Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Responses to comments
Dan wrote "BTW are you related to that Mark guy who came second in the French Semaine Olympique recently?".
I'm going to assume this is No-Nickname Dan (there were too many Dans during my year at U of Calgary, and he somehow avoided getting a nickname). And if it isn't, well I was overdue to link to NN Dan's page (he's in Canada right now, and he has photos, and doesn't subject you to haiku).
But yes, Mark is my identical cousin (that's what it's called when your cousin looks much more like you than your brother does) and he is a world class sailor type guy.
It's easy to tell us apart (not that we've been in the same place for a couple years now). But in case you need to:
Mark - very good at making boats go faster than other people's boats (he's particularly good with Tornado class catamarans).
Richard - usually remembers that the pointy end of the boat is the front.
"Nics" - I'm afraid I have no idea who she is, although since she's probably from Northern Ireland (my expert deduction skills say that someone from Ireland wouldn't have mentioned Northern Ireland), but anyway, if she's from Northern Ireland there's a good chance she's related to me - my mother has so many aunties and uncles, that perhaps as much as 33% of Northern Ireland's population are related to me) wrote:
"Gaelic football? hurling? try being a girl and playing camogie, the feminine version of hurley for girls, it's not pretty. and 'shamus' is actually 'seamus'!! sorry for being pedantic, but here's a site for you, www.gaa.ieor alternatively come to ireland or northern ireland for an intensive course!
I've corrected the spelling mistake - thanks for pointing it out. Although I do think that deciding "Shamus" is actually spelt "Seamus" is another good example of a confusing Irish trick.
I'm going to leave aside "try being a girl", because, well, I don't need any more groups of people mad at me.
Anyway, I'm sure I'll get my head around Gaelic football by the end of my time in Calgary - the Kangaroos play enough games against the Cheiftains (guess which team plays which sport) with one half under each set of rules that an understanding will be whistled into me.
Hurling on the other hand (and camogie, which is women's hurling) still seems like a crazy sport. I've read the offical rules now, and it seems no less crazy than when I saw it on TV. If you're still not quite sure why this sport is for the sanity-challenged - or did I cover that by saying it was the Irish who invented it? :P, I'll try and explain again:
1) There are lots of people swinging large sticks near each other - In England this is either a gang fight or a Morris dancer's convention.
2) These people are allowed to run into each other. I'm a fan of sports that involve people running into each other. I've even played a few. I fact, I quite enjoy running into people when it is appropriate. I just don't think running into a guy who is carrying a big whacking stick is a good idea.
3) There is no padding. Sure, rugby players don't wear padding. Rugby players also don't carry great big sticks and the ball is softer (although still quite able to make your nose bleed if you try catching it with your face).
4) The ball goes quite quickly, and players are expected to leap in front of it. Even cricket players know that avoiding the ball is a bad thing, and their games take five days to end in a draw.
OK. I admit it, I'm a great big wuss who doesn't understand the finer points of Gaelic culture and am perpetrating my Anglocentric prejudices.
Disclaimer (in the hopes of not getting "an intensive [care]" explanation of why hurling is great).
Most of what I write in any post is a joke.
Specifically, I'd like to state that hurling is a perfectly valid sport that is exciting to watch and takes a lot of skill and fitness to play.
It's still for crazy people.
Damn it, I was so close. Now I have to watch out for upset Irish-sports-people as well as pigeon fanciers, Australians, crickets, and any other group I've insulted in this surprisingly widely read blog in last week.
It's a good job I've got two million dollars of medical coverage.