Krazy Club opens for business
- 21 Sep 06, 07:18 PM
K CLUB – It seems a sporting event can’t start these days until 60 dancers have re-enacted a piece of literature, a crazy-looking “world musician” has performed a medley of his or her “hits” and a local television personality has spent an hour telling us how great the host country is.
When even last weekend’s West Brom v Southend game had some Andy McNab-type abseiling from the top of the stand to deliver the ball I suppose the Ryder Cup’s opening ceremony was always going to be more than a brass band and handshakes.
But did it meet its objective of “establishing the benchmark against which all future opening ceremonies and host nations of the Ryder Cup will be judged”? Wales might be worried but I think America, with its legions of Disney employees, will be OK.
Somebody asked us earlier to call things as we see them, so here is my blow-by-blow account – and tribute to Irish writer James Joyce’s Ulysses – of Thursday’s extravaganza (fans of art installations or contemporary dance may want to stop reading here).
From my notes (almost verbatim):
Bloody hell, there are lot of people here. Let me through I’m media. What’s with the blokes on stilts? Horrible counting down music…10 more minutes of this, “jaysus”. Oh good, some RC highlights. Enough with the cannons! Four more minutes.
WAGs!! How many? I thought polygamy was illegal in the US. Amy Mickelson is going nuts, she is so like Phil. One third of US team is married to somebody called Amy – and to think we used to say all Aussie women were called Sheila. How many blondes? Not as many as before. Grey and black knitwear.
Here come the Euro WAGs. They’re not even matching! Is that good or bad? Stop firing cannons! I think it’s starting.
Army band strikes up, men in black skirts and wellies appear banging large drums…large golf ball rolls back revealing huge Saturday night variety show style band. People running through the crowd with large torches. Look like Camberwell carrots. More people with kite planets start running about the stilt people grow and start dancing. Smoke appears. Is there something in those carrots?
Somebody runs onto stage with big moon/golf ball thing. Music stops, stilts shrink and kite people stop running about.
Somebody looking like Buffy comes on, starts speaking but makes no sense. Oh, it was Irish. Her name is Sharon “knights who say” Ni Bheolain. Very nice lady. Says something about the Gods being happy and Ireland having lots of golf courses, 400 apparently and 40% of world’s links courses…don’t mention links, Sharon! Not here!
Everybody stands up. It’s President Mary McAleese. Seems like nice lady too. Thanks players first and media second. That’s nice. Something about Darren, Padraig and Paul...big cheers.
Ireland’s greatest something or other player comes on to do ‘Over the Meadows’. Agghhh, can see Europe’s team arriving on golf buggies. They are wearing lime green jackets.
Another song, very Eurovision. PGA suit talks for a bit. Dr Michael Smurfit caught smiling on camera. Not surprising. Former American captains introduced and wave to crowd from VIP seats…big cheer for Arnie Palmer.
Next song and its man from Galicia, a Spanish Celt. Carlos Nunez, “Jimi Hendrix of Celtic music”, looks like Terry Nutkins. Starts giving it some on underarm bag pipes. Euro WAGs get up and dance!!! Yanks are sitting down. Our lot are loving it. 1-0 to us!!!! Ha ha, Yanks get up and look embarrassed. It’s too late, our WAGs are more fun. Sharon says Carlos is also Seve Ballesteros of Celtic music.
American PGA bloke speaks. PGA formed in 1916…hold on, wasn’t something more important happening around the same time in Europe? Irish Ryder Cup heroes announced. “Himself!”
Sharon is back…starting to remind me of Heidi Klum during World Cup draw. Something about Book of Kells. Stilt people have changed. Oh dear, lots of monks have appeared. Is the Book of Kells like the Da Vinci Code? Music, more dancers, this is called “Intimate Details”…surely not more Elin Nordegren? People running about with banners, girl on trapeze, warriors. Isn’t the Book of Kells a Bible? Monks turn costumes inside out and become chocolate éclair wrappers. Large black horse on stage…is this a teenage girl’s dream?
“Wasn’t that extraordinary” says Sharon.
Teams arrive!! Game show music, game show suits. Americans in “we mean” business dress.
Soldiers put flags up. National anthems. America, always good. Ours is so boring I want to boo. Spain bit average. Sweden, like ours, music to assemble furniture to. EU anthem?!? Not bad though, isn’t it something famous? It shows, it’s ok. Ireland’s last. Crowd love it.
Tom Lehman says “this is our team”. Name, step forward, nod, step back into line.
Woosie, he’s “a Celt” too says Sharon. He looks nervous and very short. “Could be over a billion” watching…looks terrified. Team announced, everybody cheers, players troop off, join WAGs and head towards Palmer Clubhouse for sherry. Dancers inside giant bubbles roll alongside them. Strange.
A couple of Irish Air Force planes fly by…the nation must be defenseless! Sharon again. More dancers dressed in golf outfits, 1930s music, looks like Gap advert. Not bad actually. Hit balls into crowd. Nobody hurt. Music stops. Everybody walks off.
A new benchmark in opening ceremonies, and host nations, has been set.
Over to you Valhalla….what are the odds on there being a Norse gods and golf theme?
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