There was a lot of excitement in the air in the lead up to this game. A lot of Kiki the cripple’s excitement was probably because she hadn’t left the house in three weeks, had an intense case of cabin fever, and was completely desperate to see other people, to drink beer, and to abuse something or someone. But our hearts were also full to brimming with nerves for our baby blues and steely determination to take out this year’s State of Origin.
With Kiki clad in her very Jack Gibson-esque caramel vintage fur, and me rugged up in knitted cream beret and giant blues scarf, we set off – looking adorable – on the Hills Bus to do our bit to secure victory by drinking, abusing, dancing, cheering, and mocking hideous and hateful Queenslanders. Clearly we are an integral part of the NSW team.
If you’re wondering, yes we do do everything together. We’re creepy like that. We’re also blogging together right now. Because we’re nerdy like that.
The omens from the Gods were all pointing to success. We had cold beers in our hands and a pub carpark full of adorable mans dressed in blue to flirt with. There may be a mandrought, but when you corral all the colts it sure don’t seem that way.
When I (like an idiot, but not yet a drunken one) lost my cashed-up wallet in the crowd I was rescued by my own Origin angel. Adorably, his name was Mick. Mick the angel, dressed in a Blues jersey, who tracked down my wallet, tracked down my parents through Sensis and tracked down my mobile number to deliver it to me outside Gate K just as the first whistle blew.
Bet a Queenslander wouldn’t do that, bitches. They probably would have taken my eighty bucks and spent it on cans of Bundy for themselves and their girlfriends and/or sisters – who may be the same person – and Queensland stubby holders to put them in. You know it’s true.
After the origin miracle and two Smirnoffs we settled into the stadium to find something even more miraculous: the cavernous shithole that is ANZ was full of blue TRY signs, blue jumpers, blue wigs and blue pride. It almost had an atmosphere. Almost. I was so excited I almost peed a tiny bit. True story. Especially to see my baby Roosters Mitchell Pearce and Braith Anasta play together: LOOK HOW CUTE THEY ARE.
I know we all already know that the mighty blues were beaten, but let’s relive it in point form anyway. And I warn you in advance there won’t be much talk about football, because we don’t wanna talk about it, kk? All we have to say is THAT PASS WAS NOT FORWARD. Also, maybe if we had K Rudd hanging in our dressing room, things would have been different. Hmmmm?
* At only two minutes on the clock, we saw what everyone, deep in their heart, longs to see at Origin. A fight. Some biff. Big old anvil Petero Civenociva tackled Ben Cross with a high forearm to give away a penalty and the boys rushed from near and far to push and shove and throw a punch. Is there any sweeter experience than standing as one with 80,000 others to mime punches and scream ‘FIIIIIIIGHT!’ in the guttural animal tones of savages? I say no. Apparently I even scared Kiki a little with the intensity of my bloodlust. Who says there are no surprises in long-term relationships?
At the time, we actually thought it was a high tackle on Danny Nutley, and once the pro-violence group hysteria subsided we had to spend a good five minutes discussing when and how this mystery Danny Nutley selection wasn’t reported in the papers. Also isn’t he retired?
But now that I’m sober, I still say it’s an easy mistake to make. I bet everyone has confused Ben Cross and Danny Nutley at least once in their life. How often does a hairline like that come along anyway?
* Best of all, it was only minutes before we got to see it again. This is what has been missing from Origin, I say. NOT ENOUGH FIGHTING. In one moment of sheer sporting brilliance, Hot Bitch sprinted from the other side of the field to join the melee, and snapped Brent Tate’s head back with one swift grab of his ridiculous neck brace. This ensured he stayed vertical and could be more effectively pummelled by other New South Welshman. Now that is some smart thinking. I am also 90% certain that Craig Fitzgibbon had Pasty Greg Inglis in a headlock and I could die of joy at the memory of it.
* I should also say, as a general observation, I did not expect to be as overwhelmed as I was to be seated so very close to greatness. And by greatness, I mean the quivering molten human charisma that is Hot Bitch Cooper. You know whenever there’s a break in play and everyone is kinda exhausted and wandering? Not our Hot Bitch. He’s still standing there in ‘ready’ pose with all his muscles poised, sniffing out action, completely and utterly focussed. Like some kind of insanely hot football playing panther. Apparently hotness never rests.
It’s fair to say virtually nothing shuts the two of us up, but when he appeard on field, lust did. For at least four minutes. We just sat in silence and contemplated The Man; staring and thinking slutty, slutty thoughts. After a while, to be honest, we almost felt bad for raping him with our eyes. We exchanged a guilty look and wondered if we were somehow violating his human rights. I half-expected him to turn around and plead ‘I AM NOT A PIECE OF MEAT! I AM A MAN!’
When he scored the Blues’ only try, there was a frenzy of clapping and ‘GO HOT BITCH’ from our section of the stands, and since people with broken elbows can’t clap, a lot of foot-stomping from Kiki.
* Aside from the joys of close-up Coops, our D reserve seats behind the goalpost also offered a special blend of football fans from North and South of the Tweed. To our left, lovely gentlemanly St George Dragons fans. In front, a row of footy-lovin lesbians, and about twenty people dressed in matching blue plaid and facepaint. One aisle over, a man dressed as Where’s Wally? In one highlight from the closing minutes of the game, Where’s Wally and a group of teenagers erupted into mob violence in the stands and four men were arrested by police. Good times.
And to our right … wow. Where do we begin? How about: two ladies who embody every reason I have ever pitied or loathed a Queenslander.
Lady number one we shall christen “speak no evil”. Truly she did not speak. Not one word. Instead, she stared vacantly with mouth agape, in her Maroons jersey, strappy black kitten heels, and Amy Winehouse eyeliner. I’m a firm believer that those shoes are never the right choice, but surely even less so when you have feet like a hobbit. Are there no pumice stones in Queensland?
Lady number two more than made up for her though. “Hear no evil” spent eighty full minutes on her feet screaming ‘Queenslander’ in what can – political correctness aside – can only be described as a Deaf Voice. Even the Dragons fan to our left started contemplating physical violence fifteen minutes in, and he was at least thirty-five times nicer a person than we are. We felt mightily validated in our bitchery.
In the scheme of things, I guess they did need a win more than we did. When your hair and teeth are the same colour, you really deserve a little joy somewhere in your life.
* Injuries can make you laugh, and make you cry. Michael Crocker made us do both when he charged towards a kicking Mitchell Pearce and was knocked out by a football to the temple. I had previously thought nothing could be more hilarious than Dallas Johnson in Origin game one. I was wrong. The crowd rose to their feet and cackled as he staggered and side-stepped and swayed off the field like a Pantomime drunk. Every time he tried to stand his right leg buckled in a quivering Elvis impersonation, but old Mick just kept on trying. Who would have thought a ball to the head could bring so much joy? It also makes us happy that others are as cavalier towards head injuries as we are.
Hang in there, Mick mate.
Unfortunately the memory of those lolz wasn’t quite enough to ease our pain when our Baby Jarryd Hayne was knocked out in mid-tackle on a Queenslander. As he lay face down on the field we yelled in unison ‘OH NO IT’S BABY HAYNE!’ Put down your knitting, Hornbag! You might be going on!
A polarfleeced spectator turned around at that point and mockingly asked ‘ … baby?‘, but that doesn’t change the fact that he spent the rest of the game calling him Baby, too. I can’t wait till this nickname takes off Australia-wide. Go Baby, go!
We are also heartbroken that Caramel Scotty Prince has broken his arm. No one at the field even knew he was injured, he just … disappeared. Kiki likes to think the injury was a show of solidarity with her broken arm and they can now nurse each other back to health. I can’t figure out if he would prefer that to Wally Lewis, who actually did nurse him backstage. They looked super sweet together as Wally consoled him and pinned up his sling and helped him into his magenta dressing gown. Even when they’re Queenslanders you just can’t hate those two crazy kids.
(Don’t worry Steve Price, we can’t hate you either. You’re just too damn lovely).
* We also have a new Origin hero in the form of Ben “I’m not Danny Nutley” Cross. Not only was he the spark to the fire of the first fight in the game, he also played a starring role in the third one. The fight erupted when the missing link in human evolution that is Nate Myles threw Cross to the ground in a spear tackle. But our new baby Cross, despite being thrown onto his skull, just leapt to his feet and threw five amazing and hilarious uppercuts to a doubled-over Brent Tate.
THAT’S IT! GIVE IT TO BRENT TATE!
If you’ve never seen a stadium full of people cheering and miming uppercuts, then you haven’t lived. It was amazing. Especially when we realised everyone hates Brent Tate. Knowing that restores my faith in humanity.
Note: I was considering including a picture of Tate, but we just don’t want his head on our blog.
* And finally, in the grand tradition of football, we drowned our sorrows afterwards. It was like a wake. Our hearts were sitting in our chests in a million little pieces. Thankfully vast amounts of Tooheys New and a cover band singing ACDC consoled us somewhat.
And as we set off on the 11.30 pm drunks only express from Homebush we also met five winners from Queensland who miaowed like cats, ran an auction to buy a bra for their lovelorn single friend to practice on, offered $14 to me if I would kick their ringleader in the nuts, and finally produced a replica Origin shield from thin air, signed by Danny Buderus. How is that possible? I think they stole it. It was also only the tragic lack of a felt tip pen that stopped the boys getting the transit cops to sign alongside it. The combined effect was that my heart healed a little bit, so thank you mystery boys. Can you believe people say Australian men aren’t charming?
We capped off the night with a visit to the always-classy Empire. This makes two visits to the Empire in six years, which I think is far too frequent. Don’t tell anyone.
It looked like origin had vomitted in there. Vomit made up of country boys, footy groupies, and maroon jerseys (suprisingly, no carrot – there’s usually always carrot). We were entertained by an under-20s footy team from Canberra, who squired us about, and seemed to enjoy the charms that Sydney has to offer. (Matt to Kiki: “nobody kisses like that in Canberra!”. I believe you on that one Matt). Wendell will be so disappointed he wasn’t there to watch.
In conclusion, they say tragedy and disappointment build character and teach life lessons. What we’ve learned from this experience is that two of Queensland’s most freakish players – Inglis and Folau – are, in fact, from NSW. This makes us kind of enraged. But we also learned that there is a silver lining to this awful cloud: at least Queensland can’t call themselves bloody underdogs anymore.