Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Gin, Lip Gloss and Scrumaging Techniques
The game of rugby has always held a unique position in Irish society, the sport of the landed gentry, the escape route for the working classes and the dreams of the schoolboy. The game once described as a game for savages played by gentlemen has endeared itself to Irish men of all ages and all backgrounds, women have also been long associated with the game of rugby, the proud mother handing her son the Schools Cup probably the most endearing of all images.
However there is a new rugby supporter gracing the Irish rugby scene, one that is re-inventing the basic idea behind a Six Nations weekend and revolutionising supporter behaviour…the rugby mascot! You know the type..female, aged between 23 & 33, private school educated and single minded. They typically gather in a couple of establishments, The Berkely, Searsons, the 51 and of course The Burlington to name a few. Their methods are diverse, their tactics tried and trusted, their aim..always the same….Meet rich men..perferrably of the same social standing and of course of the bearers of considerable wallets!
Like flies to the honey we always fall for the allure of the pretty young things, collars up, long lasting make up on and strategically placed perfume…what rugby man stands a chance. But its not as quick a death as it sounds…the experienced mascot will tell you that it’s a labour of love and that a successful rugby day out comes after hours of groundwork. Firstly…we as men fight a little…three quick pints before the game…laughing at the mascots as they sip their white wines…'silly fairer sex…cant drink to save their lives'. Then with 15mins before kick off…the evacuation begins…men pour out of public houses from all directions…some mascots go also..but generally it’s the girlfriend/wife who is lucky enough to be given a ticket. The others remain…re-apply make-up….and move onto the gin….
80 mins later….an Irish victory that Willie Duggan himself would have been proud of and the slightly frozen men return to the warm embrace of the pub…buoyed by the Irish victory, a certain sense of invincibility flows through every mans veins after watching Jerry Flannery take the best abuse the Scots could muster, smiles and takes some more!! The next hour is crucial…men want to take about the game, who was good..who was bad..why aren't all the Munster team playing for Ireland!…the mascots must now begin to circle..they may be forced to join in the conversation..but with a couple of good rugby seasons behind them..they begin talking about 'how the Bull while an excellent lifter fails in the scrum'….we are done for…beauty…style…and an apparent knowledge of rugby…..what chance did we really stand!!!
As the evening progresses..they collars up small childs rugby jersey is replaced by a fantastic alluring 'going out' top..by now the Mascots have not paid for a drink in about 3 hours..there is talk about grabbing something to eat..que bravado…and a four course meal in any number of restaurants….dosed by two maybe three bottles of wine. At this stage…the poor unfortunate men have reached the point of no return..friends are left to fend for themselves..some cant even remember if they brought their girlfriends/wifes to the game….no no…in for a penny in for a pound and if the mascots have anything to do with it that’s exactly where it will lead…
The end result is of course always the same..Leggs, Lillies, Reynards, 6 bottles of champagne….a couple of bottles of what the barman claims is white wine…shirts are ruined…wallets are empty…the chaps at this stage are now the hunters..waiting for any hint of a slow set to pounce…but then in an instant its over…like the Scottish pack the mascots disintegrate…home safe to the refuge of their manors in Blackrock, Clontarf and Ballsbridge…and the men..well…the Irish man does what he does best..in times of depression…wanders off….finds a chicken burger and curry chips..and returns to base..broke..drunk and well and truly taken for a ride!