I gather from the fuss in the meeja today that Ireland won something to do with rugby?
Fair play to them, but don't expect me to get enthusiastic about a bunch of blokes running around a field.
As a kid, I went to one of those schools that considered itself to be a rugby school. It had junior and senior teams that played other schools, and that was well and good until they expected me to play.
As far as I remember, Saturday morning was an official time for attendance, and this is when we had rugby. We all had to kit out in our shorts and wobbly rugby boots and then run madly around a field behind the school. We had to form teams and then play against each other.
They overlooked one small factor as far as I was concerned and that was that if an extremely short-sighted person has to remove their spectacles they tend not to be able to see anything. So my games consisted of running around chasing vague blurs that might have been my team or might not. We were bullied around by the sports master who apparently judged how hard we played by how mucky our togs were as we came off the pitch, and he used to belt us around the head if our kit was clean. I of course hit on the idea of rolling around in the mud as soon as I arrived whereupon I would get belted around the head by my mother for getting my stuff so dirty. I couldn't win.
I remember one game where I scored my one and only try, and though I say so myself, it was spectacular. The problem was that I had run over the wrong line. I did wonder at the time why I was being so viciously attacked by my own side. After that I was relegated to the sidelines, which was tedious and in my book, pointless so I just took to mitching of a Saturday.
Another aspect of school that baffled me was the soccer thing. I never had any interest in kicking a ball around but it seems there is some unwritten rule that I had to have "my own team". By this, I mean I had to declare myself a follower of one of the English soccer teams which seemed utterly pointless. As part of this "following" I realised I was supposed to then memorise the names of everyone who ever played for "my" team, every match they ever played and the score for each and every match and who scored the goals. Add to that the fact that if I did choose a team it meant running the gauntlet of the supporters of the other teams and getting beaten up on a regular basis, and I quickly came to the conclusion that no team was better than "my" team. I decided to ignore soccer as well as rugby.
In fact I have never supported or followed any sport. I have played a round or two of golf, and can hold my own on a tennis court but that is about my limit. I don't "follow" golf, tennis or any other sport. Don't ask me what I thought of last night's game as I will be completely unaware that there was a game in the first place. Don't ask me if I'm going to watch the match, because I would prefer to stay at home and stick pins in my eyes.
At school they quickly labeled me as an oddball.
I am proud to have carried that moniker ever since.