OPINION: All the football cheer and no idea
WOOHOO! It's State of Origin season and that means the spotlight turns to Perth this weekend for the historic game two clash on Sunday night.
In a stunning decision, the Blues have benched the young Latrell Mitchell after a below-par performance in game one.
Regardless, we're expecting big hits in the mate versus mate, state versus state battle.
And of course, if Queensland wins this weekend, they take out the series.
The ease and precision with which I deployed those introductory comments may suggest otherwise, but I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I don't know anything about State of Origin.
Yes folks, I'm almost entirely sports illiterate, but I enjoy the festivity of it, the noise, and a few beers with friends in front of the TV on Origin night.
So I've picked up a few tricks over the years so as not to be revealed as an Origin know-nothing when the series inevitably rolls around each year.
For those of you who are in my boat - reluctant to join your mates at the pub for the game but hungry and thirsty and as deserving of a night out as any Origin fan - I'll let you in on a few tips to help you through game two on Sunday night.
Find one person who is for sure cheering for the same team you are pretending to cheer for, and react when they do.
See that woman in the maroon jersey? She is your new best friend for the night. Cheer when she cheers.
WANT TO SEE MORE LIKE THIS?
Because if you cheer along every time you hear cheering, you are probably unwittingly cheering along both teams. (Which should be allowed, right? The game is its own reward. But that argument's for another day.)
Drop one sports comment, then excuse yourself from the room.
Did the crowd react in a way that indicates something big just happened?
Get yourself involved in that sports moment. Say something you would hear a commentator say - "great defence" works for me - and then walk away before anyone can engage you in a conversation about a thing you just pretended to notice.
If all else fails, just have fun. (Go the Maroons!)