When it comes to popular sports in Ireland, it is fair to say that Gaelic football is at the top of the popularity list. There is nothing that us Irish love more than a day out watching their favorite Gaelic football team play, and even some cheeky Gaelic football betting at times. We start drinking before the game, we continue drinking during the game, and we carry on drinking after the game – either to celebrate or to drown our sorrows. If you are getting into this sport and are thinking about heading along to your first match, there are some things that you have to keep in mind.
Waking Up Early is a Must
This is tradition in the Gaelic football circle, especially if you are living outside Dublin. There is just something so beautiful about waking up in the wee hours of the morning and making your long journey to wherever your team is playing. This means that you will probably find yourself forcing a full Irish breakfast down your gullet at about 6 in the morning and eating your dinner at 12. This, in my opinion, is the beauty of match day.
You Need to Know the Words to the National Anthem
You should not have to be present at a Gaelic football game to know the importance of this, but on your head be it if you are in the stands and the camera stops on you while the anthem is playing and you are mumbling the words because you do not know the real lyrics. In this scenario, you will bring shame on your whole family (only joking, kind of).
You Also Need to Know the Words of Your County’s Song
If you are Wexford born and bred, then there is a very good chance that you have known the lyrics to “Dancing at the Crossroads” since this has been their song since 1996. If you are from Clare, then you probably know the lyrics to “Banner Boar”. If you are new to supporting a county and you do not know their song yet, you will adhere yourself to your fellow fans by learning the team’s song as quickly as possible.
Always Wear Your Team’s Jersey
We are aware that jerseys are not the most beautiful pieces of clothing out there, but you are not going to a fashion show, so there is no need to worry. The colors of the county that you are supporting were made to soak up sweat, blood, and tears. Always wear your jersey with pride on match day and still wear it with pride even if your team goes on to lose.
Do Not Forget to Swear
When Gaelic football fans feel that they have been hard done by, then it is our duty to let everyone know about it. On match day you have to leave all of your sensitivities at home. If you are the type of person that does not swear that much, I recommend that you do a bit of practicing in front of the mirror every now and then.
We Are All a Family
If you are standing beside someone that you do not know but they are wearing the same colors as you, then you might as well consider them to be family. You can celebrate with them or share your anger with them if you feel that an injustice has been done. By the end of the match, you will certainly have met a new friend.
It Is Not Over Until the Ref Has Blown His Whistle
Even if you are losing badly and there is just one minute on the clock, do not even think about leaving early to beat the rush. The players on the pitch have given their all for you, so the least that you can do is stay for another minute or so. It’s only when the referee blows his whistle for the end of the match should you really leave.
If Gaelic football isn’t the sport for you then you might to give regular football a try. As everyone knows, football is the most popular sport in the world, and for good reasons. If you want to know why football is the most popular sport of all, then you ought to read our page about that very thing.