11. January 2007 (Did
you ever think they'd make it this far.)
85 Jan 2007
Helping to distinguish the
wood from the trees:
SCOOP COVERS THE COVER THAT “STAND
UP” COVERED UP
Following the recent publication of the latest
issue of STAND UP, SCOOP has been concerned
that the cover photograph was not actually genuine, but may have
been digitally altered. SCOOP’s suspicions were raised when
we discovered that no one we spoke to had actually seen a Belfast
sink being thrown at the players at a rugby match?
In a daring operation, codenamed “Jools”,
SCOOP sent its reporters under cover to investigate the cover-up.
Posing as ordinary Ulster supporters, we managed to get close to
the infamous 2bu crew, and draw one of the daft galoots into conversation
via postings in a secret location known only as “The Darkside”.
Having gained his confidence we managed to unearth the shocking
truth of the matter including the depth of feeling opposed to their
banners, flegs and inane shouting. We can also exclusively reveal
the actual photo that should have adorned the front cover of the
Far from all the recent allegations having been
made by opposition players, coaches and fans, they are part of an
orchestrated plan by the Ulster Branch themselves in an attempt
to get rid of this unruly “mob” who had the
audacity to suggest that David Humphreys had once put in a "below
par" kick and generally made a nuisance of themselves on the
terrace. Such is the depth of feeling we have discovered that several
of those close to the Branch took matters into their own hands and
assaulted the 2bu crew, but so as not to bring the Branch into disrepute,
they entered into a pact with the Devil ….. URSC who contrived
to hide the evidence and replace it with the picture published.
This is what was
on the cover and what should
have been on it!
55 Jan 2007
Blues & Royals run scared of Whites.
Following earlier reports that Prince Harry would soon be going
to Iraq to fight for Prime Minister Bush, there are now alarming
reports that the government is now going into full retreat on this
Speaking on behalf of the M.O.D., General Mayhem said “We
have carried out a full military appraisal of the risks that the
prince will face. We are aware that there is a significant threat
from Iraqi extremists, and we can even cope with “friendly
fire” from our US allies, but after reports that a man was
seen in Basra wearing an Ulster Rugby top, the Top Brass consider
this to be one risk too far.
49 Jan 2007
It was 18:45 and the young programme sellers were
shrill as they drummed up business. The beer tent seemed busy enough
but otherwise the ground seemed strangely quiet. Perhaps the early
kick off had caught many unaware. As I strolled over towards the
terrace I was again struck by how few were in the ground. Surely
the “Choke in Croke” or the Llanelli “Beat us
in the sleet” ….had not persuaded the loyal fans of
Ulster to stay at home? No. We are stronger folks than that in Ulster.
When the going gets tough over here the tough really do get going.
And soon enough the crowd swelled. I stopped off at the “25”
to speak to my old friend, Shukes, and young Kirsty. “What’s
on the banner tonight?” was the cry, as I passed by. It is
strange, this. I spend three hours painting a new banner, my wife
thinks I’m barmy, and yet at this moment it seems so important.
Presently I climb the yellow stairs to my usual
spot to join my friends beneath the gantry, where I am met with
complaint. “Not another banner”, and “what does
this one say”, and “I hope you’re not going to
block my view again”, etc.
I will not tire you with an account of the game
– you know it well enough. But I will dwell upon an incident
that at first irked me, and has now upset me very, very much.
The half was dying. A promising Ulster opening
had given way to indifference, then to dogged Dragons resistance,
then to a serious Welsh threat. Ulster pressed, the Dragons attempted
a long line kick from outside their 22, erred, the promenade jeered,
the touch judge called them back and the terrace, eyes only for
the far touch line, broke into voice. “Dodgy, dodgy kicker!”
Four times the mantra echoed.
It was then that Aled Brew scowled over. Few seemed
to notice. It was my friend Johnnie who pointed it out. Aled seemed
upset about something and spoke to the touch judge. I doubt if anyone
really gave it a second thought.
Little did we know.
Shortly into the second half things took on a surreal
air. My son tapped me on the arm and pointed to a black suited official
complete with walkie talkie. As I looked down I was astonished to
find myself under surveillance. The man in black stared directly
at me and spoke into his radio. The crowd around me grew restless.
We hoisted the oul’ banner and were greeted with a stony faced
stare. We sang, “Who are you”, and detected a hint of
a smile, before he turned to face the stand, radio still pressed
closely to his ear. Then, as he turned to go, an old favourite rang
out across the terrace. “Cheerio, cheerio, cheerio!”
On reflection I realised that for three full minutes
we had stopped watching the game, our attention diverted to the
overt security on the line.
The evening wore on, we scrapped home and the crowd
dispersed. But not all. On the halfway line, back underneath the
mikes and cameras, a group of Ulster fans remained, their banner
furled and their flags limp at their sides. “What was that
all about”? None of us had any idea. Eventually I went home
But by Saturday evening everything had changed.
I logged on to the UAFC Message Board, curious to know if Henry
had posted his photos of said banner. But what is this? Ulster fans
in Race Row. My immediate reaction is someone is having a wind up.
But it was not. Get real! Who? Where? When? And then the awful truth
dawned. It must be us. The man in black. I was stunned. I was sick.
I sat in disbelief. Then I reflected and then I wrote this true
I was there, I sang, (badly), I chanted, I laughed.
I flew that stupid big banner, I complained, sometimes about the
ref, but mostly about my beloved Ulster. I did not abuse anyone.
Neither did anyone around me. We never have, and we most certainly
Next day I bought my least favourite sports paper,
the Sunday Times. I read the front page.
The mobile rang – it was the News Letter.
My friend Richard has passed on my number. Do I have a comment?
Do I have a comment!
45 Jan 2007
Yes, it’s that time of year again, well,
almost, when the Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year and everyone
else doesn’t. It is hard to believe that the Year of Dog is
almost over and in just under four days it will be the Year of the
Pig, or Boar or Ding Hai.
So, on the cusp of yet another Pig Dog of a year
we at Scoop are delighted to bring you the Norn Iron equivalent
of Hong Kong Fooey.
Yes, it’s that time again when the great
and the good, the crude, the rude and the downright pathetic bare
their souls and tell the world how they really feel about their
cyber soul mates. Love is in the air, Cupid has chartered a Hot
Air Balloon, The White Knights are up for some Dragon slaying and
it’s open season on all things French. And what about those
rude, party pooping Froggies? Line the onion sellers up against
the Maginot Line and give them one last Gauloises, we say.
So, without further a do, we bring you a load
of tosh from Scoop’s Valentine’s Day Mail Bag.
To Trevor Brennan, from the French
Trev, Trev, the milkman’s son,
threw six punches and away did run!
You sell crap beer,
but you need not fear,
for we won’t see you in court
for many a year!
From the UPSTANDING people of Ulster
to Monsieur Brennan
You behaved like a barbarian,
and you’ve cut us to the core.
For we’re certainly not sectarian
and no one said your mums a slut.
From Craftynick to a glass of cheap
Oh cheap red wine, you have the knack,
your touch makes me all a quiver,
sending shock waves through my guts,
and onwards towards my liver.
To Trevor Brennan, from Patrick Bamford
I was in your bar and drank your beer,
even though it looked and smelt quite queer,
But just because I don’t like your pub
that’s no excuse to re-arrange my gub!
From the 2BU to Mike Reid
The crew have many members
including Linda Ferris;
so why not do the decent thing
and stick a roof upon the terrace?
To the URSC Chairman from an anonymous chick
The thought of you
makes me feel quite randy.
Has anyone told you,
You’re the Ultimate “eye candy”?
To Tommy Bowe, from Eddie O’Sub-no-one
I love you in red, I love you in white,
when you fly down the park,
you are quite a sight!
You’re clearly a winner
from all that I’ve seen
but don’t get your hopes up
of playing in green.
To Jamesie, from all the Ulster fans
We snap you here, we snap you there,
We snap you every-bloody-where
And now we hear you on RTE
Seeking even more pub-li-city!
To RTE, from the Raving Hill Mob
R is for Rubbish, and that’s being polite
the word we prefer sounds very like “white”
T is for truth! But you clearly don’t care
as you broadcast that slander all over the air.
But E is for Erin, our Emerald Isle
and our friends throughout Ireland
who are incensed by your bile.
And as for our Paddy,
he’ll swear on the Bible
that much of your broadcast
was nothing but libel!
To Matt McCullough, from the poker
A deck of cards, a royal flush!
The Queen of Hearts may make you blush.
But keep your smiles for Ulster’s maids
and never play the Ace of Spades.
To Kimble, from Dulux
We hear you like to paint smart prose
on large white sheets you hoist on poles;
but it is said that when it rains
your message runs and your shirt stains.
So may we suggest,
to use what’s best?
“Buy Dulux Gloss and save your clothes!”
To Andrew Trimble, from Gordon Darcy
They love your legs, they love your style
They say you can run for many a mile
But I don’t care much for your class –
it won’t be me who makes the first pass!
To YM, from all his fans
There was a Youngman who had style
and wherever he went he would smile.
Although what about,
there was always some doubt.
Is it ‘cos he’s worth quite a pile?
To the INTIWSTA Predictors, from Kimble
To all who’ve joined the predictions race
and jostle hard for second place,
I hope you don’t mind while I pause to stare,
‘cos you all look so small away down there.
To Cap’n Grumpy, from the great
All God’s creatures got a place in your choir,
some sing low and some sing higher,
and some just sound completely dire;
While others clap their hands.
44 Jan 2007
Rugby player’s Drug Test Leads to Further
Following the Ireland v France match on Sunday,
SCOOP has learned that one of the Irish substitutes was selected
for “routine” drugs testing in accordance with
standard practice. SCOOP has further learned that this test was
not as routine as was first suggested, but was at the request of
the opposition after some French players complained that “un
de leurs joueurs n'était pas humain” after
he did some clearing out to win a turnover shortly after coming
on to the pitch.
SCOOP can exclusively reveal that the sample showed
nothing sinister in the way of illegal drug-taking, but at the insistence
of the testers, an X-ray was taken and this merits further investigation.
39 Jan 2007
Referee(s) show(s) consistency in applying the laws.
the row that erupted over referee Steve Walsh’s comments to
Welsh coach Nigel "Parrot-Face" Davies, his subsequent
apparent back-down to Eddie O’Sub-No-One and speculation that
St. Bernard La Porte now wanted to show him la door, SCOOP International
deployed its resources to find out exactly what has been said and
to track him down was our Welsh correspondent Dai Laffin,
who got the following quote;
“I love the way the Welsh play their rugby, boyo, and
the Irish were spoilin’ that. If they do the same this weekend,
I’ll ‘ave them, I will, boyo!”
up was our Ireland correspondent, Dai O’Bolical;
“When I analysed the game afterwards I saw there wasn't
any real problem there. Shore Oirland are my favourite team, t’
be shore. Oim shore dey’ll doe well dis weekend!”
our French correspondent, Diane Otherday extracted a few
words from the great man;
“I hope France win, but I might not be refereeing now.
Voulez vous couché avec moi, ce soir”
there you have it: At least we now know what to expect from the
referee this weekend, if he ever comes down off the fence and makes
it onto the pitch.
33 Jan 2007
Ministers in Waiting, Eoin O’Paisley and Mhártain
MacOengusa Stand Up For The Ulstermen in Next
Ulster Rugby have today revealed their design for
next seasons away strip.
Said Ulster Supremo, Mickey O’Reid, “Following
the dust up over the bust up in Toulouse we are considering a whole
new approach to away matches. The management are most anxious to
shed this sectarian image that hangs like an orange cloud over Raving
It may have been the worst kept secret around the
club that Canterbury have been given the bums rush but we at Scoop
were still very surprised to witness at first hand the startling
new concept being developed for next season.
Gone are the black shoulder strips and red edging,
gone too the famous Ulster Rugby logo, for next season Ulster’s
favourite sons will run out at the likes of Musgrave Park looking
more Irish than a shamrock.
And in an even more startling demonstration of
solidarity, two of Ulster’s foremost protagonists agreed to
model Ulster proposed new away strip. Changed times, changed times
indeed, but is clear both men have a lot on their minds.
|32 Jan 2007
31 Jan 2007
Green, Green Grass of Home!
It has been a bleak few weeks for Ulster Rugby.
Certainly the wheels started to come off in Reading and the chant
on the terrace should be more like:
“One wheel on my wagon, but I’m
still rolling along, the ERC after me, but I’m singing a
In yet another exclusive Scoop can reveal what
really happened against London Irish. Said Mucker McCall, “I
accept I have to shoulder some of the blame. I told the lads to
go out and bury Irish – I just did not realise that Matt would
take it literally and go looking for a couple of spades.”
Asked about the team’s poor showing last
weekend against the Ospreys, McCall admitted the lads failed to
match their potential. “The problem with us at the moment
is there is only one F’n Ferris, and with out Besty and Co
that really showed.”
However it’s not all doom and gloom over
at Raving Hill. Following hard on the heals of the Toulouse Incident
and the unjustified criticism of the greatest rugby fans in the
world by the conniving gutter English and Irish Press, Ulster supremo,
Mike Reid, today confirmed that there will be an increased security
presence on the terrace and prom for the rest of the season.
is not a knee jerk re-action to recent events,” he claimed.
“We have been working on this concept for a long time
now. It has been a long and lonely road for rugby in NI over the
past thirty years and I am very pleased to say we now have cross
community support for this initiative. It would be a complete disaster
for us if players and officials from the visiting team thought they
could just leap the hoardings at any time and lay into our fans.”
Reid added that even Sinn Fein have signed up
to his new deal. “Why, Mr Adams popped in for a cup of
char just yesterday to offer his support for our stance on discipline
on and off the field,” he said.
If you want to gather with like minded citizens,
meet famous people and shout abuse at them, then why not stand for
election to the Northern Ireland Assembly. But hurry, places will
On the other hand we understand there is still
room at Raving Hill on the 16th Feb for the Dragons game, when you
can join in congregational singing in both Ulster Scats and Gaelic,
(of the Welsh variety). Tickets are on sale on the web and at the
ground. So why not Stand Up for the Ulstermen at this, their time
of greatest need? Go on, your Wee Province need you!
Scoop would like to take this opportunity to publicly
thank all those from Leinster, Munster and London Irish who have
said nice things about the Ulster Rugby Fans. We think you are really
nice too and we can’t wait ‘til you visit Raving Hill
again when we will buy you lots of drink and hopefully give your
team a good kickin’.
29 Jan 2007
TB or not TB, that is the question.
Alarm has broken out in Dublin 4 as the recent outbreak of TB threatens
the quiet, select, tree lined avenues of Donkeybrook. Apparently
the virulent infection was passed on by a lovely Leinster lass who,
in an attempt to soothe the high temperature currently raging amongst
many Ulster fans, was herself struck down by the affliction.
Said the lady in question, “I only wanted to let the
Protestant Boys know that they did not walk alone. I suggested writing
a nice letter in joined up hand writing, to tell them how I and
some of my friends were feeling about the whole thing. I can tell
you I am feeling a lot worse now. I may even have to up sticks and
move house to the Malone Road.”
A spokesperson for the DHSS has asked rugby fans everywhere to
refrain from supporting rugby, gathering in large groups, and singing
or chanting. Indeed, so virulent is the strain that fans are advised
to even avoid watching rugby on television.
A spokesman for the DUP said “Never!” before
adding, “Chanting is practised by the established churches
but is in fact unbiblical. Our party would never condone such behaviour,
let alone other such worldly pastimes such as line dancing or beer
It is alleged that the outbreak can be traced to the South of France,
however things apparently got a lot worse when Tom, an uninformed,
self righteous Pharisee from the Gruaniad started Fanning the flames
Scoop can now report that support is now flowing in from all over
the British and Irish Isles for the beleaguered lads from Raving
Hill. Self help groups are springing up in Cork, Dublin, and London.
Indeed Her Majesty’s Representative in Ireland, the Governor
General of the Lost Six Counties, the Right Honourable Peter Hain
MP, was seen standing up for the Ulstermen in Swansea at the weekend.
Said a spokesman for the NIO, “Mr Hain may have been standing
up but this was simply to let a member of the Ulster Branch make
his way to the bar for another free drink. In no way does he support
anything to do with Ulster.”
Asked what the Ministerial stance was on the alleged breakdown
of law and order at a recent rugby match involving people from Belfast,
the spokesman said, “Our position on policing is quite
clear – it is up to the locally elected politicians to get
together and sort out the mess that the Brits have made in Ireland!”
Scoop understands that some progress is now being made in a number
of these matters.
27 Jan 2007
You can ban our banners but you cannot beat our seats!
Scoop, renowned for always being somewhere behind the eight ball,
(eventually), is delighted to offer three seats for Croke Park for
the Ireland England Rugby International.
To win these seats
all you need do is to complete the following phrase in not more
than thirty words.
I like standing with the Second Barrier Crew at Raving
Answers must be received by midnight on Friday, 2nd February. Bribes
and other blandishments welcome. Cheques should be crossed and made
payable to Scoop Travel.
23 Jan 2007
TB – NOT FOR HUMAN “CONSUMPTION”!
The World Health Organisation (WHO) today issued a stark reminder
that “consumption” the scourge of previous centuries
has not gone away, you know. Previously those most at risk were
those of poorer socio-economic groupings living in crowded housing,
but it has recently been discovered that a particularly nasty mutant
form of TB has evolved which threatens the health and well being
of all groupings including those who engage in otherwise healthy
lifestyles. An example of this was demonstrated only recently when
one young man was unexpectedly and violently struck down whilst
watching a sporting event.
The public has been warned to avoid poor quality beverages from
down-market drinking establishments in which it is suspected the
mutant TB thrives. Further they should keep up their guard against
this sinister threat to life and should check their immune status.
For those who have been previously immunised against TB, the Heaf
test or six needles used to be the method of choice. This basically
challenged the TB and after needling six times, a response or lack
of was recorded. The new strain of TB however has been shown to
react to less needle, and it is now common for a single challenge
to be used. This is known in this country as the “MAN TEST
WHO ARE YOU? but is shortened in France (where the mutant was recently
identified), to the MANTOUX test.
Symptoms to watch out for include sudden and violent headaches,
bleeding from skin lesions and possible loss of teeth. Prompt dousing
of the causative agent with alcohol may or may not be effective,
but patients and carers might at least feel they have attempted
something to help. Hospital treatment will almost certainly be required,
followed by a long recuperative period.
Leopard changes his spots.
UR will shortly be unveiling their latest signing,
but SCOOP can now exclusively reveal the latest recruit to pull
on the white shirt with the Red Hand. In an attempt to have cover
in EVERY position on the park, we are pleased to
announce competition for Sparky by the imminent arrival of LEO
Speaking exclusively to SCOOP after signing, Leo revealed
that it was the chance to support a real rugby
team and not a bunch of moaners and whingers that prompted him to
leave Leinster. “The thought of watching BO’D and
D’Arce gurnin’ in the ref’s ear, telling him his
job, every game became too much to bear. I knew
that life would be much more bearable with someone
like Sparky for company.” Leo then went on to add
“When I first went to Dublin, I lost all (my) pride,
but I thought with a home like Donkey Brook, even a single lion
on its own could make a killing! – How wrong I was”
UR remain tight lipped on the matter, but it is thought
that the defining moment in the negotiations came about when Leo
revealed that he would sign for free if he was
permitted to join the legendary second barrier crew. The cap’n
to this request and Leo will now live on a diet of bootleg
ale supplemented with an occasional Quorn sausage or
The Twat in the Hat Goes to Dublin.
It was the last day of the year and, as a treat,
the Twat in the Hat went to Dublin with his special friends. They
all went on a big yellow bus and got a seat with a big table. They
had a picnic on the bus and that helped them on their journey. When
they arrived in Dublin the Twat in the Hat said he was thirsty and
he wanted a drink. So the friends went to look for a shop that sold
black lemonade. Do you know of any shops that sell black lemonade
children? They found one but it was closed. It rained hard that
day but so desperate was the Twat in the Hat for a drink that they
stood outside in the pouring rain and waited for the shop to open.
There were plenty of other people in bright white shirts, even some
in blue shirts, waiting for the shop to open too. The Twat in the
Hat didn’t bring a coat and he got very wet. When the shop
opened the Twat in the Hat, his friends and everyone else, went
inside for some lemonade. It was so refreshing they had to have
some more. After a while the Twat in the Hat wondered where everyone
was going. The Twat in the Hat and his friends followed the crowds
and eventually arrived at a big stadium. The stadium had an enormous
tent that normally sold black lemonade but it was closed. The three
friends had a lunch of rip off hot dogs and chips instead but the
Twat in the Hat was still thirsty and somebody showed where he could
buy some more black lemonade. The Twat in the Hat was really beginning
to enjoy himself. He met plenty of old friends and had lots of black
lemonade. After a while everyone started to climb the big steps
that were in the stadium. The Twat in the Hat and his friends soon
followed but were soon out of breath after climbing forever. Eventually
they found somewhere to sit and watched a game of rugby that was
taking place between a team of white and a team of blue. Which team
do you support children? The Twat in the Hat supports the white
team. He was still thirsty but luckily he had brought a bottle of
French red grape juice from the Bordeaux region, which he opened
and promptly consumed. With all the lemonade and grape juice he
had taken, his plumbing soon came under pressure and he had to go
to the loo. Every time he went to the loo the team in blue scored.
The team in blue scored a lot that day. After the game was over
the Twat in the Hat was still thirsty so he and his friends went
back to the shop to get even more lemonade. In the shop, a rather
pretty American lady, who was taken with the hat the Twat was wearing,
accosted the Twat in the Hat. He thought she was trying to steal
his hat and told her to feck aff! After this episode the Twat in
the Hat’s friends thought it was time to go home so they went
and got the big yellow bus home. It was a great day out but the
Twat in the Hat is suffering from black lemonade induced memory
loss and can’t remember anything. Do you know what black lemonade
induced memory loss is children? The Twat in the Hat does!
The Diary of a Demented
Tibetan Prayer Flags.
Stuck in the middle with
Grande cuillere en
Blizzards and Bed Sheets.
Message Board Blues.
Issue 1(Dec 05)
Issue 2 (Jan 06)
Issue 3 (Feb 06)
Issue 4 (Mar 06)
Issue 5 (Apr 06)
Issue 6 (May 06)
Issue 7 (Sep 06)
Issue 8 (Oct 06)
Issue 9 (Nov 06)
Issue 10 (Dec 06)
Issue 11 (Jan - Mar 07)
Issue 12 (Apr 07)
Issue 13 (Aug 07)