Last year, we outlined the 20 steps you needed to take to become a more authentic Irish sports fan in 2014. Well done on completing that. But each year brings new demands and challenges. If you want to be plugged in to what it truly means to be an Irish sports fan in 2015, these 13 steps are a must.
1. Boasting about hurling is so 2013... the new thing is to scoff at incessant British Twitter reactions
Speculate as to what it says about the Irish and their desire for external validation from the English.
Just watched 5 mins of Hurling, WTF is going on there's a GK but they keep smashing it over the bar how the fuck does he save that
— Mike Kay (@micky220406) June 7, 2014
2. Continually ask Joe Brolly what he thinks about any number of random phenomena...
Could be anything. A victory in a five-a-side game, the size of the steak you just ate, the make-up of the current Australian government, the result of the forthcoming UK General Election... As Gaybo used to say on the Toy Show, hours and hours of fun.
Im raising income tax threshold from £10,500-£12,000...Well Joe Brolly WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT?! #joebrolly #star pic.twitter.com/x6OD1Afyvf — John Waldron (@johndtwaldron) October 2, 2014
3. Pretend you got to the end of one of Murray Kinsella's articles
I admire the hell out of Murray's articles. What I can't do is finish them.
4. Where possible, preface the name of foreign club teams with the Irish player or coach on their books
James Coughlan's Pau, Denis Fogarty's Agen, Bernard Jackman's Grenoble, Eddie O'Sullivan's Biarritz. Until September, Racing Metro will still be Johnny Sexton's Racing Metro. Thereafter, they will become Johnny Sexton's former club Racing Metro.
5. Try to connect every big investment or announcement from the government back to how it will affect the 2023 Rugby World Cup bid.
There's only one priority over the next eight or nine years.
6. Spend the first fortnight of the year voting repeatedly for Steph Roche's goal for the 'Puskas award' through the incognito browser
The patriotic Mark Dolan got in touch with us to say he has spent the latter part of 2014 doing precisely this.
7. Berate RTE about not showing the Andy Lee world title fight every time the Limerick man's name is mentioned (even though they didn't have the rights for his World title fight)
Like all big institutions, RTE are constrained from hitting back. The boxing fraternity have been giving the station a pounding for some time. All rather unfair...
8. Having been blocked by Stephen Jones like we told you to be last year, set up a respectable looking but fake twitter account and seek to follow him again. Thereupon proceed to get banned again.
9. Complain that Lawrence Dallaglio and every other English commentator is biased towards Premiership teams on every forum you can think of
After the game has finished, revel in soundcloud clips of Michael Corcoran commentating on the closing stages of matches.
10. Regardless of which side of the argument you come down on, get involved in one fraught debate online about the League of Ireland v the Premier League
If you're on the Premier League side of the debate, talk about how your family have been supporting Liverpool since year dot (before the club was even founded in fact) and make dubious claims about your family's long affinity with the city. Give out about the quality of football in the League or Ireland and the lack of things called 'facilities'.
If you're on the League of Ireland side of the debate, use the phrase 'barstooler' as often as possible and engage in 'only in Ireland' style hand-wringing at the idea of Irish supporting football fans supporting fans of a foreign league
11. Get involved in a debate about the Dubs playing at Croke Park
The arguments follow a set pattern. Other county's supporters tear into the practise of the Dubs playing every game in Croke Park, implying favourable treatment.
Dubs, in response, tend to follow one or two lines of argument. The less abrasive ones protest that they'd happily travel the country. The more defiant ones tend to follow a more brutal, matter of fact strategy of insisting it's about the money and they're only giving the culchies what they want anyway - a day out in Croker. Both agree that the Dubs would win regardless of where the games are held.
The only people who genuinely don't want the Dubs to leave Croke Park are the people on the Leinster Council who vote on the thing.
12. During the Ireland v England friendly match at the Aviva in June, attempt to strike up a rendition of 'Joe McDonnell'
You'll have to weigh up whether it's worth the inevitable fine from UEFA. It does harmonise well with 'No Surrender to the IRA Scum' though.