Thursday 14 December 2017

Roman dilemma will test infallibility of the Pope

The Pope has a hard call for sure. Ireland or Italy?
The Pope has a hard call for sure. Ireland or Italy?
Billy Keane

Billy Keane

The Pope must be in a desperate state. I know what he's going through, from personal experience. Take it from me, there's no point in sitting on the fence. You have to make a call. Look at what happened to Humpty Dumpty.

Limerick might be playing Clare in the hurling and there a good few from both counties who drink in our pub. In these hard times the sale of every pint is a minor victory.

Who do you cheer for? That's the big question.

It's all very well for Ger Loughnane to say hurling is the winner but that's no consolation to the fanatical supporter who would die for the cause. And he drinks in your pub.

The Pope has a hard call for sure. Ireland or Italy? Vocations are falling and numbers are well back at the Masses. To make matters even worse, the fact that the Pontiff is as infallible as a wife means that his every pronouncement is taken as gospel by the faithful.


The Pope is in trouble for suggesting it's alright for parents to administer mild punishment to their children.

There was a lad in our class at school who got a walloping for saying he was going to write to the Pope for a few tips for The Listowel Races. And the same boy was well slapped for suggesting God couldn't do everything because he wasn't able to pull a baldy man by the hair of the head.

I got a good old hammering myself for writing an essay to the effect that Superman was really God in disguise. In later life, it dawned on me that I was profoundly wrong. Sure don't we all know Superman is really Paul O' Connell.

Lookit, as they say in the Midlands, what's the Pope to do? He's living in Italy and a large proportion of his fan base live here in Ireland. His ancestors are Italian and Sergio Parisse, the Italian captain, is of Argentinian stock. We'll get back to the Papal pickle in a minute.

Lookit is an amalgamation of two words, 'look' and 'it'. The words make sense on their own but none at all when joined together. The politicians use lookit all the time as in "lookit, there's no meaning to all this austerity" or whatever it is they're going on about.

Lookit gives them a sort of no-nonsense, straight-talking, man-of-the-people appeal. I'll bet Pope Francis doesn't say "lookit" for emphasis when he's telling us which team he's going to cheer for today.

Ireland and Italy are big supporters of the Catholic Church even though we have our fair share of multi-denominational players too. Our former Prime Minsters are responsible for the introduction of two new expressions. Bunga Bunga and GUBU part of the English language now. I doubt though that 'lookit' will every make it in to the Oxford or Cambridge dictionary, seeing as no one knows what it means.

Tiki-Taka was included by the editors in the December edition of the Oxford Dictionary.

Tiki -Taka is a term used in soccer to describe "highly accurate short passing and an emphasis on retaining possession of the ball." Tiki-Taka has ruined Gaelic football.

Last Sunday there was so much handpassing the players will soon be showing up to the physios with carpal tunnel syndrome.

I can't imagine the GAA lads will go swapping Tiki-Taka for "feckactin" and I hereby propose "feckactin" for inclusion in the next edition of the Oxford Dictionary.

We will now enter in to a brief discourse on the etymology of Feck. The word feck was used as a weaner-offer from the other F-word, the one with the u in it. Like in the same way that babies go from breast to formula before hitting the carton.

Father Jack was always saying feck on TV so it's not really a proper curse like the one with the u in it. Actin' is just acting without the g. So there you have it. We will put the hybrid word in a sentence. "Will ye ever stop that feckactin' short passin' and kick that feckin' ball."

'Feckactin' is as entitled to be in the OED as 'mamil', which made the last edition. Mamil means 'middle-aged men in lycra'. Are you reading Finbarr Walsh? Finbarr is Donal Walsh's dad and this hero 'mamil' has raised thousands by cycling for Livelife, the cancer and suicide charity founded in his son's memory.

I'll bet the Pope would love to say "will ye stop the feckactin" to the old conservative synods of bishops who wouldn't allow us stuff the turkey at Christmas for fear we'd get pleasure out of it.

It ain't easy being Pope. And it's not easy being a pundit either. Somewhere near here there's a table of Six Nations predictions by our rugby experts. I dodged it. If I'm asked why I didn't respond to the email, I'll say "ah it's that Bermuda triangle over Roscrea again, holding up all the emails from coming down the country." And then I'll go, "they'll have to bypass Roscrea or we'll get no news at all."


It's all fine and dandy for Wardy and the lads. They are not indentured slaves of publicans and can therefore run away from people, who can let nothing go.

From a wrinkly wallet, he takes out a multi-folded piece of newspaper flat as a communion from being sat on longer than a government report. There you are in the cut-out with your big stupid grin predicting Scotland to win the Six Nations and he says "you're only feckactin' around in that oul' newspaper."

The Pope knows what I'm going through. I'll bet if he was asked for his Six Nations predictions he couldn't do it either as it might show he's not really infallible. It being a well-known fact the Six Nations is the most unpredictable rugby tournament of all.

And if he gets the right result, well then what would be the point in playing at all if everyone knew the winners in advance?

Irish Independent Sport Star Awards

Pick our magic sports moment of the year and win a trip for two to London. To view the shortlist and cast your vote click here.

Indo Sport

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport