State of Origin I and the thrill is gone ...

A MATE once told me, "People in NSW aren't as passionate about State of Origin as you Queenslanders." Wrong.

Two weeks later I was part of a small, and very worried, herd of Queenslanders in a Newcastle hotel, surrounded by screaming Blues fans.

In hindsight, the decision to wear our maroon jerseys into a NSW pub was a tad stupid. Honestly, the only reason we survived that night was because Queensland lost.

There was plenty of passion, plus quite a lot of abuse, and when I angrily mentioned this to my mate he shrugged and said, "I didn't say they weren't passionate, they're just not as fanatical as you one-eyed, Origin-obsessed, Queenslanders." He had a point; so I let go of his shirt and helped him find his buttons.

Things haven't changed much. Currently hanging in our kitchen is a Queensland calendar, which clearly shows the dates of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and State of Origin Game 1, but Mother's Day doesn't rate a mention. Still, they've covered the important stuff.

Which makes what I'm about to admit so shocking; I've sort of gone off Origin, and football in general. And, yes, I am seeking professional help.

You see, at some point during last year's series, it dawned on me that I was merely going through the motions of supporting 'Our Legendary Lads'. It was like waking from hypnosis.

On telly, two groups of strangers continued colliding with each other while I blinked, gazed about the room, then checked my beer hadn't been tampered with.

The magic had gone.

I've tried hard to re-ignite my Origin passion, but last Tuesday I didn't even feel the slightest urge to drive on to the footpath to mow down a bloke wearing a Blues t-shirt.

Clearly, I'm in a very sorry state.

Greg Bray blogs at http://www.gregbraywriter.wordpress.com. Find him on Facebook: Greg Bray - Writer.


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