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World exclusive: Results of 20 Year Study on GAA Club Members

posted Jun 28, 2011, 1:13 PM by Kevin Brassil
21st March 2008

GAA club members explained. 

JUST as footballers can be classified as either defenders, forwards or goalkeepers, so fans can be categorised into certain broad stereotypes.

After years of painstaking research the results of a 20-year study are revealed today in a world exclusive.

The study has shown that supporters can be categorised into one of six large groups: 

The Cloth Cap Brigade: These are a band of men who enjoyed their heyday at the turn of the century. They are avid supporters. The Cloth Cap Brigade are easily identified because they make a very distinctive call which sounds something like "giveherlang giveherlangferchrissakes". This means kick the ball as hard and as far down the pitch as you can. The Cloth Caps have nothing against the O'Dwyer revolution and the modern game. They just don't think it will work for their team. All Cloth Caps are waiting for their messiah. The 'chosen one' will be a seven foot tall full-forward with hands like shovels. Standing at the edge of the square the messiah will catch all those 'lang' balls and score enough goals and points to win that elusive county championship. 

The Crazy Women: The existence of the gangs of crazy women who attend gaelic football matches has not been very well documented. Needless to say, they exist, and they are extremely dangerous. Decades ago, the crazy women armed themselves with umbrellas which they used as weapons to assault players. Now that most pitches have perimeter fencing, the crazies have decommissioned their brollies but they have become equally lethal with the tongue. Referees are the favourites targets. Some of these women suffer from DMS (Doting Mother Syndrome) which is a strain of DFS. Women with DMS will attack referees who give decisions against their sons. More frightening still, is the common occurrence when a gang of crazy women defend each others' sons. The result: verbal carnage. 

The Loyalists: These men are the sixties generation, but you wouldn't think it to look at them. When other nations were entering the age of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll this squad were running around dance halls in Carrickmore, Kilrea and Belfast. The loyalists form the backbone of the GAA. By and large they are peace loving creatures, however they have been known to turn violent during the championship season. Loyalists come to all matches, rain, hail or snow. Some come to chat to friends, others to torture the opposition, while the majority have long since forgotten why they go to matches - it's just something they do on a Sunday. 

The Club Mascot: For mascot read lunatic, and there is one in every club. Indeed their reputation often goes before them. The mascot is a loner,though not by choice. No one knows if mascots actually enjoy gaelic football as they never applaud or praise their team. Rather for 60 minutes, the mascot, foaming and frothing at the mouth, curses the opposition, the referee, his own team etc. Most Mascots cannot drive, yet there is a goodly soul in every club who persists in bringing this person to away matches. 

The Drinking Crew: The drinking crew are sons of the Loyalists and some have grandfathers who are Cloth Caps. The drinking crew tend to be in their twenties or thirties and they are very single. Often they don't turn up until half-time. Sunday is not a good day for the crew. Attendance at the match serves two vital functions. The first of these is to establish what happened on the previous night. The second is to watch the match. There is a further reason why the crew turn up late. Some of their comrades from the previous night (who also downed a copious number of pints) are out on the pitch, so the crew know well in advance that there is little chance of victory. 

Teenage Posers (female): This group only appear at championship matches with big crowds. Again they are easy to recognise. Posers can be seen walking around the pitch, on the loose gravel, in high heels, looking out at the crowd and largely ignoring the ongoing match. This practice is known within the sisterhood as 'circuits'. Posers tend to drift away from gaelic football, unless they hook up with a member of the Drinking Crew. 

If you have read this article and failed to identify yourself, read it again this time more honestly. 

Club Footballers Explained... 

Physio's Friend: Four words can sum up the playing career of a typical physio's friend and they are: 'lame for every game'. Pulled hamstrings, severed ligaments, sore groins, you name it, and he has had it. Physiotherapists dream about getting one of these players on their client list. He is the ideal customer once a physio's friend has signed up, all financial worries can be forgotten. With a guaranteed two trips a week, for injuries, either real or imagined, the sick one will pay bills, mortgages and put children through university. 

The Male Model: It's easy to spot the male model at training sessions. He's the player wearing the Cork jersey on Monday, Meath on Wednesday and Dublin on Friday. Not only will he have the jersey, he'll also have the accompanying shorts and socks. Male Models normally sport a healthy tan for about six months of the year. He is the one player in the changing room guaranteed to bring hair gel, shampoo and deodorant. After his liberal application of deodorant, he can be difficult to see, as he will be enveloped in a cloud of sweet smelling mist. The Male Model despises the fact that he must share his toiletries every week with some spongers. However, he realises it is a necessary evil if he is to leave the changing room looking and smelling his very best. 

County Star (Club Hero): He is the heartbeat of the team. This man sends himself to sleep at night by counting O'Neill's footballs floating over a crossbar. Despite huge commitments to the county panel, he will be a regular attendee at club training sessions. The Club Hero is highly valued, primarily for his talent, but also for the example he provides other players. Club heroes watch what they eat, go easy on the drink and refrain from cigarettes. If they have one weakness, it's women. For some misguided reason they are under the illusion that women are not detrimental to your health. 

County Star (The Invisible Man):This other type of county footballer enjoys a love/hate, though mostly hate, relationship with his club's supporters. They love him when he turns up for matches because he can be the difference between winning and losing a match. They hate him because they think he is a bigheaded poser, who seeks only personal glory through his county team, while abandoning the very club that taught him how to play the game. 

Hard Ground Specialist: Just as there are racehorses that cannot cope with soft ground, so there are footballers that feel ill suited to early season training. Hard ground specialists consider the dedicated winter trainers to be mere point-to-pointers, whereas they are the genuine flat-race thoroughbred. With the recent good weather, they will have started to appear at training sessions throughout the country in their droves. 

The Schoolboy: The schoolboy has only one thing in his head: football. Carrying absolutely no weight, the schoolboy runs just for the fun of it. Older players in the team are jealous of schoolboys as they represent their lost youth. Junior football is the traditional sacrificial ground where balding corner backs regularly obliterate frisky teenagers for no apparent reason. Schoolboys are best advised to stay clear of these ageing veterans if they wish to stay clear of serious injury. 

The Student: The transformation from schoolboy to student is as pronounced as that of the caterpillar to butterfly. Where once he was a schoolboy whose only ambition was to get on the senior team; the student discovers the pleasures of wine, woman and song. Football is put way down the agenda. For the first six months of his fresher year the student will have a silly looking smile permanently attached to his face. A potbelly will start to develop in his midriff. He will give the excuse of either assignments or exams for his continued absence at training, yet there will be repeated sightings of him in The Bot, The Fly, The M Club, Lavery's, Renshaws, Duke's Hotel (Belfast -so replace with Stables, Hurlers, The Lodge, Nancy Blakes, . . as appropriate!); you get the picture. The club hero will try to lecture the student about the error of his ways, but it is hopeless, he will be a lost soul for the next four years. 

Due to space constraints these are all the players that can be described today. Other players, which could not be included, were: Team Talker, Psycho, Mr Excuses, and the Nearly Man. Others would include the one more year man.... brought on with ten minutes to go to rapturous roars from the crowd, never won a medal, jersey clinging to the belly, socks up around the bandaged knee. Subject to rushes of blood to the head, which guarantee a ball to be ballooned into the stands after a headless thirty yard, run driven on by the crowd. The Horse ... who has no football whatsoever, but is there on pure brute strength alone, and would spend a full training session lining up for a crack at either the Model, the Schoolboy, the Student or the County Star.