Team morale is brilliant, there are no worries about that. The lads are the best bunch you will ever meet and they will get on with it.

*Auto post no 2* The World Cup is almost here. Football is going to dominate all the newspapers and tv coverage. The whole world will go football crazy. Well, parts of it will. We didn’t qualify. So instead of looking at our prospects I’m going to look back at “The Saipan Incident” of 2002. Because […]

Once In A Lifetime

Pelé Franz Beckenbauer Giorgio Chinaglia Carlos Alberto Rodney Marsh In the late 70’s and early 80’s there was an attempt made to launch football in the United States of America. Ultimately, it failed, but for a few years the New York Cosmos, a team owned by Warner, fielded some of the world’s greatest football players […]

New Zealand had superior teams to the opposition in the past few World Cups but they faltered because they lacked the essential spirit that Munster demonstrated

Although I continue to be delighra and exi’ra[1] over Munster’s win, it has had a negative impact on my life. Well, a positive and negative. See publicity for Munster means that people are searching for Munster related stuff on the net, so some find their way here. Which is good, although they do all seem […]

Green Fields

Gaelic Sport in Ireland
ISBN: 0297835661

The waves are hissing the secrets of winter. They arrive here bearing a wind which has lost no sharpness since it left the west coast of Scotland. The roads are empty and frosted tonight. The moon is timid in a louring sky. The dressing room lights are off. The floodlights have yet to be cranked up. The pitch is fringed with frost. There is nobody here. Why would anyone come?

Tom Humphries is a sports writer here in Ireland, and a very good one at that. Always entertaining and readable every week in the Irish Times, but this book isn’t the greatest example of his writing.

Green Fields starts off with a training session in early February, the start of the GAA year when all teams are equal. When all have a chance to win the All-Ireland. When players are unfit after their winter off, and when the evenings after work seem to dark to head out training. GAA players are all amateurs you see, and this is a book that points out how important the Gaelic Athletic Association is in Irish life. And how unique.

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Queen Emma and the Vikings

A history of power, love and greed in 11th-century England ISBN 0747574898 Read with Medieval Britain book group She looks a little peevish, although this would not have been the intention of the artist This is the story of Queen Emma, by birth a Norman, who married two kings of England. Her first marriage was […]

Sean Óg Ó hAilpín…. His father’s from Fermanagh, his mother’s from Fiji – neither a hurling stronghold

Seems that the kerfuffle over the New York hurling win is growing. See they were supposed to lose, like they do every other year, but on this occasion they defeated Derry. So they should be playing Antrim in Ulster in their next match. But they have a problem. They don’t want to fly to Ireland […]

It’s about who we are, and where we come from, the people you meet on the streets

Crap. I forgot that the server peeps were upgrading yesterday. That’s why yesterday’s post has been eradicated, and Peter is missing from the header. There is no hope of me remembering exactly what I said, so I’ll just ramble on again about how great Saturday was. And there is always the possibility that it’ll show up again, then again it may not. But first, Luna Nina says:

  1. Yours ::
  2. Charcoal ::
  3. Platitude ::
  4. Graduation ::
  5. Hungry ::
  6. Somewhere ::
  7. Nurse ::
  8. Freak ::
  9. Unbelievable ::
  10. Walk ::

and mine will be after the rugby rambles and the cut.

If you read the post yesterday there will be similarities here, but you’ll just have to deal with that ;)
Now where to begin? Oh yes, with the site of ultra-focused Ronan O’Gara being prodded with an umbrella as he and some of the other rugby lads fought over a red cowboy hat.

See, yesterday saw the Munster team arrive in Limerick for a homecoming celebration. They’d landed in Shannon around 1.00 that morning and after a stay in a hotel began the bus journey to O’Connell St, Limerick. That’d be the street that was flashed up on the big screen in the middle of the match on Sat. And that youtube video is the scenes from Limerick in the final minutes of the match.

Can you picture this, a bus load of semi-drunk fella on an open top bus, in the rain, drinking cans of Bulmers and bottles of Heineken. What a sight ;) Being cheered on by around 40,000 supporters according to some newspapers

It didn’t have any hint of professionalism about it, but that is what made it so great. It was just so honest. And plenty of it was obviously very unplanned. Like Marty Morrissey being summoned on to the stage. Marty, you see, is a GAA commentator, not a rugby man. but he was on duty for RTE covering this event, but well away from the stage. Obviously though he got spotted, and as we’ve all heard this Munster rugby team are not so serious when off the pitch[1] And it ended up with Marty after trying to make his escape being hoisted onto the rugby team’s shoulders. That’s something you don’t see everyday.

I think Marty Morrissey is the nearest thing to O Muirceartaigh that TV has. Though Marty should carry a health warning as he is not good for those of us with even the slightest of cardiac problems! Sometimes you are left thinking that Marty is either going to swallow the microphone whole or jump out of the telly and land beside you.

Who will ever forget ‘There won’t be a cow milked in Clare for a week’ (Munster SFC Final 1992) or ‘By God these Wexford boys mean business’ (Marty, complete with lump in throat, Leinster SHC Final, 1996).

It was a great day, and I’m sure all those who waited frrom 10 in the morning[2] felt it was worth it when they were there to cheer on the team at around 5 that afternoon. It was a long wait in the rain, but after losing 2 previous finals, not to mention a few semi’s, it was one way of showing their appreciation.

Although to the few fans who are now expecting three in a row! Come on, I know that you have to be hungry in order to win at sport, but wanting something and expecting it are two very different things.

Still, they showed up in that rain yesterday, they spent fortunes following the team around Europe. Maybe the fans deserve to have some expectations.

In other sporting news in Ireland most matches were called off because of the rain, including the Sligo v galway one, which means that Galway’s Padraig Joyce will probably be fit for next weekend. The boring golf was also hit, meaning it’ll go into a fifth day today. Although I did like that Darren Clarke[3] excused his bad play on Sat by saying he was too busy watching the rugby to think about his golf game.

And surprise of surprises New york actually won a GAA match. They beat Derry in the opening round of the hurling, although visa issues mean they might not play in the next round. Well, thems the breaks for illegal immigrants. or at least I assume that is the problem they’ll have trying to re-enter the States afterwards if they leave.

Now, is there anything else I mentioned yesterday? Oh yes, the Eurovision. Which, fantastically, was won by Finland, in the form of Monster Rock band Lordi. And I’m proud to report that Irish viewers, clearly taking the competition very seriously, awarded Lordi 10 points. With our 12 going to the weird Lithuanian “We Are the Winners” song[4]

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  1. virtually forcing An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern into a Munster jersey before the Munster Leinster match for example
  2. maybe earlier
  3. i think it was him, all golf players are the same to me
  4. you can listen to all of the songs here

It’s not our destiny. We’ve got to go out and bloody work for it.

There are moments in sport that will live forever. As a small country we don’t get too many of them, so they are so much more important. Ronnie Delany’s gold medal in the 1956 Olympics. The 1978 defeat of the All Blacks. Sonia O’Sullivan. Ray Houghton, whether against England or Italy. Paul McGrath‘s almost one-man […]