If sports movies have taught us anything, NSW will win
In the classic Hollywood sports flick script, a ragtag bunch of losers and misfits take on the arrogant team of pretty boys and spoilt brats. The bad kids then proceed to teach us all a lesson about sport, life and the triumph of the human spirit or some such baloney.
Act One of this script will be played out tonight. The arrogant pretty boys are Queensland, who have clearly superior players, yet whinge and exploit loopholes like only the privileged can.
NSW are the basket cases, with a team full of drunks, ex-jailbirds, thugs, head cases, and players hopelessly out of form. And the player in the best form of his career, Tigers skipper Robbie Farah, is unwanted and unloved by his own fans.
So then. NSW to win. You can analyse the game within a statistical inch of your life, but if sports movies have taught us anything, which they absolutely have, it’s that Queensland’s six year domination is over. NSW has picked a team so hopeless, so flawed, so utterly discombobulated and wrong that it simply must win.
NSW is the Jamaican bobsled team. Wait, the Jamaican bobsled team sucked at the Winter Olympics. Let’s say NSW are the Dillon Panthers, the bunch of hicks from smalltown Texas who beat the big fancy Texas schools in the state football championships.
Anyway, whichever mythical movie team they resemble, NSW are clearly a bunch of losers, which as mentioned is the key ingredient to making them winners.
Just look at the players. In any sports team the tone is set by the skipper, and NSW captain Paul Gallen set a fine tone the day he allegedly tried to rip the stitches out of an opponent’s head. Attaboy, Gal.
Greg Bird had a domestic dispute which played out in front of the courts for months.
Todd Carney has a past more chequered than a chessboard. He was born unlucky too. Every time he goes for a drive after drinking, those pesky DUI cops seem to be lurking just around the corner.
Brett Stewart remains an angry, angry man, steadfast in the belief that he was unfairly sidelined for being unceremoniously sozzled at a season launch.
His brother Glenn is nothing if not loyal, and is fond of expressing his brotherly loyalty with his fists.
Michael Jennings will play reserve grade for Penrith this weekend even if he excels in Origin game. Jarryd Hayne will play for Parramatta which is even worse.
And what about Robbie Farah? The good guy of the NSW team has an economics degree and lives at home with his Mum (who by the way is battling cancer). Yet NSW fans think he’s weak. They have been crying out for a creative, playmaking number 9, and Farah is that, yet they haven’t; accepted him.
So. Let me tell you how this movie plays out.
NSW win tonight, then lose in Sydney. NSW then go to Brisbane as massive underdogs. Now watch, as the beauty unfolds.
It is 18 all. It is always 18 all in these things, even in sports where 18 is an unlikely number. It is the final play of the game. (Look away now if you don’t want to know the result). The ball goes to Robbie Farah, who dives over in the corner to end the Queensland dynasty!
Keen fans of Origin history instantly recognise the parallels with 1994, when a NSW and Tigers hooker of Lebanese descent, Benny Elias, crushed Queensland’s dreams in Mal Meninga’s final Origin game.
People who aren’t keen fans don’t notice this, but don’t care, and suddenly pretend that they have loved Robbie Farah their whole career.
And Todd Carney goes out drinking to celebrate and doesn’t get busted for DUI on the way home. Oh hang on, that’d be a fairytale. This is just a sports movie.
STOP PRESS. NOT THAT THE INTERNET HAS A PRESS BUT ANYWAY…
You simply have to see what The Age did today on its back page.
First, and this is ridiculous enough, its lead yarn was about an out-of-town club, Geelong, seeking to recruit some out-of-town player from Port Adelaide.
So basically, there was not the faintest bit of interest in the sports lead for Melburnians, yet they prioritised it ahead of the Origin match tonight. That’s some slap in the face to us northerners.
Oh, and in the paltry space they did give Origin, they called Todd Carney “David Carney”. All this after the VIC sports minister said earlier this week that Qld was playing NZ. Yep, Melbourne sure does deserve this game.
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