This may come as a bit of a surprise to those who know me, but I'm dead excited about the rugby tonight.
Being English by birth and living on a small island off the north coast of Scotland (Orcadians seem ambivalent at best about their Scottishness), but Irish by blood and inclination, I've always been greener than a jolly giant when it comes to sporting events.
I'm still a bit upset about Ireland's pathetic showing at the World Cup and the lack of decent explanation/apology. The coach and squad seem to have been sucked into the idea that it's OK for the Irish to lose as long as we're good fun at a party.
I've always been a bit sniffy about "The Nigels", but found myself genuinely excited by their World Cup win in 2003 and was thrilled to bits when they beat the Aussies last week, a genuine rugby team using some old-fashioned, basic disciplines to overcome a bunch of showponies too weak to stand up in the scrum.
Soooo. . . . I'm off to the Cleaton House Hotel tonight where the game will be on in the bar, Mr D will be in the chair and landlord Tony (a former Fylde team-mate of Bill Beaumont's) will be dispensing the Dragonhead Stout. And, mostly for the sake of my English mates (Reg especially) I will be shouting myself hoarse for the men in white.
Just don't expect me to make a habit of it.