Last week Kiwi and I took advantage of the many sports available on campus and went to see a live basketball match. I don’t know a great deal about basketball, I’ve played a handful of times but have played lots more netball and Korfball. I expected a fast paced game and a high score. The basketball court is extremely shiny, and the spectator stands are vast. Obviously there were marching bands to lead on the start and at every interval.
The fighting Irish – and I wiki’d this whilst watching the game, turns out haven’t really got a good background story as to how they became the Fighting Irish, or any strong ties with Ireland. They had many monikers but eventually the fighting Irish stuck, due to having a president with Irish links at the time and some press coverage, or it could have been as the area was known for a high population of Irish soldiers. They play in blue and gold, whilst the supporting marching band wear green, and there is always at least one person dressed up as a Leprechaun. The court is decorated with a large shamrock.
The Irish were playing Boston college or better known as the Eagles, the first half went pretty heavily in ND’s favour, but the Eagles fought back for a pretty close match towards the end. Watching the game was interesting, the coaches – all male! were aggressive and shouty, and lots of time outs were called where chairs would be brought onto the court, and players would sit in a circle, presumably they had a pep talk and pointed out some improvements.
At half time my favourite part – the marching band didn’t disappoint with a quick performance. This was swiftly followed by actual Irish dancers. About 30 females and 1 guy waltzed onto court and performed very energetic Irish dancing all dressed in black and wearing what I can only describe as ‘mop’ hair, wigs that reminded me of Rosie from Rosie and Jim *. The Irish dancing was pretty eventful if not a little bizarre. There were also lots of cheerleaders performing some impressive routines, and several students who had giant faces in the crowd – actual faces, blown up like a poster cut out, being waved around. Oh and the actual game was pretty interesting too, although I think I prefer to watch ice hockey!
* A random English kids tv programme about two rag dolls who lived on a barge boat – obviously