I am a bit of a sports (sport, as they say where I am) nut. I can hold my own discussing any of the big 4 North American sports. Hockey of course, is my one true love, I am Canadian, as Canadian can be, eh. All this said, I am glad to say that my love for sports, for sports sake was reaffirmed by watching a Gaelic Football match. The sport itself would be done a great disservice if I were to describe it in North American terms. I'd be willing to compare it too lacrosse, at least in that it is a traditional 'hard nosed' match, bare boned, mano et mano. There are none of the things that one comes to expect from a typical North American sport, like high priced equipment, flashy half time shows, huge midfield scoreboards; music does not blare during every intermission, there is no sign of a beer or hot dog vendor in the stands. The entertainment is the match, this is actually sport, not sports entertainment, there is little need for the pomp and circumstance. The Irish live and breath for this stuff, its a point of national, civic, and county pride. The athletes that compete, and at an elite level I should add are not paid, this is purely an amateur sport, played by men that have lives outside the pitch, and yet they are national heroes. It takes everything I have learned as sports fan in North America and turned it on its ass. Gaelic football players are the real sports heroes, not the guys with 50 million dollar contracts, the super model girlfriends, and who may or may not be a roid heads, these guys are real flesh and blood blokes, who play the sport for the love of the game and community, its refreshing in its honesty.
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