For all my fellow Origin haters out there, it’s time for us to take back the night. Here’s your survival guide.

I hate the State of Origin.

Now, I’m well aware that’s a dangerous statement to make when my city is filled with fans who think they look good in maroon. In fact I’m typing this story with one hand while calling witness protection with the other. It’s not so much that I’m against the sport itself or even people’s right to watch it; I’ve made some questionable TV decisions in my time. It’s more the rabid, aggressive fandom that surrounds the event that I just can’t get on board with.

In the days leading up to the game and following it my social media feeds fill with comments, photos and statuses that never seem to get more creative than “QUEENSLANDER”, followed by a string of words that won’t make it past our propriety guidelines. The Origin chatter fills the lunchroom, the trains, the streets and my very soul. I hate that once ‘our boys’ take to the field, the world goes into lock-down. The sad fact is that I don’t have to wait for the zombie apocalypse to hit in order to know what it’s like to live in a dystopian wasteland — I experience it over three Wednesdays every year.

My family and friends shun me in favor of a group of men running over grass, and if I do try to venture into any establishments, the roar of cavemen huddled around a screen, spilling beer and yelling to the heavens quickly drives me away. While it may sound like I’m a lone Origin hater in a sea of die-hard fans, it has come to my attention that I’m not alone.

It’s not always easy to spot a fellow Origin outcast. As a result of a highly developed in-built survival instinct, we’ve taught ourselves to blend into our surroundings. But every now and then our eyes will meet across a crowded room and we’ll recognise each other as kindred spirits and exchange knowing nods of solidarity.

So for all my fellow haters out there, I’ve developed this survival guide to help see us through this bleak Wednesday night. Together, we can make it through this.

Click through the images for our State of Origin Haters Survival Guide!