Friday, July 30, 2010

Irish Sports

The Irish seem to have more fun than we do when it comes to needling opposing teams. The counties Kerry and Cork reside geographically right next to each other and sports rivalry between the two counties spills over in interesting and clever manifestations. The colors for Kerry flame out a bright green and yellow. Sheep farmers from Kerry cross over to West Cork and paint sheep yellow and green. Farmers from Cork have been known to paint Kerry sheep red because Kerry's colors are white and red. They only paint the sheep red because the white sheep don't show the white paint. I am informed the friendly rivals use water based paint which helps the wool growers.

County councillors do not trade challenges or barbs as do the governors of Colorado and Nebraska around football season time. So politicians seem to stay out of the rivalry. However,this morning in our accomodations, our Kerry hostess forgave John Donovan, our bus driver for being from Cork. I told her that my grandmother was from Cork. She said she forgave me too. This is all is good fun, but it squares jokes and competition between Colorado and Texas.

Here in Ireland, the county flags fly over most homes in a county. Tribe and family takes preference over national symbols. The oral tradition trumps the printed word. And the flag of the USA is everywhere, because we are, afterall, the next county over.

But in the two counties, the economy takes precedence over sports. The two counties have formed a tourism board to make sure visitors come to their particular counties. We in Colorado can learn from that.

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