Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Gaelic Games

So way back in 1999 I was in Ireland as part of a month long European adventure. The week we were there I was exposed to a wonderful sporting event. The Gaelic Games are uniquely Irish. Two sports dominate the games, Gaelic football and hurling. Being the sports fan I am and being away from the US for a while I was very intrigued by the goings on in the Irish sports scene. These events capture the attention of the entire country as local county pride is on the line. While we were there the stage was being set for the All-Ireland final in these two sports. As I learned the sports trade off weekends with football taking one and hurling the next and vicea-versa until the finals in September. To make a long story short, I got wrapped up in following the games one weekend. I vividly remember standing in the train station in Galway watching the beginning of one match and then standing with hundreds of people in the train station in Dublin watching the end of another match. It was magical. I loved getting swept up in the excitement of a wonderful event. I was even able to let a fellow traveler know who won the earlier match. That afternoon will be etched into my mind for years to come. Since then I have been fascinated by both sports. Gaelic football is like rugby, soccer, and Australian Rules football combined into one, while hurling is sorta like lacross but much cooler. The rules are pretty basic, get the ball through the uprights and score one point in the goal is three points. And yes the rules are pretty much the same for both games. Anyway, why bring this up now? Well thanks to good old YouTube I found some footage of hurling that I would like to share with you. It is from the All-Ireland final of 2005 that pitted county Cork against county Galway. Take a break from work and watch what some call the fastest team field sport in the world. Others call it a lifestyle. Enjoy:

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