If you’re going to live in Australia, you’re going to know about the State of Origin. A yearly event, it’s a series of three rugby league matches played between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons.
Think superbowl, but more real- less commercials, less marketing. Mix rugby league in with intense provincial pride, Australian machismo and you’ve got this all-around testosterone-fueled event of legendary proportion.
It’s a really big deal.
When you finish a yoga class and the teacher, instead of “namaste,” announces, “GO MAROONS!” you know this whole State of Origin thing matters.
When you are giving a workshop to elementary-age kids and a tow-headed fourth grader pipes up to ask “Who yeh gaw’n for tonight? New South Wales or Queensland?” you know this thing is ingrained into people as soon as they’re old enough to understand how the game works.
The sport of rugby is inextricably woven into the Aussie culture, literally breathed into the lifeblood of its citizens. Everyone has their team, everyone has their player. I’m starting to think rugby comprises an extra helix in the DNA of your typical Australian- both male and female. Queensland is defending a victorious seven-year run and although I know little more about rugby that I do about any other sport (aka, woefully little), I’m going for the Maroons. It’s fun to get swept up in something so close to the hearts of the people.
And hey, the short rugby shorts don’t hurt either.