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The Superiority of (some) Rugby Fans …. February 17, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

I would have been rightly pissed off , in the unlikely event of having been in Paris for the Rugby last weekend. However I wouldn’t have used it as an excuse to bash other sports.
For a few days afterwards the airwaves were full of rugby aficionados telling us that they were lucky it was ‘The Rugby Crowd’ in the Stade De France when the game was postponed or there would have been a riot.
Yet it was in that very same stadium a few years previously one Thierry Henry handled the ball and wrecked Irelands World Cup dreams. Was there a riot by Irish fans? No.
Yet RTE and other media outlets carried interviews with these alicadoos and allowed them to slur fans of other sports.


1. WorldbyStorm - February 18, 2012

It’s very silly and as you say the history doesn’t support the contention. Interesting that there is amongst some fans, and I guess this is true of many sports, such a sense of distinctiveness from other sports. Or does that go with the territory?


2. EamonnCork - February 18, 2012

Plus one to IEL.


3. EamonnCork - February 18, 2012

Of course if such a fuck up had been perpetrated by one of our other major sports we’d have heard that, in the case of the GAA, it was because they were a bunch of backwoodsmen who’d need to move with the realities of the 21st century and, in the case of the FAI, it was because their game is incredibly badly run and they just don’t care about the supporters.


4. Jack Jameson - February 18, 2012

I agree that Ireland soccer fans would not have run amok in the Stade de France last weekend and I don’t hold with the idea that rugby fans are somehow ‘better’ than others, but there is a different level of behaviour in their game, isn’t there?

Public schoolboy smutty songs, snobbery and stupid rituals aside, I don’t think there’s a huge level of violence amongst rugby union fans or players disrespecting/abusing referees, unlike other codes.

And I add the caveat that I enjoy a pint with Welsh rugby union fans who seem very different from the other ‘home nations’ types.


ejh - February 18, 2012

but there is a different level of behaviour in their game, isn’t there?

Yes, it’s worse.

(I know you’re referring to fans rather than players, but the former don’t have any problem with the violence of the latter.)


Michael Carley - February 18, 2012

The fans of Gaelic football, Aussie rules, and `compromise’ (ho, ho) rules have no problem with the violence of the players: what is nasty about rugby snobbery is the toleration of outright cheating (`bloodgate’ et al.).

Off the field, the equivalent is the breast-beating after a couple of guys from a decent rugby-playing school kicked a rival to death at a night club.


Doloras LaPicho - February 19, 2012

Michael: that’s interesting, because in rugby-crazed NZ, the narrative is generally that soccer is full of diving cheats, wimps and Thierry Henrys, as opposed to the manly oval-ball game where an All Black captain got his scrotum ripped open against France in 1986 and kept right on playing.


5. Blissett - February 18, 2012

Saw that. Im not particularly given to swearing at the television, but that managed to bring it out of me. On a related matter, did anyone see that piece on primetime about GAA managers. Very much slanted towards the payment of players angle, caused no small amount of grumbling in a lot of clubs


WorldbyStorm - February 19, 2012

I missed that. Interesting that it would get a piece on Primetime in the first place.


irishelectionliterature - February 20, 2012

Primetime piece wasn’t great.
There was a series on payments to managers in the Indo the week previously and Padraic Duffy had made a statement against it too.
Its quite an issue, under the table payments, generous expenses, county ‘supporters clubs’ funding outside managers as well as sometimes benefactors funding the management.
The recession has also changed the rewards available to players. 5 years ago a county player could get a job as a rep for a company handily enough and they would work around his training schedule. Those opportunities are now few and far between. There are some fairly prominent GAA players on the dole, something unthinkable back in the boom.
The argument is that officials such as the President, the full time staff in HQ, many matchday staff at matches, doctors, physios etc are all paid so why shouldn’t the manager be.
Some counties don’t pay managers but there is often no need to as those doing the job are old school or have no want or need of the income.
The big problem is payment of players, some counties could afford it but many couldn’t ,especially as the construction sector (heavy sponsors of county and club teams previously) has hit hard times.
There is no way the likes of Leitrim, Carlow, Sligo and many many more could afford to pay players much, if even pay them at all.
What happens then is that much of the top talent may well be drawn to the richer counties out of economic necessity. Its now labour law rather than the GAA rules you’ll be interfering with.
The only possible way is to do it centrally like the GPA grant system that is currently in place.

I’ll expand on this at a later date. …
btw I’m involved with my local club coaching an underage hurling team and also steward on a voluntary basis in Croke Park.


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