Kudos to any fan that travels the length of the country to watch their League of Ireland team play every second week (when we actually get to again anyway that is.) It's the reason I wrote JFTF.
It may mean a five hour trip from the South-East to Sligo Rovers to watch your side lose 1-0 to a 98th minute goal off the ref’s arse in the pissing rain but you’ll do it all again 14 days later, such is your love for the club.
Trips like that really separate the men from the boys (or the women from the girls not to be sexist), but what really does make a hard core fan? Here are a few questions below to test yourselves!
You are asked at short notice to travel to Finn Harps in a 5,000 mile (well OK it’s a bit shorter, but only just!) round trip for a Tuesday night game. Do you?
A) Kindly say “It’s not possible lads, Dancing on Ice is on at 7.”
B) Admit you’d love to go, but its midweek and you’ve got a date with a painted hussy down at the Dog & Whistle.
C) Cancel the candlelight dinner you’ve planned for that night, give the missus €10 and tell her to spoil herself whilst running out the door to the car at the same time.
Derry City away in the Cup is upon you. It’s a mouth-watering clash and the Brandywell is full to capacity. There’s 49 fans travelling and you need to be that crucial 50th voice. Trouble is you’re broke. Do you?
A) Put the crazy idea out of your mind and go back to laughing at the pond life on Jeremy Kyle.
B) Reminisce about away days at the Brandywell and curse the ex-wife for bankrupting you.
C) Grab the balaclava and make a “withdrawal” from the nearest bank.
It's the Aviva (sorry let's be old school and say Lansdowne Road) and the FAI Cup final against you nearest and most hated rivals. You've stood in line in the pouring rain for a ticket and can't wait for Sunday. The night before the game your Auntie Emma, who’s not long for this world, expresses a wish from her death bed to see your club play the final before she pops her clogs. And you just know whose ticket she’s after… Do you?
A) Immediately give her the ticket, drive her to Lansdowne and wish her well while you go home to watch it on the box and your mum switches off to watch Eastenders half way through.
B) Groan to yourself and eventually do the Good Samaritan bit by handing over the ticket hoping you'll get something in her will.
C) Photocopy the ticket, tell her to get the bus and say three Hail Marys as an 87 year old woman is arrested outside Lansdowne with a fake ticket in her hand.
RTE stun your First Division club by actually showing a game from that division live on TV but you are on night shift. Do you?
A) Say you cannot let your boss down and the €4.65 an hour is not to be sniffed at.
B) Admit you would love to watch it but instead tune into RTE Player and hope that nobody tells you the final result before you go home.
C) Immediately pull a sickie, or tell the boss to shove his job, as watching your club in the preliminary round of the EA Sports League Cup against Cabinteely in a live game on the box is to tempting to miss....and get sacked.
You hook up with a stunning blonde (or hunk) who worships the ground you walk on. As a birthday surprise she buys you directors box tickets to a hurling match at Croke Park where the county you live in are playing. She/he leans over before the match and says "Now you'll see a man's sport honey." Do you....
A) Look a bit surprised at his/her admission for her love for GAA but keep it to the back of your mind as you’re living it up in a directors box and free food and booze.
B) Get annoyed with yourself that you hadn’t spotted she supported GAA and worshipped the ground Michael Lester walked on (after all she’s always humming that bastard Sunday Game theme music)
C) Tear up the ticket, tell her you slept with her sister and find the nearest river to throw yourself in.
You've been offered €1000 to open a bag which contains the jersey of the League of Ireland club you hate most. If you slip it on for a mere minute you will collect the dosh.
A) Say "its money after all" and slip on the top and instantly bolster your bank balance.
B) Grit your teeth, think several times before closing your eyes because you can't stand to see what you are about to wear.
C) Immediately run to the nearest shop, buy a box of matches and set fire to the shirt, and the bastard that asked you to wear it in the first place.
You see the picture below and are asked which one is the book wrote on the League of Ireland. You say....
A) That Nicholas Roche is a great footballer isn't he?
B) I'll take a stab in the dark and say it's that book about the Dubs. I'm right aren't it.
C) Immediately say "How thick do you think I am?"
If you answered:
Mostly As – You’re an armchair supporter in love with Sky TV
Mostly Bs – You’re a fan, but you’re letting everyday things like work, women and life get in the way.
Mostly Cs – You've probably named your dog after your teams top goalscorer of 1987 and named your son's middle names after the First Division League of Ireland Shield winning team of the nineties and refuse to date any man/woman that attempts to wear the colours of your nearest rivals.
Hard to the core my friend!