Thursday, 28 February 2013

Billy Keane on sports fans, Knitwits and Quilter reunion

Billy Keane occasionally writes an article that I think everyone should read. His piece on February 18 was one such. He was writing about the behavior of rugby fans at the match when we lost to England. I waited patiently for the Independent to put it on their website but no joy.

I got my little typist elf to type some of it for you;

"The back hurt. The laptop picked up some sort of viral disease from a hacker in Honduras.   May his bananas never ripen. The front wasn’t great either: acid reflux, ulcerative colitis and ordinary pre-match nerve indigestion, ad nauseum.  As if I wasn’t suffering enough, Clive, the pirouetting drunk from Barnstaple, peed on me. In short I was like a weasel with PMT.
      I would estimate about one-in-eight of those present behaved as fans should. The good cheered even when their team was playing badly and they had their dinner before they came out.  Let me tell you about the covenant.  You get a ticket for a big game. The deal is you are representing the thousands who would love to be there at the match.

     You are cheering for your friends in Oz and the undocumented Irish in early-morning-pay-per-view bars in New York. You are cheering for the lad who lines the pitch on wet cold mornings and trains the U-14s but cannot afford to go to the game because he is unemployed or on small wages.  You are cheering for the lady in the hospital who never misses a match.

     On game day, love of team must be unconditional. This is not a play, where you clap when there’s a particularly stirring passage acted out brilliantly. In sport you clap even when the players fluff their lines and miss their cue.  It isn’t a supermarket either. When I hear goms of men going on about value for money on whingefest radio, I despair. Say what you will after, but during the game you cheer for your team.

    One man was up and down the steep steps all through the game.  In the middle of the biggest match of the year, he was a lounge boy.  There were many more like him.

    I think back to the days of the singing and cheering. There was an Irish soldier who led his team to glory in a time when our main exports were my friends.  Every one of us left here needed a win so badly.  To affirm we were still a worthwhile people, living in a land worth fighting for.

   “Where’s your f***king pride?” the brave young soldier cried.  From his pounding Galway heart it came.  Raw and honest it was.  And his rallying call showed us what it meant to be Irish, as it was back then and should always be.  We won the Triple Crown that day. “We” being Fitzy’s team and us cracked young lads on the packed terraces.  All of us signatories to the covenant.

    So tell us then, where is your pride?"


The lady standing in this photo with myself and the Knitwits gang is Dee Keogh. She loves us and she thinks we are great. Dee has invited us to be part of the celebration she is planning to mark International Women's Day. It will take place in st. John's Listowel on Masrch 7 and it will feature local women's groups and the work they do.


Calling all Quilters

The Quilter clan are planning a 2013 gathering. Read all about it here;


Beale Landing

From: Tue. 20 Sept. 1927 Northern Territory Times, Darwin
Capt. McIntosh  accompanied by Commandant Fitzmaurice, started from Baldonnal for America at 1.34 p.m. on Friday was forced to land near Ballybunion (Ireland) the same night


Fealegood's video of Listowel's lovely town park is here

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