It’s State of Origin time again. The greatest rivalry in Australian sport celebrates it’s 100th game tonight. Since 1980 the State of Origin series has been the ultimate rugby league battle between Queensland and New South Wales. The series produces some of the best footy you’ll see all year as the top players from the league take the field.
What makes Origin special is the absolute dedication of the fans. Just like the players, the fans are committed to their state of origin. It doesn’t matter where you live now, it’s where you came from. You can’t change State of Origin allegiance, if you are born in Queensland no matter where you live now, at State of Origin time you’re a Queenslander. It’s the question that always gets asked before every Game 1, ‘who do you go for’? What sounds like an innocent question about who you think will win a footy game will then spiral into a discussion about everything that is better in their state; if you happen to support the other side. At this time of year it’s as if every NSW and Queensland fan becomes a spokesperson for their state’s Tourism board. This is what makes State of Origin great, the absolute loyalty of the fans to their state and the passion they show when talking about the game.
For the last 8 years it’s normally been the Maroons fan that will start any conversation about Origin. For the past eight series Queensland has dominated the field. NSW have won a few games but after losing the series for 8 years, being a Blues fan is tough work. A Blues fan requires a strong ability to defend Blues players and tactics, blame referees and insult the Maroons, while being taunted by the Queenslander who is supremely confident that this year will be 9 in a row. There is no sympathy for the underdog in State of Origin. A Blues fan must live in the hope that 2014 will be the year where NSW will reign supreme, and after 8 years of losing the series, victory will be even sweeter.
We can only wait and see what drama will unfold this year as the Series kicks off tonight, if you want to relive some of the great clashes of the past grab a State of Origin DVD and enjoy the best the Rugby League and an NRL DVD has to offer.