Rev it up and here we go
I am not a huge sports fan. I am not even a minor sports fan. In fact there are occasions when I would be hard pressed to even spell 'sports fan', but not even I can escape the fact that the World Cup is starting today, without us.
Us, of course, being Ireland, for although I hold dual citizenship my loyalties have never been divided come international sporting events, and I am certainly not going to start throwing my lot in now with The Other Side just because they qualified and Ireland didn't, though admittedly if I did I would be increasing the US sock-ah fanbase by at least 50%.
Nope, without a national side to cheer on I will most likely only see a match by accident, while passing by a pub with large windows or switching on the TV to get my regular fix of 'Strictly Come Die With Me', everyone's favorite celebrity assisted-euthanasia program (this week I'll mostly be cheering for, Ryan Tubridy), only to discover that its been replaced by Botswana vs Azerbaijan, a crucial match to decide the bottom of Group Q.
So no, I am most definitely not what one could call a 'sports fan'.
Someone who could most definitely be called a 'sports fan', though unfortunately of the wrong sort of football, is our good friend Mr Tim over at Inessentials, the man responsible for introducing me to the Green Bay Packers and Mountain Dew almost simultaneously, and the jury is still out as to which has done more lasting damage to my health. Mr Tim recently delivered a paper on the ethics of sports fandom entitled "Is Team Loyalty a Virtue?" at a conference on Sport and Society co-sponsored by the Green Bay Packers, and that paper is now available on his website.
You see, this is why America qualifies for major sporting events and we do not, their teams host philosophy symposia. Also, they tend to organise World Championships and never seem to get round to inviting other nations to play, which dramatically increases the likelihood of a Team USA win.
Anyway, while the paper focuses on US sports and only mentions sock-ah in passing (seriously Mr Tim, football hooliganism is so last century, except in South America, or Eastern Europe, or Turkey, or the UK, or Germany, or, um, you know, never mind) it is an interesting insight into an area that seems to get very little discussion, possibly because of the rather low crossover between professional philosophers and dedicated sports fans (though perhaps even as we speak the Alain Badiou Onze is lacing-up to prove me wrong, no doubt by fisting the ball into the back of the net like most Frenchmen).
No matter, unlike the rest of the country (and possibly the civilized world), life will go on here at Booming Back as normal over the next four weeks, there will be highs, there will be lows, and almost certainly there will be a few no-score draws, which, this being Ireland, are always as good as a win.