Shhhhhhh. Bite your tongue. Zip it.

If you see a bloke in a Maroons jersey don't make that predictable joke about how Sydney's average IQ is halved when the visiting supporters get off the plane. Don't stick another pin in your Cameron Smith voodoo doll. Don't even say the words Johnathan or Thurston out loud!

Don't boo and jeer when the Maroons run out on Wednesday night. In fact, just to keep the noise down, take your shoes off before entering ANZ Stadium and tip-toe in.

For the past few days we had been worried about the eerily quiet build-up to Origin 1. I even foolishly rebuked coaches Laurie Daley and Kevin Walters for being too nice and not fuelling the usual Phoney War with the regulation sleights, insults and petty mind games.
But now, on game eve, the sound of Origin silence seems golden. At least for those hoping NSW can somehow win and avoid what would then be an inevitable straight sets loss in Brisbane.


Defeatist? Yes. But if the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, surely anyone who picks the Blues to win Origin after nine defeats in 10 years shouldn't be allowed to use the grown-up scissors.

So why keep the volume down? Even allowing for the brilliance of this Queensland team, maybe the problem in a depressing past decade is that the Blues have spent too much time poking the toad.

Much of the Phoney War propaganda has been an attempt to impugn the vast and deserved reputations of the Queensland champions. It almost always backfires spectacularly.

By telling Cameron Smith or Cooper Cronk or even Thurston they are really not that good, we merely inspire them to prove how good they can be. Which, as not even Blatchy and his endearingly deluded blue-wigged acolytes could deny is the best there has been.

The problem with trying to rattle the Queenslanders is that they like to be angry. If the entire state was a person it would be Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino telling his new neighbours to "Get off my lawn!" (Actually, it would be Eastwood's doppelganger Wayne Bennett telling everyone to get off his ... well, everything.)

That's how Origin started. Somehow, Queenslanders mistook the honour of having their best players hand-selected and transported to Sydney to play in the world's premier rugby league competition as an insult.

Thus they wilfully misinterpreted a job creation scheme for underprivileged northern workers to be a form of footballing slavery. And, as anyone with the slightest grasp of American Civil War history can tell you, the slaves tend to be a touch more motivated in these skirmishes than the slavers.

But now this reinvigorated Blues team has another sneaky advantage. Adam Reynolds, Matt Moylan, Josh Mansour and Dylan Walker don't carry the psychological scars inflicted on a generation of Blues by the Queensland juggernaut. Maybe they will play the man, not the reputation. Especially if the ageing Queenslanders are not stirred into some sort of rear-guard action.

OK, The Telegraph might have provided a little bit of ammunition for the Maroons by referring to some extremely talented Queenslanders as Rolled Oates, Sham Thaiday, Nate Mild and Aidan Error.

Hopefully no one read it to them. If they did: Just kidding fellahs! Go get 'em! All the best!
Otherwise let's zip it. Let's not remind Queensland's champions to be as good as they can be. Hopefully some are now so old they have forgotten.