Saturday 24 February 2007

Our Stadium

[In response to a pretty drunken "debate" between Captain Frank Haddock, mmmParsons and myself... I think]

Now I love being Irish, I think its great and that the country is pleasing to acceptable, just want to make that clear to the republican Irish or not Irish at all mentality (Dave). And I for one, am happy that God save the Queen is going to be played in Croker. Yes the stadium was the site of a murderous attack by British forces on an unarmed, peaceful civilian target, yes I know why hill 16 is so-called and the Hogan stand but what possible benefit will arise from being disrespectful to the English anthem today?

The people that don't want to see the English in Croke park are the same narrow-minded people that just want a united Ireland, right now, post haste! But being generally aggressive towards the English population is not going to accomplish anything. More so than that, and perhaps more relatively, Republicans aren't going to quell any primitive Unionist fears of Rome Rule with a blatant show of disrespect for the English anthem. One thing that everybody seem to have overlooked is that Croke park is a an Irish symbol if you will, with a very deep history and yes, a significant link to Irish republican history BUT its only Irish people that really understand this.

We get so wound up in all this anthem bullshit we tend to forget, the English and French teams who came to play here don't know any of this history. "What!?" I hear the angry Republican in you cry, "those English bastards don't know what they did here 90-odd years ago?!" Well no, of course they don't, why would they? And this is yet another reason why the anthem should be respected, just because for the English and their supporters, whether we like it or not, this is just simply another game in a different venue. There are no historical trappings for them so if they were to turn up and be heckled and booed that would simply reflect poorly on us as a nation of Irish people more than anything else.

And a nation of Irish people is what we are for 80 minutes today. Albeit devoid of any Connacht representatives at the moment, the Irish rugby team unites north and south in a decidingly more significant way then the GAA can ever do on the international stage. Being one of the few institutions which we, as an island, actually work together with each other, surely all logic would have republicans clamouring over each other to hold the IRFU up as a symbol of the real possibility of united Ireland but instead it is denounced as an "English" sport. This backward, deconstructive thinking threatens to destroy what could be one of the most important sporting moments in Irish history. Who honestly doesn't want to see this? Our country united under the banner of rugby, playing in what should be our national stadium for only the second time, against the auld enemy?

Besides... its only a fucking game of rugby...

[I'm kinda hungover writing this, if I can bother my ass I'll make a more coherent argument later]

Friday 23 February 2007

The way of the warrior

The samurai doctrine, in Japanese Bushido, was more than just a military code of conduct, it was essentially a way of life. Samurai were not simply a group of elite amongst the upper classes in early Japan, they constituted the entire upper class of their society. The samurai ideal developed over time into a combination of martial and scholarly prowess, a life dedicated to the pursuit of perfection in war, strength in government and honour in death.

The ten virtues of Bushido
-Gi - Rectitude
- Yū - Courage
- Jin - Benevolence
- Rei - Respect
- Makoto or Shin - Honesty
- Meiyo - Honour, Glory
- Chūgi - Loyalty
- Kō - Filial piety
- Chi - Wisdom
- Tei - Care for the aged

"Never in my life have I placed mine thoughts above those of my Lord and master. Nor will I do otherwise in all the days of my life. Even when I die I will return to life seven times to guard my Lord's house.
We have sworn to do four things: namely:-
(1) We will be second to none in the performance of our duty
(2) We will make ourselves useful to our Lord
(3) We will be dutiful to our parents
(4) We will attain greatness in charity"

"Every morning make up thy mind how to die. Every evening freshen thy mind in the thought of death. And let this be done without end.
Thus will thy mind be prepared. When thy mind is always set on death, thy way through life will always be straight and simple. Thou wilt perform thy duty; and thy shield will be stainless. When thou canst see thy way straight, with open eyes and free from obstructing thoughts, there can be no straying into errors. Thy performance of duties will be above reproof and thy name immaculate."

"When you realise how for generations your fmily has served for he house of his lordship: when you remember how those who have gone before you served, and how those who are to come after you are to serve; you will be moved to a deep sense of gratitude. For you, there should be no thought but of service for the one who has claim on your grateful heart."

" who lives long in this world may develop all sorts of desires and his covetousness may increase so that he want what belongs to others and cannot bear to part with what is his own, becoming in fact just like a mere tradesman. But if he is always looking death in the face, a man will have little attachment to material things and will not exhibit these grasping and covetous qualities, and will become, as I said before, a fine character."

"Be sparing in speech. Where you would speak ten words, speak but one. When you leave a festive place, take leave while you still desire to sty. When you feel you are satisfied, you have had more than enough. Enough is too much. Surfeit not yourself."

"I will arise every morning at six o'clock and retire each evening at twelve o'clock. Except when prevented by guests, sickness or other unavoidable circumstances, I will not be idle. If tempted to be indolent, I will call forth my right spirit to drive away my lazy spirit. I will avoid useless words even with inferiors. I will be temperate in eating, and drinking, merely satisfying my hunger and thirst. I will eat at regular times."

"If one lives a day let him perform a day's duty and die; if one lives a month let him perform a month's duty and die; if he lives a year let him perform a year's duty and die."

"To take rest after death. This is a maxim, short yet charged with meaning. Perserverance, dogged determination, there is no other way." - Yoshida Shoin

"For he who is born brave will be loyal and filial to his lord and parents, and whenever he has any leisure he will use it for study, neither will he be negligent in practising the martial arts. He will be strictly on his guard against indolence and will be very careful how he speands every penny. If you think this shows detestable stinginess you will be mistkn for he spends freely when it is neccessary. He does not do anything that is contrary to the ordinances of his lord, or tha is disliked by his parents however much he may wish. And so, ever obedient to his lord and parents he preserves his life in the hope of someday doing a deed of outstanding merit, moderating his appetite for eating and drinking and avoiding over-indulgence in sex, which is the greatest delusion of mankind., so that he may preserve his body in health and strength. For in these as in all things it is rigid self-control that is the beginning of valor."

Sunday 18 February 2007

Thursday 15 February 2007

2006 Chicago Bears

This here is an extended version of a video I saw earlier in the season, now it covers Chicago's entire year, it is nice

Monday 5 February 2007

Power rankings

1. Melissa Theuriau

2. O Flower Of Scotland over God Save the Queen - Sure England may have won the game but their anthem has all the aural qualities of verbal diarrhoea

3. Mirko Cro Cop over everybody in the UFC - T2 is back with a vengeance

4. Sleep over a Colts superbowl win. It doesn't help ease the pain of a Bears lose that I also only get 5 hours sleep after the game

5. UCD flapjacks over my general health

6. Fighting through your injuries over common sense (Fiiiiiiitzy)

7. Not booking flights over actually going to Canada this summer

8. Blood Diamond over Last King Of Scotland... bru

9. Internet arguments over fights to the death. This one came outta the ble and kinda blindsided me, Luke vs. Kirwan/Jamie tag team would be class and settle that mess in an honourable fashion

10. Buck Angel... *shudder* DAMN YOU ED!!

Rexy back

Simply spectacular...

Sunday 4 February 2007

Hunter S. Thompson interview with Vanity fair

Vanity Fair: Which Historical figure do you most identify with?

HST: Marquis de Sade

Vanity Fair: Which living person do you most admire?

HST: Richard Nixon – despite rumors of his death.

Vanity Fair: What is the trait you most deplore in others?

HST: Greed and dumbness.

Vanity Fair: What is your greatest extravagance?

HST: The money I spend on the physical love of animals.

Vanity Fair: What is your favorite journey?

HST: Racing the stoplights on Park Avenue in a fast car at four o’clock in the morning.

Vanity Fair: What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

HST: Moderation

Vanity Fair: On what occasion do you lie?

HST: To the police

Vanity Fair: What is your greatest regret?

HST: The destruction by greedheads of the once honorable Woody Creek Tavern.

Vanity Fair: If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

HST: To get rid of my evil son.

Vanity Fair: If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?

HST: I have no choice (and neither do you). I have been here many times for many reasons and I will be here after you leave. I am Lono.

Vanity Fair: Where would you like to live?

HST: In the Place of Refuge on the south Kona coast.

Vanity Fair: What is your most marked characteristic?

HST: A tortured, honky-tonk smile.

Vanity Fair: Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

HST: Dracula.

Vanity Fair: Who are your heroes in real life?

HST: Hal Haddon [lawyer, Gary Hart’s campaign manager], Morris Dees [civil-rights activist], Nina Hartley [porn star], Jacques Cousteau [undersea explorer].

Vanity Fair: How would you like to die?

HST: Explode

Vanity Fair: What is your motto?

HST: “Res Ipsa Loquitur”

Saturday 3 February 2007

Lingerie Bowl I even need a reason?

Six Nations predictions

1 - Ireland

2 - France

3 - England

4 - Wales

5 - Italy

6 - Scotland

That's how I think it's gonna end but I hope ze Scots do better than I'm predicting. With any luck the Italians will play for the full 80 minutes of each game too. ITALIA ITALIA ITALIA

"Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will" - Ghandi

Felix Jones.. the boys rise through the ranks in Leinster rugby and now Irish rugby has been just a joy to see. I don't care if I sound like a spa cos it is, it's goo to see someone being rewarded for all their hard work, their dedication no matter how shit things were in school or club. He's a prime example of a model competitor, he ain't the biggest, he ain't the fastest, he may not be the most skillful but he will NOT give up. Its that ridiculous fighting spirit of his thats gotten him this far and earned him the permanent respect of everyone hes ever stepped on the pitch with.
Everytime I hear of some new acievement of his in Leinster or whatever I always think of that drunken night on valedictory... "hey man.. you're gonna make Leinster I know it man, you'll do it." drunken ramblings they may have been but I was right goddammit!
But... fair play to him, it was my great honour and privilege to have played longside a player of his calibre for 6 years... even if he did keep me outta the damn 10 jersey... congratulations you fucking hero... now hurry up and replace ROG already will ya?
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it's the size of the fight in the dog."

Friday 2 February 2007

A review of my NFL predictions at the start of the 06/07 season


San Diego Chargers (AFC West)

Indianapolis Colts (AFC South)

Cincinatti Bengals (AFC North)

Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC North)

New England Patriots (AFC East)(Unless Miami turn out to be competent)

Denver Broncos (AFC West)


Dallas Cowboys (NFC East)

Carolina Panthers (NFC South)

New Orleans Saints (NFC South)

Seattle Seahawks (NFC West)

Chicago Bears (NFC North)

Washington Redskins (NFC East)

AFC West looks like the only really competitive divison at the mo in that conference (Denver, San Diego, Oakland and Kansas City) and I didn't take Jacksonville in the AFC cos well, I just don't like em..NFC East and South are comically close to call though... (East-Dallas, Washington, NY Giants and Philly) (South- Atlanta, New Orleans, Carolina and Tampa Bay), Arizona could surprise everyone too in the NFC West... seriously...

Jesus Christ how wrong can you be? Of the 12 teams I picked to make playoffs only 7 did. How could I ever have though Oakland or Arizona could be good? Hangs head in shame...

"Contact" Sports

Just recently a couple of my close associates had an in-depth albeit inconclusive argument about the level of contact or physical punishment if you will that occurs in their respective sporting fields. On the one hand we had D.Fitzgerald and football, and set against him the champions of basketball, Ed and M. Kelly. Whilst the presence of Fitzy in this debate made it ultimately a pointless venture it got me thinking, what constitutes a "contact" sport.
As their argument continued I sat by in smug knowledge that surely I could jump in at any moment and say the magic word "rugby" and it'd all be over. I didn't and in retrospect I probably shoud have but now that I've come to contemplate the subject at hand I've come to the conclusion that it is purely subjective what sports one considers "contact".
The question hinges on what one considers to be "contact", is it being in constant physical contact with an opponent a la wrestling/martial arts? Or maybe a contact sport has to be hard hitting, big tackles, bone shuddering hits that make the viewer whince like Yank football or Ice hockey. There is almost continuous contact in basketball and the occasional hard fall, the same could be argued of football, it is purely subjective.
And whatever about the contestants hitting each other, contact can be read to include the sporting arena as well. Should snowboarding, skiing, skateboarding etc. be excluded from contention too? I've never been unfortunate enough to experience the undoubtably extreme level of pain that follows a fall in one of those sports.
My point is.. contact in a sporting sense can be interperated in a myriad of different ways, from minimal but constant contact in say basketball to hard but rare in football to just all round pain in rugby. But again.. I digress, this debate is pointless because nearly any sportsman, regardless of discipline, can argue that his sport is "tougher" than someone elses. I learnt something that fateful night in Fitzys house as they bickered over this subject. Any and every sport can be rgued as being a contact sport (perhaps some more than others)... but at the end of the day... golf is still mind numbingly boring