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International doesn’t rule

International doesn’t rule

Jimmy LyonsJimmy Lyons

WELL, what a horrible surprise. Who would have though that our much loved International Game (IG) could sink to such subterranean levels of, er, physicality? The best supported sport in the country, capable of filling any stadium around, and this is what those mindless thugs from Australia do to it.
And us after inviting them, of all the Aussie Rules-playing nations, to be the ones to join with us in creating the game to beat all games. This is how they repay our generosity, by subjecting some of the most sporting players ever to don the green of Ireland (and even Meath) to the sort of unadulterated, pure violence ever witnessed on our shores, outside of Limerick. Oh, and Pearse Stadium, during a county hurling final, of course, not when our IG graces its salty grass, and is played as it should be, with heavy applications of saccharine.
This is not the way it was meant to be. The great visionaries of the GAA, who foresaw and created this great opportunity to spread our Gospel to all the great unshowered, have been greatly let down. Why have the Antipodeans treated us and our wonderful IG like this? Did they not read the rules?
Rule 1001, Paragraph 67, Section 32, Subsection 19.12 (okay, so the game is a little complicated, but that’s why we invited those cultural Pom-hating cousins of ours to join with us) clearly states: ‘It will be an offence, punishable by a stern stare, possibly, to tackle (within the meaning of the word tackle, Rule 209 etc, etc) anyone, but particularly those in an Irish jersey, too hard. So please be gentle, especially when dragging a comrade in our great IG to the ground. Cushions supplied in advance for those who are a little bit awkward and not fully confident of their tackling skills. Above rule will be open to interpretation by the referee, where possible’.
Alas and alack. It has come to this very sorry pass, despite all the efforts by those involved in the days preceding to ensure a flowing, skilful, athletic exhibition of our most excellent game. Was there a mention of violence anywhere, in the media or any by players or management, I ask you, apart from most people desiring a biteen more contact and hard tackling and belting and.., (oh, sorry , my delete isn’t working so please disregard the last few words), but, sure that’s a long way away from what we saw on our most holy ground?.
Everybody had done so much to further relationships between our two great nations. Even that Aussie bloke, so unfairly left out of the starting line-up in Galway but not a bit upset by it. Didn’t he only go and show his brimful fount of friendship and fellowship by embracing, firmly, pretty much anyone he could get his hands on during his sojourn in our hippest city? Surely he deserves as much acclaim in Australia for his ambassadorial work as Borat receives in his native Kazakstan?
Like I’ve said, who could have foreseen this terrible calamity that threatens to bring our association to its knees? Rumours that the Government is considering proscribing the GAA are, I’m afraid, nearer the mark than most would like to admit. Imagine Bertie’s discomfort at having to associate with the people who, it has to be said, bear ultimate responsibility.
Yes, the plain people of Drumcondra, who bayed for blood from the anonymity of the Hill, are the real culprits in this unfortunate mess. How could the players ignore the Coliseum-like atmosphere which surrounded them? How could they concentrate on those oh so fine, aesthetic elements of our beautiful IG? It was indeed a flight or fight situation.
This is the crux of the problem really with the IG. There is every possibility that we will be able to get our Australian comrades back on track, after their crowd-induced hysteria last Sunday week. After all, they long for global acceptance of the one true game as much as we do. They have had it up to their hirsute necks with the glorification of cricket in their homeland much as we have with ... well, you know what I mean, have to be careful in these ecumenical times.
Despite the inconvenience of the fortnight’s work, spreading the faith, in an exotic foreign country, those who really have the interests of the IG at heart are, I know, determined to excise the cancer within. As often with political opinion polls, in this case the electorate, so to speak, have got it very wrong. Their desire for over-robust play has sealed their fate.
Yes, it’s time to vote out the people. No longer will they be allowed to view our glorious IG. In future it will be played behind closed doors, watched only by the true followers, wearing their best blazers.
And that will shut up, once and for all, all of youse who so cynically thought this was all about filthy lucre.

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