OPINION: Origin game started too late, entertainment a miss

MANY Queenslanders eyelids are feeling heavy today, which is not unusual for this time of year, but it appears it is getting worse.

For the past few years, State of Origin games have been starting later and later.

It wasn't so bad when games started at 7.45pm. At least it meant you were in bed by 10pm.

However, last night's game, played in New South Wales, started at a time where most of the future Origin players should have been tucked up in bed.

Viewers took to Twitter to vent their frustration at the late start of 8.15pm, along with their disappointment at the pre-season entertainment - Shannon Nolls signing and the 'autobiography' introduction of players.

One Tweeter suggested they bring back Angry Anderson, while another said they should have stuck with the Madden brothers (Good Charlotte).

But it's not just about the adults who whinged. Or those who felt let down by the organisers as they had early starts the next day.

Do you think State of Origin game 1 for 2015 started too late?

This poll ended on 05 June 2015.

Current Results





This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The children - the future Origin ticket holders and Origin players - are feeling the affects more than anyone.

Some were able to stay up long enough to watch the first 20 minutes or so, but the call of the comfy pillow was too much to fight.

"Didn't make it to the start." Abby Foxhall posted this photo of Origin night at her place.

I can foresee some arguments from the organisers:

1. The game needed to start later to allow Sydney residents to get home from work in time to watch the game at ANZ Stadium or on their television.

2. Paid advertising was overbooked for the pre-game section which led to the later start.

3. People loved the Madden Brothers so much that organisers thought it would be good to stretch out the pre-game entertainment.

4. It was the players fault.

5. Organisers wanted to give ticket holders more time to purchase pre game drinks and food.

Did you like the Origin players introductions in game 1 2015?

This poll ended on 05 June 2015.

Current Results





This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.


My counter to those arguments:

1. Anyone going to a State of Origin game would either take the day off work or organise with work to leave early to get to the game. As for getting home in time to watch the game, the same applies - most people in Sydney would have been home by 7pm which allows plenty of time to get dinner organised and plonk in front of the television.

2. Any business dealing with paid advertising has a run sheet of how much is booked. If there are so many businesses willing to pay for pregame advertising to the point the game can't start until 8.15pm, maybe those booking the ads should start charging more to deter too many bookings, but still make the same amount of money.

Plus, if there are too many ads, people will put the TV on mute until the game starts, so advertisers don't actually reach the market they want.

3. Madden Brothers and Angry Anderson may have been loved by viewers/audience, but too much of a good thing gets old fast. And Shannon Noll is no Madden brother or Angry.

Then there is the 'autobiography' introductions of players - I would say 80% of fans already knew that information and didn't need it repeated before the game and the other 20% don't care.

4. Oh dear. We are resorting to behaving like the country's politics by finger pointing? Any sports game anywhere starts at the set time.

All involved need to be ready. It's like work - you have a start time, if you are not there in time, you get penalised.

5. Ticket holders are only going to eat as much or drink as much as their bellies hold. Holding off the start time is not going to change that.

I don't think I'm the only thinking this - State of Origin games need to start at 7pm so kids and adults (otherwise known as big kids) can watch the full game and not end up at school or work suffering from sleep deprivation.

If they are really keen for some of that pregame entertainment to still go ahead - move some of it to half time.