Few occasions are pure enough not to be ruined by Piers Morgan sticking his oar in.
Ireland's cricketers will attempt to do something historic tomorrow - beat England in a test match at Lord's. It's unthinkable, really. But there's something about the way it's all being presented to us that feels off.
The English view has been very much on display on Sky Sports' coverage of the match itself this week, with a general sense of the patronising "good old Ireland" to the fore from Davids Gower and Lloyd in particular, with more than one typical referral to the "good night" had or to be had by supporters. It's a fine line that tends to induce more eye-rolling than anger.
Yep. I’m afraid they’re still at it...even after being humiliated at home.
— Ciarán Ó Raghallaigh (@Ciaran_O) July 25, 2019
With Morgan, the line tends to be crossed, generally not because of stereotyping or patronisation, but because of sheer arrogance.
He has one hobby more irritating than being ignorant, and that spatting with Gary Lineker on Twitter. Tonight, he was at it again, and decided to join on a very English bandwagon of declaring what is best for Ireland, and what we should know, but really don't.
I suggest that’s cobblers. If Ireland beat England at cricket in their first ever Test match against them... at Lord’s.. it would be arguably the nation’s greatest sporting triumph. https://t.co/B1mPTgfIa2
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 25, 2019
An understanding of Irish sport that displays not only such a lack of awareness about what Irish sport is, but accentuates that Piers Morgan only understands the world through the prism of his own narrow field. Piers is aware of the history of Lord's, and the grand old traditions of English cricket. To come from nowhere to beat what he knows is the pinnacle. There couldn't possibly be anything else.
Little old Ireland winning at Lord's really must be the biggest thing in the history of our pathetic little nation. Really, what else have we got?
We hope the cricketers go and beat England. It would be a huge achievement and a huge occasion. It would be a phenomenal day for Irish sport. To go to the home of cricket and beat the hosts in our first ever test match against them is hard to beat. It's fitting reward for an incredible group of players and coaches, over many years who've built a minority sport in this country into one fighting way above its weight.
Let's not undermine it by casting it alongside other great achievements. The fact is, for now, cricket is a tiny, tiny minority sport in Ireland, not just in playing numbers, but crucially, in audience. A lot of people are watching their first ever test match this week, confused by the rules and the "silly terms". More aren't paying any attention at all.
That's not to diminish the achievement but to put it in context. Shane Lowry's Open Championship win, Ireland's fifth in 13 years, is on a global level far above playing and England team with their eye on the Ashes and hungover from winning the World Cup. And then go beyond just a few days ago... the history of Irish sport is rich and long, and undoubtedly goes far beyond the narrow mind of Piers fucking Morgan.