Episode 4 of the State Of Origin Icons, and to start this week’s team announcement, it’s a question in the form of a song…..
Where is Sydney?
THAT’S IN QUEENSLAND!
Home Ground: Woolloongabba
What an assortment of characters… and they’re apparently all non-fiction.
A couple of names that missed: 199 other Queensland Origin players, Peter ‘Voldemort’ Dutton, George Christensen, Andrew Symonds, Ash Barty, Sally Pearson, Karrie Webb, Anna Meares, Adam Scott…. and Agro.
Jeff Thomson also didn’t get a run… apparently it was payback for signing with the Packer Circus.
There was only one possible choice for Coach, and his name is…
Alfie Langer was beaten out for a spot in the 22 by Pauline Hanson, but he couldn’t not play a part for his beloved banana benders, so he’ll be the team’s ‘assistant coach’ roaming the field in his blue shirt barking instructions.
Lady Florence Bjelke-Petersen was placed in charge of the team’s nutrition, with those famous pumpkin scones sure to be a hit with the team.
Clive Palmer suggested a diet of meat pies and XXXX, but he was ignored.
Sir Terry Lewis is named as a team official, and he’ll be working very closely with a group of officials known as ‘The Joke’, but it turns out that the Australian public are the ones having the last laugh when Chris Masters appears on Four Corners.
Qantas have got plenty of spare planes in the fleet right now, and being the pride of Longreach, they’ll be transporting the team around the nation, with aircraft enthusiast Sir Joh (Former pilot of the Joh Jet) and Sir Charles Kingsford Smith as the pilots.
Just keep Smithy away from the Indian Ocean.
Supplying the team’s footwear is R.M. Williams, which will be a challenge supplying the team boots without studs, and the final major sponsor is the one and only…
How are you feeling about this Queensland team, Kev?
Playing the role of the ‘stocky’ full-forward is Clive Palmer, which needs no further explanation.
Either side of Clive is the Rockhampton Rocket Rod Laver, the last man on earth to complete a calendar year singles grand slam (When about 10 countries played tennis), and to the right is 5-time 500cc World Champion, Mighty Mick Doohan, who hasn’t had much of a left foot since his crash at Assen in 1992.
Playing at Centre half-forward is the Immortal King Wally Lewis, who has come under scrutiny from WAYNE for his training standards, which cost him the captaincy to Sir Joh, The Shark will be absolutely outstanding in games played on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but he’ll get the wobbles on Sunday….
And the last of the forwards is Kingaroy’s other favourite son Matthew Hayden, who can absolutely flay his opposition in short order, although Haydos was asked not to go visit North Stradbroke Island before a game, based on past incidents.
Sir Joh was named as captain, and selected himself in the ruck after gerrymandering the selection process, although he has found common ground with WAYNE about giving nothing to the media.
Mr Fitzgerald had great success against Sir Joh in the late 1980s, but who can forget when Jana Wendt tagged Sir Joh on that A Current Affair episode…. He got two feet stuck on the sticky paper that night!
What many people don’t know is that was actually Gerry Connolly portraying Sir Joh.
Joining the Hillbilly Dictator on the ball is former politician Mal ‘Smell My Finger’ Meninga, who made himself an Immortal playing centre for the Raiders (And some other rep teams), so, shock horror, he’s playing centre, albeit with a different shaped footy.
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will be out to avoiding getting a rat-****ing from his opponent playing on-ball, and the second rover is the beloved expat New South Welsh cricketer Allan Border, named as Captain Grumpy in the official team sheet, who will really lay down the law to any blathering sooks in the team.
Just ask Craig McDermott.
On the left wing is the one and only Goondiwindi Grey Gunsynd, who should be at his best when they stretch the playing surface out to a mile, and on the adjacent wing is Bruce McAvaney’s one true sporting love, Commonwealth & Olympic champion, Cathy Freeman.
I’d bet my bottom dollar that we’ll see Cathy playing in a special maroon-coloured bodysuit, paying homage to Sydney 2000.
Defence in Queensland usually just consists of the locals telling people to “Go back where you came from”, which in most cases, is New Zealand.
Across half-back is transpacific pilot Sir Charles Kingsford Smith (Who doesn’t have an apostrophe in his name), playing for the first time since he went for a joyride over the Andaman Sea in 1935 and ended his career, Pat Rafter has overcome multiple shoulder injuries and losing a Wimbledon final to Goran Ivanišević to line-up at centre half-back, and filling the half-back line is arguably the most important Torrres Strait Islander in history, Eddie Mabo, remembered to most Australians as the bloke who told the government to shove it over terra nullius.
It’s Mabo, It’s justice, It’s law, It’s the vibe and… no that’s it, it’s the vibe.
Named in the back pocket is Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, best remembered for reminding us about something in a different context that seems very prevalent right now….
DON’T MUCK WITH IT.
And when you think about defending Queenslanders, you go to two people whose sanity is up for academic debate.
Bob Katter, who once egged The Beatles in 1964, and will attempt defend his team from opposition forwards, and crocodile attacks in North Queensland:
And the last on-field spot goes to former Ipswich fish & chip shop owner Pauline Hanson, who responded and I quote, “Please explain?”, on hearing the news of her selection.
Interchange & Emergencies
Queensland is Australia’s unofficial home of champion swimmers, and surprisingly, they’ve all been dumped on the pine.
Player #19 is Madame Butterfly Susie O’Neill, next is Senator Neville Bonner, the first Aboriginal Australian to sit in Parliament, followed by the 1500m freestyle legend Kieren Perkins, who was banned by team management from holding anything resembling an air pistol.
Big Artie Beetson fulfills the trifecta of Immortals on the team, and if you ask me, Beetson was unlucky not to get a starting spot, because I can see Greg Norman crushing our spirits when he gets on the green, and the last spot goes to Geoffrey Rush, who can play a variety of roles in this team.
A piano genius, a notorious pirate captain, Peter Sellers, a speech therapist, King Lear…
And last but not least, the first emergency is World Cup-winning Wallabies captain John Eales, who can easily move up forward slot through a clutch goal:
Next it’s all the gents from Powderfinger, fresh off their 10 year reunion show, and the last player is another 1500m freestyle great, Grant Hackett.
WAYNE could very easily have just named an entire team of Queensland Origin representatives.
It would’ve been a sight to see Julian O’Neill back in an Origin camp, but the shoes of Australia have suffered enough.
Anyway, to conclude proceedings, here’s Billy Moore to give his traditional blessing: