The State of Origin

Written by Anthony Douglas on 15 July 2017.

OriginOnce again, three games of footy have come and gone. For some there is still a warm glow from the results; for others, the bleak hope that next year will be different. Even the disinterested can rejoice that they have a chance to hear about other sports for a while.

It’s an unusual thing, if you haven’t noticed, among sporting codes. Somehow, the most important games of the year in rugby league are not the finals, not even the international matches. Instead, that place is taken by what in any other sport would be called exhibition matches. The Americans love their Superbowls to death, but have very nearly killed off the Pro Bowl. The Davis Cup is well-loved, but people remember who wins at Wimbledon. You get the idea.

So why do the leaguies love their Origin? Partly, it’s down to the fact that the two teams fielded are genuinely of high quality, making it likely that the games will be competitive. But I suspect even more significant is that joy in the rivalry. Queensland used to lose all their talented players to Sydney clubs, and State of Origin was their chance to thumb their noses at the thieves.

And that matters because we really do care about where we come from. We take pride in our roots, whether we’re a city girl or a country boy, whether we were born in Australia or some other land. Where I come from says something about who I am.

Ah, but there’s the rub. Where do I come from? Fundamentally, I come from the God who made humanity – and like those he first made, I’ve made a hash of my life too. And unless God redeems me, that’s nothing to be proud of...

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