June 12th, 2008 at 04:00am
Good morning John,
After the 3am news you posed a question about how it is possible for the second state of origin match to have such a vastly different outcome to the first game. Well I'm glad you asked, because I've been thinking about that around this time of the year for the last few years and I have a bit of a conspiracy theory on the subject.
In this decade I count four years where the second game has been very different to the first. 2001, 2002, 2006 and 2008. (2005 almost made the cut but was a bit too close to include).
My theory is that the second game (at least) is thrown by the team that won the first game for the sake of maintaining public interest in the series, and therefore keeping the sponsors, advertisers, broadcasters and stadium owners happy. If, after the second game, either state is leading the series 2-nil, then the third game is of less general public interest because the result of the series is known and the final game is merely a chance for a team to get a clean sweep of the series, something which only the diehard fans will be particularly interested in.
Conversely, if the third game is the deciding match of the series, then it becomes even more interesting than the first two games. The amount of public interest (and therefore marketability of the game to advertisers and sponsors) is greater in this scenario, and is generally better for everyone involved.
I'm not convinced that my theory is accurate, but it does enter my mind for some serious consideration every year.
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