In case I'm dealing with entertainment gurus here I should probably clarify that no, I am not quoting the Reverend Mother from the 1965 theatrical hit 'The Sound of Music', or the latest Guy Sebastian rendition of the classic for that matter. For the rest of you Rugby League fans, it might also serve me well to inform you that no, I'm not talking about the treacherous journey to the Penrith Football Stadium either, although we could certainly make a case for the latter. What I'm referencing here is what really makes great football well, great! A wise man once said:
"I honestly believe that I will win"
Ok, so I lied, it was only Mark Philippoussis who said that after beating some unseeded Dutch guy called Martin Verkerk at this years Wimbeldon. Martin Ver-who? My thoughts exactly! Not quite the kind of remark you'd expect from the most wasted potential since the Vegemite campaign, but two thumbs up to the Scud for crystalising the underlying principal of what makes great football. What separates good football, from great football is something as simple, as 'self belief'.
Game two of Origin arrived. I was pumped! My good friend Tayce, who if you entertainment gurus are still reading is in fact the sister of childhood television star Matthew 'Hey Mr Kelly' Krok, had invited me to her abode to enjoy the match. Coverage began and being quickly carried away by the adrenalin of excitement flowing through every part of my body, and be careful how you read that last sentence, I shunt myself out from all other conversations flirting around the room. Half way through the anthem, Jordan a friend of mine, leant over and asked "what's so good about Origin Football?" Trying solely to focus on the game I had been looking forward to ever since I learned Brad Fittler would be 'un-retiring', I opted not to answer, although I had every right to state my disgust at such an obvious question. As a shield from any further questioning, I even started singing the national anthem so I would be left at peace for the moment.
Unfortunately, I pondered the question for the better part of the night. I sat there at each commercial trying to analyse what made Origin football so good. Was it the fact that there was so much media hype surrounding it? Possibly. Or maybe that Queensland had been getting beaten for the best part of the last five years? Not quite, but I'd certainly like to think so.
Then, all at once it hit me, and ironically it took a Queenslander for me to work this one out. What made Origin football so great to watch, was something as unrecognised as self belief. Nothing more, nothing less.
Now, there are many things I've done in the past that I'm ashamed of. Like that time when I started dancing uncontrollably in a year three play my class put on for the 'entire' school. Or the time when I bought the Australian Idol Finalists CD. Most recently were those two seconds where I actually found Gretel Killeen attractive. But never, in my wildest dreams would I have found myself standing and applauding, a man wearing a maroon coloured-Queensland jersey. That, is exactly what Billy Slater did that night. So mesmerising was 'that' try, it was the only enjoyment I took from the loss. And what do we put that try down to? Simple, self belief.
When a depleted Queensland squad lacking Meninga, Langer and Vautin took to the field in 1989, Wally Lewis took upon himself the burden of leadership and steered his State to an upset victory. When Brett Kimmorley was being dubbed the 'greatest one dimensional footballer in the world' he snubbed such suggestions by proving the critics wrong and capturing a premiership in the process. Do you see where I am blatantly taking this? Each and every living being has potential. The trick is 'climbing that mountain' and exposing that potential. To get places in life, risks must be taken. To become a good footballer, you need to have the desire to succeed. But to become a 'great' footballer, you need to believe in both yourself, and equally as important, your team-mates.
That is what makes a footballer great. That is what makes sports so great and in answer to the original question, that is what makes Origin Football so great! Something as elementary, as simple self belief. Here's to Origin Three!
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