State of Origin: help me, I'm turning into my mum
MOST people at some point have the realisation they're turning into their parents.
It often happens at random moments - hearing yourself saying something to your kids your own parents said to you ("dear, oh dear"), or fussing over the ironing in a way that would have been laughable a decade prior.
I had one of those random moments watching Origin I tonight, as I swore I could hear my mum's voice echoing in my head as I sat watching the game from the solitary comfort of my lounge room.
My mum, bless her - loyal, emotional, a bit of a softie but prone to being irrational - is someone I've loved my whole life but never imagined I would become.
An Origin fan from way back, I sort of lost interest a few years ago when I could listen to only so many "full credit to the boys" references in post-match speeches, when I got sick of seeing and hearing all the advertising references throughout the game, and when I started feeling sorry for NSW because they lost so many times in a row (there I go again, channelling my mother).
Last year's series win for NSW put an end to my sympathies for them, so I was quite keen to get back in the swing of things tonight and see what "the boys" from Queensland could do.
But I started to notice some alarming patterns of thought before the first half was out.
Let me give you a glimpse into aspects of this strange stream of consciousness:
"Good break, Josh Dugan, even if you are a cockroach … but look at all those tattoos. What a waste of nice legs."
"Bummer! Thurston missed the conversion at 10-all … Oh, Johnathan … there's no need to shout that four-letter word. It sets a bad example."
"Look at Inglis go! Go, Inglis, go! Look at how many blokes he's got hanging off him … leave Inglis alone, you bullies! He was just in hospital a few days ago."
"Ouch. Bone-crusher of a tackle on Thurston … don't you shake your head at me, Aaron Woods, you just threw that young man on the ground. And while I'm at it, cut that ridiculous hair of yours."
"Yikes, a bit of biff … oh, isn't that Cameron Smith a nice young man for holding the players apart and giving that Klemmer a gracious pat?"
Most alarmingly: "Half time … must be time to put on a load of washing."
I fear she might have ruined me.
Origin used to be all about the passion, the aggression, the pies at half time, dressing up in the gear and occasionally making it to a live match.
Now it's all about getting into the most comfy PJs possible, wincing at many of the big tackles and avoiding the pies because, my goodness, don't you know how bad they are for you?
Still, I suppose I can take some comfort out of the fact Queensland won on NSW's home ground.
Which reminds me - full time. It's time to hang out that washing in the back room