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Tue 21-Dec-2004 21:43
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The Real Story on the Croker Pitch
Croke Park recently asked for submissions regarding the state of the Croke Park pitch…
An Maor has got exclusive access to the submission of renowned American anthropologist Brother Larry Brennan. Brother Larry, previously known to many in academia for his work with enculturated apes, spent a number of hours of painstaking research into the issue and below are exclusive extracts of his findings.
According to Brother Larry, the real cause for all the players slipping and bad bounces of the ball is pitch invasions. Backing up his argument he produced the following figures. Last year there were three pitch invasions (Laois in Leinster football final, Kilkenny in the All Ireland and Tyrone in the the All Ireland final). So far this season there have been nine (Wexford x2, Westmeath, Armagh, Mayo x2, Fermanagh and Derry) with at least two (the All Ireland Hurling and Football finals) and maybe even more (Womens Football, Camoige and International Rules) to come.
It is fairly likely that by the end of the season the Croke park pitch will have been invaded at least 12 times. That’s a massive 400% increase in pitch invasions. Looking at the plans for the pitch we can see that nowhere was there any account taken of pitch invasions, yet the Heavens could rain for forty days and nights and the pitch would be dry, but have a crowd on the pitch and its ruined.
So How does Brother Larry aim to combat the problem. "To find the solution we first have to look at the cause of the pitch invasions. What makes people run onto the pitch after games? After extensive research, including an "I invaded the pitch because..." questionnaire and The Author (Brother Larry) taking part in a pitch invasion a number of root causes are identified.
Why people in fact invade the pitch after a game…
1. A quick way from The Hogan to the Cusack.
2. A quick way from The Cusack to the Hogan.
3. To tell the world “The Second Coming is near says the Bible”
4. Because the PA announcer keeps asking the crowd not to.
5. To give that player who’s shifting my young one, a clip in the ear disguised as a pat on the head.
6. You're looking for Connolly station
7. You're looking for Heuston station
8. To get grass as a souvenir.
9. You're from Tipp and your Grandad has told you that’s what you’re supposed to do in Croker.
10. To make a go for the Ref.
11. To see if the pitch is as slippery as they make out
12. To be on Television.
13. To push up close behind Marty Morrissey and rub yerself off him as he interviews Kieran McDonald.
14. To Say ‘Hello Mammy’ on Television.
15. To shout incoherent babble at the nation as Marty does the interview. Making your County folk look sophisticated.
16. To appear in the background of Marty’s interview, prominently drinking a high energy sports drink.
17. To meet the brother/sister/girlfriend/cousin/mammy/daddy/au pair
18. To give the manager a belt.
19. To get a photo of us all on the pitch.
20. It’s a great chance to shift Mary Walsh. if not get a good feel giving a celebration hug.
21. If Mary Walsh isn’t there it’s a great chance to get a good feel giving a celebration hug to the young wan who was sitting near you in the stand.
22. To have picture taken by local paper.
23. To lose the crowd you were forced to go to the match with. (can often include younger siblings)
24. To kick a point in Croke Park. (mostly lads who forgot to post the application to the Underdogs and who sit at the Bar and moans how Mickey Ned O'Sullivan hates him cos of his long hair.)
25. To get a player’s autograph.
26. You're forced onto the pitch by a wave of success starved Yellow Bellies!
27. To lift a player shoulder high.
28. There’s more room to eat the hang sangwiches and tae.
29. You're lost and you go looking for a Garda to ask directions home.
30. To celebrate the team winning.
31. To celebrate the other crowd losing.
32. To pick pockets.
33. To show that steward who’s been telling you all day that you won’t be allowed on the pitch after the game that’s it’s the GAA match going public who decide and not them.
34. To get bits of broken hurls.
35. To get a sly dig at a lad you’ve been waiting to dig for years.
36. To pick up the coins you saw falling out of some lad’s pocket.
37. You might never have a chance again.
38. You’re an Anarchist and this is heaven for you.
After listing these most common reasons, Brother Larry has suggested a solution.
“With the drainage capacity of the pitch, Water canon would be a very viable means of stopping the crowd. Were some fans to be equipped with ‘Reclaim the Streets’ banners it is unlikely that the Gardai would allow them on the field. Barbed wire fencing is another solution that should be looked into………..”
Another insightful piece of research from Brother Larry.
Brother Larry’s Controversial Study of ‘The GAA and its Relevance to Irish Place Names’
‘We talk just like lions, but we sacrifice like lambs…’.
Whatever Happened to….
Anyone you know in your club?
Bin Tags Don't Make a County
‘Some a’ Dem’ Lads are only Dow-en for the Showers….’
Heavenly Hurling: How the Gods pass their time...
GAA Time and Real Time
Saint Patrick and the camogie princesses
Keats and Chapman at the Munster Final
Mass, the Mater, ‘The Dergvale’ and Mullingar…
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