There’s always those brief three seconds after Queensland
loses where I consider if life is truly worth living. I snap out of it pretty
quickly, and it must be said that in this regard the last ten years have been
pretty sweet. I was pretty cantankerous for a while in 2014 but I’ve generally
been pretty happy over the years. Don’t even get me started on the grand final
last year though – I still can’t watch the replays.

It’s weird how much people can identify with a sporting team.
For State of Origin, the team you support is usually just down to luck. I’m a
Queenslander through no fault of my own. But I genuinely do feel a connection
with my team. In my eyes they’re all champions and lovely young men. The Blues,
on the other hand, are all bastards and I hate them. Now that’s not true at all
– though I do feel real animosity for New South Wales this time of year. Take
any player and swap their jersey and I’d think the total opposite. Except for
Luke Lewis, I’ve always thought he was a great guy and I doubt I’d ever
appreciate Andrew Fifita. And I could never really work out Dave Taylor for us.

While we (how easily I use we) lost the third game this year,
it didn’t really matter. The series was wrapped up and you can’t blame the team
for not treating it with as much intensity. They had no right to get so close
to a win given the circumstances against them during the game. But New South
Wales won and you’d think would be better for it next year. As much as I’d love
to beat them 3-0 every year, I had to admit it’s more exciting and better for
the game if there’s some competition. I do wonder if a last grasp win in a dead
rubber might disguise some of New South Wales’ problems this year. Maybe if they
were absolutely smashed, they’d be forced to make some real changes. Now they
can tell themselves they weren’t that far off.

And let’s be frank, New South Wales were pretty close this
year. If Josh Morris gets that try in the first match or Michael Jennings doesn’t
knock on late in game two, well things might be different. But, along the same
lines, the Andrew Fifita try could have easily gone the other way, and any
other night of the year Johnathan Thurston kicks the goals he missed. So it’s
impossible to play the ‘what if’ game. The only reality we know is the one we
have. And in that one, while Queensland still plays so well, life is still
worth living.        

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