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In Touch: Sleeping with the enemy

Leila McKinnon, Channel Nine NRL.com Tue, Jul 05, 2011 - 8:05 AM

Leila McKinnon says at Origin time more families split than ever before Copyright: NRL Photos

Romeo and Juliet did it. They weren't even the first. Elizabeth of York and Henry VII did it too, and it produced that future wife killer Henry VIII. Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democrat Maria Shriver did it for years, although he didn't seem to think it was an exclusive arrangement. There is nothing new about sleeping with the enemy.

When a pretty young Rabbitoh meets a handsome young Rooster, it seems love can conquer all, and all the opposition of a family of Eels still won't stop their perfect daughter running off to Manly with the fan that doting NRL dads dread: the smooth-talking Sea Eagle. But there is trouble ahead, most notably a battle for the hearts and minds of the children.

I met a passionate Roosters fan at one of our Chic club functions, a woman who is almost not welcome in her own home. Somehow her South Sydney supporting husband has won over the kids, who have covered her car in silly little bunny stickers. Her husband supposedly bought her NRL season tickets, but she only gets to go to two games a year, the ones where the Chooks meet the Bunnies, and what a misery it is for her when the Rabbitohs win and she has to go home and cook and clean for the triumphant foe.

At Origin time more families are split than ever before. Much as I love him I have to admit my husband (Channel Nine CEO David Gyngell) is a cockroach, one who's making the Maroons particularly miserable this year by unapologetically stacking the Channel Nine commentary box with his fellow roaches.

Usually I just feel sorry for him; after all, it hasn't been easy to be a Blues supporter for some time now, but after game two this year he's becoming a bit cocky. Anyone would think they've actually won a series.

Last week a very discreet and mature friend of mine who for the purposes of this column I will call Karl Stefanovic very helpfully pointed out to the press that I was sleeping with the enemy. He called on me to withdraw all household privileges until Channel Nine had a Maroon calling the play. Just in case anyone missed it he also mentioned it on the Today Show.

I assume he didn't mean that I should let the dirty dishes stack up in the sink, I'm sure I didn't miss his actual meaning and neither did my brother. He was so heartily repulsed by hearing about his sister's marital arrangements that he put his fingers in his ears and said something along the lines of "la la la la".

So did I use this most ancient of wifely weapons in the service of my state? Let's just say that the more I think about the Channel Nine commentary team, the less interest I seem to have in domestic activities.

I certainly won't be spending Origin III with my favourite roach. I've always loved his courage, and he's taking his life in his hands and wearing his blue afro to Suncorp Stadium. Meanwhile I'll be filling the house with cane toads and hopefully celebrating another glorious win.

Peace will once again reign in our usually harmonious household ... until next year.