Friday, February 7, 2014

Temple Bar on Rugby Saturday

What Super Bowl!?

This is a big month on the Western European sports calendar.  The Six Nations Rugby Tournament pits the national teams of Italy, France, England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland (North and South) against one another in a round robin style tournament with each team playing each.  Last weekend kicked off the beginning of this exciting event, and Ireland happened to be at home against Scotland.

We were in City Centre on Saturday, the day before the big game.  As it is for any large sporting event, sports bars were decked out with banners and balloons celebrating the home team and welcoming the visiting fans.  I love the sportsmanship (or just smart business sense) of these places to give welcome to visitors.

A sign for VAT House welcoming Scottish visitors to Temple Bar
Welcome, Scots!
The Scots, doing what any smart visitor to Dublin would do, were making a weekend out of it.  What could be better (or at least more expensive) than a Saturday night out in Temple Bar and a big rugby match on Sunday?  To show their Scotch pride and toughness, many of the Scottish gentlemen patrolled the cobbles of Temple Bar in kilts- despite the rain, wind, and near-freezing temperatures.

Scotsmen in kilts in Temple Bar in Dublin
Some Tough Scotsmen

What about the Scottish women?  We couldn't pick them out as easily because they were either more sensible or just not as hard-nosed as the kilt-clad lads.  I have to suspect the former...

...On Iowa Wisconsin Ireland!

It's always great to see people supporting their sports teams with their national traditions.  There are some (very tangential) relations to this in American sports.  Even though we Americans can't display our different national traditions, we can visit other sports stadiums with our own regional sports traditions.  I'm thinking of Oakland Raiders fans showing up in New York with their armor, spikes, chains, and Darth Vader outfits to intimidate those fancy-schmancy big-city type New York Jets.  After all, the distance from Oakland to New York is greater than Dublin to Rome...  

Closer to my Iowa roots, Iowa Mennonite School is a private religious school serving the small Mennonite community, closely related to but distinct from the famous Amish sect.  When their basketball teams go to the Iowa State Tournament, the students famously dress in ultra traditional Amish wear- suspenders, flat-top straw hats, and dresses and bonnets.  I can't wait to see what fans of the rest of the field wear when they arrive on Ireland's shore later in the tournament.

What about the match?  Ireland won 28-6 against Scotland.  As a sports scoring reference for Americans, that would be listed on a European scoreline thusly:
Ireland 28-6 Scotland
So, see the home team is listed first here, and the scores are set in the middle of the line.  For our European readers, that score would be printed in America as follows:
Scotland 6, Ireland 28 
Home team last (as we would say "Scotland at Ireland"), score after each team name, winner in bold (or a different color on T.V.) The more you know... Now our two long-disagreeing sports fan bases can understand one another.

Ireland takes on Wales in Dublin tomorrow (February 8, 2014) at 2:30 p.m. GMT (9:30 a.m. EST)

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