I was watching the six nations rugby game this afternoon between England and Ireland.
It took place in Croke Park, in Dublin, which was the scene of a bloody massacre in 1920, when the Police Auxiliary Division entered the ground during a Dublin-Tipperary match and starting shooting indiscriminatley into the crowd.
There were several Irish rugby players, and fans, who were quite obviously moved by the occasion today, as it is the first time since that horrific event that the English national anthem was played in that stadium. This obviously wasn't the whole deal, but with all the politics and emotional feelings that surround the whole place, this was a big step in Irelands own history.
This affected even me, who although does have Irish roots, is English born and bred. This got me thinking about other emotional events I have witnessed on TV, and I list three of them that stand out (for various reasons) here:
1. England v Australia - Rugby World Cup Final 2003.
It wasn't the event itself that moved me, rather the ceremony before hand. I was alone in the house (my better half had gone to watch the final with some work collegues in a pub in London). I was in the kitchen making myself a drink, and just as I had finished I heard a childs voice, singing. I walked back into the lounge to see the TV screen, and there, in front of a packed stadium and God knows how many millions of TV viewers a single boy, no more than 12, was singing solo the start of some song (for give me, I can't remember the name of it). The fact he was a) so young b) singing solo in front of SOOO many people and c) doing it so well just hit a nerve in me, and tears came to my eyes and I was overwhelmed.
2. Jack Niclaus last professional round of golf, July 15th 2005 at the 134th British Open
A golfing legend. At the end of his 18 holes on the Friday (he unfortunately missed the cut) he sunk a birdie putt, and the floodgates around the course opened. There were so many great players there to celebrate with him, as well as his wife. His son was also there, who had caddied for him on those two days. One of the American TV commentators said "I bet there isn't a dry eye in the country" and I for one was completely choked up.
3. Darren Clarke at the 2006 Ryder Cup.
A month before this massive tournament, Darren Clarke (NIR) unfortunately lost his wife to cancer. He still managed to find the inner strength to play in the Ryder Cup, and not only play but play well. At the end of the tournament, (with Europe winning) Darren Clarke won his singles match against Zach Johnson on the 16th. Hundreds of fans poured onto the fairway to watch this amazing victory. The raw emotion witnessed was unprecedented. Tears were flowing from nearly every eye nearby. Mine included. A very emotional experience.
So there - I've opened myself up a bit there for ridicule for being a girlie girl who cries at the telly. However, if any of you out there witnessed these events, and felt the same sorts of things as I did, you will know where Im coming from. If any of you out there have your own experiences, post them here and share them with the world.
Good night all.