Monday, May 31, 2010

Mount Merrion season ends

A 4 - 1 home win against Leixlip on Sunday morning brought a close to the Under 17 season which ended with a perfectly balanced record of eight wins, eight draws and eight defeats.

Displaying all the skills of the father, a perfectly timely tackle by Clancy junior above.

The town Gerry loved so well

A young boy and his little sister play ball under the Bloody Sunday murals.

While meantime in another part of town............

For better or for worse

Jill at the Brandywell on Saturday evening. For richer for poorer, in sickness and in poor mental health.

I had a bit of poor mental health myself after a 2-0 defeat for the Blues. In reality Waterford were fortunate to get nil and the Candystripes could have got seven. In addition to two good goals they had three disallowed - I think the lineman got it right in the one below.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fantasy Football Final Tables

So while Chelsea won the Premiership, Leeds were 2nd in their division, Spurs 4th and Everton ended way down somewhere in mid-table, the real table to look at is the final one from the Fantasy Football Rockface League.

Yiddo won the second season of our Premiership challenge narrowly pipping last year's winner Chelski from Sandymount. As was the case last year, Brusselsblue and Mise Le Meas fought for bottom spot and again there was a reversal as the diaspora sank to bottom place.

Good luck with next year and it's really hard to see the London dominance being threatened.

1 Dublin Spurs 2056
2 Sandymount Village 1937
3 Mike's 11 1622
4 homesick utd 1578

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Football - the Opium of the Masses

"It turned you into a member of a new community, all brothers together for an hour and a half, for not only had you escaped the clanking machinery of this lesser life, from work, from wages, rent, doles, sick pay, insurance cards, nagging wives, ailing children, bad bosses, idle workmen, but you had escaped with most of your mates and your neighbours, with half the town, cheering together, thumping one another on the shoulders, swapping judgments like Lords of the Earth, having pushed your way through a turnstile into another and altogether more splendid life."
J. B. Priestley

Monday, May 17, 2010

New President takes Control as the old one is Distracted

In his inaugural speech, the new President called on the country's diaspora to get off their fat arses, to stop criticising the country from afar and to send back a load of loot to those less fortunate than them back in the old sod.

In return for this, he promised that we will continue to make black and white pudding and Tayto crisps, and will knit as many bawneen jumpers as you could shake a stick at.

The diaspora in Brussels were targeted as a potentially lucrative target bunch, with particular emphasis on those who spend shedloads of cash on bottles of Barolo in restaurants designed for "Ladies who Lunch".

The Garrison Game

Began to wonder about the origins of my addiction with football and the Waterford team as I travelled back last Friday evening from a 1-0 defeat to Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park, the only goal coming in injury time.

It simply isn’t enough to explain it by saying it’s because my father was from Waterford and he took me to games as a kid. Like everything else in Ireland, it’s a lot deeper than that.

In the early 1900’s, John Redmond was a prominent figure in Irish politics, both serving as MP for Waterford City from 1891 and leading the Irish Nationalist Party until his death in 1918. My father came from a staunch family of Redmondites and, knowing one man and reading of the other, I can see where the attraction lay. Wikipedia’s narrative describes Redmond as a moderate, constitutional and conciliatory politician who was deeply opposed to the use of physical force and was committed to political change by constitutional means.

The Irish Nationalist Party, in the immediate lead-up to the 1916 rising, found itself at odds with the new power in Irish politics, a party diametrically opposed to them in terms of strategy – Sinn Fein. Griffith’s new party, with strong links to the Irish Republican Army during the War of Independence, believed in more radical tactics to achieve the (commonly-held) aspiration of Irish independence. The fundamental difference between the parties which ultimately led to the divide in Irish politics that we have today was less related to degrees of commitment to nationalism than it was to the manner in which independence could be achieved.

My father moved to Dublin in 1936 and at this stage he had inherited or developed a deep-rooted distaste for Sinn Fein and its’ “bully-boy” tactics. This aversion spread to all parties or associations who were spawned from, or who allied themselves closely with the cause of aggressive Irish Republicanism. Included in this band was the Fianna Fail party, and the GAA, whose rules regarding foreign sports and participation in their code right through to the new millennium, were as repugnant as those rules which discriminated against the Catholics in the Six Counties.

Waterford won the FAI Cup for the first time in 1937 (team pictured below) and my father recounted the story of celebrating the victory with the team in a Dublin hotel prior to their trip back south.

A consequence of my father's views was that as a family we grew up in a household where soccer was automatically preferred to GAA and where the watching of the All-Ireland Final on television was very much secondary to a trip to Milltown or Tolka Park, if the Waterford soccer team were scheduled for a Dublin visit. Maintaining a consistent philosophy, my father did not encourage any of us to bring the Irish Press in the house as it was a “De Valera rag”. He stopped short of banning it entirely.

Those early trips to Glenmalure, Tolka, Dalyer and Richmond are still vividly etched upon my mind. With very few exceptions (obviously the birth of my three children) nothing in life that I have experienced can replicate the boyhood feeling of excitement and anticipation that I felt as I saw the Blues take the field in those games in the sixties and early seventies. Sadly, and hopelessly, the feeling substantially remains the same even now.

Alfie Hale's headed winning goal with five minutes to go against Rovers at Milltown, Gerry Chester's resilience for St Pat's at Richmond in the title decider in 1969, the trauma of Cup final drubbings at the hands of the Hoops and Hibs, eleven straight wins ending with a 2-2 draw against Drums and towards the end, the League Cup Final victory against Harps without a recognised goalkeeper. Magic memories each and every one.

And that explains it all. An Irish Nationalist, given limited credit for the evolution of our Republic, followed by a few twists of fate, lead to me driving the N11 at 11:30 on a Friday evening having watched 90 minutes (plus 3) of very average League of Ireland football.

If only we hadn’t conceded that goal in the dying minutes in Wexford, I wouldn’t have had to go through this revealing self-analysis again.

Still, what the hell it's only a game and we’ve got Cork at home next weekend.

Didn't you once used to be ....

Once writes poetry, the other writes Limericks.

Angry Response to Poetry Criticism

The gauntlet was well and truly thrown down in the esteemed surroundings of the quadrangle as Rockface Murphy delivered a stinging attack on what he dubbed as "foreign poets" who were afraid to return to their native seats of learning to put their "Enid Blyton poetry" before true critics who understood the finer points of the written word.

In a highly impassioned twenty minute delivery, Murphy castigated the Salman Rushdie approach of his main critic, hiding from the people in a virtual isolation, afraid to come before the masses and allow his "beach-ball poetry" to be critically assessed. To rapturous applause, Murphy left the podium and was lauded on departure by the school's most famous alumnus from the art of theatre, Turlough O'Brien. O'Brien concluded his dialogue and tribute by stating that he too had been subjected to inappropriate criticism at times during his career from the same quarters but had stayed the pace to achieve his rightful recognition and he felt Murphy would do the same.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Critics slam Rockface Poetry

A highly credible first entry into the poetry arena by the NCB bard was met with severe criticism from Poet Laureate Brusselsblue who was quoted as saying:

"This is just an extension of the 6th year "special ". class philosophy. Encourage the weaker students by lumping them in with the more talented ones. Mine is poetry - that was a limerick"

The controversial piece reputedly describes events at a recent 150 year celebration of the old school when allegedly things got out of hand. Decide for your self the critical merit of the piece:

"Theirs not to reason why
Theirs but to do or die
Into Glessons (Valley of Death) ran the 100

Dobs and Rouge and all were there
The boozing was such that they gave no care
Someone said let’s cross to Mass
And suddenly there was shouting and glass"

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

Where are your Superman underpants now, you little shit?

Lovely to hear the talk of Stephen Ireland's demise at Manchester City and of Roberto Mancini's plans to offload him during the summer. We all have to hope that Mancini stays long enough to deliver on this intention.

I can only assume that Ireland will return to his grandmothers for counselling and tender loving care, now that they have both got over their recent life-threatening illnesses. God bless the old dears.

Let me guess - in the next couple of years Ireland will make himself available for the national team again because - he will realise that he needs them more than they actually need him. It's an awful pity that we have a habit of letting these people away with that kind of behaviour in our country, in many, many walks of life.

Stay away Stephen you bald, ignorant, condescending little prick.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Poetry - Wounds by Michael Longley

Here are two pictures from my father's head--
I have kept them like secrets until now:
First, the Ulster Division at the Somme
Going over the top with 'Fuck the Pope!'
'No Surrender!': a boy about to die,
Screaming 'Give 'em one for the Shankill!'
Wilder than Gurkhas' were my father's words
Of admiration and bewilderment.
Next comes the London-Scottish padre
Resettling kilts with his swagger-stick,
With a stylish backhand and a prayer.
Over a landscape of dead buttocks
My father followed him for fifty years.
At last, a belated casualty,
He said--lead traces flaring till they hurt--
'I am dying for King and Country, slowly.'
I touched his hand, his thin head I touched.

Now, with military honours of a kind,
With his badges, his medals like rainbows,
His spinning compass, I bury beside him
Three teenage soldiers, bellies full of
Bullets and Irish beer, their flies undone.
A packet of Woodbines I throw in,
A lucifer, the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Paralysed as heavy guns put out
The night-light in a nursery for ever:
Also a bus-conductor's uniform--
He collapsed beside his carpet-slippers
Without a murmur, shot through the head
By a shivering boy who wandered in
Before they could turn the television down
Or tidy away the supper dishes.
To the children, to a bewildered wife,
I think 'Sorry Missus' was what he said.

Why did Mark Cusick call himself Olga?

Was this guy a Russian spy or did he just love a gymnast called Korbut?

Our thoughts now turn to Leeds

A bit of controversy arising from the allocation of referees this weekend and the assignment of Ray Tinkler to the Leeds v Bristol Rovers game.

Ray has a bit of "previous" with Leeds as evidenced in the attached clip and additionally has been brought back out of retirement after 35 years with his feet up in Market Sidbury, Shropshire. Rumour has it that this decision by the FA is motivated purely by hatred against Revie on their part, as a result of his decision to walk out of the England job in 1977 and go for the Arab loot, managing my own dearly beloved UAE.

Let's hope Leeds can overcome the Tinkler man and earn their rightful place in the Championship.

They left him standing alone

"Say you don't need no diamond ring and I'll be satisfied,
Tell me that you want the kind of thing that money just can't buy,
I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love,
Can't buy me love......."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mayday 2009

Getting very interesting now:
  • Well deserved but narrow victory for Spurs pushes the race for 4th spot to Eastlands on Wednesday and as Gerry has pointed out another Blue Moon - without a dream in my heart?
  • Leeds slip again but the generosity of others leaves them as favourites for automatic promotion - could Bristol Rovers (who?) spoil the party next week at Elland Road? Unlikely, surely.
  • Everton fizzling out ...............roll on next season.
  • The Liverpool Chelsea see-saw continues tomorrow and one has to assume Liverpool will fold as a result of their demoralised state after midweek.

Other events to acknowledge or look forward to:

  • Fulham's achievement in reaching the Europa Cup final - great spirit, showing a lot of the big boys how it's done.
  • Rochdale limp home in 3rd position having led for so long. Well done to them.
  • Twente Enschede one game away from the Dutch League after a wait of 84 years. They play NAC Breda on Sunday - a win will mean they cannot be caught by 2nd place Ajax.
  • Most fouls committed by individual Premiership players this year - 1. Davies (Bolton) 112 2. Cahill (Everton) 86; 3. Cole (West Ham) 69; 4, Fellaini (Everton) 67. Two for Everton - combative or niggly and negative?

Roll on the final week!