Monday, July 2, 2012

The Origin of the Queenslander

Each and every year the cultured and refined gentlemen from the Southern states are bored to the brink of oblivion with an array of hypothesis that is said to explain Queensland’s dominance in the gladiatorial combat that is State of Origin.

‘We play harder’, ‘we want it more’ and ‘we’re more passionate’ are the catch-cries of simpletons from the Sunshine State.

Personally I don’t buy that theory for a second. Anyone who’s been hit by a David Gillespie special, run over by an express Eric Grothe freight train, remembers Steve Mortimer crashing onto the bloody battleground in triumph, or saw Laurie Daley’s crazy eyes in disbelief after Mark Coyne’s late try, knows that the Blues hit just as hard and are just as passionate as their Northern brethren.

So instead of just buying into the premise that drinking the muck they label XXXX suddenly makes you a supercharged Origin player, I turned to science for answers.

Science has copped a battering recently with esteemed and learned minds including Tony Abbott and Alan Jones ready to decry anything that is related to evidence based research. But in this instance I am quietly confident that even the most extreme skeptic would have to nod their head in tacit agreement.

So I turned to Charles Darwin’s ‘The Origin of the Species’ to rationalize the origin of the Queenslander.

Prime evolution began in 1980, with the earliest bipedalists Arthur Beetson, John Lang and Rod Morris developing enough functional coordination and base intelligence to run straight and hard for 80 consecutive minutes, hitting anything in a Blue jumper while curbing the primal urge to eat the football. Fortunately for the Maroon’s this was enough to lead them to an historic victory.

The knuckle walkers soon emerged, with Greg Conescu, Paul Vautin and John Ribot joining their bipedalist cousins, armed with only one conscious thought – inflict grievous bodily harm on those who believe incest is a taboo.

During the next few years the cranial capacity of the Queenslander almost doubled, although this resulted in minimal intellectual development. Yet the signs were encouraging for the cane toads, with Bob Lindner and Greg Dowling showing abilities beyond that of simply exacting extreme physical punishment.

Behaviorally modern human-like species appeared in the period 1985 – 1987, with Alfie Langer, Gary Belcher and Peter Jackson improving the capacity of the Maroons to think beyond the simple hit up and shoulder charge. Unfortunately the emergence of Martin Bella, Trevor Gillmeister and Sam Backo set the Queensland species back pre-complex thought. 

Dark times emerged and Queensland faced their Ice Age.

The advancement of the Queenslander hit rock bottom in the period circa early nineties with the appearance of Billy Moore and Julian O’Neill. Whilst the huffing and puffing of Moore generated great enthusiasm among the Northern tribes, it concealed an inability to string two coherent words together. And O’Neill’s obsession with his own faeces and a complete failure to properly function a modern toilet saw a population in decline. We are pleased to report that O’Neill continues to make developmental strides, having mastered complex tools and fire, successfully testing his new abilities on a young boy and his foam rubber dolphin - allegedly.

Through multiregional inbreeding emerged the forerunner to modern humans. Jason Smith, Darren Lockyer and Paul Green establishing a new benchmark of faculties.

However we are forever reminded of the true lineage of the Queenslander, as evidenced when Carl Webb and Chris Walker first strode onto Lang Park in 2001. In such instances coaches and selectors are quick to extract the offending ancestors from the general population.

Most recently the Maroon nation has been blessed with intelligent footballers, a period which directly coincides with unparalleled historical dominance. Scientists believe this new group closest aligned with modern humans, and includes Greg Inglis, born and bred in New South Wales, and Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater, who have been sophisticated in the cultured streets of Melbourne.

And so on the eve of State of Origin III, whilst yearning for a rare series win, I will enjoy the success of my distant Queensland cousins, safe in the knowledge that while we may not have mastered the art of the high shot or ‘third man in’, I do respect modern conventions and plumbing for all my bowel movements.

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