This September sees the return of the Rugby World Cup. Excited? Didn’t think so. The globe’s premier egg-ball tournament takes place in the backyard of our favourite imperial neighbours, with Ireland kicking off their campaign on September 19th against the uncompromising might of… Canada.
Canada playing rugby, is that even a ‘thing’? Never mind. Come on, you boys in green, and while you’re at it, feel free to answer Ireland’s Call. And so forth.
Last year’s FIFA World Cup provided the planet with a catalogue of memories that will be extremely difficult to expunge from our collective brain bank. This year’s rugby equivalent has a lot to live up to, especially given the quality of Brazil 2014 and the simple fact that watching a rugby match in general is about as enjoyable as seeing an orphanage full of kids being blown up before your eyes.
There are myriad reasons to dread the inevitable onslaught of this year’s World Cup coverage.
First of all, the English football team is at one of its lowest ebbs in recent years, and so their national media will be pulling out the stops to over-estimate their rugby team’s chances of glory (remember 2003, anyone?).
Secondly, our television screens will be saturated with horrific images of over-fed creatine chompers chasing after an egg with their cauliflower ears flapping in the wind. And thirdly… Boris Johnson prefers rugby to football, so I could almost rest my case on that fact alone.
Having said all that, the Irish media will be trying their hand at bigging up “our boys” as much as they can, only to lambast them the minute they crash out to a team that the majority of the Irish public would not be able to locate on a world map. Ah, the Irish. We always love being the underdog… until the dog actually goes under.
The Emerald Isle will no doubt be gripped by rugby fever in September, a malady more nasty and hideous than hay fever, to be sure. What I would like to know myself is who will be the person to pull the bandwagon along? It always starts somewhere.
The pubs will be absolutely packed with beautiful young women of a more blue-blooded persuasion, who will be taking selfies of themselves while tagging 40 people in the photo who do not even know how the game of rugby is played.
Soccer ladies are more authentic; a warm trackie and a cold pint of Bulmer’s is all that is needed to get them involved. The ears of publicans will be also chewed beyond recognition by drunken fools recounting their glory days on the rugby pitch when they scored a try, a conversion or that one notable occasion in 1996 in Clongowes when “that legend Doyler” actually caught the ball.
Good luck to the team anyway. They will certainly need it against the likes of Canada and Tonga and whatever country the organisation managed to drag along for the craic. As The Del Amitri song states, “Don’t Come Home Too Soon.” But sure it’s only a few minutes on the plane so you don’t have anything to worry about.
By Cranky Craig Kinsella