin series a group of people posing for a photo © Provided by Daily Mail

Like so many other closet Maroons supporters I was living a double life. It was tough, it led to a lot of sleepless night, but I couldn't help it.

Maybe it was because I was married to a Brisbane girl but more likely it was because I couldn’t help but be drawn to the likes of Choppy Close, Fatty Vautin and Trevor Gillmeister.

Back then, just like now, they were ‘the story’.

Conditioned as I was to want the unfashionable underdog to win in the final scene of Rocky or Happy Days, I longed for King Wally Lewis or Alfie Langer to pull the rug out from under those smug NSW Blues in the dying seconds of an Origin decider.

Which, more often than not, they did.

Just like Cameron Munster and Harry Grant on Wednesday night.

A night when all Queensland supporters walked a little taller.

Those who were born north of the Tweed … and those who wish they were.

a man standing in front of a crowd: Queensland coach Wayne Bennett gets a Gatorade shower after the Maroons claimed their first State of Origin in three years © Provided by Daily Mail Queensland coach Wayne Bennett gets a Gatorade shower after the Maroons claimed their first State of Origin in three years Read more

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