Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Jacks are Back


When National Disgrace was younger, he would spend his Saturdays being harassed by older men. They admired his bulk. Of well built stock, the young Disgrace was a beefy lad with an eye for mischief and this drove the gentlemen of Templeogue wild with excitement. He would feel the searing heat of eyes surveying him as he leapt for a high ball or dived to his right to tip a ball east of a goalpost. His athleticism locally was becoming legendary and it wasn't long before he was being courted, on his own doorstep, by semi-salivating grown men, with balls in their hands. Yep, that's right, big O'Neill's balls.

You see, Junior Disgrace was being hounded by the GAA. Above height for his age, above bulk for his age and a proven soccer player, he had become quite the commodity. Constantly being picked for teams that he'd never heard of, the manager would call to the door on the day of the match with the news, ball in hand (as above). Disgrace however, dodged these proposals each and every Saturday and Sunday morning for 10 years. He didn't like GAA you see. His father, a giant of a man, played Minor Football for Dublin and the nation expected the nubile disgrace to follow. He didn't.

Out of this grew a resentment for all things Gaelic Games. The badge of honour, worn proudly by thousands of Dubliners on match day, became an effigy of everything that he hated. The people; only above base level scum. The sport; bland, unexciting, violent and badly organised. The players; religiously anal, brutally obsessed and too, violent. The GAA; bigoted, exploitive and backwards. He would raise an eye to heaven when someone brought up the Sunday game (the other eye would be keeping a close watch on his wallet) and scoff at people who waxed enthusiastically about Charlie Murphy or Graham Geragthy. He even shouted for the Ozzies in the compromise(d) rules series.

Then it changed

National Disgrace was alerted to memories he had locked out of his mind by a dear friend. Memories of a long hot summer, when the land was being stalked closely by a Tiger called Celtic. Dublin Versus Meath. 1991. Four games. History. Slowly but surely, the curtain fell. It was a joyous occasion back then and watching the clips now, it still is a joyous occasion. "Ok" said Disgrace, "So what? A few good games?? A few good sunny days?? The country was on a high, it could of been a hot air balloon race and people would still be reminiscing so."

If he wasn't convinced, he soon would be.

"The Jacks are Back" screamed Phil Lynott at Dalymount park as the Lizzy began an outdoor gig to ten's of thousands of Dubliners in 1977, referring to Dublin's win against Kerry that afternoon.

If it's good enough for Phillo, then it's way too good for me.

So, on Sunday the 3rd of June, 2007, National disgrace found himself and the above persistent friend, mid Hogan, enjoying a beer and watching one of the great games. It was of course Dublin v Meath. It was of course a draw. It was of course great.

This Jack is back.
National Disgrace 2007

1 comment:

Mike said...

The madonna vs Metallica match was a firecely contested neck and neck affair right to the end until amid a violent tirade of racial abuse and fine gael election campaign posters, graham geragthy brutally kicked and punched both contenders and adjudicators, and indeed spectators, into oblivion.