It’s great to see the Cubs in first place after returning from 2 weeks in Ireland. My access to the Cubs and American sports across the Atlantic was a few occasional and brief Internet spot checks. You can easily see the similarities of the sports fans in other countries and how like us they have a great passion for sports, in Ireland that means Football (aka soccer), Hurling, and Rugby. It felt a bit strange entering a pub and have the all the plasma screens tuned to Man U (Manchester United) vs Barcelona, after a couple pints of Guinness every sport seems to become a bit more interesting.
This was my first trip to Europe and it was incredible, the Irish people have a zest and vitality along with a welcoming friendliness. My brother Todd joined me on the trip; going to Ireland to check our family lineage had been a dream of ours since we were kids. While there I was also scouting locations for a cable TV project as well as doing some research for a potential magazine article. This meant a two week journey around Ireland, seeing the natural beauty and history of the land as well as observing and enjoying the local culture through food, music, pubs, and people…a wee bit of work mixed with plenty of fun!
After talking with some locals about American baseball it appears to me our national pastime isn’t well understood there, much like my understanding of Hurling. When mentioning the Chicago Cubs, the head nodding was more a recognition of the “Chicago” part of the equation. I was able to extrapolate the Cubs place in America’s baseball history (condensed version) to a couple friendly guys at a pub in the village of Dromahair. I must admit this was after some pints of Guinness so I hope I wasn’t too long winded, however our jovial bartender Kevin and new acquaintance, teacher/artist Eugene seemed genuinely interested. We enjoyed the Irish “craic” (lively conversation) in the pubs and met many great locals.
We also met some tourists from Germany and the U.S., we passed a guy wearing a Cubs hat on the Cliffs of Moher only to run into him with his wife and friends later that evening at a pub. You guessed it, he’s a huge Cubs fan from Illinois. That night we also talked with some great folks from Maine(Red Sox fans) who happen to have family that are also big Cubs fans…go figure.
In a Dublin Pub we met a beautiful young Spanish Au Pair from Madrid, she was working on improving her English…so it was our duty to help. I’ll leave it at that, and let your imagination work from there. I have plenty more stories to tell of the trip but lack the time to do so right now. Below are a few photos from the journey.
Yes, that’s a Cubs jersey…Me and my bro Todd.
We had nothing to do with those empty kegs…Galway City
We met the big cheese himself, Seamus Sheridan…Galway City.
Irish hospitality, Seamus invited us over to his home for a magnificent lunch.
Anyway you go it’s scenic beauty.
Ross Castle, Killarney National Park
Guinness for strength!
Upper Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains