It's that wonderful time of the year when people the whole world round come together to celebrate Ireland and its proud traditions of Learning and Culture by drinking too much green Guinness and vomiting all over someone else's cheap leprechaun costume. Even though Ireland is hardly a hot-bed of Hockey, the NHL also seizes this opportunity to
sell you tacky green crap promote this happy celebration. Therefore, as a public service to all, here's a handy guide to St. Patrick, Ireland and their links to Hockey.
St. Patrick wasn't even Irish! He was in fact Drafted to Ireland from Europe on an Entry-Level Contract (also known as "Being Enslaved") and spent his first few years here shivering, hopeless and alone, performing menial and degrading tasks in the desolate North. So, just like Marian Hossa in Ottawa, then.
It wouldn't be Paddy's Day without lots of music, dancing and drinking and while this can be a really fun time, it can be tempting to prove that you're made of tougher stuff than you really are. So, if you wake up feeling disoriented and groggy in a cold, dark room and your last memory is being surrounded by people wearing green, you really shouldn't have fought Matt Kassian.
Not All St. Patrick's Day Costumes Are Created Equal:
The Irish Language:
The Irish, or Gaelic, language is famous for being extremely long-winded, having an unusual sentence structure and being full of obscure expressions. Sadly it is also largely incomprehensible to most people, only being spoken by a small pocket of communities on the West coast of Ireland and Pat Foley.
Handy Irish Phrases:
Mar a ta se Marian Hossa agus nil tu fein: Gosh, that Slovakian guy is good at hockey!
Gabh mo leithsceail? Is e Guinness $8 istigh an UC?: Excuse me, but beer in this arena seems rather expensive?
Feicim Leprechain thar ann!: I just saw Patrick Kane over there!
Caith! Bhuail! Scatail!: Trade Everyone.
The Blackhawks' Irish Connection:
Sean O'Donnell: The only way that OD could have a more Irish name would be if he was called "Shamrock O'Guinness". His family left Ireland for Canada at the height of the Famine in 1847, when Sean was in his early teens. Just please stop looking at him after mentioning the "Auld Sod".
Jimmy Hayes: His name alone conjures up the image of a freckled, plucky young newsboy in a cap three sizes too big telling Elliot Ness that the mobsters are moving the hooch out of Brannigan's warehouse. Is (obviously) from Bahstaan, where they also celebrate "Evacuation Day" on 03/17, which commemorates making some invading force retreat back to Canada. (Shouldn't that be in June then? Ed.)
Johnny O'Duya: From the small town of Castlestockholm in Co. Wexford, O'Duya grew up playing Hurling and... OK, alright... look, 80 Million people claim Irish Ancestry worldwide. Let us have this one?
As Blackhawks fans we are lucky enough to have our own Pair O'Paddies. Here's how they compare to their famous namesake.
SP: Legend tells us that St Patrick chased all the snakes out of Ireland, although many doubt this is true.
PK: If you hear a story featuring the words "Patrick Kane" and "Snake" you just hope Deadspin didn't get any photos this time.
SP: The original St. Patrick was famously popular with women, converting many Celtic Maidens to his cause and gathering them together in groups where they could properly devote themselves to following his every move.
PS: Otherwise known as Every Female In Chicago.
SP: St. Patrick was known for being ascetic and humble, living simply and refusing the lavish gifts and tributes that were offered to him by a grateful people.
PK: Not so much.
Of course, no mention of St. Patrick's Day would be complete without referring to the famous Black Brew. After lots and lots of research (hic) I have come up with a guide to drinking Guinness while watching the Hawks.
- As is well known , Guinness should be given a few minutes to settle after being poured. If you start pouring at puck-drop your pint should be ready just in time for the first Goal Against.
- An expert can draw pretty but pointless interlacing circles and patterns on the smooth white surface. Before attempting a back-door pass to Patrick Sharp.
- Until recent years, Guinness was available in either Pint Bottles (known in Ireland as 'Danos') or Half-Pint Bottles (unsure if 'Andrew Shaw-os' was in common usage)
- To Hawks fans, Guinness's famous combination of silky, creamy smoothness and sharp bitterness should suddenly seem very familiar.
Brother Samuel O'Fels painstakingly crafts an early 8th Century version of the "Committed Indian"
He has been working on this so hard he hasn't noticed that he is attempting to write with a fish.
So, from mmD and the Monkeys, La Fheile Padraig shona dhaoibh. Have fun, get drunk, sing along to the Pogues and generally do exactly what we're doing over here.