Stand Up For The Fans In Green: How Ireland Won Euro 2016

We’re a few weeks away from the end of the Euro, but I’m ready to declare a winner: the high-spirited, fun-loving fans of the Boys in Green. In a sport where hooliganism runs wild, and in a year where Europe is as divided as ever, Irish fans decided that their ‘thing’ was to be as extravagantly wonderful as possible. The result: all of Europe, and soccer fans around the globe, fell in love with them.  The boys in green gained supporters from all over, and spectators waited to see what fantastic thing Ireland’s fans would do next. All of the stunts were typical of the Irish sense of humor. You probably know about English humor – dry, wry, self-deprecating – but Irish humor isn’t that. It’s un-self conscious and rooted in happiness, goofiness and a love for the absurd. Team Ireland is officially out of the Euro, but in my heart, Ireland’s endearing, good-hearted fans are the real winners. And it’s not just me: today Irish fans were awarded the Medal of the City of Paris. Just for BEING FOOTBALL FANS. Just for being themselves. God bless.

We are going to rank these Euro moments on a scale of one to five, measured by Ireland’s most precious export:

Do not think that a video is subpar if it rates one Niall Horan: after all, one Niall Horan is good enough for One Direction. For the purposes of this discussion, Niall will be presented in his purest form:

Lullaby For The Boys In Green

Here’s a thing that sounds like it’s true of people everywhere, but I swear it’s an Irish thing: Irish men love babies. Groups of Irish men love singing. Find me something better than this group of Ireland supporters on a train singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to a small baby and announcing “we’ve got a baby!” like they’re in the presence of a small prince.

Niall Quotient:

 

Sing A Prayer For The Boys In Green

Imagine you at your most obnoxious drunken college self, and then imagine a nun walked into your train car. You would absolutely treat that nun to a rendition of the Our Father and try to dance with her. Also, this is a very jazzy rendition of the Lord’s Prayer and must have been the standard one at these guys’ schools and churches. A+

Niall Quotient:

Fix The Car For The Boys In Green

Cars don’t usually come off well in giant football celebrations. My favorite part of this isn’t the Irishmen pounding out the dents – which was great – or singing “fix the car for the boys in green.” It was the fans frantically stuffing money into the car’s windows to make up for the damage.

Niall Quotient: 

Change A Tire For The Boys In Green

Irish fans help elderly French couple change flat tyre at Euro 2016

As the Irish fan says, there’s the difference between Irish fans and English fans: we change the wheel of a car. (Wheel changing Irish fan: you single?)

Niall Quotient:

Stand Up For The Balcony

For a brief, shining moment, the biggest celebrity of Euro 2016 was this guy who had a balcony. The crowd cheered when he walked out and booed when he left. He probably should have anticipated this when he moved above an Irish pub.

Niall Quotient:

Stand Up For The French Police

Only these guys could commandeer a tunnel and make people like them for it because they serenade the French police while they’re at it.

Niall Quotient:

Stand Up For The Ulsterman

Little geopolitics for you: the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland: Not the same. Not nearly the same. Centuries of troubles to show for it. But when a Northern Ireland fan, Darren Rodgers, died tragically of a fall, the Irish fans paid tribute by chanting “stand up for the Ulsterman” during their game against Sweden. It’s one island, after all.

Niall Quotient:

Stand Up For The Sexy Wives

Even Ireland’s smack talk doesn’t sting. Ireland’s taunt to Sweden’s fans?  “Go home to your sexy wives.” Have you seen Swedes? They’re not wrong.

Niall Quotient: 

Stand Up For The Foreign News

To be fair, this Hungarian news anchor was in the presence of greatness and he knew it.

Niall Quotient:

Stand Up For This French Girl

Ha. Hahahahahahaha.

Niall Quotient:

Stand Up For The Dancing Queen

Ireland’s favorite past time: group singalongs. Sweden’s favorite past time: following confusing furniture building instructions ABBA. Match made in heaven, played in France.

Niall Quotient:

Stand Up If You Lost Your Kid

When a child got separated from his father, the Irish fans chanted “Steve, here is your son.” They crouched down then sang “Stand up if you lost your son.” Happy ending: Steve got his kid back (Steve’s wife: probably not thrilled).

Niall Quotient:

Best of 2015: Things I’m Willing To Believe About One Direction

HAPPY 24TH BIRTHDAY LOUIS TOMLINSON. IT IS YOUR GOLDEN BIRTHDAY. CELEBRATE WISELY. AND WITH PROFESSING YOUR LOVE (TO YOU KNOW WHO).

Here’s what I knew about One Direction last week:

  • They are a British boy band, except one of them is Irish.
  • They sing that song I hate (What Makes You Beautiful. Still don’t like it.)
  • Also, I knew Drag Me Down but thought it was by Maroon 5? I don’t know, you guys.
  • I thought it was beautifully shady how the chorus of Perfect sounded a lot like Style.
  • And I knew who the two cute ones are.
  • Don’t play. You know exactly who I’m talking about.

What with their new album and a new press-generated controversy every day, One Direction was the perfect candidate for the Things I’m Willing To Believe About series – except, with my scant background knowledge,  I had to hit the books. Yeah. I took that hit for you, internet. My research included:

  • Watching like 4-5 interviews on YouTube.
  • Googling photos of the members both now and in 2010.
  • Listening to the new album. It’s a really good, solid pop album to be honest.
  • Tumblr. Enough said.

The result? I either just became a Directioner – and a Larry? Is that how you do it? – or went through puberty again. Anyway, based on admittedly not that much info, here are some totally not-true “facts” I’m willing to believe about my new favorite British-except-one-Irish-guy boy band:

Liam

 

 

  • The Irish One?
  • Once hand wrote his favorite poem for a girl he is into.
  • The poem was by Shel Silverstein.
  • Most likely to be subject of a Paul Is Dead-style rumor that he died in 2011 and was replaced by a sort-of lookalike.
  • Because  you don’t just grow a kidney like that. Or change faces like this:

  • Decided to try out online dating. Didn’t believe the other boys when they told him that a fake mustache wasn’t an awesome, foolproof disguise.
  • Favorite literary character: Gallant of the Goofus and Gallant series:

  • After a show, he makes the boys watch tape to improve next time.
  • His favorite t.v. show is the Tim Allen classic Home Improvement.
  • Instituted a chore wheel on tour. Said it would be fun. Believed it.
  • But the chore Liam doesn’t know about? Taking away his twitter after he’s said something dumb. The others trade whose turn it is to change his password.
  • They also hid his hair straightener a few years ago. It was for his own good.
  • Liam has invested in gold bars.
  • He loves knock knock jokes.
  • And “why did the chicken cross the road” jokes.
  • An old lady once hit Liam in the face with her purse. He had been chasing her for half a block to give her back a single coin that she dropped.
  • Liam snips apart those six-pack rings so they don’t get caught around birds’ heads.
  • His MSN name: NotLiamPayne
  • Has flown a kite for fun.
  • Owns one of those sticks to pick up litter on the street. Uses it frequently.
  • Liam once sealed the windows on a tour jet with shrink wrap when he read about the high costs of heating. Oh, bless.
  • Has a binder full of handwritten translations and phonetic pronunciations of foreign words to use when traveling. Includes a British English to American English section.
  • Flosses twice a day.
  • Loves team-building exercises.
  • Called Niall “Neil” for the first two weeks.
  • Has a Homer Simpson-style collage, with the letters covered up by photos of Simon Cowell and 1D fans:

 

Niall

 

  • No, the Irish one.
  • Style inspiration: a my buddy doll.

 

  • Is a cross between a dad and a beagle.
  • Has clear braces.
  • Is the kind of guy who would do pranks that involve shaving cream.
  • Is contractually obligated to be “the blonde one.” Can’t wait to change management and finally be free of bleach burns.
  • Was always the star of the feis with his 3-hand reel.
  • But his hornpipe is CRAP.
  • Has kind of a lot of tin whistles.
  • Owns one of those sweaters your grandma would always buy you when she went to the Aran islands.

Irish-Americans, you know what I’m talking about.

 

  • But he kind of, sort of really does believe that legend that if he wears his family’s pattern they’ll be able to identify him in a shipwreck.
  • Has repurposed Irish oatmeal cans in his home.

You know what? Handy, frugal, and functional.

  • Is named after Niall of the Nine Hostages.
  • He lifts because he wants to be “built like Flatley.”
  • Says his first crush was: the girls in the Corrs.
  • Actual first crush was: that skanky Molly Malone statue in Dublin.

 

 

  • Suggested the band name because it sounded like it was about frisky Hogwarts students.
  • Life goal was to be “bigger than Jedward.”
  • His first paid gig was modeling those gloves that are also sharks in a department store ad as a child.

Louis

  • Acts chill if you pronounce it “Lewis,” but seethes for hours after.
  • Hogwarts affiliation: Hot Slytherin.
  • He says his personal style is “sophisticated rocker-casual.”
  • But really, it is: small French girl with a secret.

  • Has definitely been hunting with foxhounds.
  • But just played with the dogs the whole time.
  • On a yearly basis, his management has had to turn down offers for him to play a smarmy Edwardian man on Downton Abbey.
  • His great-grandfather was the artist’s model for the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens.

  • No, that was a joke. Actually he is the Peter Pan statue from Kensington Gardens, cursed by an old witch to assume human form.
  • Falls on the “cake” side of the Jaffa Cake debate.

Even though they are biscuits.

  • Has a Youtube playlist of cheek and jawline toning exercises. They work.
  • One time, a makeup artist applied light highlighter and contouring to his cheekbones. They literally could cut a man. It was proclaimed “too much.”
  • Like Phoebe Buffay, insists that he receives 23 points instead of 3 in basketball “because I’m dainty.”
  • When he calls Harry, the image that pops up representing Louis is a Google image result for “haughty cat”:

 

  • Was forced to play Baby Jesus in four successive nativity plays because everyone agreed that you just sort of want to wrap him in a blanket and keep him safe from harm.

Harry

  • When he has children, it’s because he will find a baby in a Moses basket in a woodland
  • Was found in a Moses basket in a woodland himself, maybe?
  • All I’m saying is that I’m willing to believe that he is a changeling:

File under: people who should be wrapped in swaddling clothes and lulled to sleep.

  • Is a cross between a glam rocker, the most charismatic student at a 1920s boys’ boarding school, and an English Springer Spaniel.

 

  • Hogwarts affiliation: Gryffindor, but “culturally Hufflepuff.”
  • Has a climate-controlled room in his house for his nice blouses.
  • Smells how you would expect Irish Spring soap to smell based on those commercials where wholesome yet sprightly men gallivant near a waterfall (not how the soap actually smells, which is like “clean uncle” if anything).

Oh. The spring is THERE, thanks.

 

  • Whenever they’re in a new city, everyone ends up looking around asking “where’s Harry?” Inevitably, he has gone off to befriend an old lady or a small child.

  • Has tree fort.
  • Has secret password to get into tree fort.
  • There is an elaborate secret handshakes as well.
  • Harry is working with a publishing company to create an adult coloring book based on his tattoos.
  • His house is scented with specially formulated candles that smell like exactly like autumn leaves and sunsets.
  • Can knit.
  • Over the course of a single ride to a venue, knit a pair of fingerless gloves for a tour driver whose handshake seemed a little cold.
  • When his boots need repair, he just leaves them outside his door and it is taken care of:

 

  • Has been described as a “little scamp” before, albeit less frequently than Louis.
  • Opposes the term “man bun” because “nobody should tell it what kind of bun it should be.”
  • Yeah, he has long hair, but you know what? Harry Styles cleans it out of the drain. Every time.
  • Has a dog-eared copy of Indian In The Cupboard next to his bed.
  • According to legend, a blind man and a deaf man used to walk together and help each other understand the world. They passed Harry Styles in the park. The blind man turned to the deaf, and solemnly said and signed “he prances.” “I know, I heard,” the deaf man replied.

 Zayn

  • No. We are not doing this.

Things I’m Willing To Believe About One Direction

Here’s what I knew about One Direction last week:

  • They are a British boy band, except one of them is Irish.
  • They sing that song I hate (What Makes You Beautiful. Still don’t like it.)
  • Also, I knew Drag Me Down but thought it was by Maroon 5? I don’t know, you guys.
  • I thought it was beautifully shady how the chorus of Perfect sounded a lot like Style.
  • And I knew who the two cute ones are.
  • Don’t play. You know exactly who I’m talking about.

What with their new album and a new press-generated controversy every day, One Direction was the perfect candidate for the Things I’m Willing To Believe About series – except, with my scant background knowledge,  I had to hit the books. Yeah. I took that hit for you, internet. My research included:

  • Watching like 4-5 interviews on YouTube.
  • Googling photos of the members both now and in 2010.
  • Listening to the new album. It’s a really good, solid pop album to be honest.
  • Tumblr. Enough said.

The result? I either just became a Directioner – and a Larry? Is that how you do it? – or went through puberty again. Anyway, based on admittedly not that much info, here are some totally not-true “facts” I’m willing to believe about my new favorite British-except-one-Irish-guy boy band:

Liam

 

 

  • The Irish One?
  • Once hand wrote his favorite poem for a girl he is into.
  • The poem was by Shel Silverstein.
  • Most likely to be subject of a Paul Is Dead-style rumor that he died in 2011 and was replaced by a sort-of lookalike.
  • Because  you don’t just grow a kidney like that. Or change faces like this:

  • Decided to try out online dating. Didn’t believe the other boys when they told him that a fake mustache wasn’t an awesome, foolproof disguise.
  • Favorite literary character: Gallant of the Goofus and Gallant series:

  • After a show, he makes the boys watch tape to improve next time.
  • His favorite t.v. show is the Tim Allen classic Home Improvement.
  • Instituted a chore wheel on tour. Said it would be fun. Believed it.
  • But the chore Liam doesn’t know about? Taking away his twitter after he’s said something dumb. The others trade whose turn it is to change his password.
  • They also hid his hair straightener a few years ago. It was for his own good.
  • Liam has invested in gold bars.
  • He loves knock knock jokes.
  • And “why did the chicken cross the road” jokes.
  • An old lady once hit Liam in the face with her purse. He had been chasing her for half a block to give her back a single coin that she dropped.
  • Liam snips apart those six-pack rings so they don’t get caught around birds’ heads.
  • His MSN name: NotLiamPayne
  • Has flown a kite for fun.
  • Owns one of those sticks to pick up litter on the street. Uses it frequently.
  • Liam once sealed the windows on a tour jet with shrink wrap when he read about the high costs of heating. Oh, bless.
  • Has a binder full of handwritten translations and phonetic pronunciations of foreign words to use when traveling. Includes a British English to American English section.
  • Flosses twice a day.
  • Loves team-building exercises.
  • Called Niall “Neil” for the first two weeks.
  • Has a Homer Simpson-style collage, with the letters covered up by photos of Simon Cowell and 1D fans:

 

Niall

 

  • No, the Irish one.
  • Style inspiration: a my buddy doll.

 

  • Is a cross between a dad and a beagle.
  • Has clear braces.
  • Is the kind of guy who would do pranks that involve shaving cream.
  • Is contractually obligated to be “the blonde one.” Can’t wait to change management and finally be free of bleach burns.
  • Was always the star of the feis with his 3-hand reel.
  • But his hornpipe is CRAP.
  • Has kind of a lot of tin whistles.
  • Owns one of those sweaters your grandma would always buy you when she went to the Aran islands.

Irish-Americans, you know what I’m talking about.

 

  • But he kind of, sort of really does believe that legend that if he wears his family’s pattern they’ll be able to identify him in a shipwreck.
  • Has repurposed Irish oatmeal cans in his home.

You know what? Handy, frugal, and functional.

  • Is named after Niall of the Nine Hostages.
  • He lifts because he wants to be “built like Flatley.”
  • Says his first crush was: the girls in the Corrs.
  • Actual first crush was: that skanky Molly Malone statue in Dublin.

 

 

  • Suggested the band name because it sounded like it was about frisky Hogwarts students.
  • Life goal was to be “bigger than Jedward.”
  • His first paid gig was modeling those gloves that are also sharks in a department store ad as a child.

Louis

  • Acts chill if you pronounce it “Lewis,” but seethes for hours after.
  • Hogwarts affiliation: Hot Slytherin.
  • He says his personal style is “sophisticated rocker-casual.”
  • But really, it is: small French girl with a secret.

  • Has definitely been hunting with foxhounds.
  • But just played with the dogs the whole time.
  • On a yearly basis, his management has had to turn down offers for him to play a smarmy Edwardian man on Downton Abbey.
  • His great-grandfather was the artist’s model for the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens.

  • No, that was a joke. Actually he is the Peter Pan statue from Kensington Gardens, cursed by an old witch to assume human form.
  • Falls on the “cake” side of the Jaffa Cake debate.

Even though they are biscuits.

  • Has a Youtube playlist of cheek and jawline toning exercises. They work.
  • One time, a makeup artist applied light highlighter and contouring to his cheekbones. They literally could cut a man. It was proclaimed “too much.”
  • Like Phoebe Buffay, insists that he receives 23 points instead of 3 in basketball “because I’m dainty.”
  • When he calls Harry, the image that pops up representing Louis is a Google image result for “haughty cat”:

 

  • Was forced to play Baby Jesus in four successive nativity plays because everyone agreed that you just sort of want to wrap him in a blanket and keep him safe from harm.

Harry

  • When he has children, it’s because he will find a baby in a Moses basket in a woodland
  • Was found in a Moses basket in a woodland himself, maybe?
  • All I’m saying is that I’m willing to believe that he is a changeling:

File under: people who should be wrapped in swaddling clothes and lulled to sleep.

  • Is a cross between a glam rocker, the most charismatic student at a 1920s boys’ boarding school, and an English Springer Spaniel.

 

  • Hogwarts affiliation: Gryffindor, but “culturally Hufflepuff.”
  • Has a climate-controlled room in his house for his nice blouses.
  • Smells how you would expect Irish Spring soap to smell based on those commercials where wholesome yet sprightly men gallivant near a waterfall (not how the soap actually smells, which is like “clean uncle” if anything).

Oh. The spring is THERE, thanks.

 

  • Whenever they’re in a new city, everyone ends up looking around asking “where’s Harry?” Inevitably, he has gone off to befriend an old lady or a small child.

  • Has tree fort.
  • Has secret password to get into tree fort.
  • There is an elaborate secret handshakes as well.
  • Harry is working with a publishing company to create an adult coloring book based on his tattoos.
  • His house is scented with specially formulated candles that smell like exactly like autumn leaves and sunsets.
  • Can knit.
  • Over the course of a single ride to a venue, knit a pair of fingerless gloves for a tour driver whose handshake seemed a little cold.
  • When his boots need repair, he just leaves them outside his door and it is taken care of:

 

  • Has been described as a “little scamp” before, albeit less frequently than Louis.
  • Opposes the term “man bun” because “nobody should tell it what kind of bun it should be.”
  • Yeah, he has long hair, but you know what? Harry Styles cleans it out of the drain. Every time.
  • Has a dog-eared copy of Indian In The Cupboard next to his bed.
  • According to legend, a blind man and a deaf man used to walk together and help each other understand the world. They passed Harry Styles in the park. The blind man turned to the deaf, and solemnly said and signed “he prances.” “I know, I heard,” the deaf man replied.

 Zayn

  • No. We are not doing this.