I was told that if you’re going to stay in Ireland for any length of time and you like sports you had better get familiar with their games.
Ah now…such choices.
There’s football (soccer), and then football (soccer), and more football (soccer). Did John Henry (Red Sox) see something in soccer (Liverpool) that most Americans don’t. I just can’t get excited about a game that seems to end with the same score all the time. 1-0!
…but then there’s Rugby, I wouldn’t want to mess with these guys. I haven’t a clue what the rules are but I’m sure the bookies have some line on broken noises per match. If I had ever played the game, I think I would have been a scrummager. Soccer, they tell me is a much more civilized game.
Test matches, line-outs, headers, scum-half, strikers, yellow cards, Arsenal 3, Partiznbel 1, I say, another nail biter. I did spell Partiznbel correctly and can you tell me where they’re from?
Peter Bills, writing in the Irish Independent “About time we waved bye-bye to BAA-BAAS” ‘Giving the Barbarians, surely a grand anachronism in the modern game…’ Huh?
This guy writes about a game that took place in 1972, the Barbarians against the New Zealanders and cites individual player’s actions during that match. Wow! Is this guy the Bob Ryan (Boston Globe) of Ireland?
The ponies. The Saturday Independent devotes seven pages in the sports section to horse racing. They list all races at tracks throughout Ireland and England. Honestly now, I’m picking Silviniaco Conti at Cheltenham in the 3.05. I’ll let you know if I backed the winner.
Bill Keane, in the same paper, goes on about the upcoming Munster game starting at one on Sunday. The starting time, much to his dismay, has been dictated by the IMF (International Money Fund) which along with the EU is now going to dictate a lot more than sporting events in Ireland “…but the thing is, if we go drinking at one, we’ll be wasted by six. Never go drinking longer than it takes to get to New York by plane”. Billy is my kind of sports guy.
There are articles about badminton, snooker, cricket, golf, of course, sailing, boxing and the cover story “The great Robbie Keane mystery.” I didn’t read about the mystery yet but it has me curious.
The Independent and the Times have great writers and some of the advertisements are even better. One of which addresses the weather problems the country has experienced in the last week. It is a full page ad featuring a very attractive bikini clad women and the copy reads “F*ck the Freeze” Book to the Sun with RyanAir. Now that’s what I call sports.