The Cloth Cap Brigade: These are a band of men who enjoyed their heyday at the turn of the century. They are avid supporters. The Cloth Cap Brigade is easily identified because they make a very distinctive call, which sounds something like “giveherlang giveherlangferchrissakes”. This means kick the ball as hard and as far down the pitch as you can. The Cloth Caps have nothing against the O’Dwyer revolution and the modern game. They just don’t think it will work for their team. All Cloth Caps are waiting for their messiah. The ‘chosen one’ will be a seven-foot tall full forward with hands like shovels. Standing at the edge of the square the messiah will catch all those ‘lang’ balls and score enough goals and points to win that elusive county championship.
The Crazy Women: The existence of the gangs of crazy women who attend Gaelic football matches has not been very well documented. Needless to say, they exist, and they are extremely dangerous. Decades ago, the crazy women armed themselves with umbrellas which they used as weapons to assault players. Now that most pitches have perimeter fencing, the crazies have decommissioned their brollies but they have become equally lethal with the tongue. Referees are the favourite targets. Some of these women suffer from DMS (Doting Mother Syndrome) which is a strain of DFS (written about last week). Women with DMS will attack referees who give decisions against their sons. More frightening still, is the common occurrence when a gang of crazy women defend each others’ sons. The result: verbal carnage.
The Loyalists: These men are the sixties generation, but you wouldn’t think it to look at them. When other nations were entering the age of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll this squad was running around dance halls in Carrickmore, Kilrea and Belfast. The loyalists form the backbone of the GAA. By and large they are peace loving creatures, however they have been known to turn violent during the championship season. Loyalists come to all matches, rain, hail or snow. Some come to chat to friends, others to torture the opposition, while the majority have long since forgotten why they go to matches - it’s just something they do on a Sunday.
The Club Mascot: For mascot read lunatic, and there is one in every club. Indeed their reputation often goes before them. The mascot is a loner, though not by choice. No one knows if mascots actually enjoy Gaelic football as they never applaud or praise their team. Rather for 60 minutes, the mascot, foaming and frothing at the mouth, curses the opposition, the referee, his own team etc. Most Mascots cannot drive, yet there is a goodly soul in every club who persists in bringing this person to away matches.
The Drinking Crew: The drinking crew are sons of the Loyalists and some have grandfathers who are Cloth Caps. The drinking crew tend to be in their twenties or thirties and they are very single. Often they don’t turn up until half-time. Sunday is not a good day for the crew. Attendance at the match serves two vital functions. The first of these is to establish what happened on the previous night. The second is to watch the match. There is a further reason why the crew turn up late. Some of their comrades from the previous night (who also downed a copious number of pints) are out on the pitch, so the crew know well in advance that there is little chance of victory.
Teenage Posers (female): This group only appears at championship matches with big crowds. Again they are easy to recognise. Posers can be seen walking around the pitch, on the loose gravel, in high heels, looking out at the crowd and largely ignoring the ongoing match. This practice is known within the sisterhood as ‘circuits’. Posers tend to drift away from Gaelic football, unless they hook up with a member of the Drinking Crew. If you have read this article and failed to identify yourself, read it again – this time more honestly.