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Krazy Club opens for business

  • Matt Slater - BBC Sport golf writer
  • 21 Sep 06, 07:18 PM

matt_slater55x55.jpgK 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.

dancer203.jpgNext 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?

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 07:59 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • Andrew wrote:

Ho Ho Ho. Comic Genius!

References to Eurovision and a joke about the irish ladies celtic name. If that's telling it as it is, please return to the usual deception.

ALL opening ceremonies are rubbish. It's just the way life is. At least this was was relatively short.

  • 2.
  • At 08:15 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • Guest wrote:

Hi rob;

Your analysis of the open ceremony is very funny and I do agree Sharon is a babe. Us Irish have been keeping her to ourselves!!

Hope the rests of your posts are good like this one, will only get to read tomorrows as then off to watch ryder cup on tv in the house with lads for loads of beers!!!

  • 3.
  • At 08:47 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • conor wrote:

Nice account, Matt, very droll.

Keep up the good work, lads!

  • 4.
  • At 09:12 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • tim angel wrote:

Don't under estimate the americans. I think Europe by 3 but with this build up and the Americans playing well over the past 6 months, this is going to be very tough indeed. I am sure it will come down to the last afternoon.

  • 5.
  • At 09:15 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • Errol wrote:

Good work Matt, pity more wouldn't say the same. Why do we Irish have to put up with the "diddley ei" hokum whenever an event like this happens?

Is it any wonder that most of the world still think we are some sort of a mystical race who say "Top of the morning to ya!" all the time!

Now where did i put my shillelagh so i can shake it at Sharon if there's a closing ceremony.........

  • 6.
  • At 10:10 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • Noel wrote:

Excellent Matt. Best bit of writing you've done since your plane landed.
More please.

  • 7.
  • At 11:12 PM on 21 Sep 2006,
  • superjimenez wrote:

i can't help but think what sort of an opening ceremony spectacle the British would put on!...
Opening act: Everyone watches the Queen being chauffered around in something horse-drawn while people would wave, not really knowing why. Then...everyone sings a song about the Queen.
Musical interlude: DJ Daz.
Then the American team would appear. Brits boo and holler, throw bottles, jeer. U.S team leave, disgusted. European team arrive. Jeered and hissed because there are not enough brits on the team. Or maybe, just to be British.
Musical interlude: Cream of british music including bands such as U2, no wait, they're Irish. Shut up, they're british.
Final act. Keynote speaker: Beckham

  • 8.
  • At 12:55 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Alan wrote:

Your account of the opening ceremony.
Is that supposed to be caustic?
Poorest attempt at humour so far.

By the way, its 12am in Dublin and blowing a gale. Lets see how Tiger manages this in the morning. Roll on the Irish weather for the weekend.

Brilliant! Includes everything the Sky Sports analysts WISHED they could say, judging by their stifled giggles.

  • 10.
  • At 01:45 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Kathleen wrote:

"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."

Having seen what passes for "dancing" to Europeans, all I can say is Good Job to the American WAGs.

Let's go USA!

  • 11.
  • At 03:55 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Derek wrote:

You really like Sharon, dont you Matt;)

  • 12.
  • At 08:05 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • bruce hewson wrote:

Great write up...and that comes from an Irishman.

"why do we Irish have to put up with..." because we do...its fine..get over it..afraid of having a joke at your expense. Its why people like the irish cause were not serious types!

  • 13.
  • At 08:35 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Saidhbhin wrote:

I understand this is meant to be funny, but I find it a bit ignorant. Maybe run your articles before the editor before you publish them, rather than risking sounding sexist, ignorant, and paddy-bashing. Just a word to the wise.

  • 14.
  • At 09:29 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Colm wrote:

People really need to lighten up! Apparently half my countrymen are a bit sensitive this morning. Very funny 'analysis' of the opening ceremony - just don't dis' Sharon!! A bit worried about the couple of Irish Air force planes - who did we borrow the second one from?????

  • 15.
  • At 09:32 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Aisling wrote:

The 'carrots' were tees. If you'd stopped trying to be funny for five seconds you might have noticed the dance and costume detail and the display of Irish were obviously expecting Westlife with B*Witched as backing dancers.

  • 16.
  • At 09:33 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Fergus wrote:

I cannot believe how many Irish people are still getting upset about a bit of banter.Get over it lads,the comments posts have been more English bashing than any of the blogs have been anti-Irish. It's all rather sad really. Keep up the good work Matt, it's bringing a bit of the occasion to those of us office bound for the week!!

And maybe the old Orish cliches are a bit hackneyed but how can we complain when we go and put on a opening cerremony like we did yesterday?? That was cringeworthy!! The Book of Kells?? We just managed to prostitute ourselves with one big big tourist add for the Irish American market. Now bring on the golf...

  • 17.
  • At 09:40 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Matt Slater wrote:

Come on Andrew, at least I didn't mention Riverdance, Celtic tigers or leprechauns...a few Irish papers did this morning, though. But you're right about this one being no worse than any other opening ceremony in the last decade or so. Did you see the one for the Winter Olympics in Turin?

And all British ones have been absolutely shocking, as superjimenez points out. The one for Euro 96 looked like a junior school play and I have vague memories of the 1999 Rugby World Cup’s ceremony looking like a Welsh version of It’s a Knockout. Can’t remember what we did for the Commonwealth Games but I’m sure there were lots of songs about the Queen and David Beckham was almost definitely involved. We are rubbish at this kind of thing…but then we’re quite good at marching bands, a few songs, somebody saying ‘hello, happy to see you all here, sport will be the winner, let’s go…’ and then a big cheer. Isn’t that enough to start a sports event?

Derek, you’re right. I’m a fan.

Alan, sorry you didn’t like it. I suppose it was a bit like the ceremony itself in that it kind of divided people.

But Saidhbhin, it really was only a joke and I may be ignorant (I didn’t work out until today that the people on stilts were supposed to be gods playing golf with the planets) but my story wasn’t sexist (certainly less sexist than the sight of trophy wives all decked out in Stepford Wives outfits cheering on their heroic men from the sidelines) and I’m no Paddy-basher. My mum’s mum from Clare and dad’s mum from Carlow wouldn’t stand for that.

  • 18.
  • At 10:32 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Bowling Green wrote:

Great account of the opening ceremony, but please superjimenez, pipe down! Maybe you can watch the 2012 Olympic Games for some inspiration the next time the Ryder Cup turns up on the Emerald Isle?!Maybe the national sport of Eurovision will be there sooner! Or just have a look at the Commonwealth Games opening in Manchester?! That's how opening ceremonies should be done. You also talk of some band from the 80's called U2? Maybe Ireland's second biggest act, global supergroup Boyzone could reform and join The Proclaimers (oh wait, they're Scottish!) and Westlife on stage? That would be brilliant...

Nevertheless at least ceremony was brief and we can get on with the action.

Let's look forward to a great contest and all get behind the boys. More reports like this would be much appreciated. Let's hope the weather holds...

Come on Europe!

  • 19.
  • At 10:46 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Dunners wrote:

Must agree with Colm

Where did we steal the second "fighter jet" from.
Your right Matt this country is defenceless but dont be telling everyone!! Ha Ha

  • 20.
  • At 11:06 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Roger wrote:

Alright Matt - very amusing - especially the Joycean stream of consciousness sense of absolute bafflement as to why opening ceremonies exist at all.

I sense that what this opening ceremony really needed was Diane Ross missing an 18 inch putt by about 18 inches - 1994 World Cup style. Preferably in a sheer top, on a cold day.

Hope you're availing of lots of Ryder Cop freebies and plenty of Guinness. Looks like Tiger could do with a couple of fortifying pints the way he's playing this morning.

  • 21.
  • At 11:17 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Gus Henderson wrote:

You tell em Matty! Saidhbhin you really need to get a life......
Very amusing!

  • 22.
  • At 11:27 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Michael wrote:

Don't worry about the over sensitive types. The opening ceremony made me squirm with embarrassment. I think I even saw Darby O'Gill in there somewhere.

Sharon, of course, was a paragon of poise and distinction. My brother claims she taught him in Gaeltacht (Irish language holidays for teenagers) - very strict apparently.

  • 23.
  • At 11:45 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • domhnall wrote:

that was hilarious. keep it up and i might actually care who wins the golf. how do you know what teenage girls dream of by the way??

  • 24.
  • At 11:48 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • JohnnyBig Claws wrote:

Very funny write-up and refreshing to see a light hearted account. I just wonder why these opening ceremonies even exist, and even more why people apparently pay vast sums of money in order to attend. Surely they werent all part of the VIP Irish Bigwig contingent who have flooded Straffan this week? Top quality sport doesnt need any preamble...the entertainment starts with the first shot, kick, bounce, gun, bell ring, step, punch, drop or whatever the relevant term may be. If I want to see laser shows and choreographed dancers then I can go to the Under 18 night at Legends on the High Street. Well, I couldnt actually, but you get my point. And any reference to Withnail and I is a winner in my book. Which brings my thoughts to dear old Monty... the similarities between David Howell and "I" are slightly perturbing though... I hope those two are not room sharing???

  • 25.
  • At 11:57 AM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • bfmt wrote:

If we don't want the to be seen as 'top of the morning to ya', shillelagh carrying leprachaun's by the rest of the world, then we should stop shoving that image down there throats.

Yes the opening ceremony was hideous, as are all sporting event opening ceremonies, and it deserved to be ridiculed by all sides, as do all opening ceremonies.

Why bother with them, just get some b-lister like Sharon cut a ribbon and say 'Ryder Cup officially open'. It would be critically acclaimed as the greatest Opening Ceremony in the history of ever.

  • 26.
  • At 12:38 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • emenike wrote:

Great report, seems like a great Ryder Cup awaits me here in Nigeria. Have fun guys........

  • 27.
  • At 12:45 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Matt Slater wrote:

Thanks Gus! What you playing off these days? Still scoring 45 points off 28? You scoundrel!

Domhnall, I don't really know what teenage girls dream about but I have a very lively imagination.

And Michael, where can I sign up for these Gaeltacht courses? Me and Woosie should have a go. Did you hear him wish everybody "cead failte"?

  • 28.
  • At 01:37 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • LINGWO wrote:


  • 29.
  • At 02:38 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Patrick C. wrote:


Keep telling it like you see it. Isn't it time we Irish grew up and stopped going around everywhere with a microscope, looking for someone who is not calling us the greatest thing since the sliced pan? So immature.

This is a great event, at a great venue, forget the weather - but have loads of fun!!

Lighten up all you Irish blog readers - it's Friday and there's a great match in town!


  • 30.
  • At 03:26 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Garf wrote:

Jolly fun Matt, Glad most of the Irishers are with me when I say "if it's funny laugh". It may be at our expense but sure we cant sit back and laugh at every-one else ALL the time!

Cant belive you didnt get the bit about the gods playing golf with the plannets......I mean come on how obvious was it? well ok fair point.

  • 31.
  • At 03:29 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Ned wrote:

What's all this about? I didn't know the Eurovision was on last night. Isn't it a bit late in the year for it and sur isn't usually on a Saturday? And who's Sharon and Ryder?do they own this new bar ye are all talking about, the "K Club".And what's golf got to do with it? Have I missed something? I had better go and lay down it all sounds like a bad dream!

  • 32.
  • At 04:29 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • bernard wrote:

Did anyone see a small leprachaun with long beard and a green jacket during the opening ceremony.
He (the leprechaun) is obliged to grant you three wishes if you collar him. An American friend said he caught him
the other night (as we were falling out of a pub)but he vamoosed into the thin air. Some Leprachauns insist on leaving this country down the overright the entire world.

  • 33.
  • At 04:50 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Vince wrote:

Matt wrote: My mum’s mum from Clare and dad’s mum from Carlow wouldn’t stand for that.

Ah stop - your were doing all'right till you came out with the old "my nan's Irish" nonsense. The amount of times I heard that when living in London - depending on the company at the time of course, safe in the knowledge that a name like Slater would disguise your background when with your real countrymen.

Matt - if you say something stick with it stop hiding behind the Plastic Paddy guise.

  • 34.
  • At 05:20 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Saidhbhin wrote:

Hey Matt,

Fair enough it was meant to be a joke, I just think we Irish are very quick to put ourselves down. I guess my main beef was with the comments about Irish and Sharon's name, and yes I am sensitive about both subjects. I accept a bit of pride on the part of the actual people organising the opening wouldn't have gone astray either. Good on you anyway for your mild response to my comment...

  • 35.
  • At 06:48 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Matt Slater wrote:

But Vince, it's true!!! You're right, though, I was mugged into that. Should have held that one back for some really stiff criticism.

And Saidhbhin, I'm glad we're friends again. I really didn't mean any offence to the Irish language or all those lovely names. I stand by comments about the gods, cannons, planets, European suits and Carlos Nunez, though. I can't stand opening ceremonies...and yet I'm strangely drawn to them.

  • 36.
  • At 07:47 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

Loved the response from super jiminez, criticize the Irish even in a jocular manner and Whamo an anti - British response comes zooming over the water. Always has to be a reference to British yobbo's and their violent ways and throw reference to the Queen in for good measure, thank God the Irish are such a peace loving nation.Great pity I love the country & most of the Irish people I have met around the world, shame there is such a hate for us (By the way I think Jiminez meant English when writing British )

  • 37.
  • At 10:17 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • bernard wrote:

I am delighted to report that
we caught up with the Leprechaun (mentioned above)
He was/is living under a fairly modest looking semi detached mushroom behind a cluster of trees off the 17th.Anyway I got one wish out of the little fiend and he reliably informed me that America is going to be trounced. PS to all British/American and foreign visitors in general. In order to see a Leprachaun you have to have drunk at least ten pints of Guinness and be able to whistle Danny Boy-backwards. Guinness, hmmm to paraphrase Homer, no beer comes near, Hic hic hic

  • 38.
  • At 11:23 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • brendan whelan wrote:

By comparison, lets remember the opening ceremony in the Superbowl - with Justin Timberlake exposing Ms Jackson's breast - hmmmmmmmm

  • 39.
  • At 01:24 AM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Declan, Florida wrote:

Oh well ...For Matt's benefit....What it means to be English.....

Once a week you put on your German trainers, American jeans and Italian shirt and head down to the Irish bar for a few pints of Dutch beer. On the way home stop off at the Indian takeaway for a curry. Once at home, you sit on your Swedish furniture while watching American shows on your Japanese television, all the while voicing a distrust and ridiculing all things foreign.

  • 40.
  • At 08:52 AM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Matt Slater wrote:

Erm, hello Declan in Florida.

Yes, I own German trainers, American jeans and Swedish furniture (the latter is rubbish and will be dumped as soon as I can afford some decent stuff). I'm guessing the Dutch beer you're thinking of is Heineken but I never touch the stuff. Quite like Belgian beer, though, and Guinness, but of course that is a traditional English drink owned by UK-based conglomerate Diageo. My favourite tipple is bitter, though, or rum by the bottle, as another poster recalled.

I don't own any Italian shirts but I do have a Japanese TV (made in Swindon) and watch some American shows. I love curry and had one in Dublin's Jewel of India only last night.

I suppose this just indicates what it is like to live in a multi-cultural country with a modern economy and a long heritage of assimilating foreign influences.

Anyway, getting back to how naff opening ceremonies are.............

  • 41.
  • At 07:44 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • bernard wrote:

According to forcasts from Irish Myths & Legends
and a depraved looking gentleman I met at the bar..
this ancient land will be beset with invaders.Historians,antropoligists and their ilk, who shy away from alcahol, and thus can't be taken seriously, will inform
us that the ancient Irish Druids were refering to the Vikings and the Saxons and their peculiar ways. However those of us in the know whose minds
have completely fallen asunder from the Guinness as WB Yeats might put it..instinctively know that the Druids were refering to the Ryder Cup 2006. These are desperate times
and there are desperate men out there on the fairways. But we will confront them on the greens, and in the bunkers, and on the drivings ranges and we WILL prevail. With Gods
help we will repel this alien invasion of brightly coloured sweaters and optimistic accents and we WILL be right.

  • 42.
  • At 03:06 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Simon wrote:

Can I ask someone to help me please?
To settle an argument: Was the British national anthem played at the opening ceremony?
Wonder what the closing ceremony will be like?

  • 43.
  • At 03:22 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Simon wrote:

By the way Matt, Guinness is an Irish drink brewed originally in Dublin!!

  • 44.
  • At 03:23 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Mark A wrote:


As I recall, the dirge that is "God Save The Queen" was played at the opening ceremony.

Matt's blog would appear to confirm it:

"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."

As for the closing ceremony, well, it's always better when you're on the winning side, isn't it?

  • 45.
  • At 04:16 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Matt Slater wrote:

Simon, yes, they played God Save the Queen. Very dull. And I'm off to the closing ceremony in a minute so I'll tell you all about it later. I can't wait!

  • 46.
  • At 07:16 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • hoos wrote:

I thought Clarkey and Woosie downing a pint each was the closing ceremony?

  • 47.
  • At 08:22 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Magister wrote:

Hi Folks!

For the record, the Irish Air Corps currently operates 32 x aircraft including 8 x (New) Pilatus PC-9M Armed Turboprops - two of which flew over the Ryder Cup opening ceremony.

Well done to the European Team - Ryder Cup winners 2006 !!!

Toodle Pip!


  • 48.
  • At 11:09 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • NookieBare wrote:

Erm, Magister - it may have been the Guiness but I did see THREE planes overhead. Admittedly I was just waking up after sleeping through the twiddly dee music. As a North Islander I thought the description of the Ceremony was hilarious and took it as it was meant - A wee bit of fun.

Best bit was all the 'grown ups' scrambling for the ping pong balls and stopping the kids from getting them. Anything for a freebie!

  • 49.
  • At 03:20 AM on 25 Sep 2006,
  • Mike Buckley wrote:

Armed turbo-props no less? Well we're grand then if we get into a scrap with Liechenstein or Moldovia.

What a competition tho'. Fanstastic performance by the Europeans. The Yanks looking gormless again. You wonder if they'll ever win the damn thing again! And big Darren....there was a few drunken tears shed for him here in Singapore. Marvellous stuff. As for Matt...yer' a gem mate. The correspondence was terrific, on the button and very funny. If yer' ever in Singers again mate drop us a mail and I'd love to hook up for a pint of bitter with you and discuss existential golf! Cheers.

  • 50.
  • At 11:04 AM on 25 Sep 2006,
  • Joe Rodgers wrote:

I am growing alarmed at the amount of pomp and silly hat military stiff upper lip nonsense we seem to be adopting. That was never what we were about as a nation, and I'll bet a good deal of the founders and fighters for the establishment of Ireland's independence would be embaressed. People such as James Connolly saw the bigger picture and wanted a free independent Ireland to address social problems such as poverty, employment, and emigration, yet eighty odd years later and we seem to be spending large sums of government funds on anthems, flags, propellor planes(???) and presidential entourages. That kind of ridiculous pomp was perfected by the Romans, French, Germans and British, leave it to them. We are different, and should adopt a different approach to these events.
I agree that it does seem a little predictable to hark back to the 'Book of Kell's' (by the way Matt It's a 1200 year old copy of the Gospels, handprinted and generally believed to be a work of art. It was made during Irelands golden age, your dark age, in a peaceful Irish period just before your lot came over and spoiled the party by try to 'unsavage' us, so let us have it, you had your empire, we had our golden age). But despite this you cannot fault the designers vision and craft that went into the making of those beautiful costumes. I'm not taking a stance of offence, but yes, I do believe your remarks were slightly ignorant Matt, at least they come accross that way. Your writing smacks of negativity and cynacism. It's the easiest thing in the world to be cynical, it requires no effort. Dont understand something?? Just slag it off! easy.
On the subject of boring and drawn out ceremonies, I seem to remember losing years off my life while Sky news looped a broadcast of a floating monstrosity of a display celebrating Nelsons victory at Trafalgar, lamb of divine jaysus save us, it was 200 years ago, let it alone!
We are proud of our langauge and heritage here, it's no harm to show it, and celebrate it, and we should be allowed to do so without cheap cynical ridicule from our neighbours. This type of rubbish, harmelss as it may have been intended causes a lot of the sentiments that are being discussed on this board. ....
SO everyone, great job, but please next time, leave the flags, anthems and sopwith camels behind, thats what trooping the colour is for.
Finally Matt, yes we are defenceless, but that is mostly beacuse we are neutral and tend to stay out of conflicts that have nothing to do with us. Britain should take a leaf.

  • 51.
  • At 12:53 AM on 26 Sep 2006,
  • Mike Buckley wrote:

Joe mate....take a breather there will ya' son? For a start opening ceremonies to major sports events have been dull, ridiculous, incomprehenisble (to everyone but the home nation) and laughable since time immemorial.

I'm a proud Paddy too and I didn't find anything Matt said remotely offensive. So he's what? This is the BBC website your reading from. I agree with you about the pomp, it's all a bit ridiculous and unecessary but it usually goes with the territory. Do you think national anthems shouldn't be played before rugby or soccer internationals? Imagine the lads in green taking the field at Landsdowne Road against the usual English 15 with no "Ireland's Call"?

Nelson's victory at the Trafalgar, if you examine your history, was probably the single most crucial world changing history changing event in the last 300 years. No Trafalgar? No British Empire, no colonialism, no Industrial Revolution, Napolean would have completed his European domination and we'd all be speaking French now etc.etc.

Rightly or wrongly it deserved some sort of ceremony to mark it's anniversary. Saying "It was 200 years ago, let it alone" could be applied to our own particular penchant for being over-sensitive with our neighbours across the Irish sea. It's over and done with mate. 800 years is gone now. It should never leave our history books but we today should be moving forwards and letting it go.

  • 52.
  • At 10:42 AM on 27 Sep 2006,
  • Big Al wrote:

Paul wrote:

Loved the response from super jiminez, criticize the Irish even in a jocular manner and Whamo an anti - British response comes zooming over the water. Always has to be a reference to British yobbo's and their violent ways and throw reference to the Queen in for good measure, thank God the Irish are such a peace loving nation.Great pity I love the country & most of the Irish people I have met around the world, shame there is such a hate for us (By the way I think Jiminez meant English when writing British )

Erm..... Paul hombre, take a good long look at that name for yourself, "superJIMINEZ", now do you notice anything amigo? Now I might be wrong but there just may be a few "Europeans" who enjoy a bit of Brit-bashing using this blog as well.......comprende senor?
About your point though, there is not much hate really, it's more immaturity, and a great source of banter, as a Dubliner we have to put up with all the same sort of begrudgery from our beloved non-Dub 'em really though, especially Sharon!

Really enjoyed Matt's piece, will look out for more from you, even though you insulted my top hobby of stilt-golf in leotards terribly with your commnets. But it's ok, my cousin is English & she counselled me through the pain.
Keep up the good work Matt, dont let the begrudgers wipe their feet on you!

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