State of Origin, that is. I’ve been reliably informed that Queensland is now going for its 8th win! I say reliably, because I don’t trust my reckoning, even if I google it. I lost track of what number they were at, shortly after leaving Australia. I suppose it would help if I just read my own posts about the serious-as-all-get-out rugby competition between Queensland and New South Wales? It’s probably a good idea, but I doubt I will. When I reread what I’ve written a LONG time ago, it messes with what I might write NOW, off the top of my head.
A couple of days ago, a co-worker was bored, so they demanded to know what my favorite basketball team was. Um, I don’t watch basketball, so no favorite. He tried again… football team! Nope, sorry. I don’t watch football, either (gridiron, that is). I would much rather play a sport than watch it. So, at a momentary stand-still, a few minute later, he asked, “Favorite My Little Pony?!”
After a bit, I told him that I watched rugby sometimes, but apparently rugby doesn’t agree with him. I neglected to tell him that I love to watch the haka at the beginning of games with the New Zealand All-Blacks. I don’t know what he would have thought of that.
Since coming back to the U.S., I actually haven’t looked for a rugby team to follow, because cheering on teams has never been my style. If you don’t really watch sports on tv, then you don’t really have a reason to cheer a team on. I’m more likely to root for (Aussies, don’t be snarky, you know what I mean) a local team. I’ll cheer for Clemson, because that’s where I’m from. I’ll hope the Carolina Panthers defeat the New England Patriots, in the Super Bowl… but I’ll still mostly watch the commercials.
And so, I’ll cheer on the Queensland Maroons, if I can just find somewhere to watch them! Of course, I will also cheer for them because they’re just the best team in State of Origin, anyway. But I know some will disagree with me there. I have an American friend who works in Canberra and has lots of friends in NSW, so of course he’s on their side.
I remember my first Origin game. I was sitting on the arm of the couch, trying to figure out what was going. These amazingly strong AND fast guys were running constantly, making me never want to take my eyes off the television. If I did, I might miss something. That’s another reason I like it, the constant movement, the ongoing game, that only stops for a short break in the middle of the game. I hate games that stop and start, allowing your mind to wander to more interesting things.
When I missed the second Origin game of 2011, I made sure I was in a house full of friends for Game 3. It was a riotous group, with mostly Maroon fans, and a few Blues in the room. I’ve never been one for actually clapping, cheering, and shouting during a game, unless I really understand what’s going on. So, I just sat with my eyes glued to the screen, and my eyes were probably as big as dinner plates, trying to take it all in. It was so exciting! The Maroons were so awesome!
As I write, if I have the dates correct, then my Queenslander friends are just a few hours away from cheering on their team. The drinks will be out, the snacks will disappear, and they’ll be shouting their heads off. And even if I can’t watch with them, I’m cheering for the right side, in my head, from South Carolina. Go Maroon!