A guest post by TheZAP
Roisin Shorthall is back in the news as she continues on the warpath against the evils of alcohol. On "Morning Ireland" the other morning, she waxed lyrical on the need to remove alcohol from sport sponsorship.
It brings to mind the "Heineken Cup" and that Dutch Brewer’s support for it. Roisin appears to think there is a queue of sponsors lined up to throw money at rugby and therefore, Heineken would not be missed.
Leaving aside the fact that wealthy puritans like her demand that market forces should decide outcomes when their own invested funds are concerned, while conversely feeling the need to legislate on market forces when the money of the poor is involved, it would take a wealthy sponsor indeed to step into Heineken’s shoes.
A wealthy sponsor like perhaps, the politically correct Shorthall herself. ? Imagine for a moment, "The Shorthall Cup". It could still be a club rugby competition involving the Home Countries, France and Italy. But, for the generous "Shorthall Sponsorship", some minor changes would need to be made to the rules.
Firstly, the whole idea of a physical tackle would have to be banned outright, because somebody could get hurt and end up with a bruise. Next up is all this running at speed. Don’t people realise that a person could trip and cut their knee doing something like that. Instead, she would want to introduce the idea of the "brisk walk", when a player is in possession of the ball. And the ball itself is far too heavy. Roisin would like to see it becoming more of a cushion style thing, in bright vibrant colours too.
And this idea of winners and losers is most de-motivating, as only one team wins and all of the others could be branded losers as a result of this barbaric tradition. This can do serious damage, especially to our "Precious Children". So, in every round of the "Shorthall Cup", both teams will be declared the winners, each player will get a medal, and each club will get a cup. The object must be participation, not the empty specter of victory.
And to address sexual bias, an equal number of females and males must be on each team, and must receive the same pay also. Even if one of the females is out on maternity leave, (or is unable to play due to period pains), they must also receive a medal. The "Sin Bin" will be replaced by the "Naughty Step", where players who lose control of themselves in the heat of the action, and use a swear word, will be sent to cool off. The referee will be replaced by a figure known as "Mommy", As well as a loud whistle, she will be armed with a wooden spoon as well, and tantrums from players will not be tolerated.
While sole television rights will go to the "Children’s Channel" (naturally), it will be necessary to raise funds to pay for the "Shorthall Cup". As Roisin is a Minister, this will be achieved through a new tax called an "sports entertainment tax". This will be levied on everybody on the electoral register for the amount of €100 a year, (or €2 a week as Roisin likes to say). and it will be deducted at source, via income tax levy for the employed, deductions from Social Welfare for the lazy scroungers and directly from pensions for those who have become a burden on the State. So, fairness all round then, like the competition itself.
Further sponsorships could be considered, "going forward", such as the Dr James Reilly Cup", replacing Guinness at the GAA and the "International Gay Byrne Circuit of Ireland Rally", paid for out of increased license fees. Again, a few minor rule changes would need to made to make these sports suitable for the patronage of such august and generous sponsors. It’s all in the name of good sport and a healthier Nation and remember, the recommended annual intake of alcohol is a thimble full of shandy and there is incontrovertible evidence that M/s Shorthall is always right.