Starting Saturday, February 4, 2012 and lasting till St Paddy’s Day, Irish time and discussion will be dominated by a sporting festival called the Six Nations. Economic problems and all else will take a back seat to a bone crushing exchange of energy and force called rugby.
The Six Nations Championship is an annual international rugby union competition involving six European sides: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.
Yes I know it’s hard to believe France plays any kind of contact sport.
Neil Francis of the Irish Times recently wrote about the upcoming tournament, the manager of the Irish team and their chances. If you’re an American reading this and happen to be a New England Patriots fan, Neil’s comments sound a bit like a Boston reporter writing about our own Coach “Vagueness”.
Declan Kidney is the Manager of the Irish team and Francis starts off …As a graduate from the Declan Kidney School of Delightful Vagueness, majoring in idiosyncratic blancmanage … asking (Declan Kidney) questions isn’t likely to divine any affirmative sentiment. Press conferences hosted by Kidney meander into irreducible nonsense – oscillation between the dream and the waking state; after a while you don’t know which one you are in.
There is a bit of a difference between an Irish newspaper reporter and a Boston reporter … for one you need a dictionary.
Coach K “If we tackle when we don’t have the ball and run hard when we do … we have a good chance as anyone of winning.” Coach B “If we all do our jobs we have a good chance of winning … it’s just like any other game we play … we try to get better every week …”
Rugby you ask …
Rugby players all have specialized positions. On each side there are eight players called forwards who push, charge, wrestle, barge and very occasionally go forwards carrying the ball under one arm. Sometimes, they move in a knotted group, hiding the ball, and this is very clever. The other seven players are called backs, so called because they run sideways, throwing the ball backward to each other. Sometimes, they manage to run right across the field and this is very clever. Most of the time, the backs drop the ball, run after it, stumble and fall over. When this happens the other side picks it up and runs the other way.
How do I know so much about rugby you ask again … well I have recently gone to two local matches and if it wasn’t for this nagging bad back I could “touch, couch, pause, engage …” with the best of them … or maybe just touch my knees.
Aaaahhh a rugby joke you ask … and does the Irish team have cheerleaders?
A family of England rugby supporters head out one Saturday shopping. While in JJB Sports, the son picks up an Ireland rugby shirt and says to his sister, “I’ve decided I’m going to be a Ireland supporter and I would like this shirt” The sister is outraged at this, promptly whacks him round the head and says, “Go talk to your mother.”
Off goes the little lad, with Ireland shirt in hand and finds his mother. “Mum.” “Yes, son?” “I’ve decided I’m going to be an Ireland supporter and I would like this shirt please.” The mother is outraged at this, promptly whacks him round the head and says, “Go talk to your father.”
Off he goes with the Ireland shirt in hand and finds his father. “Dad.” “Yes, son?” I’ve decided I’m going to be an Ireland supporter and I would like this shirt please.” The father is outraged at this, promptly whacks his son round the head and says, “No son of mine is ever going to be seen in THAT!”
About half an hour later, they are all back in the car heading home. The father turns to the son and says, “Son, I hope you have learned something today?” The son turns to his father and says, “Yes, Father, I have”. Father says, “Good son, what is it?” The son replies “I’ve only been an Ireland rugby supporter for an hour and I already hate you English b@st@rs.
The Irish have one cheerleader … and the Brits have Margaret …
Pats over Giants 27-23 … Ireland beats Wales in the first match on Saturday.
… and finally some of you ask … who is Sean O’Brien? Sean is 24 years old, plays for Ireland, is last year’s European player of the year, for his 3 year signing bonus, bought a tractor and his mother bakes cookies for his team. Tom Deering is the President of the Tullow Rugby Club where Sean started playing rugby. Alan Deering, Tom’s son, now plays for the Tullow team.