Thursday, 16 June 2016

Happier Post

I mentioned in Monday's post that the Euros are currently on with France playing host this time round. The event has been marred with the actions of some groups of English and Russian supporters. (Should I even say supporters? If you really support the team, would you go to an event with the intent of fucking shit up?) The sad thing is you know it's a relatively small fraction of the English and Russian "fans" that are doing this. Sadly, their actions may have real world consequences with both teams now having the threat of disqualification hanging over them.

How disheartening that must be for the players. You've possibly played your best soccer in your life... and you're sent home because some asshats don't know how to behave like decent human beings.

Anyway, I said this was a happier post than the last one and it is. Not only are both Ireland and Northern Ireland in the Euros, but the Irish fans are being praised in France for their behaviour during this tournament. Honestly. The French actually like something not-French, and that something is Irish fans!

From pictures of Irish fans helping a French couple change a tire, to singing "Stand Up for the Ulstermen" during the Ireland-Sweden game in memory of a Northern Ireland fan died on the weekend, to reciting "Our Father" to a nun on a train, to singing and dancing with Swedish fans in the streets after their teams tied, to cleaning up their own beer bottles (while singing) after a night of drinking, to singing Boyzone songs in the street... WITH A MEMBER OF BOYZONE, the Irish fans have represented their country with pride.

I am so proud of them!

And the French have been so impressed with them, they went ahead and did this:

Heck yeah! Irish tri-colour on the Eiffel Tower.
Photo originally found here
(In the time it took me to write this, reports have been posted that tensions have risen between English and Russian fans again and the riot police are already on the streets of Lille. The day has barely started there and already they're at it.)

I just want to backtrack for a moment and acknowledge the death of Darren Rodgers who fell to his death Saturday night. After a day of drinking in Nice, he got past a barrier at the edge of a promenade and fell 8 meters. Darren was reported as 24 years old (some reports are now putting him as 25). At the 24 minute mark of the Ireland-Sweden game, Irish supporters sang "Stand Up For The Ulstermen". The song is the cheer for the Ulster Rugby team (as you'll see in the video below), but as an Ulster descendant (just from the other side of the border) I'd be hard pressed to think of a better song to sing. The Northern Ireland team publically thanked the Irish fans for their gesture.

The actions of the Irish fans? This is what sporting events should be about.

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