I’ve been thinking a lot about Johnathan Thurston’s match winning sideline conversion from the second State of Origin match. It was a beautiful kick and wonderful theatre. If it were in a movie, it would be unbelievable.
It came in the final moments of the game with the series on the line. He had one arm busted, hanging limply at his side. JT was rushed back to the team after missing game one, where Queensland were smashed, their worst defeat in a decade or more. Even in the game, they had to fight back from 16-6 at halftime. Then came his final act in State of Origin after dominating for twelve years. The Football Gods sure know how to write a story.
It’s another example that proves sport isn’t about what happens on the field so much as everything off and around it.
Without the story, sport is just admiring physical feats. It’s why I can never get into the Olympics – it’s wonderful that these people can swim really fast or throw a javelin or do whatever is impressive about equestrian, but why should I care? I appreciate all the time and effort they’ve put into their chose event, but how am I supposed to get passionate?
Similarly, players slot sideline conversions like JT’s every weekend all around the country. And good on them, but without the drama, it’s just a kick. With the story, it’s everything.
JT’s kick, and the man himself, have certainly been inspiring. Honestly, over the past few months I have thought to myself “If Johnathan Thurston could kick that goal, surely I can (do whatever I think I can’t do, probably something stupid like write a story but you get the idea).”
That inspiration certainly comes easier as a Queenslander. He’s probably the most popular bloke this side of the Tweed and I’m glad I can look up to him. For a New South Wales supporter, well I’m sure they can appreciate the man, on some level. Through their tears.
I wonder how it might feel for an Indigenous child to have JT as a role model. I’d wager that kick would have been even sweeter. If JT can do it against all that adversity, we all can.