Friday, March 13, 2009

And the Glasgow Celtic Won’t be There!

I assume they’re going to rewrite the old Hail Hail song to end with:

We don’t care if we’re playing at all
What the hell do we care?
For it’s all we know
That there’s going to be a show
And the Glasgow Celtic won’t be there!

Last night, a group of Irish Celtic fans went to Dalymount Park to celebrate their Irishness by cheering a Swedish Member of the British Empire, who was playing for a Swedish club against an Irish club, because that Swedish MBE used to play for a British club that has Irish connections:

Hail, Hail, the Celts Aren’t Here!
They brought a huge Celtic flag, and a tricolour with the Celtic crest on it, to a match in which Celtic were not playing (Drogheda Utd. against Helsingborg in a UEFA Cup match); they sang Celtic songs throughout the match; and they moved around the terraces to stay as close as they could to the Swedish object of their Celtic affections, Henrik Larsson MBE.
Let’s be fair here. A lot of Irish people follow Celtic, which is a British football club, because of its Irish connections. They feel a sense of tribal identity with the mostly Roman Catholic Irishness of Celtic football club. And that’s fair enough. Only you can define your cultural identity.

Celtic happen to play good football, but that is beside the point. Many other British, European or world football clubs play better football, and the Irish Celtic fans don’t follow those teams. Essentially, Irish Celtic fans follow Celtic because of their Irishness.

What the Hell do We Care?
Again, fair enough. Support whoever you want, for whatever reason you want. But if you do choose your football team because of its Irishness, why would you support a Swedish team playing against an Irish team?
I know, I know, it’s because Henrik Larsson MBE was playing for the Swedish team, and he used to play for Celtic. Yes, we remember you all jumping up and down and cheering when Larsson scored.
But why was Larsson playing for Helsingborg? Because he feels a sense of local identity that made him want to end his career playing for his home town team.
Oh, the irony.

Come on, the Drogs!
By the way, Drogheda drew 1-1, and still have an outside chance of winning the away leg. Come on, the Drogs!
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