Posted by: Rambling Man | September 10, 2007

Is Irish sporting spirit dead ?

Is it just me folks, or does there appear to be something chronic effecting our renowned Irish fighting spirit ? It seems that no matter what the sport, we are affected by a lackadaisical and almost pedestrian attitude when it comes to wearing our country’s colours and playing representative sports with even a modicum of pride in what we are doing.

Take either ball game the country played this weekend – the round ball merchants did what only they can explain – for the umpteenth time in an important away game, they gave up a last minute lead and overall, played like they didn’t care. They walked around; they grumbvled at the referee; they cribbed about decisions …

I don’t mind the odd bad performance and in fact, I look on most poor performances from a positive point of view – if I didn’t, I’d go stone mad ! – but what I cannot stand, is lack of passion and lack of pride.

The oval ball team didn’t do much better. I wonder, when Ciarán Fitzgerald roared his famous words of encouragement in 1985 against England, did he think twenty years later that we would need someone to utter them again ? Because that’s what’s wrong with Irish representative sport at the moment … we’ve no f*cking pride ! At all ! And it shows on the pitch – we seemingly have no leaders or managers capable of pinning an under performing player up against the wall and bollocking him out of it.

In many sports, from swimming to show jumping to football and rugby, we have no pride and no team spirit – arguments in camp abound. It’s nothing but pathetic and above all, destructive on the pitch. I feel sorry for the hardworking fans who spend months salaries – a fraction of what some of these players get in a week – to go to these matches and be faced with the shite we saw in Bordeaux and Bratislava on the weekend.

There was some speculation yesterday, amid the post rugby match analysis savagery, that Ireland were finding it hard to motivate themselves, knowing they were only playing Namibia. Only Namibia ! If even one Irish player cannot motivate himself when the green jersey is pulled on in a World Cup – in whatever sport and no matter who they are playing – then they shouldn’t even be considered. Period ! There are players of good ability up and down the country who would give their left bollock to even get a sniff of representative honours – just ask Tommy Bowe or Keith Gleeson, who didn’t make the squad !

At least the rugby team have the ability and the chance to put things right. Changes must be made and those that are underperforming must be taken off and replaced. Playing like lackadaisical idiots is a habit and one we’ve got to break soon. We’ve had it now for 3 games and most of the team haven’t played a decent amount of rugby since March or April. The best prepared team ever ?

Let’s wait and see … at the moment I’m trying to deal with the sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach …


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