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Give Them A Break
2 February 2005, 8:25 am
Give Them A Break.

I have been a Munster supporter for most of my life and in recent years have luxuriated, I'm sure like thousands more, in the performances of the side. Each year the Heineken Cup in particular comes around I get the same feeling that I remembered as child in the run up to Christmas, the same excitement, sense of anticipation. And luckily, as a child Santa never disappointed me. As an adult neither have Munster.

They have been as honest as the day is long and I am often disheartened when I read some of the comments that are published about members of the squad on the Munster rugby website.

I don t believe that anyone should be above criticism. We all must endure that in our daily lives, personal or professional. But some of the language used in some threads is quite simply appalling. It is not the sentiment that I object to, just the language used. After all if it s someone s opinion that a player didn t play well then of course they are entitled to that opinion and it s perfectly reasonable for that to be published and put out there for debate. Healthy debate. Put reasonably and in joined up writing please.

Unfortunately, too often it seems, it is the schoolyard bully type who comes on ranting and raving about such and such being useless and I believe this type or tactic discourages rational response. Rather it appeals to the irrational who invariably at some stage justifies the scathing tone with the ludicrous claim of being a real Munster supporter .

At a consistent level, it seems we only come across this real Munster supporter at ticket purchase time, or to be exact at Heineken Cup ticket purchase time, this 'real fan' tending to save the vocals for the ticket line rather than the terraces.

And no, before people think, ah privileged p*** , I don t have a ready access to tickets despite being a long-time member of a senior club (a subject, which, now that I think of it, is fodder for another article).

It seems that as this Munster team became more successful and more popular some of us, and thankfully I think we are in the majority still, embraced them for what they were whilst others took ownership.

The rational applied - "they're getting paid good salaries" - to the players as it does to politicians and every time a player pulls on a togs he had better perform or be subjected to awful abuse from a section of the best supporters in the world.

Joe Duggan - Dooradoyle.

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