Try and help people tackle life's troubles | Midweek Musings

SUPPORT: Father Brendan Lee says it's important to show visible support to the people in your life. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

SUPPORT: Father Brendan Lee says it's important to show visible support to the people in your life. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

Three dejected NSW Blues fans are walking out of the stadium in Brisbane last Wednesday night after Queensland won yet another rugby league State of Origin decider.

The first NSW fan sulks: "I blame the referee; if he'd have given a penalty try to Josh Addo-Carr as he should have, then we'd have gone on to win".

The second fan griped: "Well, I blame the Queensland crowd; if they hadn't been so loud with their cheering and screaming because they're so one-eyed, we'd have won for sure".

The third NSW fan shed a tear and sobbed: "I blame my parents. If I hadn't been born in NSW, I'd be supporting a decent team".

For a football code that calls itself "the greatest game of all", yet almost went broke earlier this year, rugby league's already inflated ego perhaps grew a little bigger last week.

Its third and final state of origin match at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, drew a crowd of 49,155 - the largest sporting crowd in the world since coronavirus shutdowns began in March.

I imagine heaven as every Wednesday night being State of Origin night and for the first time ever, we State of Origin fans for the last three straight weeks had exactly that, and in November no less!

But wasn't I disappointed that NSW lost the third game and thus the series?

Disappointment is the non-fulfilment of a hope or expectation and I had neither for a NSW victory.

I resigned myself to a NSW defeat even before watching the game, surrounded by a small army of Queensland supporters, not one of whom was born in Queensland.

Of the three supporters in the opening tale above, I concur most with the second; and it also seems that anyone born outside of NSW automatically goes for Queensland.

Why? I think jealousy and greed.

The "tall poppy syndrome" is referred to here and abroad and is even recognised abroad as having its origin here in Australia.

In the early days of State of Origin, the home ground advantage went to Queensland annually, with two of the three games each year played on Queensland soil.

Later, to make things fair, this annual advantage alternated each year between the two states.

But in 2006, NSW got greedy, and to its demise.

NSW decided to play its second "home" game at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne.

What did their "home" crowd do?

Their Melbourne crowd predominately booed NSW and cheered Queensland to a late and unlikely victory of the game and the series and thus began Queensland's eight-year winning streak and its return to annual home ground advantages.

Rugby league tried something different this year. For the first time, they played the "neutral" game at the Adelaide Oval. What happened? The crowd predominantly cheered Queensland who took the game.

In the end, State of Origin 2020 was no different to almost all other series - whatever team had the crowd behind them, won the game.

We see football players respond to cheers from strangers in a crowd and we are not surprised.

They may be our acquaintance, associate, or even our family, but if someone will not support us in difficult times, they are not our friend.

Why are we surprised when someone who stumbles in life, complains they have no support from their family or friends?

They may be our acquaintance, associate, or even our family, but if someone will not support us in difficult times, they are not our friend.

If we do not support someone in their trials, we are not their friend.

It's one of the great tragedies of life, but there are many people, even among the good, who at best have been ignored by those who should have loved them, and at worst, were bullied and booed by the same.

More than sometimes, this has ended in tragedy.

Aristotle said, "the antidote for fifty enemies is one friend". But how does one make even one friend?

Well, to have a friend, you must be a friend.

Show visible support to the people in your life, especially those you want to keep in your life.

Yes, they'll drop the ball. Yes, they'll tackle their own teammates sometimes, maybe even you. But if they hear your cheers over the boos, they will play a better game.

Twitter: @frbrendanelee