March 6, 2007

Day 6

Today’s theme is sports. Ireland is not the country that comes to mind when you think of athletics, and with good reason. With a love of talking and drinking who has time to engage in athletic competition. Still we admire a good fight and while many great athletes share Irish surnames (Jim Kelly, Shaquille O’Neal, Sugar Ray Robinson), it’s the love of the competition rather than the accolades that drives us.
Long ago, when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today, it's called golf.
Racehorse doping is not unknown in Ireland. One day, the Clerk of the Course spotted a trainer giving something to a horse just before the start of a race. He went over and said, "Doping?"
The trainer said, "Indeed not, Sor. 'Tis just lump sugar. Look, I'll take a bit meself.....see?"
The Clerk of the Course said, "Sorry, but we have to be careful. As a matter of fact, I like a bit of sugar meself."
So the trainer gave him a piece.
When the Clerk of the Course disappeared, the trainer gave his jockey his last minute instructions, "Don't forget the drill. Hold him in 'til the last four furlongs. Don't worry if anything passes ye, it'll be me or the Clerk of the Course!"
Paddy just arrived in America from Ireland on holiday. Now, never having seen a baseball game before, he decides that now would be a good time. So, he goes to the park, and gets himself a bleacher seat.
Now, Paddy sees a guy step up to the plate with a stick in his hand. The guy standing on the hump of dirt throws a ball at the guy with the stick, who then *crack* hits the ball and starts running down the side. Everyone around Paddy stands up and shouts "RUN! RUN LIKE HELL!"
A second guy steps up to the plate, and damn, if the guy on that hump of dirt doesn't throw that ball again. And again, the guy with the stick *crack* hits the ball and runs down the side. And again, everyone around Paddy again, stands and shouts "RUN! RUN LIKE HELL!"
Now, a third guy steps up to the plate with a stick in his hands. This time, when the guy on the hump of dirt throws the ball, the guy with the stick doesn't do anything. And the guy squatting behind the guy with the stick tosses the ball back to the guy on the hump of dirt. And Paddy is thinking to himself, "What's happening? Why didn't he hit the ball?" This happens three more times, with Paddy wondering more each time. After the fourth time, the guy with the stick drops the stick and strolls up the side. Now Paddy stands up and shouts "RUN! RUN LIKE HELL!" and the guy sitting next to Paddy says that he doesn't have to run. So Paddy asks him why, and is told that the batter has four balls.
So Paddy shouts instead, "WALK WITH PRIDE, MAN! WALK WITH PRIDE!"
Two friends Sean and Paddy were two of the biggest football fans in Ireland.
Their entire adult lives, Sean and Paddy discussed football history, and they pored over all the statistics. They went to all of the matches. They even agreed that whoever died first would try to come back and tell the other if there was football in heaven.
One summer night, Sean passed away in his sleep after watching a Manchester United victory earlier in the evening. He died happy. A few nights later, his buddy Paddy awoke to the sound of Sean's voice from beyond.
"Sean, is that you?" Paddy asked.
"Of course it me," Sean replied.
"This is unbelievable!" Paddy exclaimed. "So tell me, is there football in heaven?"
"Well, I have some good news and some bad news for you. Which do you want to hear first?"
"Tell me the good news first."
"Well, the good news is that yes there's football in heaven, Paddy."
"Oh, that is wonderful! So what could possibly be the bad news?"

"You're playing tomorrow night!"

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