We are heading into a must win, possibly series deciding game two of the State Of Origin series, and you know what the big talking point is?
Both Mal Meninga and Ricky Stuart have carried on like a couple of fucking idiots. Neither one is better than the other. Between the planet sized chip Meninga carries on his shoulder and Ricky Stuart working himself up into such a frenzy that he couldn’t even face the media today, it has all become a bit ridiculous!
Both of them act paranoid.
For Meninga, he thinks the Sydney media is out to get him, mainly because the Brisbane media keep winding him up and baiting him with stories that they know their colleagues from the the same media company have written to provoke a response.
For Stuart, he gets so worked up about aspects of the contest beyond his control that he goes into a siege mentality. At the point, everyone is the enemy. Everyone is trying to screw him over. He can’t control it, he has never been able to control it!
None of this would be an issues if it didn’t take away from what we should be looking forward to on the field. It also it a terrible example for morons to follow.
Like it or not, there is a section of the Rugby League supporter base that hasn’t got the metal capacity to form their own opinions. They are easily led and it takes nothing for them to latch on to other peoples stupid comments and take them as gospel.
These phenomenon has seen a change in the way some supporters engage in the State Of Origin series. Where once the series was about supporting your own state, now there is a large group of people who use the series as a platform to viciously attack other people.
Banter is great, and having a bit of a laugh at each others extent is good fun. What we are starting to see though are some idiots that go to a whole different level.
Ask yourself this…..when was the last time either set up, either on the NSW side or the QLD side, acted with any level of humility or sportsmanship? When was the last time either state could, hand on heart, say they played a series with complete integrity?
Part of me thinks all of that sort of thing went out the window with the famous “Blue Rinse” of the 2000 series when NSW thrashed Queensland and started doing choreographed post try celebrations.
Post try celebrations where a “thing” to do at the time at NRL level. As NSW belted QLD, they naturally found their way into the Origin arena, and I don’t think it was done with any malice. They struck a chord with Queensland though, and fair enough as it was embarrassing. It feels like from that point on, there was a viciousness off the field that become part of the series that still exists to this day.
When Origin started in the early 1980’s, Queensland had something to fight against. They had seen their best players in sky blues jerseys for decades, and they had been on the wrong end of beltings at state level for a very long time.
Finally, under State Of Origin rules, they had a chance to set the record straight. They played with passion and pride. It was about restoring state pride. Eventually New South Wales stepped up to the same level, and as the series grew into the 1990’s it was “Us vs Them” but it was played in a very good spirit.
Queensland did their things, New South Wales theirs, the results were all that mattered and then we all just go on with things after that.
When ever New South Wales won a series, I didn’t think about Queensland. It was about our own success. I think to a certain extent it was the same way north of the border. Now I see Queenland supporters carry on and I think “What the fuck is your problem?”. Seriously, QLD have won six series in a row and many of their supporter still whinge!
Why? I think they take their lead from the coach.
Considering that State Of Origin is now the biggest sporting series in Australia, I think it would be great if both coaching staffs and the officials around them carried themselves with a bit more dignity and realized that in the positions they hold, they have a responsibility towards the game.
The anger that surrounds the series right now is not good for the game. It doesn’t sell tickets, it doesn’t boost TV ratings, it doesn’t make money. This is a series we should all be celebrating, not getting angry and hysterical about!
When it comes down to it, I don’t think either state coach is respected. It has nothing to do with their coaching ability and everything to do with their behaviour.
I enjoy the State Of Origin series for what it is supposed to be. The best players from my state taking on the best from Queensland. It produces great games that are always close and always unpredictable. All the rubbish that goes on around it, I fucking hate!
So while Stuart and Meninga try out out arsehole each other, I’ll be doing my best to enjoy the game. You know what the funny thing about all of this is? The current players in both sides carry themselves very well. They are a credit to the game.
Its a shame everyone else didn’t follow their lead…