Envy of the nation

It's time to bring back State of Origin, says Bendigo Gold coach Aussie Jones

I WOULD think it is abundantly clear that I am passionate about our game, so much so I often call it the best game in the world.

That statement is true – in my opinion. 

I can say that honestly because I follow all sport and enjoy Australian football more than any other. 

Golf sits high on the list, but is more enjoyable to play than watch.

The World game is always on the agenda, but will never quite fill the needs of my spectating that Aussie Rules does.

However, last week the Rugby League state of origin series began, and shortly the FIFA World Cup will commence in Brazil. 

Unfortunately, I was only able to see the final 40 minutes of the State of Origin, the period believed to be the most entertaining. 

Our game is exciting, fast and skilful but we are currently missing the opportunity of such a spectacle.

As for the World Cup, we will never have a similar tournament due to the confined nature of our game. 

But again, we are missing an opportunity to break up what can become a long AFL season. 

There are two main reasons why I see a six week period beginning last week as a real danger to the attendances and television audiences to AFL footy. 

The fixturing for 2014 has been horrendous (we can deal with that another day) and the fact we do not currently have our own State of Origin.

At the risk of offending, a key reason our state of origin fell away was the inclusion of the minor footballing states. 

Spectators lost interest with Victoria playing an Allies team or South Australia playing Queensland. 

The NRL’s strength is its commitment to New South Wales versus Queensland, a rivalry built over time. 

The AFL Players Association is behind a return, but the clubs philosophies will always be a hurdle. 

The AFL Players Association is behind a return, but the clubs philosophies will always be a hurdle.

For me, let's bring it back. 

Game 1 - Victoria versus South Australia with Western Australia in the wings as challengers.  

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