Wednesday, June 14, 2006
It was a precision strike, designed to strike a deep psychological blow into the hearts of Queenslanders, waking on the morning of Origin II.
Overnight, the statue of Wally Lewis outside Lang Park was coated with blue paint - and on Day One of the new Level Three water restrictions, ruling out the retaliative use of high pressure water cleaners!
Former Queensland Origin player of Maroon's Media Manager, Ben Ikin, was torn between amusement and disgust. "I reckon it's funny, but it's still a disgrace to Queenslanders," he said.
"Poor old Wally sitting up there - oh, probably three hours ago - beautiful bronze gold, or whatever you want to call it and unfortunately, there's three Suncorp Stadium staff scrubbing furiously because he's covered in blue paint. And apparently, I've just been advised, it's not water-based, it�s oil-based, so it's going to take them a long, long time to take it off."
Fortunately, the paint was still wet when the statue was discovered this morning, which made the coat of blue slightly easier to remove.
It seems one of the areas that was the most difficult to clean was Wally's nether regions, where he has a few tricky wrinkles in his shorts. "It might have been disrespectful, but not totally disrespectful - they did a good job," said Ben.
"Once news filters back to the Queensland camp - after they stop laughing - I'm sure it's going to serve to fire up the boys for tonight's clash."
Ben believed the prank was testimony to the ongoing popularity of the State of Origin. "It's really just added to the whole hype about the state of Origin - that someone can get in here and desecrate out greatest ever player, or the memory of our greatest ever player, just serves to show us how important the State of Origin is to so many people and it�s just going to add to the hype for what should be an amazing game of rugby league."
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