“State” of Origin Aussie Rules footy is back for a one-off special Bushfire fundraiser this Friday night as Victoria takes on the great state of “All-Stars” (AKA – The Rest) this Friday night at Marvel Stadium.
This is the first time since 2008 we’ve seen a match like this, back when it was Victoria taking on the Dream Team as part of the 150 year celebrations of Australian Football.
The Vics won that game by 17 points with Brendan Fevola kicking six and being judged best on ground in front of 70,000 people at the MCG.
The last time there was fair dinkum State of Origin was back in 1999 when Victoria comfortably put away South Australia by 54 points in front of a measly 26,000 people at the MCG on a wet and miserable day. Boomer Harvey won the best on ground.
In recent years, calls to bring it back have gotten louder and louder and the recent Bushfire tragedy over Summer gives a great reason for footy to come together in this special one-off match that will hopefully produce a memorable star-studded contest the fans have been craving for years.
The Big V is back led by Damien Hardwick and some of Richmond and GWS’s best & friends.
Victoria has more to play for as they are an actual state and the likes of Dustin Martin, Marcus Bontempelli, Jeremy Cameron and Patrick Dangerfield in the same team is something to behold.
It also gives a chance for Toby Greene to go from the most hated footballer in the Victorian public to the most loved as he too will be playing for Victoria
There’s no doubting for the players in the Victorian squad getting what is likely to be their only chance to wear the Big V will make them feel ten feet taller and envoke the spirit of the late, great EJ Whitten and the mantra of “Don’t let the Big V Down” and of course sticking it up right up ‘em.
In the lead-up to the match, Victoria has been forced to make a couple of changes with Travis Boak coming in for fellow Port teammate Robbie Gray and Andrew Gaff making way for Ben Cunnington.
The Vic’s bat deep in terms of football talent hence why the state that invented the game is represented in this special Bushfire relief match.
I should declare that I am a born and bred dyed-in-the-wool Victorian and I expect a big win from the big V this Friday night.
If anything, the odds should be shorter.
For those of you who like talking footy on Twitter, you might be familiar with those who tweet #VICBIAS about just about everything that doesn’t go their way.
This is football’s version of those really annoying people who have drips and always tweet about politics in their profile.
Finally, they have a team to call their own – The All-Stars!
That’s South Australia, Western Australia, NT, Queensland, NSW/ACT and Tassie all coming together to wear a white jumper with the old Ansett logo to take on Victoria.
Looking forward to seeing Victoria take on Ansett Australia. pic.twitter.com/EbpQYhZYfe
— Jeremy Hill (@jezza_hill) February 17, 2020
From our perspective, we prefer to call them “The Brisbane Lions (proudly sponsored by Neds) and Friends”
Harris Andrews, Dayne Zorko, Charlie Cameron and Lachie Neale (who are proud Queenslanders) will be joined by some of the best players from around Australia that are not from Victoria.
When you have most of the country to pick the All-Stars have a pretty bloody good line up such as WA’s Patrick Cripps and Nat Fyfe playing in the same midfield and proud Tasmanian Jack Riewoldt playing up forward.
The All-Stars will be coached by John Longmire who’s history with State of Origin is quite special when as a 19-year-old he kicked eight goals in New South Wales 10 point win over Victoria in what is arguably the greatest upset in the history of representative Aussie Rules Football.
There’s no doubting the talent of having six states and territories combined should be plenty to get the job over for Victoria but methinks they are playing for fun and the Vics are playing for something.
But I would say that #VICBIAS