Hurling & Camogie Needs To Be Bigger In The US!
I’ve had the luxury of visiting the emeralds isles and being part of the GAA festivities! Before going to Ireland, I thought there could be nothing comparable to the Super Bowl held in the states. And no I’m not counting the leap year soccer games (World Cup for the turtles). But man was I wrong!
Ireland being known across the nations for their tremendous ability to drink like fish and function at an Einstein level (somewhere in Ireland theres a jimmy pouring a pint for that) is home to one of sports most competitive, fast paced and intense sporting events that I’ve ever witnessed! Hurling and Camogie!
Now at first glance any American that hasn’t been exposed to the sport will liken it to lacrosse, and I can see why. Sticks, a baseball size ball and the objective seems the same. But you’re wrong. The Hurleys (don’t call them sticks unless you wanna get shamed to hell) are not netted and must make contact with the sliotar (again do not call it a ball) every four steps and can only be passed by hitting them to your teammate. Body contact will be made and can be made at any moment shoulder to shoulder with no pads on the players.
Points can be earned by hitting the sliotar through uprights or Futball sized goalie nets. Best part? The sport is played for free by each and every single athlete. The pride behind each victory is military like. Communities fully support there teams to the point where the entire country shuts down on championship game day.
So I’m in a stadium of 90,000 screaming fans and the game ends in a tie. What does Ireland do? They play the exact same game with the exact same intensity with the exact same fan fair the following week and the country shows up the exact same way. I think American sports are slowly becoming more about the individuals and less about the pride and bragging rights for those who couldn’t and can never be athletic enough to be great in something we enjoy. As far as equality? The women are celebrated equally as the men are with absolutely no shortage of fandemonium.
Whenever one sport ends in America there’s an empty void left where we feel lost. Every time college football ends I always wanna drown my sorrows in hooters wings and high noon. Then we’re swept away for a brief moment in the madness or March and the drawn out NBA finals where baseball slowly creeps in where I think theres too many games being played but that's another story for another blog.
With The GAA already established in its own right and having the backing of international fans everywhere, I think it’s a perfect opportunity to invest in a sport that can feed the hunger for more bragging while at the same time feel the stomachs of those whom yearn for a faster pace game thats easy to understand and something where women can flourish equally as men without any controversy. Gaelic sports will do more than fill the empty void that’s left when your favorite sports season ends, it’ll probably become the main course.